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Tempe Tourism Blog

Find holiday gifts for everyone on your list in Tempe

Tracey Dempsy Originals in Tempe, AZ
November 28, 2018

The holiday shopping frenzy has begun. And, as we all know, searching for the ideal gifts for those on your list can be exhausting to say the least.  However, we have the perfect solution: shop local and turn holiday shopping into a fun and satisfying experience. For starters, you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds at the smaller businesses. Plus, parking is often easier.  Both of these qualities make shopping in Tempe less stressful and more enjoyable. But the main reason for staying in Tempe is that you’ll find some truly unique gifts for everyone on your list.  An added bonus–you’ll feel good about supporting our local businesses. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite local merchants who make finding the perfect gift fun any time, but especially during the holidays. Our guide to Tempe merchants is bound to bring joy to your shopping experience. ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center Store at Brickyard Holiday Sale 699 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 108, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 727-8170 Share your love of art at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center Store at Brickyard Holiday Sale, November 24-December 22, 2018. Choose from a selection of ceramics, photos, note cards, jewelry, Día de Muertos merchandise and more at 20% off (30% for Museum members). Many of the items have been created by local artists. Hours:  Thursday–Saturday 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Cactus Sports 514 S. Mill Ave., Ste 101, Tempe, Arizona 85281 | (480) 894-1278 Owned and operated by ASU […]

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Try something new in Tempe

Tribe Goga
November 21, 2018

Tempe is a city that can’t easily be defined. It’s not just a place for those who are interested in arts or athletics, food or festivals; it’s a place for all. Including those that are looking to do something out of the norm and do something a little more edgy.  Here are some creative options to break out the ordinary and do something extraordinary in Tempe! Escape Zone – 414 S. Mill Ave. #112, Tempe, AZ 85281 The time is now to test your skills at Escape Zone in Downtown Tempe. You will have the choice to stop a compromised train from crashing, breakout from a jail cell or try to uncover a hidden inheritance that your grandparents left behind. Each theme has its own story line, puzzles and a series of problems to solve. You must be quick, as you only have 60 minutes to find keys, follow the clues and crack the codes to succeed in your mission of escaping the room! If you happen to get stuck, the “Game Master” will send you hints to nudge you along the way. Escape Zone has just one question: do you have what it takes? Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing – 3109 S. Fair Ln., Tempe, AZ 85282 Ever had the urge to wield an axe? Then Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing is the place for you!  Lumberjaxes is an indoor axe-throwing facility very similar to a shooting range, except your weapon of choice is an axe! There are eight bays, with two axe […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Music

Tempe Center for the Arts
November 15, 2018

By Delaney Wood Music has always been an integral part of my life. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood include sitting next to my Grandma at the piano, while she loudly played and sang her favorite songs.  Personally, I have been playing the violin for 10 years and I currently play in the ASU Philharmonia Orchestra. I thoroughly enjoy attending concerts and performances in my free time, and we have plenty of opportunities to do so here in the valley. Below are some of the best places to visit, in and around Tempe, if you’re looking to catch a musical, attend a rock concert, or even see an orchestra perform. Arizona State University 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 There is always something musical going on at Arizona State University.  You can watch a large variety of performances, from professional Broadway musicals at ASU Gammage, to concerts put on by students at Katzin Concert Hall, just across the street from Gammage.  These performances are always high quality, and the student performances are free or a very low cost per ticket. Check out the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts calendar, and the ASU Gammage events calendar to see what musical event is currently taking place at ASU. The Marquee 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 The Marquee Theatre is located on Mill Avenue, just north of Tempe Town Lake.  It hosts endless popular artists, all at affordable prices.  Previous artists to visit this venue include […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Pic-worthy Places

Mill Ave Bridge Tempe Arizona
November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood If you ever find yourself asking the question “What am I going to post next on Instagram?”, I have a solution for your problem- come to Tempe!  Tempe is full of beautiful venues, a bustling nightlife, and the most gorgeous sunsets. We’re home to Tempe Town Lake, Arizona State University, and the one-and-only Mill Avenue.  There are an endless amount of locations to take your next Instagram at, and your feed will never be boring again. If you’re stuck on where to go for your next Instagram post, here are just some of the most beautiful, colorful places in Tempe to snap some photos. Tempe Beach Park & Tempe Town Lake 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281   Joe’s Italian Ice 2019 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe AZ 85282     Marquee Theatre 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281     Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe AZ 85283     Harkins Theatres Valley Art 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281   Ghost Ranch 1006 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284     Downtown Tempe     “A” Mountain E. Rio Salado Pkwy & S. Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ, 85281  

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Turning 21

Varsity Tavern and Low Key Piano Bar
November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood This summer, I celebrated my 21st birthday. I had a relaxing time at Flanny’s Bar and Grill playing trivia with all of my closest friends, and trying out my brand new 21-year-old ID.  However, in the weeks leading up to my birthday, I heard a never-ending barrage of the typical ideas: “You should totally go to Mill!” or “Let’s go to Old Town!”  While heading to Mill Ave on your birthday is always a fun idea, there are numerous other ways for you to celebrate your big milestone in Tempe. Whether you’re looking to dance all night or have a more laid-back evening, here are some ideas for your 21st birthday celebration in Tempe. Have Dinner and Try a New Restaurant Don’t want to party on Mill Ave for your birthday? Try out some of the many delicious restaurants we have here in Tempe: Ghost Ranch | 1006 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar | 699 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 House of Tricks | 114 E. 7th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 Postino Wine Cafe | 615 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 Pier 54 | 5394 S. Lakeshore Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 Top of the Rock Restaurant| 2000 W. Westcourt Way, Tempe, AZ 85282 Play Games at the Arcade Main Event | 8545 S. Emerald Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284 If you’re looking to release your inner child for your birthday, head to Main Event and enjoy all of the activities it has to […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Restaurants

Delicious Factory
November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood Having been born and raised in Tempe, I’ve had the unique opportunity to test out numerous restaurants, attractions and events that we have here in town.  Here in Tempe, we have a good mix of mom-and-pop establishments, as well as larger businesses and chain establishments. However, there are a select handful of places that I find myself returning to time and again.   Here are my recommendations for Tempe restaurants to try within the city I call home. Someburros 101 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 I’m putting Someburros at the top of my list because this is absolutely the restaurant I visit most often.  When I don’t feel like cooking dinner, or if I’m in need of some delicious Mexican food to help me through midterm season, I will most likely come here.  The location on Mill and Baseline is near and dear to my heart, and fun fact- it was the first Someburros location ever! Also, check out their new Tempe location near the ASU Tempe Campus: 1314 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281. Delicious Factory 414 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 101, Tempe, AZ 85281 The Delicious Factory is a relatively new discovery for me, but has quickly become my go-to place for smoothies.  My favorite is the “Tropical Dream” smoothie, which instantly brings back memories of enjoying mountains of Dole Whip soft serve during trips to Disneyland. They’re also known for delicious sandwiches and salads.  Pho Dalat 7707 S. Kyrene Rd. #106, Tempe, AZ […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Introduction

November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood The Tempe Tourism Office has a new intern! It’s me- Delaney Wood. Throughout my time here, I created a blog series about life in Tempe, my experiences as a student at Arizona State University, and advice about fun things to do. I’ve lived in Tempe my entire life, so my hope is to provide an insider’s perspective on all of the best places to visit within the city. Or, at least, my favorite places to visit. I’ve spent this past summer working full-time as a Personalization Marketing Intern at Insight Enterprises, and now I’m excited to be interning at the Tempe Tourism Office. I am currently a senior at Arizona State University, studying Business, Hospitality and Tourism and Spanish. I’m also involved in the Hispanic Business Students Association, Women’s Business Leaders Association, the ASU Philharmonia Orchestra, and am the president of the Arizona State University chapter of Collegiate DECA. In the midst of my crazy schedule, I love to relax by exploring new places. In my opinion, the best days are those I spend hanging out in Tempe, discovering new shops and restaurants, or just taking a relaxing hike somewhere new. My absolute favorite thing about living in Tempe is our relatively close proximity to just about everything in Maricopa County and that, somehow, we still manage to maintain a small-town atmosphere within our community. I hope this blog series introduces you to at least a few new activities to try within the city.  I’m excited to […]

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Pumpkin Spice Love Found in Tempe

Great Harvest Bread Company - Tempe, AZ
October 30, 2018

Most of us bemoan the fact that Starbuck’s doesn’t offer the much-craved pumpkin spice latte (PSL) year-round. We’re downright resentful that we must wait until fall to satisfy our yearning for this coffee drink that has obtained almost mystical status. When Starbuck’s announces that its PSL is back on the menu, the nation rejoices. And, we know that soon other purveyors of good food and beverages follow by adding pumpkin spice specialties to their menus. Here in the Tempe, we know that even with daytime temps still in the warm range, the return of Starbuck’s PSL signals that fall has officially arrived. We celebrate by slipping into our favorite boots and renewing our obsession with PSL and all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Yes, in Tempe, we do love our pumpkin spice and we’re happy to count the ways. Here’s our hot list of favorites. Enjoy! Chompie’s 1160 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 557-0700 Pumpkin Cranberry Pancakes & Waffles Pumpkin Loafs Pumpkin Bagels Pumpkin Crunch Bagels Pumpkin Crème Brule Crackers & Co. Café 1285 W. Elliot Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 705-7900 Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding Pumpkin Cheese Cake Pancakes Four Peaks Brewing Company 1340 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 303-9967 Pumpkin Porter, a pumpkin ale Double Pumpkin Porter, an imperial pumpkin ale Great Harvest Bread Co. 1730 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-1141 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies Spiced Pumpkin Latte The […]

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Ghost Ranch: Modern Southwestern Cuisine

Ghost Ranch in Tempe Arizona
October 30, 2018

By Sally J. Clasen Photos by Mark Lipczynski   Born and raised in Arizona, chef-restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin longed for the Southwestern food of his youth. So he decided to revive the cuisine—albeit with a twist—in his latest restaurant concept Ghost Ranch, located in south Tempe at Rural and Warner roads next to Tempe Public Market Café, which Chamberlin also owns. “When I was a young chef in the early ’90s, Southwestern food was all the rage. It was notable for its big plates of heavy rice, beans and cheese—a glob of food,” he says. “It’s mind-boggling to me that it’s a dying art. My goal was to make a menu influenced somewhat by the traditional Southwest region and Mexico, but lighten it up a bit.” Ghost Ranch reinvents the idea with a cleaner, brighter and seasonal menu that features some familiar items like cowboy steak, green chile burgers, tacos and chile Colorado braised-pork enchiladas with Chimayo chile, but with measured attention to portion and use of ingredients and sauces. The lineup includes shrimp ceviche, trout, vegetarian options and salads that spotlight fresh produce and hints of citrus, rather than a mound of tortilla chips and shredded cheese. “I wanted to open a Southwestern-inspired place where people could come on a regular basis and have a bowl of black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream or a salad if they wanted to,” Chamberlin says. A tribute to author Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in New Mexico, Ghost Ranch is […]

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Ghost Ranch in Tempe: A local’s review

October 26, 2018

By Delaney Wood Ghost Ranch is one of Tempe’s newest restaurants, offering an assortment of modern southwestern cuisine.  I visited on a busy Wednesday evening, in the midst of the after-work rush, and was greeted with fast service, friendly employees and delicious food. Upon arriving at Ghost Ranch, my friends and I were seated immediately, and the waiter did something that I appreciate from all good restaurants- she brought glasses of water to the table before we even had to ask for them. A little bit of background about me- I grew up in a Hispanic household. My entire childhood was filled with homemade Mexican food made for me by my mother and grandmother- some of the best cooks in the world, in my opinion. Needless to say, I am very particular when it comes to trying new Mexican or Hispanic foods. While at Ghost Ranch, I ordered the grilled chicken enchiladas, along with a side of rice and beans and a house margarita. Everything was delicious, and each dish featured its own unique twist on a traditional food, without losing the classic taste of Hispanic home cooking. The margarita was strong, and I’m not complaining! In order to get a better idea of how people were liking the new restaurant, I wandered around to talk to a few of the other diners. All were extremely friendly and open to chatting about the food, the ambiance, and how they were enjoying the new restaurant. I noticed guests talking to one […]

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