As a third-year college student at ASU, most of my time is devoted to hitting the books or spending time with my friends. However, when my parents come to visit, binge-watching Netflix or studying in Hayden Library isn’t exactly what they are looking to do. Luckily for me, I have become a pro tour guide when it comes to showing them around Tempe. Here are a few of my family’s favorite things to do and some ideas to help you next time your parents come to Tempe.
My parents usually try to plan their trips to Tempe when there is a home football game, and game-day festivities are truly where we have had the most fun. During ASU’s Family Weekend in October, Downtown Tempe has a block party that’s filled with live music and tasty food. We like to start off game day on Mill Avenue and make our way over to either ASU’s Signature Barbeque near the stadium or tailgates that are hosted by my friends, but my favorite part of game-days are when we finally make it to the stadium. There is truly nothing like a college football game, especially here at Sun Devil Stadium. For me, bringing my parents to the football games and tailgates is the perfect way to immerse them in ASU culture and show them why I love it here so much.
Since my diet during the semester consists primarily of coffee, I very much look forward to sitting down for a (free) meal with my parents at a restaurant. One of our go-to restaurants is Postino Annex, which is located right next to ASU’s Tempe Campus. We love Postino’s lively atmosphere and their tasty bruschetta boards, paninis, and salads. For brunch, we always make sure to stop at Daily Jam, which is located on Mill Avenue and Third Street. Daily Jam is fast-casual dining, with many options such as red velvet waffles, smoothies, omelets, and much more. A few of our other favorite places to eat in Tempe include Thai Basil, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, Caffe Boa and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
Another essential part of my parent’s visits to Arizona is spending time by the pool. My parents have stayed at many different resorts in the Tempe area, but their recent favorite is Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes. The Buttes is set back in a large hillside with beautiful views of the desert, charming rooms, and, of course, an amazing pool area. It’s located right in Tempe so I don’t have to drive too far from campus to see them after class. Plus – getting to visit my parents at their hotel and lay by the pool almost makes it feel like I’m on vacation, too!
During the rest of our free time, my family enjoys hiking up “A” Mountain or in Papago Park. The trails are as easy as they are beautiful, and being outside helps you get a closer look at the unique plants and mountains that this area has to offer. If we aren’t in the mood to hike, we will spend the day walking down Mill Avenue. There are lots of cute shops to spend some time in, such as Pitaya or DIVAZ Boutique, as well as plenty of stores to stock up on Sun Devil apparel, such as Cactus Sports. If we’re in the mood for something sweet, we will stop at Slickables on Mill for yummy ice cream treats.
The number of things you could take your family to do in Tempe are endless, but the time you get to spend with them is limited. So no matter what you end up doing, enjoy your time together and remember, GO DEVILS!