In Tempe, you’re just a click away from amazing photos!
Tempe has it all, from stunning desert scenery to innovative public art, to top-tier restaurants and bars — all of which offer photo-worthy moments you’ll want to remember for a lifetime. To help you find your next Instagram-worthy shot, we’ve rounded up these can’t-miss, photogenic attractions from around the city.
With a quick jaunt to the top of “A” Mountain, also known as Hayden Butte, photographers are rewarded with views of Downtown Tempe, Mountain America Stadium (formerly Sun Devil Stadium) and Tempe Town Lake.
Photo tip: Take a shot of the 60-foot-tall, gold-painted letter “A” down below from Mill Avenue or high up from the mountain’s peak. There’s also a lookout spot halfway up the mountain that’s perfect for taking pictures.
Tempe Town Lake is one of Arizona’s most visited and scenic sites. And for a good reason: The picturesque, 2-mile lake is home to multiple picturesque bridges, more than 40 special events each year and a variety of recreational activities from kayaking to biking. On its own, though, the stunning lake makes for the perfect backdrop for any photo. Time your visit just right and you’ll be in awe of the sky’s vibrant colors, casting striking silhouettes, at golden hour. Later in the evening, you’ll be captivated by reflections of the city lights as they dance across the water.
Photo tip: For a truly unique perspective, rent a pedal boat from Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake and glide across the water as you take photos of the lake from a water’s edge view.
Papago Park has many attractions, from the first Arizona governor’s tomb (appropriately named Governor Hunt’s Tomb) to biking trails and fishing lagoons. However, one of the most popular—and photo-worthy sights—is Hole in the Rock. To reach the rock formation, park in the lot adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and follow the short trail to see an incredible view. For an extra special view, visit at sunset—it’s worth it!
Photo tip: Once inside, get panoramic views of the city or use it as a natural frame when composing your images.
Tempe has a variety of hotel rooftops with awe-inspiring views perfect for a frame-worthy photo. A few standouts are the Skysill Rooftop Lounge at the Westin Tempe and the Alibi Rooftop Lounge at the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown. Both destinations offer a great view of the city and delicious cocktails and bites.
Photo tip: Take your photos at sunset, where you’ll watch the city turn from golden hues to bright city lights.
Located next to the Tempe Center for the Arts, this iconic bridge—officially known as the Elmore Pedestrian Bridge after James Elmore, ASU’s founding Dean of Architecture—is perfect not only for a scenic lifestyle photo but also serves as a great spot to get an unforgettable shot of the lake and city. At night, it lights up for an extra special view. (For other great bridge views, get snap happy at the Mill Avenue bridge or the Valley Metro Light Rail bridge.)
Photo tip: Get open views of the western sky at sunset or catch the sunrise over the Tempe skyline to the east.
The Desert Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona, with more than 50,000 plant displays showcasing the unique landscape of the Sonoran Desert. In addition to stunning plant life, the garden also offers a variety of exhibits throughout the year that will have you snapping photos left and right.
Photo tip: For the most iconic Arizona scene, get a shot with the unique and rare crested saguaro cactus along the Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Trail.
Palm Walk is one of the most iconic spots at ASU and the ideal location for grads and prospective students to commemorate their experiences. The palm-tree-lined corridor has been in place for more than 100 years and is a must-visit at ASU.
Photo tip: For the perfect photo, stand in the middle of the corridor and get a vertical shot with the palm trees towering above.
Commemorate a fun-filled day at Kiwanis Park. This 125-acre park features all kinds of attractions, including a 12-acre lake for paddle boarding and kayaking, an indoor wave pool, a golf course and pickleball courts, to name a few!
Photo tip: For wildlife lovers, the park’s lake attracts countless birds and animals. Get a shot of various ducks, including the ring-necked and mallard, or spot a painted turtle.
Downtown Tempe is the heart of the city, offering community events, local shops and one-of-a-kind restaurants and seemingly endless public art pieces. Take a 360-degree tour of Downtown Tempe.
Located at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway (next to the historic Hayden House), the “Our Tempe” sign welcomes visitors into Downtown Tempe. It’s also the perfect starting point for a self-guided tour of Tempe’s vast assortment of public art. Check out this interactive guide, courtesy of the City of Tempe.
If you’ve been to Downtown Tempe’s Mill Avenue in recent years, you’ve likely seen the #DowntownTempe adirondack chair. What you may not know is that this unique canvas has taken on many colors, patterns and themes over the course of its life. So next time you’re in the area, be sure stop by and check out the fresh new paint job. And then snap some pix, of course.
Photo tip: Show your love for Tempe by sharing these art pieces on social using #OurTempe.
Thanks to the award-winning American architect Antoine Predock, ASU Art Museum offers a multitude of photo opportunities before you even enter the building. Once inside, explore groundbreaking contemporary art pieces by world-renowned artists and ASU students in various mediums, including ceramics, sculpture, installations and paintings.
Photo tip: Use the various lines in the design of the building’s exterior, along with midday shadows, for the most interesting angles.
Larger-than-life murals offer the perfect backdrop to an impromptu photoshoot, and Tempe has a few worth noting. First up, “Get Together Tempe” is located in the parking lot of the Social Hall restaurant. This bright, welcoming piece painted by Morgan Delaney has the look of a postcard with desert plants. Second, if you head inside Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown‘s ground-floor restaurant, Alter Ego, you’ll find a warm welcome to our city.
Photo tip: These iconic Tempe murals are perfect for group shots. Then, enjoy sips and bites that are just as photogenic.
Mountain America Stadium (formerly Sun Devil Stadium)
It doesn’t have to be college football season to appreciate this history of this noteworthy landmark. While this gridiron has been home to Arizona State University’s football team since 1958, it’s also played host to a wide variety of significant games over the years, including the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl (for 35 years), the Insight Bowl, and the Arizona Cardinals played home games here 18 seasons. Most significant, this was the site of Arizona’s first Super Bowl, XXX (or 30), which took place Jan. 28, 1996, and saw the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–17. The game’s halftime performer was Diana Ross.
Photo tip: For photos inside the stadium — as well as a way to honor Arizona football legend Pat Tillman — register for the 19th annual Pat’s Run. The 4.2-mile race takes place April 15, 2023, and concludes on the field’s 42-yard line.
Tempe Marketplace is more than a shopping center: It’s a one-stop destination for live music, blockbuster movies, delicious dining and, of course, photo ops. Whether you’re posting a foodstagram at Barrio Queen or sharing a shopping selfie from Creations Boutique, there’s no shortage of great backdrops for your next shoot.
Photo tip: Make full use of the retail center’s colorful buildings, rotating art installations, seasonal activations, cozy fireplaces and unique water features.