Day Trips and Itineraries

The Ultimate Day Trip to Tempe

You can really have a little of everything when you spend the day in Tempe, Arizona. With its beautiful Tempe Town Lake and rich cuisine culture, there is much to do surrounding the Arizona State University area. From hiking “A” Mountain near Downtown Tempe to enjoying dinner at Word of Mouth Grill in South Tempe, you’ll find something you’d love to try. 

Wildjoy took a week this summer to explore all over Tempe and create a great guide for your next day trip, exploring hidden gems along the way! In this blog post, you’ll learn how to have a Wildjoy day trip to Tempe with four stops along the way. 

Let’s get the Tempe party started! 

STOP ONE:  morning yoga at Kiwanis Park 

Kiwanis Park is a hidden gem to escape to in Tempe with its beautiful grounds and fun lake for fishing, strolling around or doing yoga with a view. If you want to fish, make sure to grab your fishing permit beforehand to avoid any costly fines. From watching others at the lake, it seemed to be normal to use worms or simple fish food to catch the fish in the lake. This would be fun for kids and adults!

If you’re more interested in a water sport, you can rent a paddle boat from Boat Rentals of America – Kiwanis Lake and glide all over this narrow Tempe lake. They fit at least two people and are great ways to spend 30 minutes to an hour. You can score this experience for about $13 if you order online or just stop by on the weekend. They are open Sat.-Sun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kiwanis Park credit Wildjoy

STOP TWO:  lunch at Pier 54 in the Lakeshore Village 

  • Location address: 5394 S Lakeshore Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283
  • Relevant Link: Pier 54 
  • Tips: request a waterfront table for a sunset view over the ‘lake’

After you spend time exploring outside in Arizona, you get HUNGRY and HOT! Near Kiwanis Lake, is a neighborhood that is centered around man-make lakes and canals. Pier 54 is a fun, family-friendly American food centered restaurant that offers homemade items. My favorite part of this dining experience is the ability to sit right next to the water and feel the misters. If you go to Pier 54 at night time, be sure to request a sunset-front table to impress your guest! 

STOP THREE: art tour around Tempe Town Lake 

  • Location address: 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Relevant Link: Wildjoy instagram challenge
  • Wildjoy created an art tour challenge —  make the stops from the challenge like we did 

Here’s the Wildjoy Tempe Town Lake Art Tour Challenge as seen on Instagram, showing you all the best stops: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWVp4KFN5g/

To give you an idea of what you’ll see on our list, it includes: Tempe Center for the Art’s Aurora, Sea of Waves, Reflecting Pool, and True North, The Creative Edge’s Windows, and Landmark, Populous Freemonti Tree at the Narrows, Tree of Life, and more. 

We featured an image taken at the Pedestrian Bridge on the western point of the Art Tour. At night, you can see the city lights bounce up on the water with the beautiful white pillars on the bridge surrounding. We challenge you to get outside and walk or rent a scooter to go discover all the best art pieces around the Tempe Town Lake area.

STOP FOUR: Catch sunset at the swan boats at Tempe Town Lake

To wrap up our festivities in Tempe for our ideal day trip, we called back up Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake and inquired about their swan paddle boats that are located on the shore of Tempe Town Lake. My experience booking was simple with an additional in-person check-in with a staff member showing me how to use the rig. 

Four of us piled on the swan boat and took photos. It was way more of a workout than I knew it would be. Make sure to bring water! We ordered Dirty Dough, a local cookie delivery company based in Tempe, directly to the water for extra snacks. You can have it delivered too! Have it delivered to the main Tempe Town Lake parking lot. 

Wildjoy Swan boat Tempe Town Lake

This is the end of my perfect day trip to Tempe. I can’t wait to come back in the fall and see all the leaves change with full color. You can keep up with me and Wildjoy on our socials @wildjoyexperiences or our website wildjoy.com. 

Xx – Lacy Cain

Lacy Cain
Written Lacy Cain

Growing up in Tucson, Lacy Cain loves adventure and founded Wildjoy to connect people to amazing experiences in Arizona! You'll find her running around Arizona exploring and filming videos for Tiktok or playing with her two cats, Monet and Jagger.

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