Outdoor and Active

Why I like spring training in Tempe

My favorite time of year is here. Spring.

Spring means perfect weather in Arizona and lots of chances to get outside and have fun. Spring also marks the return of Cactus League Spring Training. I’m excited about Cactus League, but it’s not because I’m a baseball fan. (I hate to admit that I’m really not.)

I like spring and spring training because of all of the fun things that happen during this time of year. Here are my top 6 ideas for springtime bliss in Tempe.

  1. Angels games at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Sure, you already know that I’m not a big baseball fan. And, for those of you who are, of course there are lots of exciting things to look forward to on the field this year. But, what I really like is the chance to soak in some sunshine, eat a freshly grilled burger and catch up with a few good friends on a casual afternoon. I love Tempe Diablo Stadium because it’s centrally located and because the views of the mountains from here really remind you why Arizona is such a beautiful place. And, if you want to skip the traffic after the game, take a quick drive up those mountains to Top of the Rock at the Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes. They have a terrific happy hour.
  2. Hiking. Now is the perfect time to dust off those hiking boots. Spring brings lots of color to the desert making a perfect backdrop for exercise. I love the ease of the quick hike up “A” Mountain in Downtown Tempe. And, I also love the variety of scenic trails at South Mountain Park and Preserve. There are hikes that last 20 minutes and hikes that will take you all day. And, you’ll love every minute, with the exception of a few tough uphill climbs. The views of the city from the top will be your well-deserved reward.
  3. Festivals. Tempe is one city that knows how to throw a party. Try the truly entertaining combo of stellar live music and baseball greats at the Innings Festival, March 2-3, 2019. Immerse yourself in island culture at the Arizona Aloha Festival on March 10-11, 2019. See the exciting dragon boat races and other entertainment at the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival on March 30-31, 2019. And, the annual Tempe Festival of the Arts brings more than 300 artisans to Downtown Tempe on March 29-31, 2019.
  4. Patio dining. There’s a good reason why so many restaurants in town invest in patios. Eating tasty food and enjoying Arizona’s warm temps are two of my favorite things. Put them together and you’ve got a slice of heaven. My favorites are House of Tricks, Pedal Haus Brewery, Four Peaks Brewing Company, Tempe Public Market Cafe and Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill. But, really it’s hard to go wrong in Tempe.
  5. Desert Botanical Garden. The Desert Botanical Garden is always gorgeous, but spring is when it really comes to life. Wildflowers will be in bloom, you can linger over brunch or dinner at Gertrude’s, their on-site eatery, and they are hosting some of their best events such as Electric Desert through May 12 and Sunday Concerts in the Garden through April 14.
  6. Paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake. I am absolutely obsessed with paddleboarding and if you try it, you’ll be hooked too. It seems difficult, but really it isn’t. And, gently paddling around the lake without a care in the world is one of my moments of zen. Check out Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake for pricing and details about their other watercraft options.

No matter how you choose to spend a sunny spring afternoon, you’re sure to have an awesome time in Tempe. For more ideas, visit the Tempe Tourism Office website, connect with us on Facebook and Instagram or call us: 800-283-6734.

Paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake
Paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake
Toni Smith
Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.