When trip-planning in Arizona, most people first think of popular destinations like Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tucson. These beautiful areas are great for relaxing at a resort, golfing with the guys, or spending the day at a spa. There is more to Arizona than that.

Throughout the state, some areas can be considered hidden gems. One must-see place to visit on your next Arizona trip is Tempe.

Tempe is a small city located just east of Phoenix. Known for being the home to Arizona State University, Tempe also lends itself to being a home for art, culture, music, and outdoor activities. Next time you visit the Phoenix or Scottsdale area, dedicate a day on your schedule to exploring Tempe.

Start the Day Off Right

With Arizona’s desert climate and dry heat, it is sometimes best to get your morning exercise in first thing in the morning. While in Tempe, throw on your sneakers and go on a hike. A local may say, “I am going up to the A.” This person refers to the 60-foot letter A atop the Hayden Butte. The trail on this butte will lead you to the top, which is 1,495′ in elevation and views of downtown Tempe and the Arizona State University Campus. The trail is .7 miles round trip and suitable for any skill level.

Head to the Lake

After hiking the Hayden Butte, head down to Tempe Town Lake and jump on a paddleboard or kayak, paddle around in the reservoir, and take in the views of downtown Tempe. Getting on the water during the dry heat is always a nice treat.

Finish the Night with Bites and Libations

Close your day with dinner, drinks, and a reflection on a fun day! There are many restaurants to choose from in downtown Tempe but if you want a genuinely regional experience, head to one of Tempe’s craft breweries. One of the popular craft breweries is Four Peaks Brewing Company. While relaxing in the outdoor seating, try the popular brews like the Kilt Lifter and Hop Knot IPA. Pair these brews with bites from the brewery’s menus for an enjoyable meal.


Plan Your Next Trip Soon

These are just a few activities available in Tempe, Arizona. There are many reasons to come back to Tempe— the arts, culture, festivals, and collegiate sporting events, to name a few.