Top 10 Best Things to Do in Tempe, Arizona

What are the top attractions to visit in Tempe?

Amazing Things to do in Tempe by Andrew Boersma via Wikipedia cc

Bucket List: Top 10 Best Things to See and Do in Tempe, AZ, USA

Home of one of the largest and most advanced colleges in Arizona, the Arizona State University, Tempe is a vibrant city, hosting several events throughout the year. In addition, there are lots of best things to do in Tempe, AZ, from visiting family-friendly spots to exploring arts and culture.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Tempe, AZ, to add to your itinerary.

Downtown Tempe

Amazing Things to do in Tempe by Andrew Boersma via Wikipedia cc
Amazing Things to do in Tempe by Andrew Boersma via Unsplash

Ranking first on this list is exploring Downtown Tempe. It is a business district filled with many things to visit, such as restaurants, parks, recreation centers, bars, microbreweries, and shops. If it’s your first time in Tempe, it is the best place to go to know more about the city and enjoy the nightlife.

Big Surf Waterpark

Big Surf WaterPark photo via FB page
Big Surf WaterPark photo via FB page

A perfect place to bring your family and friends, the Big Surf Water Park is suitable for children of all ages and was the very first wave pool in the U.S. Established in 1969, the water park features a massive wave pool, small water pads, waterslides, and rides for younger kids.

Arizona State University Art Museum

Arizona State University Art Museum by Daderot via Wikipedia cc
Arizona State University Art Museum By Daderot – Own work, CC0, cc

Situated on the grounds of Arizona State University, the ASU Art Museum holds around 12,000 permanent collections of contemporary art, craft ceramics, historical prints, and Latin American artworks. Founded in 1950, the museum also exhibits modern art presentations, hands-on art and is known for its brutalist concrete architecture.

Hayden Butte Preserve Park

Hayden Butte by Tjnelso1 via Wikipedia cc
Hayden Butte By Tjnelso1 – Own work, Public Domain, cc

A hike up to Hayden Butte Preserve is worth the effort if you are into outdoor activities. The mountain has a deep history of being inhabited by Native Americans and is a popular tourist spot in Tempe. Apart from its scenic view, the mountain has over 500 petroglyphs carved by Hohokam dating back from A.D. 750 to 1450.

Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts by Ktr101 via Wikipedia cc
Tempe Center for the Arts By Ktr101 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Tempe Center for the Arts opened its door in 2007, featuring a 600 sitter proscenium theater, a 200 sitter studio theater, and a 3,500 square foot gallery. The theater host great concerts, musical performances, display interesting modern art, and is known for its striking architectural structure.

Tempe History Museum

Tempe History Museum photo via FB Page
Tempe History Museum photo via FB Page

For the history enthusiast, visit the Tempe History Museum featuring four themed areas known as the Surviving in the Desert, College Town, Living Together, and Building Our Community. It is an ideal place to learn the history of Tempe, filled with unique exhibits such as the Video Games Exhibition and an ideal for kids.

Tempe Beach Park

Tempe Beach Park by Andrew Ruiz via Unsplash
Tempe Beach Park by Andrew Ruiz via Unsplash

If you’re looking for a place to relax or do afternoon walks, head to Tempe Beach Park. The park offers plenty of activities such as biking, fishing, running, and playing beach volleyball. It’s also an excellent place to enjoy with family or meet friends and has a boat and bike rental. However, despite being named a beach, swimming in Tempe Beach Park is prohibited.

Sea Life Aquarium

Sea Life Aquarium Arizona photo via FB page
Sea Life Aquarium Arizona photo via FB page

Another must-visit for family trips, especially with kids, the Sea Life Aquarium is an interactive place situated near the shopping area Arizona Mills. The facility measure 26,000 square foot, housing thousands of aquatic species, and features a touching area and a stunning 360-degree ocean tunnel.

Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace photo via FB Page
Tempe Marketplace photo via FB Page

Established in 2007, the Tempe Marketplace is one of the most popular destinations in Arizona that every tourist should visit. The open-air shopping center has over 100 shops and restaurants, ideal for tasting local cuisine, shopping for souvenirs, enjoying the nightlife, and socializing with the locals.

Kiwanis Park

Kiwanis Park Arizona by davidpinter via Wikipedia cc
Kiwanis Park Arizona By davidpinter, CC BY 3.0, cc

The Kiwanis Park is a 125-acre recreational area featuring a batting range, play area, 12-acre lake, indoor wave pool, and varying types of sports. Visitors can also rent a bike, pedal boat, or kayak to explore the beautiful lake. The park also features a new amenity known as the Cloud, a splash playground.

References

  • 25 Best Things To Do In Tempe (Arizona), The Crazy Tourist
  • (2021), 20 Best Things to Do in Tempe, Arizona, Vacation Idea

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