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Revision as of 20:38, 8 July 2009 by Sstoesser (talk | contribs) (added listing Courtyard Tempe Downtown)
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Tempe is a city in Arizona that is very fashionable and growing rapidly. It is home to Arizona State University.

Get in

By rail

The Valley Metro Light Rail project is operational and brings light rail service through Tempe from the neighboring cities of Mesa and Phoenix. [2] The rates a very reasonable, and day-passes are available for a discount. Tickets may be purchased from automated kiosks at every station. Free Park-and-Ride lots are located along the length of the route. There are plans in the works to extend the rail system through the use of spurs.

By bus

  • Valley Metro offers bus service to Tempe from neighboring cities. Maps of routes can be found on their website. [3]

By plane

Tempe is one of the most accessible cities in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and only 10 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport [4]. Taxis and shuttles are available for arrivals and departures. There are also a number of reasonably-priced public buses, and the recently completed Light Rail is a short shuttle ride away. Those new to Sky Harbor should be warned, however, that the roads and parking lots serving the airport can be poorly marked and rather confusing to navigate. Make sure to allot extra time in case you miss a turn and need to circle around. Also, there is no Terminal 1- only numbers 2 through 4.

By car

Tempe is accessible via several main arteries, including Interstate 10, Loop 101, Loop 202, US 60, and surface streets including East Van Buren Street to the Mill Avenue bridge.

Get around

Tempe offers two free and convenient circulators, called "Orbit" and "Flash". Orbit, which has several routes, takes passengers through neighborhoods to the downtown area and the Mill Avenue District and connects to the light rail station at College Avenue. Flash, also operating multiple routes, takes passengers around the Arizona State University area and Mill Avenue District. [5]

Valley Metro has an extensive bus service operating on every major road with very reasonable fares. Many bus routes connect to the light rail. [6]

In addition, there are various car rental agencies and sightseeing companies. [7]


  • Arizona State University [8] is in the heart of Tempe, ASU is a key factor in its the vibrant, diverse and progressive lifestyle. Started as a small teaching college in 1885, it has grown into the largest university in the nation, with several campuses spread throughout the metropolitan area. The largest of these campuses is the Tempe ASU Campus, a square-mile center of knowledge and cultural experience. [9]

-The campus itself is worth a visit; the grounds are officially an arboretum- discreet tags mark many of the trees and plantings, which showcase desert and tropical flora from around the world.

-There are also a number of free museums and exhibits available, some permanent and some on a rotational basis. The Life Sciences Building, A Wing, has glass cases set into the hallways that house dozens of reptiles, including a comprehensive sampling of the poisonous snakes of Arizona. The Fine Arts Center houses the ASU Art Museum, and has a fine permanent collection and an active guest artist program. The attached gift shop is, surprisingly, a great place to get beautiful and unusual gifts. The Anthropology building, run by the internationally acclaimed School of Human Evolution and Social Change, also has many interesting permanent and visiting exhibits throughout the year.

-ASU's Hayden Library is a vast collection housed mostly underground in the center of campus. It has many unique features, including the only Child Drama collection, various exhibits, and rare and valuable works available to the public through the Luhrs reading room. Where else can one walk in and request to see a page from a Gutenberg Bible?

  • The ASU Gammage Auditorium, Arizona State University, Box 870105, tel: (480)965-5062 [10] is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed theatre that hosts international talent, Broadway shows, and local entertainment. One of his last architectural pieces, it was originally designed for Baghdad before finally being built in the equally arid Valley of the Sun.
  • The ASU Mars Space Flight Facility, Arizona State University, tel: (480)965-1790 [11], supports the Thermal Emission Spectrometer experiment that was sent aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft when it launched in November 1996. The Mars facility has a visitor area with displays about Mars and a television tuned to NASA TV. Open 8:00AM - 5:00PM Monday - Friday.
  • The ASU R. S. Dietz Museum of Geology, Arizona State University, Bateman Physical Sciences Center, F-wing, Room 186, tel: (480)965-7065 [12], houses minerals, gems, fossils from Arizona and around the world. It also has a six-story Foucault pendulum; local fossils including Columbian mammoth remains excavated in 1985, 1997 and 1999; real dinosaurs, a giant-extinct fossil shark over 7 feet tall (to be featured on the National Geographic Channel in 2009) a rare T-rex brain cavity and cast and many other rare and extinct fossil mammals including saber-toothed cats. The museum also features several large meteorites from the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies; Ore minerals and crystals from the many Arizona open-pit and underground mines, a gemstone exhibit and a 6-foot tall amethyst geode at the museum entrance. Other exhibits include: Volcanology; Mineralogy, Geology of Arizona; Rocks of the Grand Canyon and Arizona's State Fossil: Fossil wood from the Petrified Forest proposed by 2 former ASU Geology faculty members in 1988.

  • City of Tempe Cultural Services, 3340 S. Rural Road, tel: (480)350-5287 [13] Numerous examples of public art dot Tempe's landscape. Additionally, Tempe presents exhibits featuring professional and student artists. Works may be viewed in public places, which serve as alternate spaces for regularly changing exhibits.
  • Petersen House Museum, 1414 W. Southern Avenue, tel: (480)350-5151 [14]. Restored Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1892 by one of Tempe's earliest settlers. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission.
  • Tempe Festival of the Arts [15] - massive twice yearly street fair featuring arts and crafts from all over the country, as well as a wide selection of carnival/street fair style foods, beverages and live entertainment.


Tempe has numerous parks, soccer fields, fenced dog parks, lighted tennis courts, pools, golf courses and its own two-mile urban park complex, Tempe Town Lake [16]. Twin bicycle and walking paths circle the lake leading to Tempe Beach Park, Splash Playground, Town Lake Marina and Giuliano Park, where many triathlons take place. In addition, Tempe has more than 150 miles of dedicated bikeways and the League of American Bicyclists has designated Tempe a Silver-Level Bicycle-Friendly Community Award winner.

Tempe's outdoor activities and sporting events add to its dynamic lifestyle. Tempe is the annual home to the Ford Ironman Arizona [17], the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, [18] the Insight Bowl Tempe [19] and all of the intercollegiate athletics at Arizona State University [20]. Every March, Tempe hosts the Angels Major League Baseball Spring Training games at Tempe Diablo Stadium [21].

  • Tempe Historical Museum, 809 E. Southern Avenue, tel: (480)350-5100 [22]. Features the history of Tempe from the time of prehistoric Hohokam to today. Video, hands-on exhibits and gift shop. Open Mon-Thu & Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun 1-5 p.m. Free admission.
  • Arizona State University University Rd. & College Dr. [23] Originally founded as a Normal (Teaching) school in 1885, Arizona State is now one of the largest universities in the nation. ASU's expansive campus features many shaded lawns and expansive walks; most buildings feature displays and recent projects. Old Main, located adjacent to University Rd. and College Rd., is the original school's building and dates back to it's founding.


Tempe has a wide range of shopping choices from nationally known department stores to outlets and specialty boutiques. The heart of downtown Tempe and the main shopping district is the Mill Avenue District. This area is filled with specialty shops, bars, restaurants, cafés, pubs and is also the cornerstone of the downtown business district.

  • Arizona Mills [24] offers more than 175 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues under one roof.
  • IKEA [25] (the only one in Arizona) is in Southern Tempe.
  • Tempe Marketplace [26] Tempe Marketplace's 1.3 million square feet of retail space is positioned as an open-air, pedestrian-oriented environment, creating an eclectic atmosphere for a memorable experience. Arizona State University maintains the "Night Gallery" at the marketplace. It is free to the public, and open late into the evening. There are also frequent concerts and other activities throughout the year.


The Mill Avenue District offers the most concentrated area of restaurants and cafés in Arizona. Tempe restaurants offer cuisines including Middle Eastern, Asian, Mexican and, of course, American fare and many have received the Phoenix New Times "Best of" award.

  • Caffe Boa [27] 398 S. Mill Avenue, tel: (480)968-9112 An original, casual, Euro-style bistro/wine bar. Award winning wine list with authentic Mediterranean styled food. Over 250 wines with full bar. Voted Best Italian Restaurant and Best Chef for 2005.
  • Cafe Lalibela [28] 849 W. University Drive, tel: (480)829-1939. Cafe Lalibela is a family restaurant bringing Ethiopian cuisine to the heart of Tempe.
  • Cereality at ASU [29] ASU Memorial Union Building, tel: (480)242-4743 Cereality is a patent-pending new restaurant. It brings a unique, highly personal, healthy eating experience where the menu is entirely built around brand-name cereals.
  • La Fonda Mexican Food, 1126 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480 966 8001. La Fonda is a great restaurant if you're looking for Mexican food. The problem with posting this restaurant in the budget section is that many will instantly assume that the food is mediocre. The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is friendly; good pricing is an added benefit, not a factor.
  • Four Peaks Brewing Company [30] 1340 E. 8th Street, tel: (480)303-9967 Arizona's largest brewery located in a turn of the century brick warehouse with award-winning food and hand-crafted ales.
  • Grilled Expedition [31] 740 S. Mill Avenue, tel: (480)317-0600 offers classic favorites prepared over live oak and mesquite flames with unique flavors from around the world. Grilled on Mill welcomes guests to the new "X" bar on the main level and diners may experience the cozy dining room on the second floor. Patios are available on the main and upper level for sidewalk and balcony dining. Grilled on Mill holds a generous happy hour and reverse happy hour 7 days a week as well as 1/2 price bottles of wine on Mondays.
  • House of Tricks Restaurant [32] 114 E. 7th Street, tel: (480)968-1114 is a Tempe original accessible within walking distance from Mill Avenue. House of Tricks is hidden inside two turn-of-the-century homes, behind a vine-strewn courtyard. Eclectic new American menus and extensive wine list. Outside catering available. Private dining area or patios can accommodate 35-75 guests; semi private dining areas can accommodate 15-20 guest.
  • IKEA Restaurant & Cafe [33] 2110 IKEA Way, tel: (480)785-8209. Swedish-American cuisine featuring IKEA's famous Swedish meatballs, herb crusted salmon, open-faced shrimp sandwiches, salads, delicious desserts and many more items to choose from. Kid-friendly seating area, a relaxed atmosphere for adults and cafeteria-style dining options.
  • Monti's La Casa Vieja [34] 100 S. Mill Avenue, tel: (480)967-7594 Monti's La Casa Vieja (old house) is the largest full-service restaurant in Arizona. This adobe hacienda offers steaks, seafood and grilled options for almost 50 years. Banquet and catering services available.
  • Phoenicia Cafe, 616 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, +1 480-967-8009, [35]. Delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Relatively small and often packed, esp. while the university nearby is in session. Try the baba ghannouge (eggplant dip) and the baklava, made from scratch. There is also an attached small Middle Eastern grocery that has great prices, especially on spices, Middle Eastern/Mediterranean deli items, and bulk olive oil. Very good service and friendly atmosphere. Restricted hours June to September, call ahead to check. $15.
  • Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant [36] 401 S. Mill Avenue, tel: (480)929-9500 Lively old world pub & restaurant built in Ireland. Four-star cuisine, pub fare, and ample pints of Guinness. Live music and courtyard patio bar. Seating for 130. Semi-private dining for 50.
  • Three Roots Coffee House 1020 S. Mill Avenue, tel:(480) 966-4949 Close-knit Vegetarian/Vegan coffee shop with breakfast/lunch/dinner options, along with bagels/muffins/cookies. Has great espresso and teas, and is also a small art gallery, with the collection changing monthly. Free Wi-Fi for customers. Adjacent to an art framing shop south of 10th.


Tempe is situated amidst the Phoenix Metro area as a "college town," and considering this Tempe's nightlife constitutes a wide variety of people. Most prominent is a college-aged drinking crowd that congregates on Mill Avenue District (which offers the most concentrated area of restaurants and cafés in Arizona) seven nights a week. Popular spots include The Library [37], best known for its schoolgirl-clad waitresses and drink specials, Fat Tuesday [38], a Mardi Gras-themed daquiri bar, and the Mill Cue Club [39] which features billiards and beer.

  • Caffe Boa [40] 398 S. Mill Avenue, tel: (480)968-9112. An original, casual, Euro-style bistro/wine bar. Award winning wine list with authentic Mediterranean styled food. Over 250 wines with full bar. Voted Best Italian Restaurant and Best Chef for 2005.
  • Four Peaks Brewing Company [41] 1340 E. 8th Street, tel: (480)303-9967 Arizona's largest brewery located in a turn of the century brick warehouse with award-winning food and hand-crafted ales.
  • Gordon Biersch [42] 420 South Mill Avenue (on the corner of 5th Street), tel: 480-736-0033. The second story New Orlean's style restaurant has three balconies overlooking the downtown district. Within walking distance from major business, ASU and Sun Devil Stadium and offers complimentary valet parking beginning at 5:00 p.m. every night.
  • Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant [43] 401 S. Mill Avenue, tel: 480-929-9500 Lively old world pub & restaurant built in Ireland. Four-star cuisine, pub fare, and ample pints of Guinness. Live music and courtyard patio bar. Seating for 130. Semi-private dining for 50.
  • Tavern on Mill [44] 404 S. Mill Avenue (just off the main commercial street) tel: 480-967-5887. Offers traditional and southwestern cuisine and is known for its well rounded beer selection, excellent service and great eats. The Tavern on Mill has almost as much seating space inside as outside. 30 television monitors and flat screens display the latest music videos, sports games and more.

  • Casey Moore's Oyster House 850 S. Ash Ave. tel: 480-968-9935. Built in 1910, the Historic William Moeur house has been the home of Casey Moore's since 1986. With an Irish pub feel and an expansive front and side patio, Casey Moore's maintains a neighborhood ambiance. Often dozens of bicycles are locked up out front; it is a local favorite. Multiple beers on tap, free food with happy hour, and a full menu featuring fresh seafood. Rumored to be haunted.


  • AmeriSuites Tempe/Arizona Mills, 1520 West Baseline Road, 480-831-9800, [45]. Adjacent to Arizona Mills Mall and 10 miles from downtown Phoenix.
  • Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport, 1413 W. Rio Salado Parkway, tel: (480) 804-9544 [46]. 2 miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and 1.5 miles from downtown Tempe and Arizona State University.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites at ASU, 1031 East Apache Blvd, Phone: (480) 966-7202, Fax: (480) 829-9340, [47]. Located within walking distance of ASU, this hotel offers proximity to local area attractions in a room with various full-service accommodations.
  • Embassy Suites Hotel Tempe, 4400 South Rural Road, (480) 897-7444 [48]. 6 miles from Phoenix Airport PHX, and 2 miles from the main ASU campus.
  • Quality Inn at ASU, 1375 E. University Dr, Phone: (480) 774-2500, Fax: (480) 929-0524, [49]. This hotel is only five miles from the airport and very close to ASU. Easy access to freeways for travel in Tempe
  • Qualty Inn Airport, 1550 S. 52nd St, Phone: (480) 967-3000, Fax: (480) 966-9568, [50]. Centrally located near the airport, ASU, the Mill Avenue District, and Tempe Town Lake.
  • Sleep Inn, 2621 S. 47th Pl., Phone: (480) 967-7100, Fax: (480) 921-7400, [51]. This Phoenix, AZ hotel is minutes from Mill Avenue, US Airways Center, Arizona State University, the Phoenix Zoo, Chase Field and the Phoenix Convention Center.
  • Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 E. Fifth Street (downtown) tel: (800)547-8705 [52]. Upscale 303-room hotel with courtyard and roof top pool, 30,000 sq. ft. of conference space, 10 ADA rooms, restaurant. AAA/CAA & TAG approved.
  • Wyndham Buttes Resort & Hotel, 2000 Westcourt Way [53]
  • Courtyard Tempe Downtown, 601 South Ash Avenue, 4809662800, [1]. 10 minute free shuttle ride from your flight into Sky Harbor Airport. From there you are just blocks from downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. $109-$149.


Tempe welcomes the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual (LGBT) community. However, Tempe features no LGBT-oriented bars or clubs. Neighboring Phoenix contains all of the LGBT bars in the valley.

  • LGBT nondiscrimination policies have been adopted by Arizona State University and the City of Tempe.
  • Tempe Police and Fire Departments actively recruit members of the gay and lesbian community.
  • Tempe hosted the 2004 Out and Equal Workplace Summit.
  • The Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau [54] has been honored as the Community Ally of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau's LGBT promotions have received awards from the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and at the Arizona Governor's Tourism Conference.
  • From 1996 through 2003, Tempe was America's largest city with an openly gay mayor, Neil Giuliano, now the President of GLAAD.
  • Arizona State University in Tempe is the first university nationwide to officially recognize both a gay fraternity, Sigma Phi Beta, and lesbian sorority, Gamma Rho Lambda.
  • In 2006, Arizona became the first and only state to defeat a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Get out

Routes through Tempe
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