Tempe, Arizona

A- Overview:
Home of Arizona State University and Sky Harbor Airport, Tempe is located in the southern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area and is bordered by Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler.

Tempe is the state’s seventh largest city. Access to Tempe is easy from just about any direction via the Loop 101, 202, US 60, I-10 and the Hohokam Expressway. The City of Tempe, Arizona offers more than 330 days a year of sunshine to its residents and visitors, and annual rainfall amounts to only 7.36 inches a year.

The first stop for many is legendary Arizona Mills, the vast indoor shopping mall with an emphasis on tasteful decoration, reasonable prices, and top quality merchandise. One of the main hang-out and night-life spots is nearby Mill Avenue, but there are a number of other places in the surrounding area that contribute to a memorable visit to the area.

In 1865, the U.S. Army arrived at the eastern end of the Salt River Valley and established Fort McDowell. More pioneers arrived, including Wickenburg entrepreneur Jack Swilling, who directed the renovation of the Hohokam canals, and Charles Trumbull Hayden, who built a flour mill and began a ferry service across the Salt River.

“Hayden’s Ferry,” as the city was called then, was also the name of the only vehicle across the Rio Salado. The town grew slowly and was renamed the City of “Tempe” Arizona (Tem-PEE) by an English traveler who compared the area to the beautiful Vale of Tempe in Greece.

In 1886, the Arizona Territorial Normal School welcomed its first class of 31 students in the building known today as Old Main on Arizona State University’s campus.

A growth spurt over the past twenty years has resulted in the development of industrial parks and planned communities in all directions. Arizona State University’s main campus, adjacent to downtown Tempe, educates students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries. ASU is known as leading Research institution. The presence of its enthusiastic faculty and students has contributed to the success of the numerous local theaters, galleries, and cultural centers in Tempe. The ASU campus even houses the State Arboretum that is open to the public. The Law Library (said to be second only to Harvard’s ) is designed to look like an open book. Gammage Auditorium is well known as Frank Lloyd Wright’s last public structure design.

Over the past two decades, Tempe has been a top choice for visitors seeking Arizona vacations. The downtown area has been made pedestrian friendly. Shady brick sidewalks, turn of the century buildings, historic landmarks, a wide variety of restaurants and popular night spots, ASU, “A” mountain and Tempe Town Lake all make downtown Tempe a place recognized for its for dining, shopping, sightseeing, and nightlife.

Families enjoy the Tempe Beach Park Splash Playground and the pedal boats on Tempe Town Lake. Visitors can see a Broadway show, visit a fine art museum, explore hiking and biking trails. It’s all there and so conveniently located! Just about everything in Tempe can be found in a one mile radius. The only decisions to be made are what to see and do first and how soon it will be possible to return to this lively and thoroughly enjoyable city.

B- City Information:
Population: 158,625.

Area: 40.2 square miles

Elevation: 1,159 feet

Location: Maricopa County, Arizona

Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time. Daylight saving time is not observed. In the summer, therefore, the time coincides with Pacific Time.

Average Temperatures:














National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

Local Seasons:

The peak season in Phoenix is in the winter when people throughout the country escape the cold and come to enjoy the warm temperatures and low humidity of this desert city. Whether it’s golf, sitting at the pool, strolling through town, dining at the many fine restaurants, or just enjoying the scenery, this is an ideal time for a visit. Temperatures during the day can reach the 70s F and at night drop to the 40s F, offering the opportunity for outdoor activities during the day, and cooler sleeping temperatures at night. Spring is quite pleasant as temperatures rise and humidity drops to less than 20%. Fall is very similar in temperature. Summers are very warm, with the high temperatures during the day often reaching well over 100 F. There is virtually no humidity, so the effect of the higher temperatures is not as pronounced as in more humid parts of the US. Summer temperatures drop to the mid 70’s F at night.

How to Get There:

By Air

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

3400 Sky Harbor Blvd.

Phoenix AZ 85034


Located 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix and from Tempe, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport lies at the heart of the southwestern United States. There are hundreds of nonstop and connecting flights from points around the globe each day. The airport is served by many of the national and international airlines as well as certain regional carriers.

Ground Transportation:

Most of the major car rental companies, as well as taxi and limousine service is available at the Phoenix Airport.

By Car:

The city is accessible via Interstate 10 from the west (Los Angeles) and southeast (Tucson) and Interstate 17 from the north (Flagstaff)

By Train:


Sky Harbor Airport

G.A.I.T. desk in each terminal

Phoenix, AZ 85034


This is a stop for Amtrak Thruway connecting bus service only. Amtrak trains do not stop in Phoenix.

By Bus:


2115 E Buckeye Rd.

Phoenix AZ 85034


How to Get Around:

The easiest and most convenient way to get around is by either personal or rental car. Other services are available:

Valley Metro – bus system


Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH)

Bus service within the downtown Phoenix area.

Free Local Area Shuttle Service (FLASH)

Provides service around a loop for Arizona State University in Tempe.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Arizona Mills Mall
5000 Arizona Mills Circle,

Tempe, Arizona 85282


10a.m.-9:30p.m. Mon.-Sat.,11a.m.-7p.m. Sun.

The vast expanse of attractively appointed Arizona Mills provides a most gratifying shopping experience featuring the best names in manufacturers’ and retail outlets, including Last Call from Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet, and Kenneth Cole, New York. Numerous boutiques and specialty shops are nestled among the larger department stores. Entertainment venues include Harkins Luxury 24 Cinemas, an IMAX Theatre, and various themed restaurants.

Arizona Historical Society Museum
Papago Park 1300 N. College Ave

Tempe, Arizona 85281


Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m.

Admission charged, free for children under 12

This museum, at the headquarters of the Arizona Historical Society, focuses its well-designed exhibits on the history of central Arizona from the time of prehistoric Hohokam to today. An interesting permanent exhibit features life-size statues of everyday people from Arizona’s past (a Mexican miner, a Chinese laborer, etc). Quotes relate their individual stories, while props reveal what items they might have traveled with during their days in the desert.

Big Surf

1500 N Mcclintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281


Hours Vary by season

The surf’s way up in Tempe when you dive into the two-million-gallon wave pool at Big Surf. The facility offers multiple activities that appeal to all ages. Multiple water slides including eight at the Kool Kids Zone keep the action going without overcrowding. For a day of fun in the sun and waves, be prepared with enthusiasm and lots of sunscreen. It’s hard to leave!

ASU Karsten Golf Course

1125 East Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281


Dawn to dusk, hours vary according to season

Greens fees, including cart, vary according to season.

This par 72 Pete Dye-designed public course is fashioned in a Scottish links style. Tees range from 4,760 yards on the forward tees to 7,058 on the professional. Throughout the course railroad ties, bunkers and hidden greens create a challenge. The #7 hole is reported to be the most likely place to get a birdie. Collared shirts with sleeves and hemmed Bermuda-length shorts are required. Amenities include the Trophy Room Restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, a practice range, putting green and short game area.

Arizona State University Art Museum

1001 South Mill Ave
Tempe, AZ 85297


10am-9pm Tue; 10am-5pm Wed-Sat; 1pm-5pm Sun; closed Mon

Fine collections are housed in this museum, which is located in the Nelson Fine Arts Center on ASU’s campus. Spend the afternoon in an art-appreciation spree and gaze at works by American and Latin artists. You will view fine prints and contemporary art forms. Artists on display include Georgia O’Keeffe, Deborah Butterfield, Philip C. Moulthrop and James McNeill Whistler. Permanent and rotating exhibits are on display six days a week for self-touring. An on-site museum store offers interesting souvenirs. Admission to the museum is free, however donations are appreciated.

Tempe Historical Museum

809 East Southern Ave

Tempe, AZ 85282


10am-5pm Mon-Thu; 10am-5pm Sat; 1pm-5pm Sun; closed Fri & holidays

The site for this museum was completed in 1991, in what was once the 36,000 square-foot Tempe Public Library. An 8,000-square foot exhibit gallery focuses on the preservation and interpretation of Tempe’s history. Also operated by the museum is the Petersen House Museum, a Queen Anne Victorian house which showcases Tempe’s daily life at the turn of the century. Permanent and changing exhibits and educational programs address Tempe’s history from a state and national perspective. Admission is free.

Arboretum at ASU

Tempe, AZ 85201-5112

Phone: (480)965-8137

Admission is free. Open everyday

ASU’s Arboretum is Arizona’s largest public urban arboretum. Inside the Tempe campus, visitors can view collections of palms, deciduous trees, fruit-bearing trees, conifers, evergreen trees, desert trees, cacti, succulents and specialty garden displays. Arboretum walking guides are available at the ASU Visitors Center, Apache Boulevard and Rural Road.

Casino Arizona at Salt River

101 & McKellips

Scottsdale, AZ

Casino Arizona at Talking Stick

101 & Indian Bend

Scottsdale, AZ 85271

Phone: (877)724-4687

Just a few minutes drive from Tempe, each casino offers slots, blackjack, poker, keno and OTB/racebook. The larger, Casino Arizona at Salt River, is Arizona’s newest and largest gaming, dining and entertainment destination. Within its spacious interior, guests will find a cabaret-style showroom, a piano lounge, a lively sports bar and seven restaurants with everything from casual snacks to intimate fine dining. The casino also houses an outstanding cultural exhibit of Native American arts and crafts.

Four Peaks Brewing Company

1340 E. 8th Street

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)303-9967

Arizona largest brewery is located in a turn of the century brick warehouse with award winning food and hand-crafted ales.

5000 Arizona Mills Circle

Tempe, AZ 85282


11am-midnight Mon-Thu; 11am-1am Fri; 10am-1am Sat; 10am-midnight Sun

This huge multilevel game complex inside the Arizona Mills Mall offers state-of-the-art games. Try interactive, virtual reality games that allow what the player does in reality to happen simultaneously on the big screen with animated characters.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
ASU Mars Space Flight Facility

Department of Geological Sciences

Tempe, AZ 85287-6305

Phone: (480)965-1790

Open 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday.

The facility 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.

ASU Planetarium

Arizona State University

Bateman Physical Sciences Center

Tempe, AZ 85287-1504

Phone: (480)965-6891

Open Tues. and Thurs., 6:30 p.m.

Sept.-Nov. and Feb.-April. Shows last approximately 30 to 50 minutes. Weather permitting; viewing though ASU telescopes follows each show. Reservations are required for all evening shows.

Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU

Bateman Physical Sciences Center C-139

Tempe, AZ 85287-2504

Phone: (480)965-6511

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:30am – 4pm.

The center has one of the world’s largest university-based meteorite collections, with specimens representing over 1,500 separate falls. The collection is actively used for space-oriented research by scientists at ASU and throughout the world.

Fiddlesticks Tempe

1155 W. Elliott Rd.

Tempe, AZ 85284

Phone: (480)961-0800

Located one mile east of the I-10 and Elliot. Speedy go-karts; wet n’ wild bumper boats; award-winning, lighted driving range; batting cages; video arcade and mini-golf provide great family fun.

Splash Playground

Tempe Beach Park

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)350-8625

Open mid-April through September, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This one-acre park teaches how a drop of rain ends up either in the ocean or becomes part of the city water supply.

Tempe Town Lake

Mill Ave. & Rio Salado Pkwy.

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)350-8625

Tempe Town Lake, located adjacent to Downtown Tempe, provides a 2-mile recreational haven for kayaking, sailing, rowing, jogging, skating or picnicking.

E- Events & Entertainment:
New Year’s Eve

Tempe Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party

Mill Avenue District

Tempe, Arizona

Named one of the top ten places in the nation to ring in the New Year by USA Today, the Tempe Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party is packed with excitement and fun for the entire family!

Early January

Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Sun Devil Stadium

120 South Ash Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281

Tempe will host the Big 12 Championship vs. PAC-10 Championship.

Mid January

Rock N Roll AZ Marathon and 1/2 Marathon

Tempe, Arizona

The annual P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and 1/2 Marathon covers running two really fast courses and hosts 60 live bands.


Spring Training Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Tempe Diablo Stadium

2200 West Alameda Drive

Tempe, Arizona


End of March-Beginning of April

Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts

Mill Avenue District

Tempe, Arizona


Ranked among the Top 20 art festivals in the nation,it has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The event attracts nearly 250,000 visitors to downtown Tempe over the course of a 3-day period.

Early April

Tempe Music Festival

Tempe Beach Park

Tempe, Arizona

The Annual Circle K Tempe Music Festival is held at Tempe Beach Park and features more than 30 regional and national acts on 3 stages, interactive displays, extreme sports demonstrations and much more!

Early May

AVP Tempe Open

Tempe Beach Park

Tempe, Arizona

AVP comes to Tempe Beach Park! Featuring Volleyball’s hottest venue and athletes. Watch as teams battle it out in Arizona’s unique beach.

Mid November

New Times 10K Race

Mill Avenue

Tempe, Arizona

When this event was inaugurated in 1976 by Dr. Art Mollen, the goal was to provide a community event that celebrates fitness and physical well-being. Now it is the 13th largest 10K race in the United States!

Late November-Early December

APS Fantasy of Lights

Mill Avenue District

Tempe, Arizona

Celebrate the holiday season with Tempe as the Mill Avenue District is transformed into a winter wonderland!

End of November/Early December

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts

Mill Avenue District

Tempe Arizona


Arts and Entertainment

Edna Vihel Center For the Arts

(480) 350-5287

3340 S Rural Rd

Tempe, AZ 85282

The Tempe Symphony Orchestra is sponsored jointly by the city of Tempe and

the Arizona State University School of Music. Performances are held at the Edna Vihel Center for the Arts.

ASU’s Gammage Auditorium

Arizona State University

Box 870105

Tempe, AZ 85287-0105

Phone: (480)965-5062

A Frank Lloyd Wright designed masterpiece that is acoustically perfect , the Gammage presents everything from theater to music to dance. Offerings include nationally touring Broadway hits, celebrity acts and multicultural programs, both contemporary and classical.


132 E. 6th Street

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)350-8101

Arizona’s award-winning professional theatre company for young audiences and families, performing in venues around the state, including the Tempe Performing Arts Center.

Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

ASU School of Music

Box 870405

Tempe, AZ 85287-0405

Phone: (480)965-8863

This 500-seat theatre is home to Lyric Opera Theatre’s musicals and operas.


Sun Devil Stadium

located on the campus of Arizona State University

in downtown Tempe between First and Fifth streets and Rural and Mill avenues


The Cardinals, founded in 1898 and a charter member of the National Football League, hold the distinction of being the oldest continuously run professional football franchise in the nation. A new stadium is under construction, and the Cardinals plan to relocate to nearby Glendale sometime in 2006.

Phoenix Rock (Climbing) Gym

1353 E. University Dr.

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)921-8322

Rolling Hills Golf Course

1415 N. Mill Ave.

Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone: (480)350-5275

Tempe Diablo Stadium

2200 W. Alameda Dr.

Tempe, AZ 85282

Phone: (480)350-5265

Tempe Sports Complex

8401 S. Hardy Dr.

Tempe, AZ 85284

Phone: (480)350-5200

Wells Fargo Arena

ASU Campus

Tempe, AZ 85287-4505