Why I like spring training in Tempe (hint: it’s not just for baseball fans)

Posted on: January 31, 2013

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My favorite time of year is just around the corner. 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 beat the traffic after the game, take a quick drive up those mountains to Top of the Rock at the Phoenix Marriott 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 after work. 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 Great Arizona Beer Festival on March 2, the Arizona Aloha Festival on March 9-10, the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival on March 23-24 and the Tempe Festival of the Arts on April 5-7.
  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, Canteen Modern Tequila Bar, Four Peaks Brewing Company 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, there’s a new on-site restaurant to try called Gertrude’s and they are hosting some of their best annual events such concerts and the Philip Haas: The Four Seasons sculpture exhibition.
  6. Paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake. I am absolutely obsessed with paddle boarding 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 Tempe Boat Rentals 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 or call us: 800-283-6734.

Paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake

Paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake


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