Tempe Tourism Blog

Summer Ends Music Festival

Summer Ends Music Festival in Tempe
September 1, 2015

The end of summer and beginning of fall is upon us. I don’t know if there has ever been an event quite like the Summer Ends Music Festival to celebrate this grand occasion in Tempe. Music lovers like me will rejoice at the lineup at this festival. It brings four days of some of the best acts in the alt rock and hip hop scene to Tempe. The Summer Ends Music Festival is going to be at Tempe Beach Park from September 24-27. This is a perfect venue for concerts. You can maneuver your way up close to the stage, or you can hang back and relax. There’s plenty of room to spread out. They’ll have food and drink vendors on site. But, I suggest that you plan ahead and eat lunch or dinner on Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe before you see your favorite bands. There are tons of places to eat and enjoy a beverage like the Handlebar Tempe, Rula Bula Irish Pub and Loco Patron. Each day of the festival requires a separate ticket or you can purchase a two day pass for Saturday and Sunday. So, who am I looking forward to seeing the most? Let’s explore each the lineup for each day. See the website for all of the details and the estimated timing for each performance. Thursday, September 24 Cold War Kids Brandon Flowers Hozier I can’t wait for this! I absolutely love the lyrics and unexpected quality of the music from Cold War Kids. I am a big […]

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Tempe events: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night at TCA

Walk in Wednesday at the Tempe Center for the Arts
August 31, 2015

With the arrival of September comes the return of the popular Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA).  Tempe’s favorite singer-song writer Walt Richardson, II hosts two hours of music and poetry performed by local singer-song writers beginning this Wednesday, September 2. Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night offers musicians an opportunity to play their songs in a friendly, attentive atmosphere without the distractions of noisy nightclub interference. Performers are allowed two songs or two poems not to exceed 10 minutes total. Artists vie for a chance to perform in the TCA’s In the Spotlight and Songwriters’ Showcase. It’s also a chance for those of us who aren’t musicians to kick back, relax and enjoy some great music and maybe a little snack. Light food and beverages are available for purchase from Atlasta Catering and Events. And there’s no cover charge. Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night take place each Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. through November. For more information, visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website or call the box office at 480-350-2822. Stay cool at these entertaining arts and culture events taking place in Tempe this week. View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 1-October 4: WICKED, ASU Gammage September 2: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night at the TCA, Tempe Center for the Arts September 3: Short Bus and Friends, Tempe Improv September 4: Hello Friday, Tempe Center for the Arts September 4: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Labor […]

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ASU Tempe Campus’s Hidden Gems

ASU Tempe Campus Palm Walk
August 27, 2015

The Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe campus is quite large. There are lots buildings, walkways, breezeways and courtyards – and nestled within these areas are some of ASU Tempe campus’s best hidden gems. I’ve been lucky enough to be introduced to these hidden gems over the years, and now I’d like to share them with you. If you’re a student at ASU, a parent of a student, or a visitor looking to explore the campus, here are a few places you won’t to miss: Engrained Cafe ASU Tempe Campus – 2nd Floor, Memorial Union Building 1290 S. Normal Avenue, Tempe AZ 85287 / (480) 965-4239 Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Engrained Cafe is located inside the Memorial Union (MU) on the second floor. From the moment you enter Engrained, you realize this place is unique. The hostess greets you as you walk in and directs patrons towards the kitchen to take a look at the dishes to choose from that day. They always look delicious, and they taste even better. The menu changes frequently based on the available seasonal produce and is harvested within a 150 mile radius. There are several yummy salads, sandwiches, pizzas and even sushi rolls to choose from. Beverages are complimentary with every meal, which is a fun bonus. Diners are treated to several informational placards hung on the walls, explaining that most of the materials used inside of Engrained Cafe come from recycled goods. For example, the chairs […]

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Downtown gets even better at these new Tempe restaurants

Over Easy  Tempe
August 26, 2015

I love that so many new restaurants have come to Tempe. Over the past few months, local popular eateries such as Snooze, Postino Annex and Culinary Dropout at The Yard Tempe have come to town, joining mainstays like House of Tricks, La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine Bar and Cornish Pasty Co., making Downtown Tempe one of the hottest food scenes in metro Phoenix. But the excitement hasn’t stopped just yet, as more new Tempe restaurants have opened recently. Below are a few more new places that now are calling Tempe home. Nocawich 777 S. College Ave. #105 Tempe, AZ 85281 480-758-5322 Nocawich describes themselves as “fine food, fast serving.” You’ve probably seen them at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and now, you can find them on College Ave. in Downtown Tempe. As most of us already know, Nocawich is known for their bagels. They import them from H&H Midtown Bagels (recognize that name Seinfeld fans?) in New York. Love lox on your bagels? If so, you’ll love that it’s imported from New York too. I stopped by recently and ordered the breakfast burrito. It has Schreiner’s chorizo, eggs, cheese, salsa and French fries. Highly recommended. Over Easy Tempe 149 S. Farmer Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281 480-494-5423 Lucky for us, Over Easy opened another location in Tempe. It’s in the same complex as Culinary Dropout at The Yard Tempe. If you love breakfast (it’s my favorite meal of the day) then this is our new favorite restaurant. They open at 6:30 a.m. and […]

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Tempe events: WICKED returns to ASU Gammage

WICKED at ASU Gammage
August 24, 2015

Tempe events include WICKED opening at ASU Gammage on August 26. Escape the heat and be swept away to the Land of Oz for an unforgettable evening or afternoon. You’ll experience this magical place long before Dorothy from Kansas ever set foot on the yellow brick road. WICKED is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz: Elphaba, the misunderstood girl with emerald-green skin, and Glinda, the beautiful, ambitious and popular blonde. The story follows the friendship that evolves between the two as they grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. The beautiful sets, beautiful music and heartwarming story will capture your heart. Since opening in San Francisco in 2003, WICKED has won more than  100 international awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards®. WICKED runs through October 4. For more information and to purchase tickets,  visit www.asugammage.com Enjoy all of the wicked good arts and culture events taking place in Tempe. Check out this line-up and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 24: Greg Peterson: Jumpstart Your Fall Garden, Changing Hands Bookstore August 25: The Great Love Debate with Chris Soules, Tempe Improv August 26-October 4: WICKED, ASU Gammage August 27-30: Greg Fitzsimmons, Tempe Improv August 28: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Clean Kings of Comedy, Tempe Center for the Arts August 28: New Wave Order; August 29: Joanna Joy, Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 28: Jazz Con Alma; August 29: Adam & […]

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Tempe venues for group dining

House of Tricks
August 21, 2015

Tempe is an ideal meeting destination with a variety of great venues for a group dining event. Below is a list of just a few to give you an idea of what Tempe has to offer. If you have any additional questions about group dining and events, please contact Sofia Preston at the Tempe Tourism office: sofia@tempetourism.com or 800-283-6734. Or view a list of Tempe restaurants that accommodate parties of 20 or more. Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe 149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ Contact for group dining: Kelley Bolender at 480-265-3485 Culinary Dropout is known for its fantastic, cool atmosphere and discussion-worthy appetizers and main dishes. Guests tend to rave about the soft pretzels with fondue for dipping or the fried chicken with delicious sides. In addition, the location has games and plenty of unique quirks to keep guests interested and having fun. At Culinary Dropout in Tempe, you will have three options for group dining: the Coop (100 reception style, 60+ seated), the patio (300 standing, 150 seated), or the full restaurant (1000 standing, 500 seated). The Showcase Room 149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ Contact for group dining: Kelley Bolender at 480-265-3485 The Showcase Room, located within the same building space as Culinary Dropout, is an event space that can be split into different spaces or kept together as one large event area that can accommodate up to 400 guests reception-style or 200 in a plated event. With a chic, yet industrial feel, your guests will be impressed with delicious […]

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You’ll find great restaurants near the ASU Tempe Campus

Postino Anneex
August 20, 2015

If you’re hungry and happen to be close to the Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe Campus, you’ll have plenty of places to choose from. From breakfast to burgers to bruschetta to all kinds of international favorites, you’ll have a hard time choosing from all of the tasty restaurants surrounding ASU. Here are a few of our favorites that are conveniently located adjacent to campus and to light rail stops. These restaurants are popular with ASU students and anyone who enjoys good eats and taste of campus life. Located on University Drive and Forest Avenue in the middle of the campus across from the design buildings and a block from Old Main, the venerable Chuck Box has been a burger bastion for ASU students and everyone else for 35 years.  For Sun Devil sports fans, it’s a game day tradition.  Over the years, The Chuck Box has held its own, even as it’s been surrounded by new, slick burger places offering a bunch of fancy burgers. The Chuck Box sticks to the basics– tasty mesquite grilled burgers and chicken sandwiches in a variety of sizes, all big.  Be sure to take cash because that’s all they take. 202 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 968-4712 Postino Annex is located in what was formerly the ASU Art Annex building, a low-slung, red brick Mid-Century Modern gem, built in the 1950s and used most recently as an ASU graduate student art studio. Postino Annex is known for its sumptuous bruschetta appetizers which are […]

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Tempe events: Gypsy will entertain you at TCA

GYPSY 244 x 163
August 17, 2015

Tempe events include Scottsdale Musical Theater Company’s production of Gypsy at Tempe Center for the Arts, August 20-23.  This classical show is considered one of the most cherished, complex and popular musicals in the history of theater. It has been called the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers. Based on the memoirs of legendary stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy is the ultimate showbiz backstage story of a mother who pushes her daughters to become stars. The outstanding score includes music by Jule Styne, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and features such memorable songs as “Let Me Entertain You,” “Everything’s Coming up Roses” and “Small World.” Gypsy is guaranteed to entertain you and make you smile. You’ll have a real good time! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Take a welcome break from the summer heat and attend these entertaining and cool arts and cultural events in Tempe this week. View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 17: Felicia Day: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Changing Hands Bookstore August 20: Summer Slaughter Tour Feat. Arch Enemy; August 21: Snow Tha Product, Marquee Theatre August 20-23: Scottsdale Musical Theater Company presents Gypsy, Tempe Center for the Arts August 21: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Class Clowns, Tempe Center for the Arts August 21: Preview of Contemporary Mexican Photography: Existe lo que tiene nombre, ASU Art Museum August 21: Nina Curri; August 22: Matt […]

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Try Lördagsgodis, the Swedish candy at IKEA Tempe

Little girl looking at candy at IKEA Tempe
August 17, 2015

Being born and raised in Sweden, there are some traditions have stuck with me even after two decades as an expat.  For example, I celebrate Christmas on December 24th, I prefer my pancakes to be thin (like crepes) and I believe soccer is the true football. I also love IKEA!  That big blue and yellow box is like a little piece of home.  I can pronounce the names of all of the furniture and I only swear in Swedish while putting together my Billy bookcase.  Going to IKEA Tempe is a family outing these days. We start with some (Swedish) pancakes in the restaurant, we push our wobbly cart through the market place to find the perfect cheese slicer and then we pick up our giant, flat boxes and plan the rest of our day around assembling our new furniture. But now IKEA offers a sweet reward after you have managed your big, heavy cart through the check out.  Candy!  And it’s not just any candy at IKEA, it’s lördagsgodis, one of my favorite Swedish traditions.  Lördagsgodis translates in to “Saturday candy” and it was the highlight of my week as a kid.  On Saturdays, we would go to the candy store, which had lots of bins filled with every kind of candy you could imagine.  Sour, sweet, chocolatey, fruity and most important of all – the salty licorice!  We would fill our bags up and then savor each piece while watching a movie on the rented VCR box.  Did I just […]

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Things To Do on Mill Avenue in Tempe

SUP on Tempe Town Lake
August 12, 2015

The weekend is just around the corner, and you’re thinking…What should I do this weekend? Mill Avenue may just be the ticket to a fun-filled day. There are, of course, lots and lots of delicious restaurants to choose from, and unique shopping spots too. But I have even more favorite things to do on Mill Ave. There so many activities such as hiking, biking, and arts and culture — perfect for a weekend of fun. Here’s a list of some of my favorite ways to spend a day in Downtown Tempe. – Hike up “A” Mountain: In my opinion, the best times to hike “A” Mountain are early in the morning, or just as the sun is setting. It’s really easy to get to since it’s located in the heart of Downtown Tempe, adjacent to Mill Avenue and ASU. There are a few trailheads to start from, but I suggest the one near Mill Avenue and Third St. It’s a short, invigorating hike, providing a great little workout and gives you a burst of energy. The views from the mountain are absolutely amazing. Take a break at the top to enjoy the view (and catch your breath!). – Downtown Tempe’s Public Art: Take a stroll through downtown and admire all the unique, beautiful, fun and funky public art pieces. There is something on almost every corner, from painted electric boxes, to metal sculptures to exhibitions at the U.S. Post Office windows at Fifth St. and Mill Ave.. One of my favorite pieces […]

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