Tempe Tourism Blog

There’s so much to do at Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake paddleboarding
April 16, 2015

The weather outside is perfect right now. Winter is behind us and summer hasn’t officially arrived yet, so the temperature is lingering in the 80s. In other words, it’s gorgeous out. Located on the northwest corner of Mill Ave. and Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe Town Lake is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Arizona. This two mile long lake is so much more than just something nice to look at when you’re driving on the 202. Tempe Boat Rentals, located on the south shore at Tempe Beach Park, offers visitors the opportunity rent boats, kayaks or paddleboards. If you’re with a group of friends, I suggest checking out the electric boats. They can hold up to 10 people and come equipped with a radio and dining table. It costs $80/hour, which is a pretty good deal if you split the cost amongst the people in your group. But some of the more popular rentals are kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. There are two kayak options to choose from: single and double. They are sit-on-top kayaks, kind of similar to how a canoe might look. Kayak rentals range from $18/hour (singe) to $28/hour (double) and both come with lifejackets. My personal favorite is the stand-up paddleboard (SUP). I know, it looks difficult and everyone thinks they’ll fall off, but I’m here to tell you it’s easier than you think. All the paddleboards have a traction grip that you stand on. Yes, it’s a bit of a balancing act but it’s pretty easy to […]

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April is Earth Month in Tempe

School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University (ASU)
April 14, 2015

Earth Day is observed around the world on April 22 but it’s become so popular, that April is known as Earth Month. In Tempe, Arizona, there are plenty of events that help bring awareness to conservation efforts and teach you more about this planet that we call home. Desert Botanical Garden Desert Botanical Garden is hosting their PLANeT Celebration on April 18. This Earth Day 2015 event includes behind the scenes tours, educational opportunities along the five beautiful trails, talks from local conservation organizations, live music and nature-inspired performances. All activities are included with admission to the Garden and the event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’d like to visit the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, that’s just an extra $3.50 or free for members. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008 480-941-1225 Phoenix Zoo Also on April 18, you can take part in Earth Day at the Phoenix Zoo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit educational “Earth” stations throughout the zoo, see the annual release of 35,000 ladybugs, participate in games and hear stories read by children’s book author Conrad J. Storad. See the zoo’s website for more details and specific activity times. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008 602-286-3800 Earth Day Expo Tempe’s Earth Day Expo will showcase the latest innovative environmental programs. Attendees will experience hands-on exhibits while enjoying free snacks, courtesy of Gordon Biersch. The expo will be held on Wednesday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the west […]

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Tempe events: Childsplay presents The Three Javelinas

The Three Javalinas
April 13, 2015

Tempe events include the opening of Childsplay’s  last show of the season, The Three Javelinas at the Tempe Center for the Arts on April 19.  In this wonderfully fun southwestern version of a favorite tale, the three little pigs become three Javelinas and the wolf becomes a big, bad, wily coyote. In Childsplay’s world-premiere stage adaptation of Susan Lowell’s picture book, the three main characters are much more sophisticated than the three little pigs. Josefina Javelina dreams of a career on stage. Juan wants a quiet place to think. And José just wants someone to listen to his jokes! A series of misadventures has the trio building houses in the desert where they catch the attention of a hungry coyote. This musical tribute to the Arizona landscape is perfect for ages 5 an up, but will delight older audiences as well. The Three Javelinas can be seen on weekends from April 19 through May 24.  For more information and to purchase tickets to The Three Javalinas, visit www.childsplayaz.org.  Check out this week’s roster of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 13: Ratatat; April 14: Lights; April 15: Tyler, the Creator, Marquee Theater April 14: Holly Pyle Trio, Mad Hatter Brew Pub April 15: Dr. Sally L. Kitch: Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders, Changing Hands Bookstore April 15: ASU Pan Devils Steel Band, ASU Katzin Concert Hall April 15: ASU Marimba Maderas de Comitan: A […]

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Tempe Marketplace Chalk Art Festival

Tempe Marketplace Chalk Art Festival
April 8, 2015

Chalk and sidewalks are as artistically compatible as paint and canvas or pen and paper.  Give me some sticks of chalk and a sidewalk and I’m an artist! Not really, but I do like to attempt a few scribbles when the opportunity presents itself. It’s even better to watch real artists creating masterpieces with chalk on sidewalks and that’s what I plan on doing at the Tempe Marketplace Chalk Art Festival on Saturday, April 18th from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Chalk Art Festival brings local artists to Tempe Marketplace where they’ll create seven original works of art on the sidewalks inside The District area. Each design will be large — 8 x 6 feet — so they’ll be easy to spot and enjoy from every direction. The murals will be on view through April 30th, weather permitting. If you simply can’t resist getting in on the action, be sure to stop by the community mural area to add your own artistic touch. Chalk will be provided and art instructors will be on hand to assist kids and adults who want to participate. For sure, I’ll be adding a few of my own scribbles. There will also be a designated KidZone area with fun activities for the kids. This frenzy of artistic endeavor will, no doubt, work up an appetite, a situation that’s easily remedied at any one of more than 20 great restaurants at Tempe Marketplace. Some of our favorites include Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill, Bar Louie, California […]

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Tempe events: Kota Yamazaki/Fluid Hug Hug Dance Co.

ASU Gammage
April 6, 2015

Tempe events include Kota Yamazaki/Fluid Hug Hug Dance Co. at ASU Gammage this Saturday. ASU Gammage is the world premiere site for Kota Yamazaki’s OQ. OQ is the sound for “palace” in Japanese. This new work includes aspects of architecture and Japanese poetry which evoke Eastern and Western ideas and rituals around the idea of the palace. Yamazaki’s Fluid Technique seamlessly fuses the physical with the spiritual and emotional and defies what we think is possible from the human body. He has worked with dance companies in Africa, Japan, New York and other places around the globe to great critical acclaim, but perhaps his true gift is the ability to excite non-dancer and dancer audiences alike. Fluid Hug Hug Dance Co was founded in New York in 2002 on the principles of “traveling, exchanging and exploring.” Yamazaki believes that a person is fluid like water and must keep flowing, so that exchange between people from different backgrounds can become more easy and free. The name, Fluid Hug-Hug, resulted from this idea of fluidity and meeting people from all over the world. You can see Kota Yamazaki/Fluid Hug Hug Dance Co. at ASU Gammage on April 11. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.asugammage.com. Check out this week’s roster of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 6: Scottsdale Musical Theater Company presents: Our Own Kind of Universe; Tempe Symphony Orchestra Season Finale, Tempe Center for the Arts […]

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Easter Sunday Brunch to Get Hoppy About in Tempe

Top of the Rock
April 1, 2015

With Easter right around the corner, Sunday, April 5, 2015, it’s time to start thinking about who will cook brunch that day – that’s what I’ll be thinking about anyways! I’m not a cook in the slightest, so my first option is always dining out for the holiday. There are lots of delicious options in Tempe where you can go to relax on Easter Sunday while enjoying a delectable menu. Here are some recommendations in Tempe for an Easter brunch to remember: Perfect Pear Bistro Savor the fresh menu options this Easter at the Perfect Pear Bistro in Tempe. The bottomless mimosa is an excellent choice to celebrate the holiday and enjoy your choice of frittata and side for brunch, served from 9 a.m. to noon.  The mimosa options include Fresh Orange Juice, Pear, Peach or Pomegranate. 9845 S Priest Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284 480-247-3410 Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe Head to the newest Culinary Dropout, recently opened in Tempe. Enjoy special Easter offerings of Pork Belly Hash and Corned Beef Benedict, in addition to the regular menu. Relax and enjoy this beautiful weather on the expansive patio. 49 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 480-240-1601 Salut Kitchen Bar Enjoy live music this Easter Sunday at Salut Kitchen Barfrom 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bottomless mimosas will be available for $18 with penny refills from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Bring your furry friend to Easter this year and ask to be seated on the dog friendly patio! 1435 E. University Dr., Suite […]

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Brunch in Downtown Tempe is a can’t miss

Culinary Dropout Tempe interior
March 31, 2015

My favorite part of the weekend is brunch. It’s the only socially acceptable time for having a late breakfast and enjoying a cocktail, all before noon.  Downtown Tempe is the perfect destination to satisfy all your weekend brunch cravings. Some of our favorite Tempe restaurants have incredible brunch menus. You’ll find some of them listed below. Z’Tejas Z’ Tejas is a Southwestern grill, home to some of the most amazing food and drinks on Mill Avenue. They have a Bloody Mary bar that is to die for, which features Bloody Marias (Bloody Marys with Tequila), Mimosas, and Screwdrivers. Brunch is provided every weekend from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. One of our favorite dishes is the Breakfast Quesadilla. It has scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, jack cheese and salsa. You can find Z’ Tejas on the northwest corner of Sixth St. and Mill Ave. 20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 377-1170 Blasted Barley Beer Company Downtown Tempe’s newest hotspot is located at Mill Ave. and Fourth St. This microbrewery is a must for brunch lovers. Head on over from 10 a.m – 3 p.m. on the weekends and enjoy bottomless mimosas for just $10. Popular brunch dishes include the Blasted Breakfast, which is two eggs and bacon served with a biscuit and roasted potatoes and The Resurrection, an apple fritter cooked French toast style sandwiching two eggs and gruyere, drizzled with maple syrup. 404 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 967-5887 Postino Annex This Tempe gem is housed […]

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Tempe events: Keep cool at a Music in the Garden concert

Quetzal Guerrero at Music in the Garden
March 30, 2015

Tempe events include a Spring Music in the Garden concert, which makes me very happy! As the temperatures begin to rise I’m determined to live in the present and not think about the sizzling summer temperatures looming on the horizon. I’m going to hang on to every cool degree of enjoyment in the morning and evening hour that last for a few more weeks. One way to do that is to head to the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) for the remaining Spring Music in the Garden series. It’s lovely sitting out, in the cool, serene surroundings of the Desert Botanical Garden, enjoying live music.  The music is wonderful and includes a wide range of genres like Jazz, Latin Jazz, blues, Native American and world music.  This Friday, Quetzal Guerrero will perform his brand of Brazilian soul. Can’t wait! I also like to arrive early and enjoy dinner before the music begins. There are two excellent dining choices:  Gertrude’s, where you can dine indoors or outdoors on the patio; or outdoors at the Patio Café.  Either way, you can’t beat the food or the surroundings. Plus, arriving early offers the additional bonus of seeing one of our spectacular Arizona sunsets. Yes, a concert at the DBG is a wonderful way to savor a cool spring evening in the desert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Concerts take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $23 and guests must be 21 or older.  For more information on this week’s and upcoming concerts, […]

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Tempe events: Arizona Dragon Boat Festival

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
March 24, 2015

Tempe events feature a couple of fun and free festivals, including the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake. The races are the main focus of the festival with their beautifully decorated dragon boats which are manned by teams of up to 20 paddlers. One team member pounds a drum to keep the paddlers’ oars in sync; the drum represents the heart of the dragon. Tempe Town Lake may seem like an unlikely place to hold a dragon boat race, which is an ancient folk tradition with roots in southern China.  But, this will be the 12th year this popular event has taken place in Tempe.  Locals and visitors turn out to enjoy the beautiful dragon boat races, performances by martial artists, musicians and dancers, and lots of good food. If you’ve never seen a dragon boat race, this is your chance. And if you’ve attended past events, you’ll most likely be back again this year.   You can enjoy The Arizona Dragon Boat Festival, March 28-29, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit http://azdba.com/. This weekend, you’re in luck because you can take advantage of an outstanding festival twofer. In addition to the Dragon Boat Festival, there’s the big Tempe Festival of the Arts, which is also free. This annual street fare attracts up to 400 artists who display and sell their works from booths that line Mill Avenue and the adjacent streets in Downtown Tempe. For more information It’s another great week full of fantastic arts […]

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We love Tempe Bakeries

P. Croissant in Tempe
March 24, 2015

Bakeries are my favorite places. From bread to cupcakes to muffins, I’m usually game to try most anything in a pastry case. In fact, we could dedicate an entire blog to just cupcakes in Tempe. But, instead, we’re focusing on Tempe bakeries where you can get a variety of yummy sweet treats, and usually breakfast or lunch too. We have a full list of bakeries and delis in Tempe on the Tempe Tourism website, but here are a few of our favorites. Bakeries in South Tempe Great Harvest Bread Co. is an adorable family-owned bakery in south Tempe, at the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Warner Road. They use natural ingredients for all of their creations: breads, cookies, muffins and scones. To step it up a notch, they even grind their wheat berries every day before they make their bread dough. They sell varieties like Honey Whole Wheat that are available daily and they rotate other selections throughout the week, such as Cinnamon Raisin and Whole Wheat Sourdough. Besides just picking up bread to go (that is sometimes so freshly baked that it steams up the bag), I highly suggest their sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch. They’re open Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. If I knew that I would eventually move to a house that is within walking distance to P. Croissant, I would have moved much, much sooner. Officially called Pleaissant Croissant, this bakery has been in the […]

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