Tempe Tourism Blog

The future starts now for ASU football

ASU Sparky
August 19, 2014

One of the reasons I love August is that football is just around the corner. Training camps are underway, rosters and depth charts are set and new uniforms are unveiled. As fans, we read and re-read upcoming season schedules, we predict the outcomes of games months in advance and we look forward to spending our weekends during the next few months at games or at our favorite sports bars with friends. There’s really nothing better than football season. The Sun Devils are playing their first game of the season, at home, next Thursday against Weber State. Safe to say, we can chalk this one up as a win. If you love football, you’ll be impressed with ASU’s schedule this season. They’ll be on the road this year when they play USC, Washington, Oregon State and some college down in Tucson nobody has ever heard of. But no shortage of big name college football programs will be visiting us in Tempe this year. If they can continue to build upon the success of last season, 2014 will be one of the most memorable years in ASU football history. Without dissecting every upcoming game, here are a few I’m really looking forward to this year. First up, UCLA. The Bruins will be in Tempe on Thursday, September 25th. In addition to them being a Pac-12 rival, UCLA has a big time QB in Brett Hundley. He’s a top-5 college football quarterback and a candidate to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. UCLA is also bringing […]

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Tempe events this week-TCA Fall Arts Kickoff

Tempe Center for the Arts
August 18, 2014

The summer is winding down, at least in some parts of the world. We have a ways to go, but can feel comfort when our arts and culture organizations start rolling out their fall seasons. At least that verifies the existence of a fall and that  it’s coming soon to our area. I was understandably very happy to see that on August 22, the TCA Fall Arts Kickoff will preview its partner organization fall seasons. The TCA’s partners, Childsplay, Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Desert Dance Theater, Arizona Wind Symphony, Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, Tempe Community Chorus, Friends of TCA and CONDER/dance, will all be on hand to provide information on their new seasons. You’ll get a taste of what’s coming up along with ticket giveaways, art and free catered nibbles to create an event to be enjoyed by the whole family. Yes, Tempe Center for the Arts and its partner organizations have verified that there will be fall with lots of great performing arts to invigorate us. Thus, we can also be reassured that the desert version of brisk autumn temperatures in the 70s and 80s will ensue.  For more information on all of the TCA’s programs, visit www.tempe.gov/tca For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 20: Doug Benson, Tempe Improv August 20: Tony Duncan and Darrin Yazzie: Singing Lights; August 21: Dr. Emil Faithe: You Are Sensitive, Changing […]

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Hungry? Here’s the best ASU student dining

Original Chop Shop Co.
August 15, 2014

I think a lot of college students get creative when it comes to eating. Between classes, homework, term papers and studying, there’s barely enough time to breathe, let alone eat. When I was in school, I survived on a steady diet of Tostino’s pizza (10 for $10, how could you go wrong?).  If I could go back and do it all over again, I would eat a lot healthier and more complete meals instead of taking the easy way out. The great thing about being a student at ASU in Tempe is that there are a ton of great dining options to choose from. Whether you have a lot of time to just sit down, relax and enjoy some great food or you’re in a rush and need a really quick meal, the area around the ASU Tempe Campus has lots to offer.  Here are some of the places we think serve some of the best ASU student dining options. Memorial Union Considered to be the “living room of campus”, Memorial Union offers ASU students everything from information about joining student organizations to food. Engrained, one of the most popular restaurants on campus, is found here. Located on the second floor, Engrained has a good selection of healthy food for reasonable prices. They partner with local farms and producers and incorporate their food into the menu. It’s a great place to stop by if you don’t have time to leave campus. Umami Tempe Last year, Umami was recognized as one of the hottest ramen shops […]

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Tempe Rocks at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
August 14, 2014

For years, Tempe has been a bastion of great live music of all genres. Major bands like the Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Jimmy Eat World and the Meat Puppets have roots in Tempe. And, from the time it opened in 2007, Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) has showcased and supported the local music scene with outstanding programs like Walk-in Wednesday Open Mic Night, In the Spotlight, the award-winning Songwriters’ Showcase and Finally Friday. On August 23, TCA continues its support of local talent with the premiere of a new series, Tempe Rocks: Live, Local, Legendary sponsored by the College Times. Each Tempe Rocks concert will feature currently popular talent and noteworthy bands that have been instrumental in the history of music development in Tempe.  The debut show on August 23 promises to be a doozie with a terrific lineup including The Pistoleros, Banana Gun, Teneia and the Maybees and Old Jack City. The Pistoleros co-founders Mark and Lawrence Zubia have been entrenched in the Tempe music scene since 1992 when they co-founded (with Doug Hopkins formerly of the Gin Blossoms) the Chimeras, which later became the Pistoleros. The band recently signed with Fervor Records and is preparing to release a new collection of songs in late 2014. Banana Gun has a diverse sound ranging from 70s rock to Bluegrass, funk and R&B.  They reach a broad audience that loves to dance and sing along with the music. The band has released several CDs, including […]

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Tempe Event This Week- Chill out at the Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv audience
August 12, 2014

The Tempe Improv has two terrific comics this week. The always mesmerizing Flip Orley will be here to entertain and amaze with his unique act that combines comedy and hypnotism. Both events are fundraisers for two great Phoenix area organizations. On Wednesday, Flip will perform for the annual Workshops for Youth and Families. This organization is devoted to fostering personal leadership in youth and families through programs that inspire positive growth and change. On Thursday, Flip will headline the Ace Hardware Fundraiser to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. On Friday and Saturday the hilarious Gina Brillon will keep the audience in stitches.  To say that Gina Brillon is talented is a bit of an understatement. She’s an actress, comedian, published writer, poet and singer. Brillon has been a standup comic since she was 17. She has a featured role in Gabriel Iglesias’ upcoming theatrical film, The Fluffy Movie. She’s made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” AXS’ ” Gotham Comedy Live,” “The View,” and is the first (and only) Latina winner of NBC’s 2012 Stand up for Diversity Showcase. So, take a break from your usual routine and chill at the Tempe Improv. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tempeimprov.com  or call 480-921-9877. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 12: The Head and the Heart with James Supercave,  Marquee Theatre August 13 & […]

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Tempe stores offer dorm room essentials for incoming ASU students

IKEA Tempe
August 7, 2014

The start of school is upon us my friends, and moving to college can be a life altering experience that you’ll never forget. You’re suddenly ripped from everything you once knew and thrown into an unfamiliar world. But I mean this in a good way. Half the excitement of going to college is making new friendships, trying new things and, of course living, on your own for the first time. Although this is an exciting time, it can also be pretty stressful. After all, how are you supposed to know everything that you might need for the next four years? Try not to stress too much because Tempe offers many great stores where you can grab your last minute school and dorm room supplies, and they are all in close proximity to the ASU Tempe Campus. Bed, Bath & Beyond Moving all your stuff to college can be very time consuming and expensive as well. However, Bed, Bath & Beyond offers an easy solution. They have a registry program, similar to a bridal or baby registry, where you can pick out all your dorm room essentials before your big move and they’ll have it ready for pick up at their Mesa location on 837 N. Dobson Rd., just minutes from the ASU Tempe Campus. This offers you a way to save money on shipping, and gives you more time for the important things, like decorating your room. Target Target, located at 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. at Tempe Marketplace, is stocked […]

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Tempe events this week-Changing Hands Bookstore

Benoit Denizet-Lewis and Casey
August 4, 2014

The dog days are here and what better way to spend the good old diēs caniculārēs than by curling up in a nice cool spot with an engrossing book . If you haven’t already stocked up on your summer reads you’ll  find a terrific selection of both new and gently used books at Changing Hands Bookstore. Speaking of dog days, Changing Hands is hosting Benoit Denizet-Lewis who spent many days with his dog, Casey traveling across the  country in an RV. His lovely memoir, Travels with Casey, recalls that experience. Casey will also be there along with Rezy, the stray dog who joined them during a stop on the Navajo Reservation. This book looks like a terrific summer (or anytime) read. The jacket cover alone had me convinced from the start. There are also two more author events this week at Changing Hands, including local author Tom Fitzgerald who will launch his debut novel Defector in our Midst. On Friday Heather Gillis will share her faith-based memoir of her family’s journey through the loss of their infant son to kidney disease on Friday. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 4: Benoit Denizet-Lewis: Travels with Casey; August 5: Tom Fitzgerald:  Defector in Our Midst, Changing Hands Bookstore August 6: New Faces of Comedy, Tempe Improv August 6: Rebelution with Iration; August 7: Dirty Heads & Pepper with Aer, Katastro, Marquee Theatre August 7-10: […]

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Still hungry? Tempe has plenty of late night dining options downtown

Cornish Pasty Co
August 1, 2014

Eating is one of my favorite things to do.  Whether I’m home or out with friends, sometimes I get late night cravings. Most of the time, I’m not in the mood for a small snack. I want real food – a full meal. There are many reasons why Tempe is great, one of which is the abundance of restaurants that stay open late. Next time 11 p.m. rolls around and you’re starving, it’s okay. You’re in luck. Here are some of my favorite places to satisfy those late-night hunger pangs. Four Peaks Brewing Company Is there anything Four Peaks can’t do? Aside from making some of the greatest beers in the history of world, Four Peaks has an amazing food selection. The Garlic Cheese Beer Bread might change your life. They make the bread in-house and top it with garlic butter and three cheeses. I also love the Bleu Light Special Burger. It’s melted blue cheese topped with hickory smoked bacon. Four Peaks is open every day until 1 a.m. Cornish Pasty Co. Sometimes, my late night cravings require an international twist. When that happens, Cornish Pasty always does the trick. The Bangers and Mash is my go-to. It’s made with homemade pork and sage sausage, red wine gravy, grilled onions and mashed potatoes. If I want the full experience of eating a traditional pasty, I get The Oggie. It’s made up of steak, potatoes, an onion and rutabaga (that’s a root vegetable that a cross between cabbage and a […]

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Tempe events this week-create a steampunk owl at the TCA

Gallery at TCA - Tempe Center for the Arts
July 28, 2014

Who isn’t looking for a fun retreat from the heat as we head into August, one of our least favorite months?  Thank heavens for the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), which has offered wonderful programs in both the visual and performing arts in their beautiful, cool environment, all summer. Take for instance the free Walk-in Family Art Workshops that take place every Saturday from noon-2 p.m. These workshops feature artists and TCA staff who show participants how to create works of art from a variety of methods and materials. Michelle Dock, who usually works behind the scenes overseeing the  Gallery at the TCA, w ill conduct this Saturday’s Steampunk Owl workshop.  Michelle enjoys combing second-hand stores and antique shops for vintage treasures that can be repurposed into works of art. In this workshop she’ll show how materials like CD cases, bottle caps and nuts and bolts as well as vintage buttons, jewelry and watch parts can be transformed into fun self-standing artworks. So what exactly is a steampunk owl?  I have no idea, but am confident that Michelle knows. The rest of us will just need to attend this workshop to find out. The Walk-in Family Workshops take place in the Gallery at the TCA, so you’re surrounded by beautiful and inspirational works of art to help set your creative gears into motion. All materials are provided and you don’t need to register in advance. As the name suggests, you just walk in and start creating. For more arts, […]

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Some of the best summer drinks in Tempe

July 25, 2014

Summer is now in full swing and all I want is to have my toes in the sand and a cocktail in my hand. Although the sand part might be hard to come by in the Tempe desert, summer drinks and cocktails are far from being in short supply. I really only require my drink to have three things; it must contain something fruity, the less alcohol I taste the better, and it must be picture worthy enough to post on Instagram. Sure, it’s not an exact science, but it has landed me with some of the best summer drinks ever. Here is a quick list of my favorite summer drinks in Tempe: Z’tejas Southwestern Grill Z’tejas, located in the heart of downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue and 6th street, knows just the right formula for a great summer drink. They have tons of options to choose from, including everything from margaritas, to cocktails, and even specialty drinks. I recommend trying the Anti-Oxidant Martini.  This classy drink starts out with a little kick of Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, but those who are like me and detest the way alcohol tastes, need not worry because it’s quickly covered with blackberry, blueberry, and lemon to hide the taste of alcohol. To top it all off, they finish the drink with wild berry foam, making this drink the ultimate summer hit. Dave & Buster’s Now, I don’t know about you, but summer always brings me back to great memories with family, past vacations, and […]

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