Tempe Things to Do Tips by AlbuqRay Top 5 Page for this destination
Tempe Things to Do: 32 reviews and 83 photos
The 25-acre Tempe Beach Park is adjacent to the Tempe Town Lake. Many special events are held there, including Iron Man competitions, concerts and community festivals. I heard that the 4th of July fireworks are spectacular. There is a Splash Playground for kids. The historic baseball field is used for youth softball and carnival games. The amphitheater holds 5,000 people. Rio Lago Cruise Company has a boat concession. You can tell that it gets crowded sometimes, since you may reserve a picnic table for $10.
Directions: North end of Mill Avenue
View to the North
The top of Hayden's Butte is a great vantage point. To the north is Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park. To the east is Sun Devil Stadium. To the south is Arizona State University and the Mill Avenue District. To the west is Hayden's Mill, the new Tempe performing arts center and downtown Phoenix.
Hayden's Butte is also called Tempe Butte or A Mountain. It was inhabited by the Hohokam people and petroglyphs, pot sherds, scrapers, and metate have been found there. The area just west of the butte was settled in the 1870's and called Hayden's Ferry, after the ferry crossing the Salt River which flows just north of the butte. The area looks like Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece, thus Tempe's name. The elevation difference from bottom to top is about 350 feet. Many people hike or jog up the Leonard Monti Trail to get a good workout.
View to the North
The south mountain area is about a 30 minute drive from Tempe. Dobbins Lookout at 2330 feet elevation gives a great view of metropolitan Phoenix and the sunset. Remember that no alcohol is allowed and it is strictly enforced.
View from Hole-in-the-Rock
Just across the river from the Mill Avenue District is Papago Park with many choices for things to do within its 1200 acres. Located between Tempe and Phoenix it is amazingly convenient to get away from the "city." The park is actually owned by Phoenix. Once an Indian reservation for the Maricopa and Pima tribes, and a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, Papago is now a stunning urban desert park with red rock formations and giant saguaro cacti. It has numerous picnic sites with ramadas, tables, grills, water and electricity. The park also contains fishing lagoons and bike paths as well as a zoo, a botanical garden, fire museum and a golf course. Two well known landmarks are in the park: Hole-In-The-Rock, a natural geologic formation called a tafoni; and Hunt's Tomb, the white pyramid burial place of Arizona's first governor.
The Mill Avenue District has many examples of public art. They definitely enhance your stroll to go shopping or out to eat. Kids especially love the Rabbit Fountain.
Directions: All along Mill Avenue and the adjacent park areas
Fountains and Sculptures on ASU Side
The Mill Street District has many park areas just off the street. They are pleasant oases in an urban area.
Directions: Adjoining Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe
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