Located just 20 minutes from both Phoenix and Scottsdale, Tempe is often overlooked for its more well-known counterparts. Home to the famous Arizona State University, Tempe is a thriving city with a spirited energy and plenty of things to see and do. If you’re planning a trip to the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tempe makes the ideal home base for your stay. From exciting water sports and scenic hiking trails to tasting your way through the eclectic food and beverage scene, there is a never-ending supply of fun to be had in Tempe.
With roughly 300 days a year of clear skies and sunshine, it’s always a good time to book a vacation rental in Tempe. Because Tempe is in a desert region, temperatures in the summertime regularly hit triple digits. However, the humidity is so low that the high heat is surprisingly more tolerable than you would think. If you’re on the hunt for the best deals on Tempe vacation rentals, the hot summer months of June to August will likely be your best bet. However, for the most pleasant weather, the best time to visit Tempe is from September to November and March to May. During these times, temperatures typically range from the 60s to low 80s, with cool desert evenings that will likely require a jacket.
The best way to get to Tempe is by flying into the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which is located less than 10 minutes from the heart of the city. From the airport, you can hop on the Skytrain and cruise directly into downtown Tempe. Once you’re in the city, getting around is made easy for tourists with the Tempe light rail. While the public transportation in Tempe is a great way to get to and from various sites around town, you can also choose to opt for a car rental or utilize rideshare services.
Much like the rest of Arizona, Tempe is a city with something for everyone. If you’re the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of active things to do in Tempe like hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Consider yourself a foodie? Tempe has a surprisingly awesome food scene, with a huge variety of restaurants, breweries, and distilleries to check out. No matter what you’re into, you can find it here.
Mill Avenue District
Named after the historic Hayden Flour Mill located on the northern part of downtown Tempe, the Mill Avenue District is filled with local shops, restaurants, bars, and the oldest theater in the area. As one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Tempe, this area makes for a great afternoon or evening of exploring. You can take a break from all the exciting outdoor activities for a relaxing day of shopping, bar hopping, or sampling some of the best food Tempe has to offer.
Tempe Town Lake
One of Tempe’s most popular attractions for tourists and locals alike, Tempe Town Lake is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. Visitors can choose from activities like walking, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. There are also over 50 special events held here each year, like concerts, festivals, and dragon boat races. For a break from the sun, you can head over to the nearby Tempe Center for the Arts to check out the art or take in a show.
Hayden Butte Preserve
With under a mile in distance and an elevation gain of just 330 feet, Hayden Butte is considered by many to be the easiest hike in the Phoenix Valley. While the hike is short, it is still steep enough to provide you with a heart-pumping workout. Your efforts are rewarded at the top of the mountain with sweeping views of the city that guarantee to take your breath away. If you prefer a less crowded hike, try going at sunrise or sunset. The vibrant colors of the Arizona sky at these times make the view even more outstanding.