Home > Moving > City Guides > 12 Things to Know About Living in Tempe
Aerial View of Downtown Tempe with "A" Mountain in the Background

12 Things to Know About Living in Tempe

Thinking about moving to Tempe? Located just east of Phoenix, this Arizona city offers sublime year-round weather, a flourishing college scene, fun outdoor recreation, and more. Check out these 12 things to know about living in Tempe!

Find Affordable Living & Job Opportunities

A post shared by @instagram

Tempe’s affordability helps make this city one of the best places to live in the Phoenix metro! Although the cost of living in Tempe is 3% higher than the national average, residents do benefit from savings in certain categories, including healthcare. There are also plenty of safe, affordable neighborhoods where you can find budget-friendly housing. Additionally, the city’s job market is growing faster than the national average—with employment opportunities in key industries like advanced business services, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and technology. Residents can find jobs with major employers like Circle K, Arizona State University, Amkor Technology, Benchmark Electronics, and many more!

Embrace the ASU Life

A post shared by @instagram

While Tempe has residents of all ages, it does have a reputation as one of the best college towns in the U.S. due to the presence of Arizona State University. ASU is a public university and top research school offering more than 800 programs of study in fields like business, biomedical sciences, psychology, engineering, and education. ASU is even ranked among the top ten best online bachelor’s programs in the U.S. Additionally, the university offers several Division I athletics programs, including football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and wrestling. ASU football in particular has an active fanbase that participates in indoor and outdoor tailgates, some of which are free to attend. There are several ASU traditions that alumni follow at games—like shaking keys before kickoff, chanting after first downs, and celebrating touchdowns with pushups. ASU also hosts a plethora of events for the Sun Devil community, including Noche De Terror, the annual Homecoming Comedy Show, Native American Heritage Month, and more.

Travel Around Tempe with Ease

A post shared by @instagram

Getting around Tempe is a breeze, thanks to major roadways like I-10 and the city’s affordable public transportation options. Take Tempe’s Valley Metro to beat commuter traffic in the city and get to Phoenix fast. Travel around downtown via the Tempe Streetcar or hop on the Orbit—a free shuttle service connecting Downtown Tempe to nearby neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, shopping areas, and other local destinations. If you’re near ASU, use FLASH, a free shuttle service that helps riders reach campus and student housing. Or leave your car at home and take advantage of Tempe’s walkability and bikeability to explore the city while enjoying some fresh air.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Explore Tempe Parks

A post shared by @instagram

OG photo (from Parks ‘graph)

With an average of 300 sunny days each year, Tempe’s climate offers residents the perfect environment to explore the city’s 50+ community parks! Grill out, enjoy a picnic, and watch your kids run around Daumler Park, Dwight Park, or Arredondo Park. Fish the pond at Selleh Park, kayak on a more than 2-mile-long lake at Tempe Town Lake, or take the boat out for a spin at Tempe Beach Park. Perfect your tennis serve, shoot some hoops, and spike a volleyball at Kiwanis Park. Or get your dogs out of the house to stretch their legs at dog-friendly parks like Clark Park, Creamery Park, and Mitchell Park.

Hike the Best Tempe Trails

A post shared by @instagram

The hiking in Tempe is a huge draw to the city. It’s an easy way to stay active on weekends, and since Tempe has so many nearby trails to choose from, you’ll never be bored! Escape the indoors to see archaeological sites, Sonoran desert vegetation, and a breathtaking view of Tempe at the Hayden Butte Preserve Park. Head over to the South Mountain National Trail, a 15-mile route ideal for bird watching, mountain biking, and hiking throughout the year. See local wildlife along the Papago Park Butte Loop, one of the best trails in Tempe for hiking and biking. Enjoy amazing views of the lake while walking the 7.4-mile Tempe Town Lake Trail. Set out on the Crosscut Canal Path, which stretches through Papago Park and connects Tempe with Scottsdale. Or travel just 25 minutes outside of town to hike the challenging Piestewa Peak Summit Trail and get a 360-degree view of the Phoenix metro area.

Experience Local Arts & Culture

A post shared by @instagram

The city has a rich cultural history and an expanding art scene, showcased in several Tempe museums throughout the area! Appreciate 20th-century ceramics, contemporary prints, and rotating exhibitions and collections from Latin American artists at the ASU Art Museum. Learn more about Tempe’s past through exhibits and community programming at the Tempe History Museum. Attend Broadway plays like The Wiz, The Kite Runner, and Peter Pan at ASU Gammage. Drop by the Tempe Center for the Arts to watch live entertainment and unique theatrical performances like SCROOGE! The Musical, Barefoot in The Park, and Master Class. See live entertainment, creations from over 350 artists across the country, and unique street murals on Chalk-A-Lot Street during the Tempe Festival of the Arts. Spend an evening at the Collier Gallery—less than 20 minutes outside of Tempe—to enjoy a variety of Western and Southwestern artwork and installations from several prominent artists. Or walk the city to find murals and other Tempe public art.

Take Part in Family-Friendly Activities

A post shared by @instagram

OG photo

Both kids and parents will love the many fun, family-friendly activities in Tempe! Make your way through the Bay of Rays, watch sharks swim overhead, and visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Reef exhibit at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium. Take the family to LEGOLAND Discovery Center for interactive attractions like the Merlin’s Apprentice ride, play zones, and the 4D Cinema. Fulfill your need for speed with a drift go-kart experience at Drift Haus. Check out 50,000 plant displays and the 3,200-square-foot Butterfly Pavilion, or bring your kids to Story Time at the Desert Botanical Garden. Enroll the kids in theatre classes in the fall or spring, and take the entire family to see live shows like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Childsplay Theatre. And if you’re looking for fun things to do in Downtown Tempe, cheer on the Arizona Coyotes (NHL) as they glide across the ice at Mullett Arena.

Celebrate Year-Round with Tempe Festivals

A post shared by @instagram

With the abundance of festivals in Tempe, your social calendar will be full no matter what time of year it is! Watch Wiener Dog Races, try your hand at carnival games, and check out the Bratwurst Tents at Four Peaks Oktoberfest. Get in the Halloween spirit by entering your kids in the costume contest, trick-or-treating at local businesses, and making spooky crafts at the Halloween Stroll. Travel just outside the city to experience Dia de los Muertos with delicious food, lively dancing, and La Procesión at Día de Muertos. Celebrate life by creating your own floating lantern to drift among thousands of others at the Water Lantern Festival. Dive into the holiday season with a street parade, photos with Santa, and a tree lighting ceremony during the Fantasy of Lights Street Parade. Get a taste of Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, and other South Pacific cultures with ukulele lessons, crafts for all ages, and shopping in the Island Marketplaces at the Arizona Aloha Festival. Or catch live entertainment, fill up on delicious food, and end the night with a fireworks display during the Tempe 4th of July Celebration at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Shop ‘Til You Drop in Tempe

A post shared by @instagram

Looking for retail therapy in Tempe? The city has a variety of popular retailers, local boutiques, and outlet stores that make shopping in Tempe an adventure! Head to Arizona Mills, where you can dine at restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe and shop at retailers like Adidas, American Eagle, and Forever 21. Stroll around stores like Claire’s, Just Sports, and more at Tempe Marketplace, a huge outdoor mall that puts on outdoor concerts and hosts tons of fun events throughout the year! Gear up for your next Arizona rave with festival gear from Rave Circus. Shop the cutest styles of clothing, accessories, and home goods from Tempe boutique Grand Central Clothing. Stop into Pitaya to purchase trendy shoes or accessories, along with summer dresses that you can wear almost all year in Tempe’s warm climate. Or check out women’s outerwear, dresses, shoes, and tops from Creations Boutique.

Dine at Tempe Restaurants

A post shared by @instagram

One of the best things about living in Tempe, AZ is the diverse food scene! Start your morning off with Red Velvet Waffles, a Sunshine Bowl, or Classic Eggs Benedict at Daily Jam. Try Italian favorites like Smoked Salmon Linguini, Baked Manicotti, or Eggplant Parmesan at family-owned RigaTony’s. Order Thai food in Tempe with dishes like the Crying Tiger, Red Curry, and Spicy Noodles at Thai Basil. Indulge in “a modern American twist on comfort” with a seasonally-changing menu that supports local vendors and breweries at Perfect Pear Bistro. Munch on authentic Mexican cuisine like the Al Pastor Protein Bowl, Carne Asada Tacos, and Grilled Fish Quesadilla at Tempe City Tacos. Or indulge in Fudgy Brownies, Home-Style Milkshakes, or Custom Ice Cream Sandwiches built from a selection of cookies and ice cream at Slickables.

Enjoy a Night Out on the Town

A post shared by @instagram

The Tempe nightlife scene is vibrant, with plenty of bars, breweries, and entertainment! Stop by the Low Key Piano Bar for drinks and live dueling piano performances from pianists like Ben Murphy and James T. Mitchell. Spend an evening on the patio with brews like the Beach Cruiser, Amber Ale, or Kush IPA at Pedal Haus Brewery. Try rotating craft beers like the Hop Monster: Amarillo, Top Secret Battle Monkey, and Gabagool at Taste of Tops. Tickle your funny bone with comedy shows, tell jokes at Open Mic Night, and sip on a Moscow Mule at Tempe Improv. Catch the latest sports game and take advantage of outdoor patio seating while sipping on a Twisted Paloma, BOOM Shaka Laka, or Devil Juice cocktail at Devil’s Advocate. Or take a trip to one of the best breweries in Tempe—Four Peaks Brewing Company—where you can try beers like the Sirius Black, Kilt Lifter, and Red Bird Lager.

Check Out the Best Music Spots

A post shared by @instagram

If you’re a music lover looking for concerts in Tempe, this Arizona hotspot has a number of music venues for you to check out! Catch live music at the Marquee Theatre, which has hosted a variety of artists and events like the Shrek Rave, Tech N9ne, The Front Bottoms, and more. Get tickets to see rock, pop, and indie artists at the all-day Innings Festival, which features three different stages. Spend an evening supporting local musicians in an intimate setting at Tempe Tavern. Enjoy outdoor seating, play a game of ping pong, and listen to live music at Social Hall. Visit Yucca Tap Room, which brings in live music from local and major artists in a smaller setting. Or sip on the Apple Ginger Snap, Spiked Parfait, or Kiwi Gin Spritz while you enjoy a variety of music acts at Sunbar Tempe.


Moving to Tempe? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities in Tempe and throughout the Phoenix metro, so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!