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Aerial View of Downtown Tempe with "A" Mountain in the Background

13 Things to Know About Living in Tempe

Thinking about moving to Tempe? Located just east of Phoenix, this Arizona city offers excellent year-round weather, a thriving college scene, fun outdoor recreation, and more. Check out these 13 things to know about living in Tempe!

Affordable Living & Job Opportunities in Arizona

Aerial View of Downtown Tempe, AZ. Photo by Instagram user @rachmcmahon

Photo via @rachmcmahon

What makes Tempe a great city to live in? It’s an affordable place to live within the Phoenix metro! Although the cost of living in Tempe is 2% higher than the national average, you can still find budget-friendly housing with a median home price at $219,900 and median rent at $985. Not to mention, you have access to a number of employment opportunities in the education, finance, food distribution, healthcare, and technology industries, thanks to Tempe’s growing job market and top employers like Arizona State University, State Farm, Wells Fargo, Honeywell, and Safeway!

It’s Home to Arizona State University

Tempe is somewhat of a college town because it’s home to Arizona State University. ASU is a public university and top research school that offers more than 350 programs of study in various fields like finance, psychology, biological science, engineering, and education. In addition, ASU is ranked among the top ten best online undergraduate programs in the U.S, and offers a highly-rated Division I athletics program with sports like football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and golf.

Travel Around Tempe with Ease

Valley Metro Bus in Tempe. Photo by Instagram user @valleymetro

Photo via @valleymetro

Getting around Tempe is a breeze, thanks to its many public transportation options available for residents. Take Tempe’s Valley Metro Light Rail to beat commuter traffic in the city and get to Phoenix fast. If you’re looking for a free shuttle service, hop on the Orbit Bus that connects from Downtown Tempe to nearby neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, or other local destinations. Or hop on the Tempe Streetcar to get around Downtown Tempe. And if you’re near ASU, you can take FLASH, a free shuttle service that helps riders reach campus and student housing.

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Soak Up the Sun in Tempe

Located in the Salt River Valley near the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, Tempe is known for its desert climate. The city has an average of 300 sunny days per year and average temperatures ranging from an annual low of 55 degrees and annual high of 87 degrees, making Tempe a great city for year-round weather and a delightful place to retire. You also won’t see snow in Tempe!

Visit the City’s Many Parks

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Tempe, start by getting outside to enjoy its incredible parks! Stroll through Tempe Beach Park, a 25-acre park that’s perfect for boating, fishing, or playing baseball. Spend an afternoon kayaking at Tempe Town Lake or bike around it if you’d prefer to stay on land. Take the whole family to Kiwanis Park to play sports like soccer, tennis, or volleyball. Go out for a picnic or let the kids play on the playground at Arredondo Park. Let the dogs roam off leash or go running along the trails of Clark Park. Play a game of basketball or soccer on the field at Dwight Park. Check out the pond or take part in local Arts in the Park event at Sellah Park. Or explore Daumler Park, where you can spend an afternoon grilling out for lunch.

Hike the Best Trails

Hiking is a huge perk of living in Arizona. It’s an easy way to stay active on weekends, and Tempe has so many nearby trails to choose from, so you’ll never be bored!  Head over to the South Mountain National Trail, a 16-mile trail that’s ideal for mountain biking and hiking throughout the year. Take a scenic run through the Papago Park Butte Loop to see the beautiful wildlife. Enjoy amazing views of the lake as you jog along 5.7-mile-long Tempe Town Lake Trail. Or take a walk through the Crosscut Canal Path that stretches through Papago Park.

Experience the Local Arts & Culture

Two People Doing a Chalk Drawing on the Ground. Photo by Instagram user @tempeartfest

Photo via @tempeartfest

Tempe has a rich history and an expanding art scene showcased in several museums throughout the city! Appreciate art from Latin American artists and 20th-century ceramics at Arizona State University Art Museum. Learn more about Tempe’s past through exhibits, collections, and programs that connect with the community at Tempe History Museum. Drop by Tempe Center for the Arts to watch unique theatrical performances that are pushing the envelope in theatre—and don’t forget to attend the annual Disrupt FEST to see some of the best acts! Visit Tempe Festival of the Arts to see works of art from over 350 artists throughout the country who specialize in everything from wood to ceramics and jewelry. Or spend an evening at the Collier Gallery to enjoy a variety of Western and Southwestern artwork and installations from prominent artists.

Take Part in Family-Friendly Activities

Little Girl Looking at a Downtown Tempe Made of LEGO. Photo by Instagram user @kcstauffer

Photo via @kcstauffer

Both kids and parents will love the many family-friendly activities that Tempe has to offer! Make your way through the Bay of Rays, Temple of the Seahorse, and Live Coral Reef exhibits while seeing unique creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium. Take the kids to LEGOLAND Discovery Center for interactive attractions, play zones, and a LEGO factory tour. Head over to Tempe Town Lake Festival with the family to catch live entertainment, relay races, and a firework display. Check out the 50,000 plant displays showcased in the outdoor exhibits at Desert Botanical Garden. Play arcade games, laser tag, or a round of mini-golf at Main Event Entertainment. Or take a trip to the Big Surf Waterpark, where you can enroll in surf lessons!

A Haven for Shoppers

Looking for retail therapy in Tempe? The city has a variety of popular retailers, local boutiques, and outlet stores! Head to Arizona Mills, where you can dine at restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and shop at stores like Adidas, American Eagle, and Forever 21. Shop around at the 100+ stores at Tempe Marketplace, a huge outdoor mall that puts on incredible outdoor concerts and hosts tons of fun events throughout the year! Gear up for your next concert with the latest rave and festival gear from The Flow Shop. 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 year-round in Tempe’s gorgeous weather. Or check out Creations Boutique for women’s outerwear, dresses, shoes, and tops.

Take a Trip to Downtown Tempe

Shops, entertainment venues, bars, and some of the city’s best dining are all things you can find in Downtown Tempe! Attend a Broadway play like Frozen or Hamilton at ASU Gammage Auditorium, which was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Enjoy a Tamarind Mule or Alter Mai-Tai while dining al fresco at Alibi Rooftop Lounge. Order the Margherita Flatbread, Voodoo Penne, or the All Natural Beef Burger at Caffe Boa Bistro & Wine Bar. Check out the local art and Arizona-made goods at the weekly 6th Street Market. And don’t miss out on community events like the Festival of the Arts, Tempe’s biggest art and entertainment festival!

Dine at Tempe’s Restaurants

Plate of Eggs, Bacon, and Toast at Daily Jam in Tempe. Photo by Instagram user @eatdailyjam

Photo via @eatdailyjam

One of the best things about living in Tempe is the diverse food you get to experience! Start off your morning with Red Velvet Waffles or Classic Eggs Benedict at Daily Jam, named one of the best waffle restaurants in Arizona by Food Network. Feast on the Spicy Vegan Curry, Beer Battered Fish & Chips, or Pub Burger at Culinary Dropout. Try Italian favorites like Smoked Salmon Linguini or Four Cheese Penne at RigaTony’s. Stop into the King’s Fish House for seafood dishes like the Chilean Sea Bass or Wild Mexican Jumbo Shrimp. Order the Red Curry or Spicy Noodles at Thai Basil. Enjoy a date night with an Artisan Cheese Plate and a Grilled Flat Iron Steak at House of Tricks Restaurant. Or grab dessert with a Funfetti Ice Cream Sandwich or Fudge Brownie from Slickables.

Enjoy a Night Out on the Town

Looking for fun things to do in Tempe when the sun goes down? Tempe has plenty of bars, breweries, and entertainment to enjoy! Stop by the Low Key Piano Bar for live music from popular piano players like Ben Murphy and James Mitchell. Spend an evening on the patio with a glass of Haus Margarita at Pedal Haus Brewery. Try new craft beers like the Abnormal Tiki Life For Me or Sonoran White Chocolate Ale at Taste of Tops. Pop into Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant for live music and Irish-inspired drinks like a Guinness Snakebite or Half & Half. Catch a comedy show or participate in trivia night at Tempe Improv. Or take a trip to one of the best breweries in Tempe, Four Peaks Brewing Company, where you can try beers like the Golden Lager and Peach Ale.

Check Out the Best Music Spots

Fans Staning in the Pit Watching Dance Gavin Dance at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Photo by Instagram user @marqueetheatre

Photo via @marqueetheatre

Tempe is a great city for music lovers. If you’re looking for live music or awesome local concerts, this Arizona hot spot has a number of music venues for you to check out! Catch live music at Marquee Theatre, which has hosted a variety of artists like Tech N9ne, Silverstein, and Stryper. Get tickets to the rock, pop, and country artists that play on the three stages at the all-day Innings Festival. Spend an evening supporting local musicians at Tempe Tavern. Or visit Yucca Taproom, which brings in live music from local and major artists who play almost every day of the year!


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