Tempe is Phoenix’s fun-loving sidekick that’s overdue for a starring role. Home to Arizona State University, the city hums with youthful energy and a refreshingly casual vibe. With indie shopping, urban trails and budget friendly lodging, Tempe is an ideal base for easygoing but adventurous travelers.
As you enter the city from nearby Sky Harbor International Airport, look for “A” Mountain, the can’t-miss butte with the letter “A” emblazoned across its rocky slopes. Start your 1/2-mile hike to the summit off Mill Avenue. The two-mile-long Tempe Town Lake sits near the base of the butte, and its splash park is a fun place to cool off with the kids.
But outdoor adventures aren’t the only thrills in town. Mill Avenue anchors a bustling shopping district with bookstores, boho boutiques and, well, a smoke shop or two. This is a university town. To mingle with students and convivial drinkers, head to famed Four Peaks Brewing Company or settle in for Irish-themed imbibing and oyster slurping at Casey Moore’s Oyster house. Cheers!