This Tempe Travel Guide post is a partnership with the Tempe Tourism Office but all opinions are my own.
Looking for a city that’s centrally located and has great outdoor activities? Then this Tempe Travel Guide is for you! The city of Tempe is the hidden gem of Arizona! The city has so many unique treasures to offer; from world-class culinary restaurants to a vibrant fitness community. Tempe also has a vast array of socially distanced outdoor activities to enjoy in the 330 days of sunshine! In addition, the proximity of multiple cities such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Flagstaff makes it the perfect hub city for a long weekend in Arizona!
We chose to stay in Tempe for my recent trip to Arizona and I’m so glad we did. Tempe is only about a 20 minute drive away from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and super central to many Arizona attractions! As a fitness focused blogger, I always look for cities that have a great wellness scene, which Tempe definitely has in spades! Keep reading to learn all about the city of Tempe and why it’s THE best city to stay in to experience Arizona to the fullest!
Where to Stay in Tempe: The Canopy Hotel Tempe Downtown
Tempe has several great hotels, including the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown. I love Canopy hotels so I was super excited to partner with them again for this trip. The Canopy hotel opened last summer in downtown Tempe and follows Hilton Hotel’s rigorous CleanStay standards. I also love that the hotel is dog–friendly and welcomed my puppy Theo with open arms, even giving him a little doggy goodie bag they gave him upon arrival.
The hotel is super close to a lot of downtown attractions like Mill Avenue; a hot spot for shopping and dining. The hotel offers complimentary bikes that are perfect for exploring downtown Tempe and getting in a bit of exercise. Inside the hotel is an inviting lobby which includes lots of succulents, hanging plants, and even a cozy fireplace!
Further down past the lobby is the hotel’s signature restaurant, Alter Ego. In addition to the signature restaurant, the hotel also has a beautiful rooftop bar, Alibi, and pool with craft cocktails and poolside dining. The rooftop is super spacious with private cabanas available and tons of pool chairs to lounge around in. The rooftop is also a great place to do outdoor workouts, in addition to the Canopy hotel gym. During my trip, I was able to workout safely at the gym as well as doing some yoga on the rooftop in the morning.
In addition to the many hotel amenities, the Canopy hotel rooms are the perfect setup for a comfortable stay away from home. Like my last Canopy Hotel stay, the rooms are spacious, have an in room Nespresso coffee machine, and an artsy vibe.
Best of all they have super comfortable beds, making it hard to even want to leave the hotel room! My puppy Theo also loved the beds and people watching through the window.
Where to Eat in Tempe:
- Alter Ego restaurant – located inside of the Canopy hotel, boasts an elevated dining experience with fusion cuisine and a creative craft cocktail menu. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the most important meal… weekend brunch! We got the chance to do dinner at Alter Ego one night and truly enjoyed our experience. The cocktails were amazing and my favorite item on the menu was the salmon, pictured above. In addition to doing dinner at Alter Ego, I also enjoyed the breakfast matcha bowl!
- House of Tricks Restaurant – Address: 114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ. If you’re looking for great cocktails and a seasonal dining menu then be sure to add House of Tricks to your Tempe list. The restaurant is in the heart of downtown Tempe and had a great dinner menu, making it the perfect place to stop by after an afternoon exploring downtown.
- Postino Annex Tempe – Address: 615 S College Ave, Tempe, AZ. Postino Annex is an absolutely beautiful restaurant known for their bruschetta boards. The restaurant is downtown and even walkable from our hotel. We were happy to see that the restaurant had great outdoor seating with the perfect ambience for a date night or even a girls night out. **Pro Tip: On Mondays and Tuesday after 8pm you can get a bruschetta board and bottle of wine for $20, a total steal!
- Social Hall – Address: 715 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ. I will be honest, this restaurant first got on my radar because of the super Instagramable “Get Together Tempe” mural on the outside of the building. After having an hour long photo shoot outside we finally made it in for a quick drink before heading back to the hotel.
Where to Go in Tempe:
One of my favorite things about the hotel is it’s super central location to all the points of interest! I love how cute the downtown Tempe area is near the hotel and how central it is to everything in nearby Scottsdale and Phoenix as well!
- Desert Botanical Garden -Address: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ. The Desert Botanical Garden is a must see for a plethora of plants and vegetation native to the region. We loved looking at all of the different types of cactus variations and reading about the different plants.
- Arizona Distilling Company – Address: 601 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ. Go for a happy hour drink or schedule a one hour tour which includes three 0.5oz. pours.
- Papago Park -Address: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ. Papago Park stretches between Tempe and Phoenix and is the perfect place to go for aerial views of both cities. The park is free to go into and has trails for both running and hiking. The park is also pet friendly so you can bring your pup along with you!
- Tempe Town Lake – I went for an early morning run by the lake and couldn’t believe how beautiful the sunrise looks! If you enjoy running or water activities then add this to your list! You can rent a boat at the lake
I had such a good time in Tempe that I’m already planning a trip back this fall! There are so many things to do and we only got a chance to do a handful! If you’re planning a trip to Arizona Tempe should definitely be the top of your list to visit or stay!