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Tempe, Arizona


The Hohokam lived in this area and built canals to support their agriculture. They abandoned their settlements during the 15th century, with a few individuals and families remaining nearby. 

Following the establishment of Fort McDowell on the eastern edge of central Arizona’s Salt River Valley in 1865, enterprising farmers moved into the area. They dug out the irrigation canals left by the prehistoric Hohokam people and built new ones to carry Salt River water to their fields. Valley farms soon supplied food to Arizona’s military posts and mining towns.

The first settlers to move to the Tempe area, south of the Salt River and east of Phoenix, were Hispanic families from southern Arizona. They helped construct the first two irrigation canals, the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch and the San Francisco Canal, and started small farms to the east and west of a large butte (Tempe Butte). 

Tempe was a small agricultural community through most of its history. After World War II, Tempe began growing at a rapid rate as veterans and others moved to the city. The last of the local farms quickly disappeared. Through annexation, the city reached its current boundaries by 1974. Tempe had grown into a modern city. The town’s small teachers college had also grown, and in 1958, the institution became Arizona State University.  Read more on the history of Tempe, AZ

Tempe Marketplace signage

Things To Do In Tempe

Just in case you haven’t heard of Tempe, Arizona, it is home to Arizona State University (ASU) one of Arizona’s largest universities. While Arizona State University (ASU) may be Tempe’s claim to fame, trust me, it’s just one of the best things Tempe has to offer.Here are some of their jaw-dropping sights:

  • Tempe Town Lake– Recently named one of Arizona’s top destinations, this 220-acre waterfront includes recreational activities, events, office, retail, and residential developments. It’s so special that in the winter months, many East Coast rowing teams come out to compete when their own lakes and rivers are too cold to train on.
  • Big Surf Waterpark– boasts the first wave pool in the United States and the first amusement park to receive an ASME landmark status of “FIRST INLAND SURFING FACILITY IN NORTH AMERICA”.
  • Tempe History Museum– a roomy museum highlighting Tempe’s growth over the years, including via rotating displays & orations.
  • Sea Life Centre Arizona– 26,000 square foot interactive aquarium with thousands of aquatic creatures plus interactive touch pools and a 360° ocean tunnel.
  • ASU Gammage–  ASU Gammage is among the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world. It is conveniently located on the campus of Arizona State University in the northeastern corner of Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard in the heart of Tempe. The venue has convenient access to the entire Valley of the Sun and great dining opportunities for delicious pre-show meals, post-show drinks, and parking options. https:
  • Tempe Center for the Arts – is a crown jewel in a town known for its arts sponsorship. TCA events are multidisciplinary and include international forms of art. Numerous offerings include TCA Theatre Productions, focusing on edgy, creative and contemporary works; and TCA’s Disrupt FEST, an annual festival mashup of new theatre, performance art and unique musical acts that challenge preconceived ideas of the performing arts.
  • Tempe Marketplace – With a vast 1.3 million square feet of retail space to explore, more than 100 shops and restaurants to choose from, and more than 300 events a year, Tempe Marketplace is the ultimate destination for residents of the Valley and tourists from outside the area.
  • Marquee Theatre– The theater is located on the northern side of Tempe Town Lake near the Mill Avenue Bridge, at the intersection of Mill Avenue and Washington Road, Tempe’s main business and entertainment district.
  • Diablo Stadium– Gene Autry Field and the beautiful Marriott Buttes Resort overlook the stadium, and all its facilities. In addition to being one of the most picturesque buildings, the facility is one of the most accessible complexes in the Phoenix Metro area. It is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels and the home field for night games of the Arizona League Tempe Angels.
Legoland Discovery Center Arizona

Places To Enjoy With The Whole Family

Tilt Studio Arizona Mills
–  a 40,000 sq. ft. family entertainment center where guests can enjoy 150 plus interactive video and redemption games, retro gaming area with pinball and vintage games.

Main Event Tempe – a 58,000 sq. ft. center home to 26 high quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables.

Marston Exploration Theater – presents high-definition documentary movies with earth and space science themes and 3-D planetarium-style shows.

Kiwanis Park – The 125-acre Kiwanis Park in Tempe features playgrounds, a 12-acre lake, a batting range, an indoor recreation center, a variety of fields for sports and an indoor wave pool featuring water slides and 3’ waves. Rent a kayak, pedal boat or surrey bike to explore the lake. Or check out the Cloud at Kiwanis Park, a brand new splash playground..

Legoland Discovery Center Arizona – where families with children aged 3 to 10 can enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground complete with the thousands of LEGO® bricks in themed play areas.

Papago Park in Tempe

Tempe’s Outdoor Activities

Tempe is in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area, which also means that it’s in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. Exploring the desert on a hiking or biking trail, seeing cactus up close and enjoying the Arizona sunshine is a must-do for outdoor enthusiastsHere are some Hiking and Biking Trails to check out:

  • Hayden Butte – is one of the most accessible hikes. It is located in downtown Tempe. A 0.7 mile out and back trail offers scenic views of Tempe and the surrounding desert and is good for all skill levels.
  • Papago Park – The trailhead just west of the College and Curry parking lot is an easy hike that offers views from the summits over downtown Tempe and Tempe Town Lake. This trail also includes Loma del Rio, a ruin of Hohokam. Move along the road towards the highway to get to the ruin, then veer right. On reaching the top of the next hill, you will see the ruin next to a ramada. Papago Park is great for hiking, biking, bringing your dog and even horseback.
  • Hole in the Rock-   Hole in the Rock is near the zoo and is a great easy hike for those looking to absorb the amazing view of the valley and the Phoenix/ Tempe area with mountains in the background.
  • Crosscut Canal Path – Crosscut Canal Trail is a moderately trafficked 18.6 mile back and forth trail near Tempe, Arizona with beautiful wildflowers and perfect for all skill levels.
  • Kiwanis Park Lakefront Trail – Is a moderately trafficked 0.8 mile loop trail near Tempe, Arizona, which features a lake and is ideal for all skill levels. The trail offers many activities and is best used from September to May. 
  • Tempe Town Lake Trail – Is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail  which features a lake and is perfect for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, road biking, and canoeing and is accessible year-round. Find more hiking trails here.

Tempe’s Annual Events You Don’t Want To Miss

Tempe Festival of The Arts – ranks among the Top 100 Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist magazine and has received the prestigious Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The spring and fall celebrations draw nearly 250,000 visitors each over the course of a 3-day weekend at Downtown Tempe. Click to learn more.

Cactus League Spring Training – Anaheim’s Los Angeles Angels call Tempe, Arizona their home as they play teams like the Cubs, the Brewers, the Rockies and the Giants. Tempe Diablo Stadium is located conveniently at Interstate 10 & Broadway.

Wet Electric Music Festival – Activated Events and Relentless Beats are delighted to bring back the country’s biggest pool party, the Wet Electric Music Festival. An all-day dance party where you’ll experience the thrills of a waterpark and the sights and sounds of an electronic music festival featuring world-renowned musicians and DJs. Experience the country’s largest wave pool, water slides, luxury cabins, full bars and more.  Get tickets here

High Tide Festival – High Tide takes over for an all day rock & reggae party at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe, Arizona, on April 26, 2020. A truly unique experience puts together music, water slides and an amazing vibe.

African Fest USA 2020 (Kiwanis Park Tempe, AZ)  – With a mission to highlight the Africans and the African diaspora community, accomplishments, and talents. With the strong support from City of Tempe, Tempe Center for the Arts, Chapman Automotive Group, Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, JC Printing, Café Lalibela Ethiopian Cuisine and others, we are happy and proud to be hosting our international event in Tempe AZ, a city that celebrates the diversity of different cultures.

Tempe’s Food Scene

Tempe’s Food Scene

With creative chefs and diverse flavors, Tempe’s food and drink scene offer top-notch choices.

Here are some restaurants that will thrill your taste buds:

Culinary Dropout – a trendy gastropub serving American comfort food plus live music and it’s got backyard-style games like Ping-Pong and cornhole, plenty of booze, and a delicious menu with English gastropub-style eats like grilled cheese sliders and fried chicken. Yesterday’s Soup is always an option. And try the pretzel fondue.

House of Tricks – The award-winning fine-dining restaurant is set in a cozy 1920s bungalow. Although the home is certainly noteworthy, the Tricks patio is even more impressive. The outdoor seating area has a fire pit and bar, plus tons of lush greenery.

Four Peaks Brewery –  There’s no better way to experience the best craft brewery in America than at its Tempe brewhouse.  Order a pitcher of Kilt Lifter and try the salmon BLT. It’s Four Peaks’ take on the traditional sandwich with salmon, pepper jack cheese, and a tasty pesto mayo spread on 12-grain bread.

Little Miss BBQ – built around the idea of providing an amazing central Texas-style barbecue.

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine – Tempe’s most romantic wine bars, La Bocca. The trendy Downtown Tempe spot offers locally sourced ingredients, pastas, personal pizzas, and small plates, plus an impressive cocktail selection and wines by the glass.

Tempe's Economy and Real Estate


Tempe has an unemployment rate of 3.8%. The US average is 3.9%.

Tempe has seen the job market increase by 3.3% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 49.9%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%.

Tax Rates for Tempe

– The Sales Tax Rate for Tempe is 8.1%. The US average is 7.3%.

As per the Cromford Report, the median home value in Tempe is $321,694. Tempe home values have gone up 7.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Tempe is $199.87. The monthly average sales price of homes in Tempe is $354,100. The median rent price in Tempe is $1,350.

Tempe’s Best Companies To Work For

Honeywell– Improve Defense, City, Chemical, Industrial, Retail and Safety Technology with Honeywell. Solve Your Toughest Challenges and Talk About the Future with Honeywell Solutions. Building Solutions. IoT Solutions. Cybersecurity Solutions. Worker Solutions.

Godaddy- GoDaddy Inc. is an American publicly traded Internet domain registrar and web hosting company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona and incorporated in Delaware. As of March 2019, GoDaddy has approximately 18.5 million customers and over 9,000 employees worldwide

LifeLock- LifeLock Inc. is an American identity theft protection company based in Tempe, Arizona. The company offers the LifeLock identity theft protection system, which is intended to detect fraudulent applications for various credit and non-credit related services

FirstSolar – First Solar, Inc. is an American photovoltaic manufacturer of rigid thin-film modules, or solar panels, and a provider of utility-scale PV power plants and supporting services that include finance, construction, maintenance and end-of-life panel recycling.

Arizona State University – Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S.

Cytec Engineered Materials Inc.– Cytec Engineered Materials Inc. produces specialty bonding adhesives and composite materials. The company’s products include ablatives, carbon-carbon materials, silicone-based sealants, specialty thermoplastic materials, and carbon fibers for aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications. The company also offers prepregs that are used to manufacture aerospace parts; resin transfer molding materials; and anti-ballistic materials for use in cockpit doors and bulkheads on commercial aircraft.

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