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A Day in Tempe

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Tempe is buzzing with lively vibe and cultural experiences. Comedy, art and music fill the city’s cultural and historic sites with warmth and vitality. If you have only one day in Tempe, and looking to make most of your time, this article is for you. The below mentioned are the things that will delight you!

Tempe Itinerary
Image By Alan Stark [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

9:00am- Breakfast at Ncounter!

Start your morning with a gourmet breakfast at Ncounter, before heading out to explore Tempe. Ncounter serves American classics for breakfast. It has in-house baked breads, homemade food, smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and much more. Grab a seat on the patio and relish the delicious American fare. 

Address: 310 S Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-968-9288
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am-3:05pm

10:00am- Catch a Broadway show or play at ASU Gammage!

Start your tour with some art and culture at the ASU Gammage. For a taste of beautiful architecture, stroll along the theatre. It was the last designed building by the Frank Lloyd Wright. The theatre features the Broadway plays, musicals, operas, recitals, solo productions, recitals, symphony concerts, and much more. You’re sure to have a great time at this spot!

Address: 1200 S Forest Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Distance from Ncounter Restaurant: 1.1mile or 5minutes drive via S Mill Avenue 

11:00am- Soak up some art at Tempe Center for the Arts!

Next, make your way over to the Tempe Center for the Arts that feature interesting pieces of art in a wide spectrum of media, ranging from abstract sculptures to photographs and paintings. The center is home to many performing arts groups. Stroll along the gallery and peruse the works by international and local artists. Catch a ballet, jazz concert, stage production or musicals at the theatre in-house. After watching the show and admiring the art, walk along the lake path that offers stunning views of the architecture, or amble through the outdoor sculpture garden.

Address: 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States 
Phone: 1 480-350-2829
Opening hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00am-6:00pm; Wednesday & Friday: 10:00am-7:00pm; Saturday: 11:00am-6:00pm
Distance from ASU Gammage: 1.9miles or 6minutes drive

12:00pm- Pop into the Arizona State University Art Museum!

The beautiful interiors and detailing of the Arizona State University Art Museum lure you to come in and peruse the art pieces on display in the five galleries. The museum houses a permanent collection of over 12,000 pieces of art that includes Latin American artists work, Arizona art, American ceramics, Mexican ceramics and folk art, and contemporary American art and European prints, Southwestern America art, and much more. The art collection at ASU Art Museum is endearing and a visual feast for the visitors!

Address: 51 E 10th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-965-2787
Opening hours: Tuesday: 11:00am-8:00pm; Wednesday to Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm
Distance from Tempe Center for the Arts: 1.8miles or 6minutes drive

1:00pm- Lunch!

Swing by The Normal Diner (225 East Apache Boulevard) or The Chuckbox (202 E University Dr) for American fare. If in mood for Mexican food, head to Tapacubo (225 East Apache Blvd). For Italian, swing by Postino Annex (615 S. College Avenue). 

2:00pm- Arizona Heritage Center takes you through Arizona history!

Visit the Arizona Heritage Center that features different exhibitions that highlight the history and culture of Arizona. Discover about the desert cities and their development; explore the Arizona’s past, experience the diversity and culture of Arizona, and find out more about the city origins. WWII buffs will also be intrigued by how Arizonans lived during that period.  It also features an extensive collection of minerals and gems from all around the world. Special events and programs are also held here. While you’re at the center, soak up the desert atmosphere and the striking vistas of the city. 

Address: 1300 N College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-929-0292
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-4:00pm

3:00pm- History digging at Tempe History Museum!

Next, head out to Tempe History Museum and gain insight into the Tempe history through permanent and temporary art exhibitions. It features art exhibits that highlight the story of Tempe. In addition to hands-on activities, there are musical instruments, crafts and musical exhibitions with plenty of music paraphernalia. History and music blend seamlessly at this museum!

Address: 809 E Southern Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85282, United States
Phone: 1 480-350-5100
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Distance from Arizona Heritage Center: 3.9miles or 9minutes drive

4:00pm- Take a selfie with aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona!

Visit the SEA LIFE Aquarium that features many aquatic creatures, including sharks, jellyfish, coral reefs, octopus, hermit crabs, cuttlefish, clownfish, seahorses, lionfish and more. It has several tanks that feature a variety of cephalopods and marine life. It also has an interactive touch pool known as the Rockpool, where visitors can touch the sea creatures and an underwater tunnel that offers a 360 degree view. Visitors will be delighted to feed the aquatic creatures. Frenzied creatures feedings, an underwater tunnel and a touch pool are just a sliver of the exciting sights awaiting visitors in the SEA LIFE Aquarium.

Address: 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir #145, Tempe, AZ 85282, United States
Phone: 1 877-526-3960
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-7:30pm; Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Distance from Tempe History Museum: 3.0miles or 5minutes drive via US-60 West

5:00pm-Shopping Break!

Head to Arizona Mills that houses hundred of retail outlets, stores and restaurants. This indoor mall features more than 150 retailers, including Burlington Coat Factory, H&M, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Old Navy, Sears, Nike, Ross Dress for Less, and more. The mall is home to the area’s largest IMAX theatre. Grab some great deals on your favorite brands at this mall.

Address: 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir, Tempe, AZ 85282, United States
Phone: 1 480-491-7300
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-6:00pm
Distance from Sea Life Arizona: 1 minute

Wander through the Downtown Tempe and browse the shops lining the area. It features more than 50 retail shops. Whether you want to shop for apparels, accessories, home items, art and crafts, handmade jewelry or everyday items, you’ll find it all here.

Address: Between Farmer Avenue and College Avenue, University Drive and Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States 
Phone: (480) 350-6060
Distance from Arizona Mills: 4.3miles or 14 minutes drive

7:00pm- A tranquil walk at the Tempe Town Lake!

Have a great evening and relax on the water at the Tempe Town Lake. Go paddle boarding, kayaking and rowing and cruise the lake. After you’re done enjoying on water, head to the Tempe Beach Park, a serene waterside park. It features several miles of biking and jogging trails, and a seasonal splash playground. In addition, the park provides picturesque views of the Tempe skyline.

Address: 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-350-5200
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 5:00am-12:00am
Distance from Downtown Tempe:  1.0mile or 5minutes drive

9:00pm- Dinner!

For American cuisine, head to Culinary Dropout (149 S. Farmer), House of Tricks (114 East 7th Street), or The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen (26 S Farmer Ave). Get your Mexican fix at Macayo's Depot Cantina (300 South Ash Avenue) or Loco Patron (222 South Mill Ave Ste 115).

10:00pm- Party in Tempe!

When the lights start to dim, Tempe becomes alive with exciting nightlife. After a long day of exploring the city, Tempe’s nightlife scene awaits.

Wine lovers may head to Taste of Tops. It has extensive selection of wine tastings, plus specialty beers and rotating taps of craft beer, too. Enjoy the lively ambiance and live music, while sipping wine.

Address: 403 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-967-2520
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 3:00pm-12:00am; Friday & Saturday: 12:00pm-2:00am; Sunday: 3:00pm-10:00pm

Beer lovers may head to Four Peaks Brewing Company. Sink a pint or two at this nightspot. Also, you can learn a bit of beer making process and see it come out into your glass from the machines. They also have tasty bar grub to go with the beers. 

Address: 1340 E 8th Street #104, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 480-303-9967
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00am-1:00am; Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-2:00am; Sunday: 10:00am-1:00am


In mood for some dancing and music while enjoying drinks, make your way over to the School of Rock Mill Ave. DJs play some great tunes, ranging from Top 40 hits to hip-hop, electronic sounds and rock ‘n roll music that keep the patrons moving and shaking. Local and national bands perform live at this nightspot.

Address: 411 S Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States
Phone: 1 602-471-1841
Opening hours: Thursday: 10:00pm-2:00am; Friday & Saturday: 9:00pm-2:00am

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