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Know All About Tempe, Arizona

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Tempe is one of the popular cities of Arizona with a thriving cultural scene, central location and pleasant weather. The city is a vibrant mix of culture, history, art, sports, nightlife, shopping, events, and of course cheerful people. Wherever you go, you’ll see the history and art that will enrich your mind and soul. There are plenty of activities that can be done in Tempe from historic tours to outdoor adventure to sports events, and all this, add to reasons to plan a trip to Tempe for the next holiday!

Tempe Skyline
Image by Schwnj at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

History of Tempe

The area was first settled by the Hohokam people who were the farmers. They developed canals in the area to support agriculture. During the fifteenth century, the Hohokam people left the area. Only few families remained in the area.  

A 400 years jump forward… In 1865, another group of farmers moved into the area of what is now known as Tempe. These settlers rebuilt the irrigation canals to support farms that provide food to the mining towns and military posts of Arizona.  In 1870, Charles Trumbull Hayden came into the picture. He began a new settlement called as the Hayden’s Ferry on the banks of the Salt River. Fort McDowell was formed on the upper Salt River, and also several blacksmith shops, warehouses, stores and flour mill was established. Later, in 1872, Hispanic families came from northern Mexico and southern Arizona and founded a new settlement called as “San Pablo”.  The two communities “Hayden’s Ferry” and “San Pablo” combined in 1879 and formed a diverse town known as Tempe. The name Tempe was given by Pioneer Darrell Duppa, who also helped in establishing Phoenix. It is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. In 1885, Tempe was selected for the site of the Territorial Normal School.  In 1887, the Phoenix and Maricopa railroad was built, thus connecting Tempe to the other parts of the state. The town soon became an economic and shipping hub for the agricultural areas surrounding it. In 1894, Tempe was incorporated as a city. The city witnessed tremendous growth in the 20th and 21st centuries. It established itself as a hub of commerce and education. Today, the city is Arizona’s eighth largest city with a strong economy based on manufacturing, commerce, electronics, education and tourism. 

Important Locations in Tempe

Tempe has plenty of interesting, action-packed and entertainment places to see. When you’re a history buff, art lover, sports fan or outdoorsy type, the city has something for every interest. 

Tempe Butte: Tempe Butte is a scenic mountain gazing over Tempe. It is an andesite butte of volcanic rock. Climb up the mountain, enjoy the magnificent views of the city and check out the remnants of the Hohokam people settlements. You’ll also see native wildlife and native vegetation. Witness the picturesque views and remains of the bygone era!

ASU Gammage: The ASU Gammage is a historic theatre that hosts many well-known art performances. It features nationally and internationally touring shows, Broadway musical, and other world-class theatre performance. It is an architectural gem designed by Frank Llyod Wright. 

Tempe Center for the Arts: The Tempe Center for the Arts is a visual and performing arts center with many indoor and outdoor venues, including art gallery, studio theatre, a multi-purpose room and a proscenium theater. Peruse the artwork by local, national and internationally recognized artists at the visual arts gallery housed in the Tempe Center for the Arts. 

Tempe History Museum: Explore the past of Tempe at the Tempe History Museum. The museum features interactive exhibits, orations and rotating displays that highlight the history of Tempe. 

ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center & Brickyard Gallery: The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center & Brickyard Gallery features an impressive ceramic collection. It houses about 4,000 pieces by some of the great artists from all around the world. 

Big Surf WaterparkBig Surf Waterpark  features plenty of water activities for people of all ages. It is home to the America’s first ever wave pool. It features water slides, swimming pool, wave pool, and several slides for kids as well as adults.

Arizona State University Art Museum:  Arizona State University Art Museum features about 12,000 pieces of art, including contemporary art, Southwestern states and Arizona art, and American ceramics. 

Arizona Heritage Center:  Located in Papago Park, the Arizona Heritage Center  features the history of Arizona and its development over the years through interactive exhibits. It features pop culture of Arizona, mineral and gems from around the world,  and role of Arizona in WWII and post-war scene.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center: The LEGOLAND Discover Center features several hands-on exhibits on diverse subjects for kids aged 3 to 10. It features a 4D movie theatre, play areas, laser rides, party rooms, large-scale models, car racing and themed build areas.

Tempe Town Lake & Tempe Beach ParkTempe Town Lake offers stunning vistas of Tempe and the surrounding area. It has several miles of hiking and biking trails, and perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, rowing, sailing, and much more. Tempe Beach Park features splash playground, and an amphitheatre where many events and festivals are held year-round.

Sea Life Arizona: Experience the aquatic world up-close at the Sea Life Arizona. It features several aquatic creatures that include hermit crabs, jellyfish, octopus, sharks, clownfish, rays and more.

To know more about the important locations in Tempe, click here

Tempe People and Culture

Tempe has a diverse history and culture that is reflected in all of its offerings. The city is home to visual and performing arts centers that reflect the Tempe’s history. The culture of the city is rounded out by the ASU Gammage Auditorium that was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. To promote the art, music and cultural scene of the city, myriad of events and festivals are held throughout the year. 

Around 161,719 people call Tempe their home. The population of the city is a mix of White, Black or African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other races. 

Time Zone and Phone Codes of Tempe

Time Zone

Tempe follows the Mountain Time Zone

UTC-GMT Offset: Tempe is GMT/UTC- 7 hour during Standard Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Tempe uses Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone Abbrev.: MST is abbreviated for Mountain Standard Time; and MDT is abbreviated for Mountain Daylight Time 

Phone Code

Tempe Area Code: 480

Best Time to Visit Tempe

Tempe receives 330 days of sunshine every year, thus making it a year-round holiday destination. However, the best time to visit Tempe is fall and spring seasons. Both the seasons have comfortable weather and perfect to enjoy everything the city has to offer.  The city host many festivals and events year-round to keep the both the locals and visitors entertained-

Ironman Arizona (November) 

Important Locations in Tempe Map Guide

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