Tempe, Arizona, located in the heart of Metropolitan Phoenix, is perfect for an active vacation.
Whether you’re the adventurous type or you prefer spectator sports, there’s plenty to do all year long in this fun-filled college town. And, no matter what you choose to do or when you visit, you can always expect warm sunshine in Tempe.
Cactus League Spring Training in Tempe
Every March, Cactus League Spring Training brings 15 MLB teams to 10 stadiums throughout the Phoenix area. Tempe is home to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who play rivals such as the Giants, Cubs, Rockies and Reds in Arizona.
Fans have the chance to see their favorite players up close and personal, and maybe even get an autograph or two. Tickets are a bargain at Tempe Diablo Stadium, with prices starting under $10.
More Spectator Sports in Tempe
Exciting games aren’t reserved for the pros. Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe is part of the Pac-12 conference. College fans can cheer for ASU or their favorite team as they play baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, football and everything in between.
ASU Sun Devil football really ignites this college town with a contagious team spirit each fall. Games are played in Sun Devil Stadium, a unique arena built into Tempe’s iconic “A” Mountain.
Sun Devil Stadium is also home to hard-hitting football action during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at the end of December each year. Some of the best teams from the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences compete for the bowl game title.
Fans gather before and after games in the Mill Avenue District, located next door to the stadium. There are more than 100 restaurants, shops and taverns in this historic, pedestrian-friendly area.
Lace Up for a Tempe Run
If you’d rather tackle a course than cheer from the sidelines, then one of Tempe’s annual open competitions might be more your style.
Many like to start the New Year with resolutions to get in shape. There are plenty of running events and triathlons in Tempe that will give everyone – from novice runners to seasoned marathoners – a reason to stick to their training schedule and lead a healthy lifestyle.
In January, kick off the New Year with the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon and the Color Run 5K.
The P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is a high-energy event that combines live music every mile, spirit teams and scenic, flat courses. Participants and their friends and family are rewarded with a post-race concert near the finish line by a nationally known musical act.
For another dose of fun, the annual Color Run 5K at Tempe Beach Park splashes participants with a different color every kilometer. At the end, every participant is a very happy walking rainbow.
Tempe is also home to Pat’s Run every April. Approximately 35,000 runners and walkers participate in this 4.2-mile event that ends inside Sun Devil Stadium. Participants pay tribute to Pat Tillman, a distinguished veteran, ASU graduate and Arizona Cardinals player, and raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation.
In addition to charity runs, Tempe is custom made for triathlons. The combination of Tempe Town Lake, the adjacent Tempe Beach Park and the desert preserve at Papago Park make it an ideal setting for tests of endurance.
The Soma Triathlon in October is a sprint distance and relay race that uses the same locations as Ironman Arizona, the most well-known of all of the triathlons in Tempe.
Held annually in November, Ironman Arizona is a grueling, yet inspiring, event consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run. In the springtime, those at the top of their game also will love the Marquee Triathlon and Leadman Tri in April.
Hike, Bike and Paddle in Tempe
If you love to be outdoors more than you like to compete, you can easily explore Tempe’s beautiful Sonoran Desert scenery from the city’s seemingly endless selection of trails. There are options for casual strolls and intense workouts.
Papago Park, located just north of Tempe’s downtown and Tempe Town Lake, is filled with hiking and biking trails that traverse more than 1,200 acres.
For a quick hike, try “A” Mountain located in the downtown Mill Avenue District for great views of the city.
South Mountain Park and Preserve, located just south of Tempe in Phoenix, is the largest municipal park in the country. With more than 16,000 acres, there are endless trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
For even more adrenaline, visitors can explore our desert with one of the local tour companies, such as 360 Adventures. Experienced guides take all of the worry out of action-packed mountain-bike or rock-climbing excursions, and participants go home with exciting stories that they’ll tell again and again.
Or, relax on Tempe Town Lake, an enjoyable gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. This urban oasis can easily be explored with watercraft from Tempe Boat Rentals. Choose a kayak, pedal boat, electric boat, a stand-up paddleboard or a hydrobike that you can pedal just like a regular bike.
For more traditional fun on two wheels, visitors can rent a bike from The Bicycle Cellar and discover Tempe’s miles and miles of bike-friendly paths. Some of the most popular routes include Mill Avenue, the sidewalks surrounding the lake, Papago Park and the Arizona State University Tempe Campus.
That’s just the beginning of a fun-filled, sunny and action-packed Tempe vacation. To plan your next trip, visit www.tempetourism.com or call (800) 283-6734.
(Brought to you by Tempe Tourism Office, (800) 283-6734, www.tempetourism.com)