Tempe Diablo Stadium - Spring Training home to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Tempe Guide to Spring Training

By: Arizona Office of Tourism

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January 3, 2017

Find restaurants, attractions, events and more in this baseball-centric town.

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Arizona Office of Tourism

These articles are brought to you by staff of the Arizona Office of Tourism, as well as local tourism organizations around the state.

Sunshine, the crack of the bat and cheers from the crowd are all signs of springtime in Arizona. Whether you are a die-hard fan or you just enjoy a day in the sun, Tempe, Arizona, is a grand slam for a spring getaway filled with Cactus League baseball games, outdoor recreation, patio dining, family fun and cultural events.

Cactus League Spring Training brings 15 Major League Baseball teams to 10 stadiums to play more than 200 games in Arizona throughout the month of March. Tempe Diablo Stadium is home to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who play rivals such as the World Series Champions Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals. Tempe is centrally located, providing easy access to all of the Spring Training fields. Visitors can also take a free trolley from downtown Tempe to the Cubs’ and Angels’ home games.

Before and after watching the boys of summer on the field, be sure to make time to take in the sights around this exciting college town.

Take a Hike or Ride a Bike

There are many hiking trails located within minutes of hotels in Tempe, making it easy to experience the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Try the rolling hills of Papago Park, escape from the city at South Mountain Park and Preserve or take a quick hike for a bird’s-eye view of Tempe at “A” Mountain in downtown Tempe. Rent a bike and take a leisurely cruise along the city’s endless bike paths, 175 miles total, that traverse desert trails, canals and parks.

Bring the Kids

Even the youngest travelers will find lots to do in Tempe. Arizona Mills and Tempe Marketplace are destinations for both shopping and entertainment.

At Arizona Mills, families can explore a mile of outlet and specialty stores, meet thousands of sea creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, play thrilling video games at Tilt Studio, dine at the Rainforest Cafe and see a movie at the IMAX theater. Arizona Mills is also home to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, the ultimate indoor LEGO playground that’s perfect for kids from 3 to 10 years old.

Among the boutiques, national retailers and restaurants at Tempe Marketplace, enjoy a splash pad for kids, video games and food at Dave & Buster’s and live music on Friday and Saturday at the District Stage.

Main Event Entertainment has fun for everyone, with bowling lanes, laser tag, an arcade, delicious food and beverage options, billiards and an exhilarating gravity ropes course.

At the Phoenix Zoo, visitors can see more than 1,000 animals, go to Harmony Farm, feed giraffes or pet stingrays and take a ride on the Safari Train.

Every Thursday night, enjoy a free concert at Beyond the Bricks – Thursday Night Live, located at the Hayden Square Amphitheater in downtown Tempe. It is open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and guests 21 and over can purchase beer and wine at the event.

Brew Pubs and Tasty Grub

When it comes to great eats, Tempe hits a home run every time. Chicago fans will be happy to find hometown favorite Portillo’s at Tempe Marketplace, just a quick drive from Cubs’ games at Sloan Park. The delicious burgers, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches at Portillo’s are some of the best in town.

Tempe also scores big with some local favorites. Four Peaks Brewing Company is famous for beers made on-site, such as Kilt Lifter and 8th Street Ale. Located in a historic red brick building, Four Peaks features a sunny outdoor patio and a variety of delicious food options including fish and chips, pizza, enchiladas and their famous beer battered 7 Barrel Fries. They also offer brewery tours so beer aficionados can learn more about how their favorites are made.

Pedal Haus Brewery is one of the newest downtown Tempe breweries. Pedal Haus features handcrafted European-style beers, a delicious gastropub menu and downtown Tempe’s largest patio.

If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, don’t miss Ncounter. Also located in downtown Tempe, Ncounter features delicious omelettes and Benedicts, mouth-watering pancakes, smoothies and breakfast cocktails.

Experience Tempe Events

Baseball games are just one of the ways to enjoy the spring in Tempe. This fun-loving college town has a full calendar of special events, with an emphasis on unique arts and cultural experiences.

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival, March 25–26, 2017, at Tempe Town Lake, celebrates Asian culture with two days of dragon boat races, vendors, food booths and performances by martial artists, musicians and dancers.

Downtown Tempe will be filled with more than 300 artists selling their original works at the Tempe Festival of the Arts, March 31–April 2, 2017. Nonstop live entertainment, wine and beer gardens, food vendors and activities for kids add to the festive atmosphere.

The 6th Street Market takes place every Sunday at Mill Avenue and 6th Street in downtown Tempe from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The market features more than 30 local artisans, yoga classes, live music and food vendors.

Tempe specializes in live theater productions for the whole family, including Finding Neverland, March 14–19, 2017, at ASU Gammage; Childsplay’s The Yellow Boat, February 26–March 12, 2017, at Tempe Center for the Arts; and Childsplay’s Interrupting Vanessa, March 25–April 2, 2017.

For more information about planning your dream spring vacation, visit www.tempebaseball.com or call (800) 283-6734.

(Brought to you by the Tempe Tourism Office, (800) 283-6734, www.tempetourism.com.) 

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