A great workout with some wonderful views. This is a fun way to get out and burn some calories. Its more than just a nature walk so be prepared. Bring water and hiking/running shoes. Yes girls that's means you. I'm amazed by the number of flip flops or even a pair of heels. This is a two mile workout full off hopping up boulders and scrambling over loose gravel. You really don't want to end your workout with a helicopter ride down because you wanted to look cute. BRING WATER not a little bottle but half a gallon each. It gets warm in Arizona. also clean up after yourself. If your old enough to go out and play your old enough to clean up after yourself, better yet clean up after someone else also.
The 25-acre Tempe Beach Park is adjacent to the Tempe Town Lake. Many special events are held there, including Iron Man competitions, concerts and community festivals. I heard that the 4th of July fireworks are spectacular. There is a Splash Playground for kids. The historic baseball field is used for youth softball and carnival games. The amphitheater holds 5,000 people. Rio Lago Cruise Company has a boat concession. You can tell that it gets crowded sometimes, since you may reserve a picnic table for $10.
The top of Hayden's Butte is a great vantage point. To the north is Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park. To the east is Sun Devil Stadium. To the south is Arizona State University and the Mill Avenue District. To the west is Hayden's Mill, the new Tempe performing arts center and downtown Phoenix.
Hayden's Butte is also called Tempe Butte or A Mountain. It was inhabited by the Hohokam people and petroglyphs, pot sherds, scrapers, and metate have been found there. The area just west of the butte was settled in the 1870's and called Hayden's Ferry, after the ferry crossing the Salt River which flows just north of the butte. The area looks like Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece, thus Tempe's name. The elevation difference from bottom to top is about 350 feet. Many people hike or jog up the Leonard Monti Trail to get a good workout.
The south mountain area is about a 30 minute drive from Tempe. Dobbins Lookout at 2330 feet elevation gives a great view of metropolitan Phoenix and the sunset. Remember that no alcohol is allowed and it is strictly enforced.
Just across the river from the Mill Avenue District is Papago Park with many choices for things to do within its 1200 acres. Located between Tempe and Phoenix it is amazingly convenient to get away from the "city." The park is actually owned by Phoenix. Once an Indian reservation for the Maricopa and Pima tribes, and a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, Papago is now a stunning urban desert park with red rock formations and giant saguaro cacti. It has numerous picnic sites with ramadas, tables, grills, water and electricity. The park also contains fishing lagoons and bike paths as well as a zoo, a botanical garden, fire museum and a golf course. Two well known landmarks are in the park: Hole-In-The-Rock, a natural geologic formation called a tafoni; and Hunt's Tomb, the white pyramid burial place of Arizona's first governor.
Since ASU has an excellent music department there are plenty of concerts and musical events.Check out the event calender! It's really worth going there, if you are interested in music and not only Pop ;)
Go and visit the Phoenix Zoo which is right between Phoenix and Tempe
It has a huge areal and many animals. There's not much going on during the week.
Put on comfortable shoes, it's quite a walk.
Bad thing is, animals also hide from the heat :(
Phoenix has several preserves right in the city so if you want some awesome views of town and the surrounding mountains. The main ones are South Mountain, Camelback Mountain, and Squaw Peak. But please be sure to take water.
In the center of Papago park there is a large white pyramid. There are several paths leading up the hill to it and when you get to the top you will find that it is actually a tomb, Hunt's tomb. George Hunt was Arizona's first governor. He then went on to be the 2nd, 3rd, 6th,7th,8th, and 10th governor. So maybe you don't want to climb the hill to look at a pyramid tomb but the views from up there are just fabulous in all directions, but especially cool was looking down and seeing giraffes and ostriches running around in the Phoenix zoo and the city behind them.
Papago park is on the border between Phoenix and Tempe. It has a history of being an Indian reservation, a national monument, and a prisoner of war camp. Today however, it is a beautiful picnic area minutes drive from downtown Tempe. It has a great fishing pond that needs a special permit, mountain bike and hiking trails, and terrific views of the city and the Phoenix zoo.
When it was a prisoner of war camp in wwII, it housed 1700 German prisoners in barracks. In Dec of 1944 the largest POW escape in the U.S. happened after they dug a tunnel 178 feet outside the prison fence and 25 people escaped. The escape went undetected for several days until one of the cold and hungry Germans returned to camp and turned himself in.
Gammage auditorium is on the Arizona state university campus. It seats over 3000 people but no one is more then 110 feet from the stage. It host broadway and off broadway shows. It was also the site of the last 2004 presidential election debate. It was one of the last buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright built in 1964. Now, I am a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright but I did not care for this building that much. By day it is fairly pretty but lit up at night it looks like a giant pink birthday cake.
Mill ave. is part of Tempe's history. The mill is where the founder of the town, Charles Hayden first started the town in 1867 with a store on Mill ave. He ran a cable across the Salt river and began a ferry service when the river was too high to cross. The flour mill that stands there today closed in 1997 and is the third one, as the other two burnt down. Today Mill ave. is filled with restaurants and shops, and home to several street festivals throughout the year.
'A' mountain is visible from the plane leaving or arriving Phoenix ariport....this mountain has a huge yellow 'A' on it...I'm guessing it stands for ASU....my friend and I climbed it one morning and from the top you can see all Tempe from above....gourgeous view! But go early morning b/c it will get HOT!
The Mill Avenue District has many examples of public art. They definitely enhance your stroll to go shopping or out to eat. Kids especially love the Rabbit Fountain.