Tempe, Arizona, located within the Phoenix metropolitan area, is known for being home to Arizona State University, making it a college town within one of the biggest metro areas in the country. ASU’s Sun Devils compete in NCAA Division I sports, with their football and baseball teams being the most notable. Tempe is known for having spawned a thriving alternative music scene in the 1990s, as well as its bustling Mill Ave nightlife district.
You will probably want to stay in or in the vicinity of the Downtown/ASU sector of Tempe when visiting, as this is where you will find all the action. For higher-end lodging in the area, good options include the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Tempe. Midscale choices include the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Tempe, the Ramada Limited Hotel University Tempe, and the Twin Palms Hotel Tempe. For the budget-minded traveler wanting to stay in the middle of the fun, you might consider the University Inn and Suites Tempe, the Super 8 Hotel Tempe, the Rodeway Inn at ASU Tempe, or the Days Inn Tempe.
Tempe is known for being one of the best enclaves in the Phoenix Metro area when it comes to food, with most of the mouthwatering activity centering around Mill Ave, where you will also find most of the city’s nightlife. This makes it easy to try a lot of good restaurants all within walking distance of each other. Munch A Mania is an inexpensive and quick locals favorite, serving up breakfast, sandwiches, and more. For Asian cuisine, Little Szechwan is a great choice, and Tempe even has a good Ethiopian restaurant in Café Lalibela. The Phoenicia Cafe is the place to be if you are looking for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, while Green has the vegan game in Tempe on lock. Cornish Pastry Co. and Rula Bula Irish Pub and Restaurant are great Irish/British-oriented restaurants and bars. If you are in the mood for Mexican food, look no further than La Fonda, or hit up Caffe Boa for great Italian fare.
When it comes to Tempe nightlife, one of the first things you’ll notice is that there are a lot of brewpubs within a small area, including the Mad Hatter Brewpub, Gordon Biersch Brewery, and Four Peaks Brewing Company. This is sure to delight the beer lovers among us. The Sail Inn Bar and Grill is a great place to take in live music, while the Suite 301 Sky Lounge offers a posh and sophisticated club/lounge experience with dancing, dining, and more. The Tavern on Mill, Margarita Rocks Beach Club, Cherry Lounge and Pit, and the Big Bang Dueling Pianos are other happening nightspots you might want to check out when visiting Tempe. There are tons of bars, lounges, and clubs within the Mill Street entertainment district, so really all you need to do is walk around and peek your head in some places to find the venues that best suit your fancy, although the above recommendations are a good start.
One of the great things about Tempe is its “city within a city” quality, as the culture surrounding Arizona State gives it a smaller college town quality, although it is also part of metropolitan Phoenix and enjoys all the perks of big city life. Tempe is known for its party scene and is a great oasis of youthful exuberance within the grind of big-city Phoenix. If you get the opportunity to visit, we recommend you do, as you are bound to have a great time partying in the college atmosphere of Tempe that ASU engenders.