Home of Arizona State University and Sky Harbor Airport, Tempe is located in the southern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area and is bordered by Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler.
Tempe is the state’s seventh largest city. Access to Tempe is easy from just about any direction via the Loop 101, 202, US 60, I-10 and the Hohokam Expressway. The City of Tempe, Arizona offers more than 330 days a year of sunshine to its residents and visitors, and annual rainfall amounts to only 7.36 inches a year.
The first stop for many is legendary Arizona Mills, the vast indoor shopping mall with an emphasis on tasteful decoration, reasonable prices, and top quality merchandise. One of the main hang-out and night-life spots is nearby Mill Avenue, but there are a number of other places in the surrounding area that contribute to a memorable visit to the area.
In 1865, the U.S. Army arrived at the eastern end of the Salt River Valley and established Fort McDowell. More pioneers arrived, including Wickenburg entrepreneur Jack Swilling, who directed the renovation of the Hohokam canals, and Charles Trumbull Hayden, who built a flour mill and began a ferry service across the Salt River.
“Hayden’s Ferry,” as the city was called then, was also the name of the only vehicle across the Rio Salado. The town grew slowly and was renamed the City of “Tempe” Arizona (Tem-PEE) by an English traveler who compared the area to the beautiful Vale of Tempe in Greece.
In 1886, the Arizona Territorial Normal School welcomed its first class of 31 students in the building known today as Old Main on Arizona State University’s campus.
A growth spurt over the past twenty years has resulted in the development of industrial parks and planned communities in all directions. Arizona State University’s main campus, adjacent to downtown Tempe, educates students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries. ASU is known as leading Research institution. The presence of its enthusiastic faculty and students has contributed to the success of the numerous local theaters, galleries, and cultural centers in Tempe. The ASU campus even houses the State Arboretum that is open to the public. The Law Library (said to be second only to Harvard’s ) is designed to look like an open book. Gammage Auditorium is well known as Frank Lloyd Wright’s last public structure design.
Over the past two decades, Tempe has been a top choice for visitors seeking Arizona vacations. The downtown area has been made pedestrian friendly. Shady brick sidewalks, turn of the century buildings, historic landmarks, a wide variety of restaurants and popular night spots, ASU, “A” mountain and Tempe Town Lake all make downtown Tempe a place recognized for its for dining, shopping, sightseeing, and nightlife.
Families enjoy the Tempe Beach Park Splash Playground and the pedal boats on Tempe Town Lake. Visitors can see a Broadway show, visit a fine art museum, explore hiking and biking trails. It’s all there and so conveniently located! Just about everything in Tempe can be found in a one mile radius. The only decisions to be made are what to see and do first and how soon it will be possible to return to this lively and thoroughly enjoyable city.