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What Makes Tempe Tick?
Tempe, Arizona is a suburb of Phoenix – America’s fifth-largest city – but it is much more than that. Tempe is a thriving, active, and fun city in its own right. This city of over 161K people is home to Arizona State University and that lends it a youthful vibrancy that nearby Phoenix and Mesa cannot duplicate.
Much of Tempe’s unique, youthful character comes from its place as the home of Arizona State University.
With a population of 58K students, ASU has a strong effect on the character of Tempe’s economy, real estate, restaurants, culture, and nightlife.
One thing you are sure to notice that the city residents owe to the university is the extreme walkability of the area. Most areas in Tempe feature well-lit sidewalks that cater to those who would rather not drive where they can walk – like poor college students.
Real Estate in Tempe, Arizona
While ASU does play a large role in the city, real estate offerings are not exclusively one-bedroom apartments and small houses surrounding the campus. No, Tempe boasts a diverse array of real estate offerings. Whether you would like that low-maintenance condo convenient to the bars or an equestrian estate with plenty of privacy along the outskirts of Tempe, it’s here. While you can find every type of real estate in Tempe, there are a few sections where you are more likely to find a certain type of home for sale.
In south Tempe, you will find plenty of new construction along with the master-planned community model. There are plenty of nice, new-built homes in stunning subdivisions catering to families with children. Here you will find a lifestyle built along with the ideal American neighborhood complete with corner coffee shops, boutique stores, and small restaurants.
To the north of Tempe, you will find plenty of upscale multifamily housing developments. This area of the city caters to those who want to live the urban lifestyle. Everything is within walking distance including the light rail. These new condos and lofts are the perfect option for those who want to live in the very heart of things. New inventory is coming on the market every day as new developments are completed.
While you can find new construction in the north and south Tempe, if you would rather live in a more established neighborhood full of unique homes, you can find those scattered throughout central Tempe.
What to Do in Tempe, Arizona
For those who love shopping, you cannot go wrong taking a trip to the Tempe Marketplace. The Marketplace is a 1.3 million square foot outdoor retail and entertainment facility that allows shoppers to enjoy being outdoors while engaging in some retail therapy.
For those who love to shop at funky, owner-operated boutiques and galleries, the Mill Avenue District is your own piece of paradise. This historic, tree-lined district of Tempe is full of small boutiques, art galleries, salons, bars, and restaurants.
For the bargain shopper, you will find your fill of deals at the Arizona Mills Outlet Mall. Arizona Mills features over 175 shops offering fantastic bargains.
For the nights you just want to go out to eat, you cannot beat Mill Avenue for both quality and variety. Just taking a stroll down Mill Avenue will excite your palate and start your stomach growling. It’s amazing the variety of cuisines you will find here. Whether you are hoping for a fine-dining experience or a laid-back taco joint with a twist, it’s all in this one small area.
If you love the nightlife, you don’t even need to leave Mill Avenue after dinner. You can segue right into one of the many bars, dance clubs, and music venues that line the avenue.
What about those days when you don’t feel like shopping or going out to eat, but you still want to be outside? There’s still plenty to do in Tempe. There are several golf courses in the area, you could take a crack at climbing “A” Mountain, or you could just get a paddleboat or kayak and tool around Tempe Town Lake for a while. If that doesn’t suit you, there’s always just walking and people watching.
There’s always plenty to do in Tempe.
Tempe is the headquarters and executive office of two Fortune 500 companies US Airways (formerly America West Airlines) and Insight Enterprises. Limelight Networks, LifeLock, First Solar, Fulton Homes, and Mobile Mini are also headquartered in Tempe. Cold Stone Creamery was originally headquartered in Tempe and location #0001 is still in operation today at 3330 S McClintock Drive in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is also home to the largest campus of Arizona State University. It was the longtime host of the Fiesta Bowl, although the BCS game moved to the University of Phoenix Stadium, located in Glendale, in 2007. Tempe now hosts the Insight Bowl. Edward Jones Investments has a regional headquarters in Tempe.
Tempe Arts, Entertainment, Shopping and Activities
Tempe houses several great performance venues including Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Center for the Arts.
The Phoenix Zoo (located on the border of Tempe) is one of America’s most successful, privately-owned, and nonprofit zoos. It was voted one of the top five zoos for kids. And sitting right next to the Phoenix Zoo is the magnificent Desert Botanical Garden.
Tempe is home to many outdoor activities, including Tempe Town Lake (Fishing, Boating, Kayaking), Papago, and South Mountain Parks offer hiking, mountain and road biking, rock climbing, and equestrian activities. Tempe is home to the annual Iron Man competition which takes place in late November. Five-time Iron Man champion Rob Lichtenstein is also a Tempe Resident.
Mill Avenue located just west of Hayden Butte, is a shopping and entertainment area in the city popular with pedestrians and students. With the completion of Tempe Town Lake, commercial and high-rise development along the reservoir quickly transformed the cityscape of Mill Avenue and the skyline of downtown Tempe.
Near the university in downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue is one of the nicest and most interesting walking neighborhoods in the Valley of the Sun, with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail, and entertainment. Some of the largest festivals in the area and in the Southwest are held here, and Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets may be closed to vehicular traffic during these events. Investors like this area because of the university.
Tempe Town Lake, also in downtown Tempe, takes up 220 acres and was created as part of the Rio Salado Project. It was dedicated in 1999, along with an enlarged and remodeled Tempe Beach Park. Tempe Town Lake offers fishing and boating in the midst of an urban setting. Tempe Beach Park often hosts weekend festivals, many of which involve music/bands.