Visit Tempe, Arizona

City of Tempe

Tempe has an ideal location. The city is surrounded by so many glorious Valleys in the Sun cities that you may never figure out where to start

Phoenix is 6 miles to the west, Scottsdale to the north, Mesa to the east, and Chandler to the south. So there you have it- a diamond of a city that seemingly stands out among its sister gemstones, all set in a stellar city setting.


Now just ask yourself if you feel lucky- it’s all peaches and cream, oh what a dream! You’ll know from the sights, the sounds and the smells that you’re right in the middle of it all. So drink it all in and don’t be shy- you know you really earned it!

Tempe’s centralized location is easy to access the extensive freeway system that networks the Valley of the Sun. Tempe covers about 40 square miles. The city is ideal for those who want to get around.


The climate is typical of the southwest. There is a mild winter that is balanced by a long hot, dry summer. Many have claimed that the dry, hot summer conditions have helped to relive many of their allergy symptoms.

Summer days are clear and spectacular and the temperatures are truly remarkable. Spring and autumn are mild transitions into the other seasons. There is a brief monsoon season that is truly extraordinary.

Tempe History

The story of Tempe is the story of one man, and that brave man was it was in 1869, while Hayden was on a trip from Florence to Prescott that he discovered the area that came to be Tempe.

Hayden decided to wait a couple of days before crossing the Salt River because it was running too quickly at the time. During his wait, he hiked up the butte and noticed the potential of the surrounding area. Soon afterward he filed a homestead of 160 acres near the butte.

He also joined in with a group to file claim to receive water from the Salt River for a new business venture called the Hayden Milling and Farm Ditch Company.

In 1858, Hayden was appointed federal judge in Tucson. Hayden opened a store and flour mill along the Salt River in 1872. He worked on building a canal along the base of the butte to bring water to the mill for grinding.

Then in 1873, he started construction of an adobe style home and built a cable operated ferry across the river. Later on, Hayden moved his freighting operation from Tucson up to this area. Eventually, a blacksmith shop, store, orchard and vineyard sprang up.

As time passed, more settlers arrived from Tucson and southern Arizona to help build canals in the area.

When the mill was completed in 1874, the area began to grow again. Hayden persuaded the new community to join him. It is believed that the name Tempe came from Darrell Duppa.
Duppa had looked out on the land and remarked that it resembled the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Try it yourself and see what you think.

The construction of the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad crossing at the Salt River encouraged more growth. Tempe began to grow by becoming cattle shipping point, a railroad junction and main agricultural place. By the 1890’s there were farms growing dates and citrus. Although, the wheat, barley and oats crops helped the mill continue its business.

When the Roosevelt Dam was finished in 1911, irrigation became easier and the town grew again.

In 1929 the normal school became the Arizona State Teachers College. Later in 1945, the school changed its name again, this time to Arizona State College. Finally, in 1958 the school became Arizona State University.

When most people think of the city of Tempe, they think of Arizona State University. It is hard to imagine that this university began in 1885 on a donated five acre cow pasture. Today, the campus covers an amazing 700 acres and is located in the center of Tempe.

But that’s what happened. And that same cow pasture lies at the very heart of this noble institution that helps feed the fertile minds of the new generation of mostly Americans. With all this, is not the future assured- your welfare secured? Tempe, It’s a great place where you can help yourself but even a better place for getting the good feeling that you’ve helped someone else, somewhere.

Tempe Entertainment

Tempe is the cultural center of this state. There are any number of theatres and halls that sponsor plays, concerts and the like- many times of top-level performers.

There are also a number of outdoor festivals, most attached to some holidays, that draw folks from far and wide to see what all the commotion is about.

These events are so numerous that it is best to go to the city website at and find out what’s going on.

The Tempe library tries to provide its patrons with the best in available entertainment media. Print and digital media resources seekers will be happy to see a broad selection of items. And Spanish speakers will also be pleased to note the increased awareness of diversity and its major role in the strength of Tempe as reflected in the increased budget devoted to Spanish language acquisitions. Que bueno!

The Tempe Historical Museum sees their facility as a hallowed ground where the community can join together happily to celebrate all the good things that Tempe got in the past and ponder the uncertain future.

The whole idea behind the exhibits and everything is just to get people to give up their past so we can all get a different future. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Outdoor Activities

The area is unexcelled for hiking climbing, camping and horse back riding. You can also get to the nearby Salt River and raft the day away.

There are also a wide variety of parks for all purposes and interests that cater to the members of the coddled community. Don’t you want to be among the selected few- or to just feel like you are? That special feeling is largely what Tempe is all about!

And don’t miss the thought provoking Double Butte Cemetery. Do you know why it is called Double Butte? Well you must visit to find out!

Don’t forget about Diablo Stadium- the Home of the Sun devils! This college stadium actually hosted the Arizona Cardinal NFL franchise for several years before the area could come up with the funding for a separate professional sports facility like they do in NY, LA, CHI, SD, well, you get the picture. And the picture is popping, as Tempe- much like the rest of Arizona, scrambles for a seat at the 21st century dinner table.

Good luck!

R. Steven Thomas Yacono is a legal scholar, educator and writer who has traveled extensively over the course past decade. From Beijing to Barstow and Xiamen to Sedona, his journeys have provided a wealth of experiences about fascinating people and places to share with interested readers. You can find out more about Arizona at; and to plan your next trip visit []

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