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20 Things to Do in Tempe, AZ This Summer

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With 330 days of sunshine per year, there are so many things to do in Tempe and is the perfect destination for a mother-daughter weekend trip.

Located just east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Tempe is centrally located and just minutes from Scottsdale which makes it an ideal home base for road trips and day trips from Phoenix.

Just 5 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, there are so many fun things to do in Tempe no matter if you are traveling with your bestie or daughter. 

From the beautiful weather year-round, you and your daughter won’t be disappointed with a trip to Tempe this summer.  

Why Tempe Should Be On Your Buckelist?

I decided Maddie and I need a little alone time together to discuss some of the decisions she has been making and a trip to Tempe is just what we needed for a little mother-daughter bonding.    

Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery so your daughter can breathe in some fresh air to clear out her deteriorating brain cells or have a more definitive itinerary in mind, this type of trip is a great way to reconnect with your teen daughter. 

It’s not every day that we have real, undistracted time to invest in our daughters – and yet, we Moms are among the most important influences on them or so we think anyway. 

Taking time to reset and refocus during a trip away together can do wonders to bring back balance and harmony.

A mother-daughter trip is not only a great way to explore the world together, but it can also enhance the bond between you and your daughter. 

The links in this post may be affiliate links.  That means that if you click them and make a purchase, this site makes a commission.  It will have no impact on the price you pay or the experience of your purchase.

Whether it’s hiking “A” Mountain, enjoying a spa day at Mariott Phoenix Resort, or taking a road trip to explore Ghost towns outside of Tempe, it is the perfect opportunity for bonding and reconnecting, 

Things To do in ArizonaI am really happy to work with our sponsor, Tempe Tourism Board, today to share this information with you!

Things to Do in Tempe

This guide to visiting Tempe and the greater Phoenix area not only covers all the main landmarks and must-see places in Tempe but also includes a couple of lesser-known gems around Arizona.

I’ve also included a few fun things to do in Tempe that make your trip even more special and memorable with your daughter. 

1. Massages at Narande Spa

The simple mom-daughter manicure and pedicure have morphed into bikini waxes, facials, hair highlights.

I want Maddie to understand Spa days are about self care rather than her wanting to look more like Cardi B with her perfectly trimmed eyebrows and peer pressure around boys rating girls on their looks.

Narande Spa allows you to Indulge in intimate spa treatments including a variety of massages, facials and body treatments, while enjoying day access to the resort fitness centers, pools, hot tubs and saunas.

Maddie and I were able to relax and unwind after a long flight from Tennessee at an intimate spa tucked in the mountains at Marriott Resort Phoenix Tempe at The Buttes.

Narande is full-service spa perfect for a mother/daughter getaway offering rejuvenating spa services which include:

  • body scrubs
  • body wraps
  • facials
  • manicures
  • pedicures
  • massages
  • waxing and more.

The spa layout includes five spacious treatment rooms, a couple’s room, a rain shower room for body treatments and an intimate salon and nail area.

Two separate locker rooms are available for men and women including a seating area, vanity area, showers and a dry sauna.

We opted for two 55 minute full body massages that had us both thinking about relocating to Tempe. 

Because Maddie is underage I chose the couples massage so we could be in the same room and Maddie would feel comfortable with massage.

Narande Spa in Tempe

2. College Visits in Tempe, Arizona

Visiting colleges with your teen is a rite of passage. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, which is one of the largest universities in the U.S. 

Arizona State University has 4 campuses and the Tempe campus has the largest student enrollment with over a whopping 70,000 students.

While Maddie has her mind set on attending Jackson State University which is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) I wanted to make sure she kept all of her options open.  

While ASU is not an HBCU, the university focuses heavily on diversity and inclusion with 37% of new freshmen being minorities which is very important to our family.  

Visiting ASU was a great way to get a feel for the college’s atmosphere and character. Maddie and I were able to ask questions and discover whether or not ASU is the college for her.

When choosing which college to attend, the first-hand experience on campus can help make that decision easier.  

By the end of our tour at ASU I was ready to submit my application to start my college life all over again.  I wonder if Maddie and I can be roommates and my second career could be embarrassing her for the next four years.

Whether or not your daughter knows what subject she wants to pursue during your time at the university, ASU has more than 300 majors for students to choose from and approximately 90 different degrees and certificates that can be obtained online as well. 

Fun fact: The average GPA of incoming freshmen accepted to ASU is 3.42. The average SAT score of incoming freshmen is 1129 and the average ACT score is 24.5.

Arizona Day Trips | Things to do in Tempe | ASU

3. Best Hiking Trails Near Tempe

I love walking places and I think the best way to see a city is by hiking and wandering off the beaten path.

My husband recently purchased a Peloton so Maddie and I thought we were in relatively good shape until The Sonoran Desert decided to teach us a lesson for comparing its hiking trails to a measly machine that gives the illusion of a hiking trail.

Between the 500 plus waterfalls in Tennessee and the new Peloton I thought the hiking trails around Tempe would be a breeze. 

Our first day in Tempe “A” Mountain decided to make an example out of us for comparing its trails to that of a simple stationary machine. 

1. “A” Mountain

I researched “A” Mountain prior to our trip and everything I read stated oh not to worry its a relatively easy hike, if you hike often you won’t have any issue and my all time favorite description of “A” was you will be at the top after a few giant steps!  Uhmmmmmm that would be a no!

I was out of breathe and I could barely walk so please wear appropriate shoes and take your time because while it is not the hardest hike I’ve ever been it is most definitely not the easiest.  

Mill Ave. and Third St.

Tempe, AZ 85281

2. Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail

The Cholla Trail is one of the most popular trails near Tempe because of the beautiful views but I must warn you that this is a strenuous hike but the views are so worth it if your legs don’t give out before you make it to the top.

Cholla Trail is a lesser known trail which I think makes it a little safer, less crowded, and reduces your chances of having a heat-stroke.

Cholla Trail is located along the ridge of Camelback Mountain, the highest point in the Phoenix Mountain at 2,704 ft.  Hikers experience a steady 1.6 mile climb to the top.

6131 E. Cholla Ln.

Paradise Valley, AZ, 85253

3. Papago Park

We also visited Papago Park which is a hilly desert covering 1500 acres and is known for its distinctive red sandstone geological formations.

What Maddie and I enjoyed the most are the variety of desert plants, including the giant saguaro cactus. 

Papago Park has several easy hiking trails located near the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden along Galvin Pkwy. The Cross Cut Canal Path on Mill Ave. North of Curry Road is also a good walking, jogging, or biking.

This amazing desert features nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the 1,500 acres. 

1000 N. College Ave.

Tempe, AZ 85281

4. Piestewa Peak

Piestewa Peak was described as moderate to difficult for kids and older adults and I am not a kid nor am I an older adult adult or at least I didn’t think I was prior to this hike.

 Most areas of Piestewa Peak have carved steps to assist you in your hike and it took us a little less than an hour to get to the top and we stopped along the way to enjoy the scenery. 

If you plan to stay for the sunset I suggest taking a flashlight as some areas become very dark soon as the sunsets.

Located in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves, Piestewa Peak has numerous trails for hiking and trail running. At 2,610 ft., it’s the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, next to Camelback Mountain.

Hundreds of residents and visitors hike Piestewa Peak per week because it offers great views and a great workout. Hikes to the peak usually take anywhere from 25-60 minutes, depending on the experience of the hiker.

5994 E. Squaw Peak Dr.

Phoenix, AZ, 85016

5. South Mountain Park and Preserve

My daughter gave 10 stars to South Mountain Park & Preserve. You can spend as little as 30 minutes or spend the entire day exploring the park. The first thing you must know is the road to South Mountain Park is scary!

Maddie and I drove the very windy, narrow road to Dobbins Lookout but we were fortunate it was not a lot of traffic because Maddie can be a drama queen yall.

South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the country.

The park includes 51 miles of scenic desert trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking leading to breathtaking views. Trails can be found at 48th Street and Guadalupe or from Central Avenue.

48th Street and Guadalupe Rd.

Phoenix, AZ 85044

Best Mother Daughter Trips | Best Arizona Day Trips | Best Hiking trails

Things To Do In Downtown Tempe

If your mini me loves food like Maddie, Tempe, Arizona should definitely be on your bucket list.

Whether you prefer the classic fun of In-N-Out Burger,  enjoy Southwestern and Mexican cuisine or seafood, Downtown Tempe is the place for your Mother Daughter vacation.

If your daughter is a Harry Potter fan, a traditional pasty from Cornish Pasty Company is a great option. This vegetarian-friendly restaurant offers British, European and local cuisine in a pub setting.

All of these dining options are just steps away from Tempe Town Lake, an outdoor entertainment area in the middle of the city.

Best Places To Eat In Downtown Tempe

Best Breakfast Spots in Tempe, Arizona

1.Crepe Bar

Crepe Bar, is tucked away discreetly in a nondescript shopping mall. The owner and Chef Jeff Kraus appeared on an episode of Chopped but there is no mention of his accolades in the restaurant. 

Do not let the strip mall or outside appearance deter you from missing out on your blessing! The windows are shaded in speakeasy black but the inside is quirky, modern and fun. 

The hostess explained the menu to us because it wasn’t clear whether or not everything was a crepe. The menu offers a delicious array of savory and sweet dishes.

Some sweet items are on display including chocolate-covered homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate brownies.

Because we are greedy we decided to try a little bit of everything.  We started off with the homemade toast that came with cultured butter, orange blossom honey glazed figs and lawd the fig preserves were delicious!

Next, we tried the homemade cereal which consisted of multi grains, toasted oats, seeds, nuts, stone fruit.

For the actual crepes Maddie decided on vanilla bean custard which is marinated in strawberries, salted caramel, roasted & candied peanuts and I had the Jamaican jerk which has pork sausage, fontina, potato brava, mixed herbs & greens! OMG! Delicious!

7520 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283

(480) 247-8012

Instagram: @crepebar

2. Sweetest Season Bakery & Café

Sweetest Season Bakery & Café is a quaint bakery that serves up the most delicious baked goods ever!

The savory pastries we so good that we can’t wait to go back to Tempe just taste everything on the menu. Make sure you try the salted caramel cinnamon roll and espresso chocolate cake! 

I am so happy we found this little gem and I look forward to visiting the Sweetest Season Bakery again. 

1835 E. Guadalupe Rd. #111, Tempe, AZ 85283

(480) 867-1564

Instagram: @ssmenutempe

3. Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

If you love breakfast Snooze has a great variety of breakfast options from your typical egg dishes, pancake breakfasts, and porridge-type breakfasts.

I recommend the Goldilocks porridge which is a mix of grains that is topped with berries and bananas to add a bit of fruit flavor and sweetness. 

The restaurant tends to be super busy which is an indication of the excellent food and it’s just steps from ASU.

615 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 355-1934

Instagram: @snoozeameatery

4. Matt’s Big Breakfast

As I was searching for breakfast spots in Tempe I kept hearing about Matt’s Big Breakfast and let me say Matt’s Big Breakfast did not disappoint!

I had waffles and bacon breakfast and it was probably the best waffle I’ve ever had, so light and flavorful. The bacon is peppery and delicious. 

My daughter Maddie had the omelet with Wisconsin cheddar, served with toast and choice of potatoes plus she added bacon, ham and sausage. 

Because Matt’s was packed we decided to sit at the bar and we were waited on immediately but there is also a large outdoor patio as well. We will definitely go back to Matt’s Big Breakfast.

Matt’s is located on the south side of Tempe Town Lake off Rio Salado Parkway.

400 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 967-5156

Instagram: @mattsbigbreakfast

Best Lunch Spots in Tempe, Arizona

1.Perfect Pear Bistro

If you and your mini me are looking for healthy options while visiting Tempe check out Perfect Pear Bistro.

The chicken was excellent and the lettuce was fresh with included tons of toppings and an amazing spicy ranch dressing.  

Everything on the menu sounded delicious so we ordered way too much food from the carnitas tacos to the “best grilled cheese of my daughter’s life” and the Mac n cheese which we ended up taking half of it back to our hotel. 

603 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 966-7327


2. La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar

La Bocca Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar was by far one of my favorite restaurants while visiting Tempe.  Even though I was traveling with my daughter Maddie after a long day of exploring Tempe I needed a tasty and delicious cocktail!

I started out with the mixed sangria (white and red so not too sweet and not too dry), and for an appetizer we had the bruschetta and for my entree I had the Calzones and Maddie had the Pizza which is prepared in a brick oven so they come out fresh and hot! Everything on the menu is delicious, so you can’t go wrong no matter what you order. Delicious!

699 S. Mill Ave., #115, Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 219-9510


3. Café Lalibela

Café Lalibela is a total gem hiding in the city. The food was amazing and the service was phenomenal so if you are looking for something to expand your palate I suggest trying authentic Ethiopian cuisine. 

I make my daughter try a different cuisine every time we travel and she is not allowed to say something is nasty unless she has tasted it the dish and truly doesn’t like it.  

I suggest the large “sampler” plate (Lalibela Exclusive) which has a little bit of everything from  the spicy chicken (doro wat) to the “bread” (injera) to scoop up the food is interesting and delicious.

Note: Since you are eating with your hands, wash them before you eat and immediately after you are done or you will certainly smell the spices every time you get your fingers near your nose for the next few days so trust me when I say wash your hands immediately. 

849 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 829-1939


Best Dinner Spots in Tempe, Arizona

1.Culinary Dropout at The Yard – reservation recommended

The Culinary Dropout is situated in an artsy shed and has a cool and chic vibe with plenty of seating both indoors and out.

This is the perfect restaurant for hanging out with your girlfriends or your daughter after a long day of exploring Tempe. 

In the evenings there’s usually live music playing which is pretty nice if you love music and need to unwind.  

The food was delicious and flavourful which included a variety of dishes from vegetarian, fish and meat options.

I personally enjoyed their cocktails which are made with fresh ingredients and just what I needed to beat the heat of hot Tempe weather.

149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 240-1601


2. Rustler’s Rooste

We did not get a chance to go to Rustler’s Rooste but I heard nothing but good things about this restaurant especially the sweeping views of Tempe and beyond so it’s definitely on my list when I return to Tempe.  

The atmosphere is very “wild west” which is a given I suppose since you are in Arizona.  

8383 S. 48th St., Tempe, AZ 85044

(602) 431-6474


3. Snakes & Lattes in Downtown Tempe

Snakes & Lattes is the perfect spot if you are on a mother daughter trip? of course! 

Maddie and I were pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere, the food, cocktails for me and how friendly the staff was by making sure we understood how the restaurant works.

Snakes & Lattes is right in the heart of ASU which was perfect for our last night in Tempe because we both were tired and just wanted to grab dinner and go straight back to the room.

Once we got there and saw all the board games we could play while we waited on our dinner we seemed to perk us up and we played games for well over 2 hours! 

For a $5 fee per person, you can play any of the 1,000 plus board games they have for as long as you want and trust me when I say they have every game known to man, I really mean that.  

 20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 361-6644

Instagram: @snakesandlattestempe

Dinner and shopping at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace is the place to be for shopping, dining, drinking, browsing and all of the entertainment your teen can handle at one time. 

Maddie and I decided to check out the Tempe Marketplace after our relaxing massages. 

We enjoyed walking around, laughing, talking about boys, and how she felt about ASU campus. After picking up a few items we decide to have lunch at Gen Korean BBQ which was absolutely delicious. 

With over 100 shops and restaurants and 300 events a year, Tempe Marketplace is the ultimate Tempe destination and below is a list of my favorite restaurants at Tempe Marketplace

1.Thirsty Lion 

The Thirsty lion is awesome gastropub with a diverse with Asian, Mexican or American dishes to choose from therefore you won’t have a hard time finding something yummy to eat. 

The pub was packed with people of all ages and they all seemed to be having a great time. 

The Thirsty Lion was so packed we decided not to wait and headed over to Gen Koren BBQ but the menu looked amazing from the poke stack, California rolls and sushi.  

There are also plenty of tv screens to watch games or music videos while you wait on your food.

2. Gen Korean BBQ

Gen Korean BBQ was Maddie’s favorite restaurant in Tempe and she is still talking about Gen Korean BBQ!  It’s an all you can eat, grill your own food, Korean Style bbq restaurant located in the Tempe Town Mall.

This was our first experience where we had to grill our own food so I was thoroughly confused about what to do, what to order, and how to cook the food.

Our waitress was patient as she and my daughter kept looking at each other wondering if I graduated from elementary school.   

I designated Maddie as the cook and she thought she was being featured on the Cooking Channel by the way she was adding extra seasoning and ensuring the meat didn’t burn on the grill.  

I must say the food was amazing and make sure to ask for the kimchi, pickled daikon radish and edamame sides along with the salad. 

Because I was traveling with a teen I always need a cocktail to help keep me out of jail so I decided to try the adult version of the Capri Sun.

The beverage comes in a variety of tropical flavors (complete with a fun flashing colored ice cube!).

A truly fun experience for adults and kids alike! 

3. Kabuki 

Kabuki is the place to go to unwind and have a terrific dining experience whether you are with your mini me or your girlfriends. 

The cocktails are exquisite and the food is just divine so I suggest starting with a cosmopolitan or a dirty vodka martini with olives.  

Order the barbeque beef ribs and tempura for starters and for your entree I suggest ordering the shrimp fried rice, Chilean sea bass or the shrimp tempura. 

2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 966-9338

Instagram: @tempemarketplace

Where To Eat in Tempe, Arizona

Best Arizona Day Trips from Tempe 

1. Sedona, Arizona 

For some of the most stunning views, a road trip to Sedona is an ideal way to spend the day.

This Arizona day trip is only a 2-hour drive from Tempe and will bring you past breathtaking views and Instagram worthy photos.

Upon arrival in Sedona, be sure to keep an eye out for some of the infamous rock formations. Bell Rock is Sedona’s most photographed rock formation.

Consider a mother-daughter hiking trip to see this beautiful formation. Bell Rock Pathway is a 3.6-mile loop trail that offers Instagram-worthy views of the formation itself, plus Courthouse Butte.

Other notable formations to keep an eye out for including Cathedral Rock, Thunder Mountain, and Snoopy Rock. If you only have a few hours in Sedona, you and your daughter may enjoy a Sedona Trolley Ride.

This narrated tour of the area, its history, and geological interests provides two routes that take about an hour each and are a great way to get your bearings in the stunning town.   

2. Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona

Back in the 1890′s Goldfield boasted 3 saloons, a boarding house, general store, blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market and a schoolhouse.

Just when it looked like the town would outgrow Mesa, the vein faulted and the town died a slow painful death.

After several unsuccessful attempts to reopen the mines, the town did come to life again from 1910 on and off until 1926.

After more than 115 years, travelers from all over the world still visit this gold mining town located on the historic Apache Trail and enjoy the excitement and grandeur of Arizona’s wild west!

Maddie and I had a wonderful time visiting Goldfield. Is it touristy? Of course but it is a very unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world and this one of the Arizona day trips you dont want to miss!

Maddie is HUGE history buff so she was curious but the word Ghost Town had her scared to death and she kept saying she needed sage so we wouldn’t bring any evil spirits back with us. 

There is a saloon where you can have lunch and there were horses tied up outside and it felt like we had been taken back to the late 1890’s.

Goldfield was surprisingly fun place to walk and imagine life as it was during the gold rush days.

3. Tortilla Flat on the Apache Trail

There was no way we could visit Goldfield without going to Tortilla Flat.  Tortilla Flat is an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range.

Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this stop along the Historic Apache Trail.

The drive to Tortilla Flat was amazing from the stunning views of the mountains, seeing cactus in real life, hearing all about the legends of the area, to the gold mining stores of Superstition Mountain this was one amazing day trip. 

Once you arrive to the small town of Tortilla Flat mosey down the boardwalk and visit the Superstition Saloon and Restaurant.

Real saddles serve as bar stools where you can enjoy a cold brew or sarsaparilla.

The unique wallpaper is made from real dollar bills from visitors all around the world and Maddie wanted us to leave a dollar but I was like Nah I good I gotta feed a growing teen. 

Speaking of feeding a growing teen the restaurant serves the freshest burgers, hottest chili and the coldest drinks everyday.

After you have had time to walk off the great food, stop at the Country Store and enjoy a scoop of their World Famous Prickly Pear ice cream or pick up some snacks for the trip back to Tempe. 

Before you drive back to Tempe visit the Mercantile/Gift Shop which is full of amazing treasures including Indian Pottery, Jewelry, Unique Tortilla Flat Apparel and many more unique items.

WINTER HOURS October 1st – May 31st

Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 7pm

SUMMER HOURS June 1st – September 30th

Monday & Tuesday, CLOSED; Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 7pm

4. Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona

Old Town Scottsdale is just a short drive from Tempe and will provide a Western feel to your mother-daughter trip.

Whether you’re a fan of all things country or not, Old Town Scottsdale is worth a visit.

With unique shopping experiences and a variety of Native American jewelry, arts, and textiles, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your Southwestern mother-daughter trip. 

5. Flagstaff, Arizona

Walnut Canyon in Flagstaff is a remarkable National Monument with hiking trails and expansive beauty all around.

Spend a day meandering through the canyon to experience quintessential Arizona.

If astronomy is of interest, the Lowell Observatory is a location to visit in near Flagstaff.

The observatory operates telescopes in several locations throughout Flagstaff and provides visitors an amazing view of the open desert sky.

Whether you wish to add incorporate an observatory trip into your mother-daughter vacation as an extension of what she’s learning at school, or you’re just a fan of the stars and planets this is a must-visit.     

Best Mother Daughter Weekend Trips

Free Things To Do In Tempe, Arizona

Planning a weekend getaway can be expensive if you don’t plan accordingly so if you are on a budget there are tons of free things to do Tempe that will keep you entertained and your budget intact.

Admission is many of the museums in Tempe are free including events ASU. 

Here is a list of my top free things to do in Tempe this weekend.

1. The ASU Art Museum

The ASU Art Museum exhibits national and international contemporary artists, with a focus on Latin American art.

The Museum houses the largest collection of Cuban art in the U.S. and an award-winning print collection. Exhibitions change seasonally. Admission is free.

ASU Tempe Campus

51 E. 10th St.

Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 965-2787


2. Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail

Maddie and I had such a fun and interesting experience climbing Camelback Mountain.

As I stated earlier my husband purchased a Peloton so I thought the trails around Tempe would be a breeze but the way I was breathing and the way my thighs were burning I was clearly mistaken for thinking I was somewhat fit. 

While this mountain is somewhat challenging it is do-able! You don’t necessarily need hiking boots, but you do need shoes with tread on them and please DO NOT forget to bring plenty of water or you will be almost dead by the time you make it to the top.

Cholla Trail is located along the ridge of Camelback Mountain, the highest point in the Phoenix Mountain at 2,704 ft. 

Hikers experience a steady 1.6 mile climb with a fairly exposed section of ridge hiking towards the top.

6131 E. Cholla Ln.

Paradise Valley, AZ, 85253

(602) 261-8318

3. Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon

If you are an avid outdoor enthusiast I would recommend Camelback Mountain Echo Trail.

This trail is less of a hike and more of a rock climbing adventure.  Rest assured you will be sore for days and I mean days after hiking Echo Canyon.  

Please Do NOT go in the middle of the day when it is hot because you will regret believing oh it’s just a hike and you will be ok.  

I suggest going very early in the morning and if you get up there by six or seven you can see the sunrise which is spectacular!

Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon is one of the more difficult  hikes near Tempe.

The trail ascends rapidly over a short distance. Hikers can experience a climb over rocky trails and boulders. The  trail length is 1.23 miles one way.

5700 N. Echo Canyon Pkwy.

Phoenix, AZ, 85018

(602) 261-8318

4. Tempe Center for the Arts

Located on the banks of the Tempe Town Lake, the Tempe Center for the Arts offers stunning views of Camelback Mountain and is a perfect Mother Daughter date night if your teen is into the arts like Maddie.  

While we were there Maddie was able to experience the Mythology Ornament Making event along with the Myths, Maps and Legends Exhibit which featured artists who used printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art to create visual stories.  

There’s also a lakeside multipurpose room, a theater, a studio space, and an outdoor patio.

The Tempe Center for the Arts is home to a number of performance groups based in the metro area including ConderDance, Tempe Symphony Orchestra, Lakeshore Music, Arizona Wind Symphony, and Desert Dance Theater.

Walk-in Wednesday open mic is a free if you are visiting Tempe during the week and is a great way to immerse yourself in the local music scene and event occurs every Wednesday. 

Not many cities can boast of a free gallery but the Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts is always FREE!

On Friday and Saturday nights, September through May, EDGE Happy Hour events offer free live music and performances and special prices for drinks and small bites. 

700 W. Rio Salado Parkway

Tempe, AZ 85281

Box Office: 480-350-2822

Where To Stay in Tempe, Arizona

1.Tempe Mission Palms

Tempe Mission Palms is located in the heart of vibrant Downtown Tempe and features a newly renovated lobby and guestrooms.

The best part of Tempe Mission Palms is location, location, location.  

It’s conveniently located near two Valley Metro Rail stops, connecting guests to downtown Phoenix, the airport, tons of restaurants, and the ASU Tempe Campus.

Maddie and I made Tempe Mission Palm home for 4 days and I’m so glad we did. 

We enjoyed every waking minute at the hotel from the room service we ordered from Harry’s Bar and Mission Grill to the valet service.  

Maddie and I were able to walk to restaurants, shops and taverns and it is also within walking distance of the Arizona State University Tempe Campus, ASU Art Museum, and Broadway show at ASU Gammage.

Click here if Tempe Mission Palms is right for you.


2. Stay Alfred on Rio Salado

Book a stylish travel apartment by hospitality leader Stay Alfred. Guests enjoy high-end furnishings, a full kitchen, washer & dryer, and 24/7 customer service.

Perfect for both business and leisure travelers, this Downtown Tempe location is within walking distance to Mill Avenue, ASU, restaurants, and attractions, as well as a quick drive to Old Town Scottsdale.

Click here if Stay Alfred is right for you.


3. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe

This Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hotel is historically renowned for attentive hospitality with generously sized and well-appointed guest rooms.

Not to mention, warm chocolate chip cookies upon your arrival.

Services and amenities include free shuttle service to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and nearby attractions, free fitness center access with the onsite Absolute Vitality Spa, free hotel-wide WiFi, aquatic recreation area with poolside food service, and two unique dining outlets for family meals and after-hours entertainment.

Arizona State University (ASU) is located minutes from The DoubleTree.

Guests can take the hotel’s free shuttle to ASU, Tempe Town Lake, Broadway shows at ASU Gammage and Downtown Tempe, with more than 100 restaurants, microbreweries, and entertainment venues.

Click here if the Double Tree is right for you.


4. The Embassy Suites Phoenix-Tempe

The Embassy Suites Phoenix-Tempe is conveniently located at the US 60 and Rural Road in Tempe and offers complimentary airport transportation.

The hotel is the only all-suite, full-service property in Tempe and is a perfect place for a mother daughter getaway or families traveling to Tempe.

The Embassy Suites Phoenix Tempe offers a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, a nightly manager’s beverage reception, a resort-like outdoor pool and whirlpool, and WiFi access.

Within a few miles of the hotel you can visit Arizona Mills, SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, Harkin’s IMAX theater, Arizona State University, and Downtown Tempe.

Click here if Embassy Suites Phoenix- Tempe is right for you.


Conclusion of Things to Do In Tempe 

Tempe Arizona Tourism Office offers some great resources for planning your mother-daughter trip to Tempe Arizona.

When planning your trip, it’s important to take into account the Tempe climate and weather. It is sunny the majority of the year and Tempe gets very little rainfall.

Some of the best months for visiting Tempe are early Spring and late Fall. November, April, and March are ideal months to visit Tempe.

The Arizona sun is hot, whenever you plan on going, always be sure to pack sunscreen, extra water, and comfortable shoes. 

Tempe Arizona is a fantastic getaway destination for anyone, but for families planning a trip, this city in the Valley of the Sun provides a variety of things to do for all ages and interests. 

Tempe Beach Park hosts community events throughout the year and provides recreational activities regularly.

Visitors can rent boats and paddleboards, run or walk the trails and rent bikes to explore Tempe Town Lake.

 It won’t cost a cent to attend many of the events at ASU, Tempe Marketplace, Downtown Tempe or Tempe Center for the Arts.

Take a hike, go on a bike ride, see public art, or take the kids to a splash pad.

While the town’s population is just under 200,000, Tempe has a nice mix of small-town charm and a busy tourist destination. 

Tempe is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.  We learned so much about what makes Arizona a unique destination no matter who you are with!

Experience Tempe hospitality, attractions, hikes, and local shopping that reflect true outdoor living. BOOK YOUR  TEMPE MOTHER DAUGHTER VACATION TODAY!

Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE  Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!

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Do any of my top things to do in Tempe, Arizona peak your curiosity? 

Are you planning a weekend getaway or looking for things to do in Tempe this weekend?  I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Best Mother Daughter Vacations


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