Local Attractions

In the heart of the Valley of the Sun, Tempe is centrally located in the Metropolitan Phoenix area. Full of youthful energy and optimism, Tempe is a place where you can be yourself and enjoy the outdoors. We have an average temperature of 73 degrees, with more than 300 days of sunshine.
Below are some popular attractions in the Tempe area. Visit Tempe Tourism’s Things to Do for additional information on locations, events, places to eat, and much more. Download a copy of the Tempe Visitor’s Guide here. Read on to learn about some of our favorite hangouts, and Welcome...we’re glad you’re here.

Downtown Tempe

Within a mile radius of the Mission Palms Hotel, you’ll find a plethora of things to do in Downtown Tempe. Feast on international flavors, drink award-winning microbrews, grab a coffee or bubble tea, shop locally, view contemporary masterpieces, see a Broadway show, go on a hike, paddle on the lake and visit one of the largest universities in the U.S. It is a Downtown unlike any other in Arizona.
Tempe Town Lake is only .5 mile (.8 km) north of the Mission Palms hotel. A complete loop around the lake is 7.5 miles (12 km) - with shorter loop options available. It’s a beautiful area to walk, jog, bike or rent a kayak or paddle board.

Getting Around

There are many ways to get around in Tempe Public transportation connections to downtown Phoenix or Mesa, and Sky Harbor International Airport are easy to navigate. The Tempe Transportation Center is located .2 mi east of the Mission Palms hotel. Catch the light rail west to downtown Phoenix or east to downtown Mesa for additional food, beverage, arts and entertainment options. Or take the Orbit, Tempe’s free shuttle connecting downtown to various locations throughout Tempe. For short connections, you can easily rent Bird Scooters and Grid Bicycles nearby. Tempe is a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community and one of the leading bike communities in the country with 215 miles of bikeways. Uber and Lyft are readily available as well.


Settle in for a delicious meal at one of Tempe’s many cafes and eateries downtown and throughout the city. Choose from a wide array of full service to counter service cafes as well as dishes from around the world. Explore additional nearby dining options here. Highly recommended: Matt’s Big BreakfastSnoozeCafe LalibelaOriginal Chop Shop, the ChuckboxPostino’sThai Basil.

Boba (Bubble) Tea

If Boba Tea is your thing, check out these delicious options nearby and in the greater Phoenix area.

For Vegans & Vegetarians

Looking for a restaurant with a solid selection of vegan and vegetarian menu options? From cozy cafes to eateries offering cuisine from all over the world, you'll find lots of options for vegan or vegetarian dishes. Try Cafe Lalibela Ethiopian CuisineLoving HutDesert Roots KitchenPita Jungle, and the Bodhi.

Quick Bites

In a rush and need something delish? From local hits to convenient favorites, Downtown Tempe has you covered with quick bites that will surpass anyone’s appetite! Check out our list of on-the-go restaurants in Downtown Tempe. Poke2U, Five Guys, Slices on Mill, Steak n Shake, and Pita Pit, are a few close, quick spots. There’s also aWhole Foods with a large selection of prepared foods, cafe seating, and a bar at University and Ash.


Sparky’s CreameryThe Baked BearRita’s Italian Ice & Frozen CustardSlickablesChurroholicBubbleologyChunk Cookies...

Coffee Lovers

Need a coffee fix? Whether you prefer lattes and cold brews or are more of a cookies and cream, white chocolate, molten lava mocha type... there’s a coffee shop in Tempe that will fulfill your coffee cravings. Highly recommended: Cartel Coffee Lab (University & Ash), King Coffee (on Mill across from Gammage), Royal Coffee BarDutch Bros- there are also several Starbucks within a short range of the hotel. Beyond Tempe, the greater Phoenix area has many authentic, cozy coffee houses, easily accessed by taking the Valley Metro Rail west to Phoenix or east to Mesa.

Breweries & Craft Beer

Some of Arizona’s favorite local beers are made right here in Tempe. From Tempe’s original microbrewery, Four Peaks Brewing Company (tours available), to newer breweries such as Pedal Haus BreweryHuss Brewing CompanySleepy Dog Saloon & Brewery (dog friendly!), The Shop Beer Co...Tempe is a big part of the emerging craft beer culture in the Southwest. Explore additional Nightlife options here. Also recommended: Casey Moore’sFat Tuesday, and the Handlebar.

Snakes and Lattes is a neat place with a great menu that has something for everyone, including coffee, beer, wine, and a huge library of thousands of old and new games in a spacious setting. Low Key Piano Bar is the place to go for lively piano music and Sunbar Tempe is another great place for music and fun.

Arts and Culture
The ASU Art Museum is always free - located .5 mile (.8 km) from the hotel. The ASU Ceramics Research Center is even closer, and also free.
The Phoenix Art Museum is located in downtown Phoenix - take the westbound Valley Metro Rail to the McDowell & Central Station stop. The Heard Museum, showcasing American Indian art and culture, is also in downtown Phoenix - take the westbound Valley Metro Rail to the Encanto & Central Station stop.
The Musical Instrument Museum, or MIM, is worth a visit. MIM displays more than 7,000 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. State-of-the-art audio and video technologies allow guests to see the instruments, hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original contexts - it’s truly a spectacular place to spend an afternoon. Located in north Scottsdale - take an Uber/Lyft.

See a Broadway Musical or Play
Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium is a multipurpose performing arts center (located half a mile from our hotel) within the main campus of Arizona State University. The auditorium, named for former ASU President Grady Gammage, is considered to be one of the last public commissions of Frank Lloyd Wright.
And speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright, there are about a dozen Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the greater Phoenix area, including Taliesin West, Wright’s winter home.

Get Outside
With 300+ sunny days annually, it is easy to get outside, go on an adventure and enjoy the great outdoors in Tempe.
How many cities have a mountain in the middle of their downtown? Hayden Butte, locally called “A” Mountain (located behind the hotel), provides a quick, vertical jaunt that provides a bird’s eye view of Tempe and Metro Phoenix. The butte is culturally significant to three communities: the people of Tempe, Arizona State University students and alumni, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The butte contains approximately 500 petroglyphs that were made by the Hohokam between A.D. 750 and 1450. The Hohokam were the prehistoric inhabitants of this area, and built hundreds of miles of irrigation canals and lived in many settlements throughout the valley.
There are numerous fantastic hiking opportunities, all less than 15 miles from the Mission Palms hotel in the surrounding Phoenix area.
South Mountain Preserve- at over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the world.
Papago Park (Park Trail Maps) - just minutes from downtown Tempe, a beautiful place to hike around the red butte formations, including the iconic Hole-in-the-Rock. Adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.
Camelback Mountain- Camelback Mountain is a Phoenix icon and popular outdoor destination. Two extremely difficult trails (Echo Canyon and Cholla) reward hikers with 360-degree views of the city.
Phoenix Mountains Preserve- located in the heart of Central Phoenix, Phoenix Mountains Preserve expansive Sonoran Desert trails will make you feel like you’ve left the city.

Need a yoga fix after a long day of presentations?
There are at least 8 yoga studios within 2 miles of Tempe Mission Palms. Yoga to the People is just across the street from the hotel.

Here is a nice map for the area!

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