Family Friendly Tour Guide: TEMPE, ARIZONA


A few weeks ago, we had the honor of being the guests of Tempe Tourism in Tempe, a hip little town located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix. I grew up in Arizona, and a lot of my family still lives there. But even though I am familiar with the state, there is something magical about getting to play tourist and seeing it through the lens of our two-year-old daughter.

Arizona holds an extraordinary place in my heart and my fondness for Tempe, in particular, grew so much over the duration of this trip. We hope you get the chance to visit soon!

Below is a family-friendly tour guide on everything you need to see and do in Tempe, Arizona. Enjoy!

Family Friendly Tour Guide of Tempe Arizona


1.. Desert Botanical Garden: This is the most beautiful exhibition of what the desert has to offer. We had the best time exploring the grounds and admiring all the plants and colorful sculptures. I had forgotten what a vast variety of flora the desert had to offer and I was blown away by this garden. They even have a butterfly exhibit that is perfect for the kids! Oh, and lunch at Gertrude's, the restaurant on site that is just to die for! I will talk more about it below.

2. Tempe Town Lake: Take your family kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding and rowing on the lake or jogging, skating and picnicking along the lake shore. Check out Tempe Boat Rentals to book your watercraft, which includes electric boats! They even have electric bikes available to rent to take on the beautiful five-mile stretch of pathways in the park next to the lake.

3. Papago Park: This park holds a special place in my heart. Perry and I took photos here as newlyweds and I was so eager to bring our daughter back to enjoy the sites. This desert preserve features nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. It is so picturesque. All within walking distance from your car, you can see beautiful red rocks, towering palm trees, and ponds with ducks! Plus, there is a playground in the park and it's located right next to the Phoenix Zoo.


4. 6th Street Market: This market is open from 11 AM to 4 PM every Sunday through April 22nd and it's located in the heart of Downtown Tempe. Enjoy art, live music and local shopping! A perfect way to tour the streets of Tempe with your family.

5. Cruise Mill Avenue: Downtown Tempe is super fun to experience as well. There are so many amazing restaurants, shops and public art. It is a lively town and we had a blast just people watching and walking around.

6. Arizona Mills mall: If you and your family like shopping, Arizona Mills mall is a great place to bring the whole family. Located inside the mall is not only great stores but LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Sea Life Arizona Aquarium. Pretty neat that the parents can get in some shopping and entertain the kids!

7. Hike "A" Mountain: At the top of this mountain in Downtown Tempe you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the lake, ASU and even some neat rock drawings left hundreds of years ago by the Hohokam people.

8. ASU Art Museum: For our art lovers out there, tour this stunning contemporary art museum which focuses on highlighting Latin American art. Admission is always FREE!!


Resturant: Gertrude's 

Resturant: Gertrude's 

1. Gertrude's: Located at the Desert Botanical Garden, this restaurant features fresh ingredients directly from the farm and pasture to the plate. Enjoy their quaint patio and eat the most delicious food under the Arizona sun.

2. Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe: This is the perfect place to take the family! Not only does this gastro-pub offer the most delicious food (try their butternut squash salad for you and their grilled cheese on bread made fresh in house every day for your little), but located on site are places to play corn hole, ping pong and more!

3. NCounter: This is the best breakfast and brunch spot. It has this casual family-friendly environment and the specialty coffee drinks and house-made pastries are out of this world!

4. Postino Annex: Do mom and dad like wine? Then this is the place for you. You will love the vintage garage doors and pop-culture artwork, and you guys, their bruschetta boards are to die for!

5. The Crepe Bar: We loved starting our mornings out with a sweet or savory crepe! They are all made fresh to order and it's such a darling little place to start the day.



1. Courtyard by Marriott Tempe Downtown: This is where we stayed, and talk about location, location, location! We could walk everywhere! The Bistro onsite restaurant made it easy to grab a quick snack for our family and the hotel staff was so nice. Winter was quite sick during our stay, and they even brought her up a new bath toy to try to brighten her spirits.


2. Tempe Mission Palms: This hotel is also located in a very convenient location. The grounds are really pretty, and the fountain coupled with the smell of the citrus in the courtyard sets the tone for a relaxing stay in Tempe.

3. Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes: If you are willing to spend a little more money, then look no further. I was blown away by the pools and the backdrop of a majestic hillside butte. This place is really something special.

Thanks, Tempe Tourism for helping me fall in love all over again with the desert! We will come back soon!

*This post was sponsored by Tempe Tourism. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.