Welcome to Tempe, Arizona! As a guest artist at Sentient Tattoo Collective, you’re in for an unforgettable experience, both in the studio and beyond. Tempe is a treasure trove of culture, cuisine, and adventure, perfect for exploring in your downtime. Let’s dive into some of the best activities and eateries this dynamic city has to offer.
Outdoor Adventures and Nature:
- Tempe Town Lake: Just a stone’s throw from downtown, this urban lake is ideal for a leisurely stroll, bike ride, or even paddleboarding. The picturesque views at sunset are a must-see.
- Papago Park: Offering easy to moderate trails, it’s known for its distinctive red sandstone formations and is home to the Hole-in-the-Rock, a popular spot for photos.
- South Mountain Park and Preserve: As one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, it offers more than 50 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The trails range from easy to challenging, offering something for every level of hiker.
- A-Mountain (Hayden Butte): This is a popular short hike right in Tempe. The trail is relatively easy and offers great views of the city and Tempe Town Lake.
- Piestewa Peak: Located in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, it offers more challenging trails and stunning views of the Phoenix metropolitan area. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Tempe.
- Desert Botanical Garden: A short drive from Tempe, this garden showcases the beauty of desert flora. It’s not just a garden; it’s an outdoor museum of living plants!
Brews and Bites:
- Four Peaks Brewery: A haven for craft beer lovers. Don’t miss their signature Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale. They also offer a tasty menu that pairs perfectly with their brews.
- Social Hall: This trendy spot is perfect for unwinding. Enjoy their eclectic menu, games, and vibrant atmosphere.
- Pedal Haus Brewery: Known for their wide selection of craft beers and a spacious patio, it’s a great spot to relax after a day’s work. The brewery often hosts live music and events.
- The Shop Beer Co.: This local brewery offers a cozy ambiance and an impressive selection of craft beers, including some creative and experimental brews.
- Huss Brewing Co. Taproom: Located at Tempe’s Marina Heights, it’s a wonderful spot to enjoy a variety of locally brewed beers with a view of Tempe Town Lake.
- Hundred Mile Brewing Company: A stellar addition to Tempe’s craft beer scene, offering unique and flavorful brews. Their inviting taproom is perfect for unwinding and sampling a diverse range of beers.
- Chuck Box: A local favorite for burgers, this cash-only joint is a true taste of Tempe. Simple, delicious, and absolutely iconic.
- Cornish Pasty Co.: Indulge in a British classic with a twist. Their variety of pasties (stuffed pastries) are hearty and full of flavor.
- Culinary Dropout: This laid-back gastropub serves hearty meals, artisanal cocktails, and features live music, making it a perfect spot for a relaxed evening.
- Postino Annex: Known for their bruschetta boards and extensive wine selection, this place offers a great atmosphere in a modern, yet cozy setting.
- Society by EVO: This trendy spot serves not only exceptional food but also a great ambiance. The menu is a delightful mix of modern American and Italian cuisines, perfect for a classy dinner.
- Spinato’s: A go-to for pizza lovers, Spinato’s serves up some of the best Italian-style pizzas in Tempe, along with a selection of other Italian favorites.
- Via 313: Originally from Austin, Texas, Via 313 brings its mouthwatering Detroit-style pizza to Tempe. Their thick, square pizzas with crispy edges are a must-try for any pizza aficionado.
Vegan & Vegetarian friendly options:
- Pita Jungle: This place is a paradise for health-conscious eaters. Their menu is filled with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, many of which are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
- Green New American Vegetarian: A must-visit for anyone craving creative vegan dishes. From hearty burgers to delicious salads, their menu is a testament to the variety and flavor possible in plant-based cooking.
- Desert Roots Kitchen: This cozy spot offers a rotating menu of vegan and vegetarian fare, with global influences. Their fresh, homemade dishes are both nutritious and satisfying.
- Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen: While they serve a variety of dishes, their vegan and gluten-free options are particularly noteworthy. Their vegan pizzas and pasta dishes are full of flavor and creativity.
Sweet Treats in Tempe:
- Voodoo Doughnut: Famous for their quirky and creative doughnuts, Voodoo Doughnut is a wonderland for anyone with a sweet tooth. From classic to wildly imaginative, their doughnuts are a treat for both the eyes and the palate.
- Mochinut: For something different, Mochinut offers a delightful fusion of mochi and donuts, creating a unique and chewy texture. They also serve a variety of Asian-inspired beverages.
- The Paleta Bar: Dive into a world of Mexican-style ice pops with unique flavors and toppings. It’s a refreshing treat, especially on a hot Tempe day.
- Crumbl Cookies: Known for their weekly rotating menu, Crumbl Cookies serves up warm, gourmet cookies ranging from timeless classics to innovative new flavors.
- Chunk Cookies: For those who love their cookies rich and chunky, this is the place. Their indulgent, generously-sized cookies are perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings.
- Infusion Coffee & Tea: Known for their artisanal approach, Infusion offers some of the finest hand-crafted coffee and tea in Tempe. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxed coffee experience.
- Ziggi’s Coffee: A vibrant and friendly coffee shop, Ziggi’s is great for those who appreciate a good cup of coffee in a lively atmosphere.
- Brick Road Coffee: This charming café offers excellent coffee and a welcoming space, ideal for artists seeking inspiration or a quiet corner to sketch or write.
- Cartel Coffee Lab: A local favorite, Cartel is known for its high-quality, ethically sourced coffee and minimalist, modern vibe.
- Snakes & Lattes: A unique coffee shop that combines coffee with board games. It’s a fun place to unwind, play a game, and enjoy a great selection of drinks and light bites.
Shopping and Entertainment:
- Tempe Marketplace: An open-air mall with a wide range of shops, restaurants, and often live music. It’s a great place to hang out, shop, and dine.
- Old Town Scottsdale: Just a short drive from Tempe, Old Town Scottsdale is a must-visit for shopping enthusiasts. Known for its unique boutiques, art galleries, and Southwestern jewelry shops, it’s a place where you can find everything from high-end fashion to local crafts. Don’t miss the Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the largest shopping malls in the Southwest.
Art and Museums:
- Tempe Center for the Arts: Check out this architectural beauty for a dose of culture. They host a variety of live performances and visual arts events.
- Phoenix Art Museum: Just a short drive from Tempe, this museum is the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. It offers a vast collection spanning from the Renaissance to the present day, including fashion design, Western American, and Latin American art.
- Heard Museum: Renowned for its dedication to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard Museum presents an array of traditional and contemporary art. The museum’s exhibitions and collections provide a unique perspective on the stories and artistry of Native American peoples.
- ASU Art Museum: Located within Arizona State University, this museum is a hub for innovation and discovery. It features contemporary art, with a particular focus on Latin American art and crafts, and offers an array of rotating exhibitions.
- Arizona Heritage Center: For those interested in the state’s history, this center in Tempe provides fascinating insights into Arizona’s past, with interactive exhibits that bring the region’s history to life.
- Tempe History Museum: A great place to learn about the local history of Tempe, this museum offers engaging exhibits on the social and cultural history of the area.
- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA): Located in nearby Scottsdale, this museum is a haven for lovers of contemporary art and design. SMoCA offers thought-provoking modern art exhibitions and installations.
- Arizona Science Center: For a mix of science and art, the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix is a fantastic destination. It offers interactive exhibits and an immersive planetarium, perfect for artists interested in the interplay between art and science.
- Scottsdale’s Museum of the West: This museum showcases the art, history, and culture of the American West. It’s a great place to gain inspiration from the landscapes, peoples, and stories that shaped the western United States.
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Day Trips Worth Taking:
- Sedona: About two hours north, Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual retreats. It’s a great spot for hiking, photography, and simply soaking in the serene beauty.
- Tucson: Located south of the Phoenix area, Tucson offers a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican influences, evident in its architecture and cuisine. Don’t miss the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Tempe is more than just a stopover; it’s a vibrant community brimming with experiences waiting to be discovered. As a guest artist at Sentient Tattoo Collective, you’re perfectly positioned to enjoy all the richness this city offers. We can’t wait to see how these local flavors and sights inspire your artistry!