My full-time real estate career takes me all over the valley. As I talk with my clients, I can get a feel of what they are looking for in a home. But there’s a bigger picture in mind. The people. The neighborhood. The community. What do they picture doing on the weekends? Whether it’s hiking or perusing through a local farmer’s market, finding a home is so much more than where you place your head at night. Through a series of Valley of the Sun Community blogs, I will be featuring several local communities that may give you a new yearning to be there, to connect there, and to live life there. So let me ask you…what area you want to call home?
If it has been a while since you’ve been to Tempe, it’s time to give it a second look. With a thriving culture of eclectic restaurants, museums, shops, and ASU (Arizona State University for all the non-locals) campus, there’s always something to do. Walking through downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue gives you a sense of the life here.
You’ll quit eating chain food restaurants when you discover the sacred dining district in this part of town. You never have to leave your own town to experience flavors from all over the globe in the local eateries. House of Tricks offers a relaxed dining experience and a menu that is sure to satisfy any craving. Feast on Korean baby back ribs, house smoked salmon, or seared scallops. Don’t forget to end your meal with a salted caramel-apple bread pudding topped with cinnamon whipped cream
Meet friends for Sunday morning brunch at Postino. The quaint establishments serves up ciabatta French toast and breakfast sandwiches whipped up with only the freshest ingredients. Check out the wine selection for seasonally rotating menu. Take in your whole experience while sitting on the patio.
If morning runs or getting on the water are your thing, Tempe offers plenty of parks and water recreation. You’ll soon find your own favorite hotspot for all those sunny desert days when you want to be outside.
One of the most popular spots for everybody- locals and visitors alike- is Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake. Town Lake boasts the title for largest Independence Day celebration in the state! But there’s a plethora of activities around the calendar. Check out the Fantasy in Lights Boat Parade in December and Ironman Arizona in November. Competitive runners enjoy marathons such as The Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, The Color Run, and Run the Distance for Parkinsons.
Hiking or biking fanatic? Explore the network of trails at Papago Park. You will enjoy the natural setting and find some of the best views that the Tempe area has to offer. The park features an archery range, fishing lagoon, and baseball facility. The Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens are conveniently located.
You always hear to think local, buy local, and support local. Here’s your chance! Tempe Farmers Market specializes in organic and local products. If you want to eat healthy or just try out new ingredients, they can guide you towards what you want. Grab a specialty latte at the coffee bar while you are taking it all in.
Find a workshop or class for the whole family at the Tempe Center of the Arts. The events calendar is jammed packed with educational classes to weave in history, art, and fun.
Sea Life Arizona offers an interactive aquarium with touch pools and a 360 degree tunnel. Spend a day observing the likes of lionfish, octopus, and sharks. Be sure to stop by and visit Ziva, the aquarium’s very own resident endangered sea turtle!
Become a hometown tourist
I know what you’re thinking…. “Erin, why would I do something so “tourist-y”?” My response is you’re seeing the city from a whole new perspective. And if we’re being honest, you know you’re curious about how fast a segway goes. Take one around Tempe Town Park. Is there any better way to get to see your own town?
If that doesn’t sound like your speed, there’s plenty of other ways to experience the city. Rent a boat and spend the day on the water, take an electric bike through the trails, or even see the views by hot air balloon!
A Culture of Art, Food, and Music
Calling all art lovers! Tempe Festival of the Arts is consistently hailed as one of the top art shows in the nation and is the recipient for the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. While locals can enjoy this bi-yearly event in the spring and fall in their own backyard, visitors from all over the country come to this three-day weekend event. Arts range from photography to ceramics and jewelry but not everybody is invited to participate. A jury selects the top artists to showcase their work to ensure that guests are viewing the best of the best. As many as 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets displaying unique and hand-made artwork that offers a distinctive shopping experience. In addition to the art, the festival also features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, and street performers for the whole family. Grab lunch and enjoy the day!
Beer and wine bars are a specialty here in Tempe. Tap into your more refined side (we all have one, right?) at the Arizona Wine Festival for tastings and sales by the glass, bottle, or case. Or if wine isn’t your drink of choice, The Great Arizona Beer Festival features local microbrewery sampling and sales. Be sure to bring along a DD!
Live the college life
Ahhhhh, life in a college town. The Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) is situated perfectly in Tempe and adds exactly what a community needs. Of course, there’s always collegiate sporting events and Friday night pep rallies. There’s something special about strolling through campus on a beautiful morning. If you want Broadway performances, look no further than the Gammage located on campus. The school has a nationally recognized film school so check out the calendar of events opened to the public.
If you’re interested in looking at real estate in Tempe, consult a native from the Valley of the Sun! I’ll be able to find your dream home in your dream community! Call me- Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.