Arizona State University calls Tempe home, and the Los Angeles Angels baseball team is a part-time resident, which brings a youthful vibrancy to this Arizona city. Family-friendly festivals, Tempe Town Lake and a network of biking and hiking trails help keep residents entertained on the weekends. Getting around this city is a breeze, too. Tempe scored high in the Infrastructure category, thanks in part to its impressive network of transportation. The city’s free Orbit shuttles, for example, move between neighborhoods, shopping districts and schools.
Local Obsession: Spring training. During the spring months, the Los Angeles Angels call Tempe home at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: “Realtor, show me homes with pools.”
Top Industries and Employers: Not surprisingly, Arizona State University is a major employer in this college town. But State Farm Insurance, Wells Fargo and American Airlines also have a significant presence.
Local Dream Job: Behavioral enrichment expert at the nearby Phoenix Zoo. The zoo is home to 3,000 animals, including 30 species that are endangered or threatened.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Escape the heat and enjoy a Broadway show at ASU Gammage, a theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
After-Work Meetup Spot: Bad day at work? Head to the Simply Smashing Rage Release Room where you can break things.
Best Brewery/Local Beer: Four Peaks Brewing Company. The brew pub in Tempe is housed in a century-old red brick building that was a creamery in its past life.
Beloved Bookstore: Changing Hands, where you can get a beer and a book and also pick fun events from the calendar, like coloring nights or author talks.
Free Way to Have Fun: Hike Tempe’s Hayden Butte, referred to as “A” Mountain. The reward at top is panoramic city views.
Truly Hidden Gem: You’ll earn your local badge by requesting the patio at House of Tricks, a restaurant housed in a 1920s cottage. Happy hour eats include polenta tots and seabass street tacos.
- Brittany Anas