Tempe, Arizona should be great this time of year, with temperatures finally cooling down. If you’ve never been, there are so many things to do and see in Arizona, you will never get bored. You can stay local or venture out to Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, or the Grand Canyon (check for weather and passability this time of year). But, you really do need a car to get around. Everything is really spread out. I actually lived in the area for many years and still have friends there, so a lot of these suggestions are from us.
Since the race is in Tempe, we will be focusing on the Tempe/Mesa/Scotsdale/Phoenix area to give you an idea of what there is to do. It is nice just to drive around the area and explore downtown Phoenix, old town Scottsdale, see the baseball spring training camps, and just look at the amazing wonder of the mountains and desert. Enjoy!
THINGS TO DO:
- Saturday mornings and Wednesdays from 4-8 pm is the Downtown Framer’s Market – the public market restaurant mentioned above is located there as well and they have Food truck Friday there for lunch and the Food trucks are there for the farmer’s markets
- In Tempe, Mill Avenue is the main street where you find many shops and restaurants. Tempe is home to ASU so it is a college town and I’m sure you’re aware of what that means. There is also a home football game going on Saturday, Nov. 16, so expect the town and parking to be crowded. Perhaps you want to see if you can score tickets….
While in Tempe, you can visit the Sea Life Aquarium and be transported into an amazing ocean world. One of their current exhibits is the Jellyfish Discovery.
- Speaking of which, visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale. It has an instrument from EVERY country in the world. While it may sound boring, it is a one of a kind and gets rave reviews. They are having a Women Who Rock exhibit and have a nice cafe.
- The Heard Museum has the foremost showcase of Native American art and culture in the United States.
- Visit the Challenger Space Center and take a 2 hour simulated space mission. Now, who wouldn’t want to do that. You need tickets and can get details on-line.
- The Desert Botanical Garden has so much to do and see. They have scenic trails, a Butterfly Pavillion, and now a Chihuly in the Garden exhibit that you shouldn’t miss. You and your family can learn all about desert flora. They also have a fall concert series in the Garden, so check their website for more information.
- The Arizona Science Center has over 300 hands-on exhibits to keep you and your children engaged for hours.
- If anyone is interested ina cooking class, try Sweet Basil Gourmet in Scottsdale. You can look at the schedule on-line.
- Hiking Camelback Mountain or the Phoenix Mountain Preserve never disappoints if you want to connect with nature and get some exercise at the same time.
- The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting is the largest of its kind and chronicles the history of this selfless service.
- The Children’s Museum of Phoenix should keep you busy for many hours. They offer interactive exhibits, water works, and multiple play areas.
- Spend an evening at the Carnival of Illusion, where you will encounter old world magic. It is located at the Biltmore Resort.
- It’s always nice to visit the local art museum and the Phoenix Art Museum will not disappoint, especially if you want to see some Western art, but they are so much more.
- For a taste of the old west, you can visit the Goldfield Ghost Town and pan for gold, ride a train, and see a gun fight.
- If you find yourself in the Tucson area, there are two great museums, The Pima Air & Space Museum, which is one of the largest of its kind and has over 300 aircraft on display and its sister museum, The Titan Missile Museum, which is the only remaining Titan II site open to the public.
You can always check out Visit Phoenix for more detailed and updated information. Enjoy your stay and have a great race!