Back in October I went to Arizona for the first time to visit Tempe with Tempe Tourism and I was so excited to check out the area and share some of my favorite places to help you out if you’re ever visiting the area! I had so much fun and the desert sun was so good for the soul! I can’t wait to go back soon and get to explore even more.
Fresh off the plane, I was so hyped to see my first famous Arizona Sunset! Our plane landed a little later than expected and I was so worried I would miss the horseback ride but thankfully the amazing ranch owner waited for us and it was truly one of the best experiences! Riding a horse free-range was something I had never done before and it was incredible to wander around the desert with the gorgeous sunset as the backdrop. The ranch owner even let us get in the back of their truck and feed bales of hay to the horses for their dinner! It was a moment I will never forget, and I will always remember how incredibly sweet the ranch owner and his family was!
Smelling heavily of Off! Bug Spray (there were lots of mosquitos out on the ranch!), later that night we went to meet up with some amazing ladies from the Tempe Tourism team who helped plan this exciting trip for us. It was quirky and had a very cool, laid back vibe. We ordered these incredible pretzel bites with fondue that were SO yummy! There was really great live music and games too, so there was a little something for everyone plus GREAT cocktails!
OMG I can’t even describe how delicious the Smashing Pumpkin Pancakes are that I got here! Unfortunately the one weekend we went to Arizona happened to be the ONE weekend it rained/flooded in Tempe but we were determined to make the best of it and decided to go to Snooze for a cozy brunch. It has a super cute Retro vibe that I really dug and all the servers were especially sweet. I’m still dreaming about those pancakes tbh ….
Two words. BEER AND PRETZELS. (okay technically three..) The rain finally stopped and we hopped right over to Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake to live as much a German life as we could in Arizona! We rode the ferris wheel, got some pretzels and beer, but most importantly WE GOT SNOW BALLS! I honestly hadn’t had one probably since I lived in Louisiana and it was a total throwback for me. We even got some candied apples in honor of Jack and Rebecca (my true This Is Us fans will know)!
If you’re looking for true Wild West Vibes, you have to go and visit Ghost Ranch. It was beautifully decorated, inspired by the iconic red rocks and wild beauty of the desert. There was even a working fireplace (which is a big deal for us New Yorkers)! We ordered the Vegetable, Calabacitas, Squash Puree Enchiladas and omg they were SO. GOOD. Their chips/salsa/guacamole platter was also the perfect addition to our dinner. We were definitely stuffed afterwards!
Two spots we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to go to were Matt’s Big Breakfast and Cotton & Copper. They both looked sooo adorable and we were pretty bummed we weren’t able to swing by. We heard such great things about both places and if you’re around the area or visiting, you should definitely stop by! For more Tempe recommendations, check out TempeTourism.com!