Road Trip: Tucson to Tempe

tempe arizona things to do
Photo Credit: Tempe Tourism

Two hours to Tempe! Jump in the car and you'll be on your way to this eastern suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.

With a population just shy of 200,000, Tempe is large enough to stand on its own two feet - but is surrounded by Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, Guadalupe, and Phoenix (the 5th largest city in the USA). In fact, you will barely be able to tell where one city ends and one city begins.

Tempe's biggest "claim to fame" is that it is home to Arizona State University, the largest public university in the state.


Because Tempe is part of the Phoenix metropolitan area, hotel options are plentiful.

Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe

Headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, Drury Inn & Suites currently boasts over 150 locations in the USA - including five in Arizona (Flagstaff, Phoenix Airport, Chandler, Happy Valley, and Tempe).

The Drury Inn in Tempe offers a super convenient location for a number of area attractions. It's across the street from IKEA, 13 minutes to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 20 minutes to the Phoenix Zoo, 22 minutes to the Children's Museum, and 23 minutes to the Arizona Science Center.

Best of all, you will be delighted by the plentiful amenities, which are the signature trait of all Drury properties:

  • Free Hot Breakfast. The free daily breakfast includes scrambled eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit, make-your-own Belgian waffles, potatoes, sausage, pastries, bagels, and KELSO+BROS® coffee. Breakfast is served from 6-9:30am, Monday-Friday and from 7-10am, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Evening Drinks and Snacks. Hotel guests enjoy a variety of snacks (which can double as a light dinner!) — salads, soups, etc — and cold beverages from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Kickback®.
  • Free Soda and Popcorn. Grab free soda and popcorn in the lobby every day at Drury Inn & Suites.
  • Free Wi-Fi Throughout the Hotel. Get the score, check your social networks, or email family members from anywhere in the hotel — for free!

That's A LOT of value - especially for traveling families!

There are three room configurations available: King, Double Queen, and Suite (sleeps 6).

Deals & Discounts

The best way to find out about deals, sales, and promotions is to join the Drury Rewards program. Become a member and enjoy members-only rates!


  • ADDRESS: 1780 W Ranch Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284
  • PHONE: 480-940-3700
  • PEAK SEASON: January thru March
  • OFF-SEASON: June thru September
  • PARKING: Complimentary
  • WIFI: Complimentary
  • RESORT FEE: None
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Drury Hotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Other Hotel Options in Tempe to Consider

  • Residence Inn by Marriott Tempe Downtown/University
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe
  • AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown


If you are visiting Tempe, you'll likely visit attractions in the City of Tempe, as well as in the border towns of Scottsdale, Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa. The cities really do "meld" together seamlessly.

The following activities are in Tempe proper.

wicked theatre ASU Gammage Tempe
Photo Credit: WICKED The Musical

Calling all theatre buffs! ASU Gammage is a performing arts venue on the Arizona State University Campus. The theatre hosts "the best of Broadway" shows, as well as other concerts and variety shows.

Tempe Town Lake is another landmark in this area - allowing visitors & locals the opportunity to walk, run, or bike around the five miles of shoreline.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a popular spot among families with young children. Located inside the Arizona Mills shopping center, LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers ten build-and-play zones, two rides, and 4D movies. The center is right next door to SEA LIFE, a 26,000 square foot interactive aquarium. Combo tickets are available so that you can visit both attractions on the same day.

Tempe Marketplace Splash Pad
Photo Credit: Tempe Marketplace

If you're hoping to shop or kick back at a movie theatre, visit Tempe Marketplace, which is home to As You Wish Pottery Painting Place, Barnes & Noble, H&M, Harkins Theatres, JCPenney, Nordstrom Rack, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Target, and a number of fast-casual dining options. Tempe Marketplace also has a small (free!) splash pad, which is pictured above.

cloud at kiwanis park tempe
Photo Credit: Tempe Recreation

Visiting with kids between April and October? Slather on sunscreen, put on your suits, and head to The Cloud at Kiwanis Park (pictured above) - a free splash pad, which is open daily from 8:00am-10:00pm.


The Phoenix metro area is HUGE so the list of available attractions and activities is equally robust.

Some of our favorite places include:

  • Camelback Mountain
  • Heritage Square
  • McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
  • Papago Park
  • Phoenix Theatre
  • Pizzeria Bianco
  • The Farm at South Mountain


TucsonTopia contains both paid and non-paid mentions of businesses and organizations in and around Tucson, Arizona. Any reference made here to local businesses, services, classes, etc. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement. We encourage you to do your own research before participating in an event or engaging with a local business or organization. The intent of TucsonTopia is to provide ideas for family-friendly activities, events, and resources. Participants assume all risks for any activities they engage in. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities.
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