With the temperature reaching over 100 degrees in the summer, Tempe, AZ's always been a hot place to live. But now people are finally starting to catch on.
Summer heat aside, here are 10 reasons why this desert oasis, just 15 minutes from Phoenix and home to Arizona State University, is a hot spot for professionals.
1. It's easy to get around.
Voted the most walkable city in Arizona, you can easily get around downtown by foot. Or bike - The City of Tempe offers 175 miles of bikeways, including bike lines, desert trails, and canal paths, and was named a bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.
If you're feeling tired, you can catch the light rail, a bus, or The Orbit - Tempe's free neighborhood shuttle. With two large freeways connected to downtown, it's also an easy commute if you're headed into the city by car. No Northeast-style traffic here.
And last but not least, you could get to Phoenix and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport air just by sneezing (both are ~15 minutes away). Proximity to the airport is certainly important if you're looking for a quick escape from the summer heat.
2. It was rated one of the top ten downtowns in the U.S.
Tim Trumble - Tempe Tourism Office
Livability, a website that ranks small and midsize cities, named Tempe the 7th best downtown in the U.S. due to its rising population (and income), expansive entertainment and cultural activities, diversity and relative affordability. You can read more about the criteria for selection here.
3. It makes appreciating art and culture easy.
The Tempe Center for the Arts offers everything from symphony concerts to comedy, and Arizona State University's Gallery 100 is completely free. And there's a two-day music festival - Innings Festival - at the Tempe Beach Park each year.
4. You get more bang for your buck.
A salary that would have you barely breaking even in NYC or Silicon Valley can offer you an excellent quality of life in Tempe. According to Business Insider, making $75,000/year in NYC is equivalent to $177,842/year in the Phoenix area.
All things considered, Tempe is quite affordable, with a cost of living just slightly above the national average, and a median home value of $288,200.
5. You can feast on authentic Southwestern cuisine.
Chile Colorado, braised pork, and chimayo chile enchiladas from Ghost RanchMichael Chow/The RepublicEnjoying the best of Southwestern fare - from chili to enchiladas - doesn't mean sacrificing on variety or ingenuity. Tempe offers a number of other styles to try, from Ethiopian to Indian, as well as fusion options like the Crepe Bar, which offers a Southwestern (itself a fusion cuisine) twist on the French classic.
Dell EMC - Account Executive and Customer Escalation Manager
6. It has all the perks of a college town (AND you could get your MBA...for free).
Arizona State University
Living near a university invariably means lots of free stuff - lectures, sports, concerts, etc. And in this case, it could also mean a free MBA if you decide that's the path for you - the W.P Carey School of Business at ASU began offering full scholarships to all full-time MBA students in 2015!
Whether or not you plan on attending the school, the proximity to ASU ensures you'll be surrounded by cutting-edge research and bright minds, and you'll always be able to keep learning. Just take ASU's Gallery of Scientific Exploration, for example, where anyone can attend a lecture or see a satellite's view of earth from space... for free!
7. You can soak up the beauty of nature.
View from A MountainTempe Tourism
Tempe is situated on a lake... in the middle of the desert. This impressive contrast is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways to enjoy the outdoors in Tempe. Whether you like to bike, run, or climb (or skate or board or boat), Tempe has something for you.
You can climb "A" mountain (known as such because of the large A for ASU inscribed on its side), which is literally right in the middle of town.
You can skate or jog around the lake, boat on the lake, or hit up the legendary Big Surf Water Park if the summer heat gets too unbearable.
8. You'll (almost) always be basking in the sun.
Papago Park in Tempe, AZlistingsbylux.com
Tempe has ~330 days of sunshine each year and a mild winter, which means that at least 3 seasons of the year are perfect for outdoor activities. Although there's a decent amount of debate as to whether spending time in the sun actually enhances mood, there's no doubt that a lack of rain makes it easier to get out and about (see point 7), which is linked with better mental health.
If you're a Northeasterner who's fed up with shoveling snow and hibernating during the winter, Tempe may just be for you.
9. You can get what you need in one spot - Tempe Marketplace.
Tempe MarketplaceTempe Tourism
Whether you want to take a personal day and go shopping, catch a movie, grab a bite out, or even catch some live music, the Tempe Marketplace has you covered with over 100 restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues. All in one convenient location - because your time is valuable.
10. You can work for a great company - or start your own!
Downtown Tempe's skyline has been growing consistently in recent years as it attracts more and more well-known companies, eager to entice Tempe's highly-educated workforce (Thanks, ASU). Personal-finance website, WalletHub, ranked Tempe the 5th best place to start a career in 2018 thanks to its professional opportunities and quality of life.
20% of jobs in Tempe are in tech, but the financial services, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare industries also have a strong presence.
The City of Tempe encourages businesses to focus on diversity and inclusion, and the City Council started an initiative to ensure equal pay.
Sound like a place you'd like to work? In addition Check out the 300+ jobs in Tempe, AZ listed on PowerToFly!
Plus, if you'd rather do your own thing, you're in luck! In 2017, CNN named Arizona the Best State for Entrepreneurs and Tempe offers a number of incentives for anyone who wants to start a business.