Check out: Pack your sunscreen for a stroll in the Desert Botanical Gardens. A stunning 145-acre space with nearly 50,000 plant specimens, the gardens provide group or self-guided tours year-round. Is art more your thing? Visit the ASU Art Museum, which has free admission. The museum is known for its ceramics collection and extensive contemporary art of the Americas. If you brought the kids along, Sea Life Aquarium is specifically designed with children in mind, with scavenger hunts, touch pools, and a 360-degree-view ocean tunnel showcasing more than 5,000 sea animals.
Try this: Stop by the Cornish Pasty Co. and grab a pasty in a classic flavor (chicken pot pie or meat and cheese are favorites) or something a little more unusual (Cajun chicken, cheesesteak, or chicken Alfredo). Caffe Boa blends an Italian-focused menu with a commitment to local and organic foods. Try their lasagna or freshly made ricotta and lemon ravioli with a bottle from the restaurant's extensive wine list. Finish your meal with an espresso and vanilla gelato float, or a slice of tiramisu.
Sleep here: A downtown Tempe landmark, the Mission Palms offers a rooftop swimming pool and tennis courts for the traveler who likes to stay active. The Saguaro is a quick drive from Tempe in downtown Scottsdale. When you're not participating in the hotel's poolside yoga class or lounging on the patio, try brunch at Distrito, the Saguaro's on-site Mexican restaurant.