To be completely honest, press trips never attracted me as a blogger. I didn’t want Getaway Girl to be synonymous with advertisements. Then I learned about Tempe’s sustainability initiatives and knew I had to learn more. There are so many sustainable things to do in Tempe, Arizona!
Due to COVID, I virtually visited Tempe. It was the breath of fresh air I needed during these unpredictable times.
Domestic travel is the future of travel, at least for now. Tempe is a great spot to visit in the grand ‘ole USA!
When it’s safe to travel again, visit these sustainable things to do in Tempe.
Thank you to Tempe Tourism for hosting me on this virtual press trip! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Have A Cold One At Four Peaks
If you’re looking for a good brew, Tempe should be high on your list. The Tempe tourism brochure includes an entire section for locally-owned breweries!
I virtually visited Four Peaks Brewing Co., which was founded by three friends. The building was once a creamery and ice factory and, since they preserved as much of the building’s bones as they could, you can still feel the history outside and inside. The only major changes to the building were the addition of air conditioning and the brewing systems!
At any time, there are around 16 beers on draft at Four Peaks. No matter your palette preference, you’ll find a beer you love! All the beers are brewed in-house and feature a variety of experimental beers.
Four Peaks makes over 100,000 barrels of beer annually, so you know they’re experts before even taking a sip. The beer has won awards, too, such as gold at the World Beer Cup in 2012 for their Kölsch-style beer. It even beat the ones from Köln!
One of their secrets to good brewing is their reverse osmosis process. Four Peaks cleans the local tap water, then adds in minerals from the local region to imitate the flavor profile of that beer, even if they’re thousands of miles away.
Four Peaks also stores some of the beers in reused wine or whiskey barrels. The alcohol picks up the flavor of the barrel, which only adds to the interest of the beer! Plus, the process gives those barrels a second-life.
I can confirm the beer tastes delicious, too. My father and I enjoyed a backyard tasting on a warm summer evening. It made me look forward to drinking a cold brew while watching an Arizona sunset.
Four Peaks is also a sustainable thing to do in Tempe because they’re actively looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of their beers.
For example, local farms use the brewery’s spent grain as feed for pigs and cows, which reduces waste.
All of the Four Peaks swag is through Wild Tribute, which donates a percentage of all sales to the “4 the Parks” initiative, which helps preserve National Parks.
My favorite part? They installed a series of solar panels on their production facility! They’ll release a brand new seltzer using 100% renewable energy…the first of its kind!
Can we agree that we need to meet in Tempe for a Seltzer made with solar-power post-COVID? Yes? Awesome…meet you there!
While there, be sure to order the PB&J beer. A portion of every sale of this beer goes towards school kits for kids. Their goal is to raise $10,000 in 2020! This website shares more info about this awesome local initiative.
Check out the video below for more about Four Peaks!
Four Peaks Brewing Co. address: 1340 E 8th St #104, Tempe, AZ 85281
See Four Peaks’ current selection here.
2. Street Murals for Days
Although I’m not a big art person, I love street murals. They always make me smile. So, when I tell you I was beaming when I met Jayarr, please know this is no exaggeration. Jayarr, a Tempe artist, has one of the most welcoming and passionate personalities I’ve ever met.
Jayarr left his full-time job to create art full-time only 1.5 years ago, but he’s already making a major artistic impact on Tempe.
It all started with a “You Are Amazing” mural at his house, which is now his studio and the site of a rotating street mural. Now he predominantly uses this phrase, and a whole lot of color and creativity, to empower Tempe residents and visitors.
His firm belief that art can positively impact the community leads him to do purely genuine things, such as giving kids free mini coloring books, with no expectations in return. He’s one of the good ones.
Honestly, his energy is addictive. Jayarr did a handstand during the virtual studio tour! I could’ve talked to him for hours. If you take photos in front of his murals, I sincerely hope he comes out to say hello (which he does sometimes!) because he’ll instantly brighten your day.
Check out some of his murals, and the other amazing ones, in Tempe.
You can also buy one of his tree people pieces! Check them out here.
3. Stay In the New Canopy Hotel
Many of you know I’m a hostel girl. I love meeting other travelers and saving money! But, I’ve saved money while in quarantine and not going anywhere. I want my first trip post-COVID to be special and stay in a nice hotel, and Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown is clearly the way to do that.
It’s a new Hilton brand focused on lifestyle and boutique design. There are study rooms for when you’re teleworking. The furniture and artwork are predominantly by local businesses and represent the local community and environment.
For example, the Cairns bird is featured on trail markers in Tempe and is also featured in the Canopy hotel to represent your journey in Canopy through Tempe.
Even the on-site restaurant is an experience in itself! Draft beers are from local breweries and coffee from a local coffee shop.
As a small chain hotel, Canopy is able to offer eco-initiatives in the hotel. This particular canopy offers water bottle refill stations throughout the hotel. If you forget your water bottle, Canopy provides complimentary reusable water bottles to guests to use while at the hotel and to even carry home as a souvenir.
My favorite part are the complimentary bikes available to all Canopy guests! I can already see myself cruising along downtown Tempe’s streets, stopping for a beer at Four Peaks, and taking photos in front of Jayarr’s street murals.
Tempe seems like an adventure hotspot. I’ll certainly need a relaxing and comfortable place to lay down at the end of a busy day exploring. Canopy is the sustainable and beautiful place to do exactly that while in Tempe!
Learn more or book your stay here.
4. Public Transportation
One of the most difficult things about traveling in the U.S. is the lack of public transportation. Travelers essentially need to rent a car at their destination to get around or rely on Uber.
This is not an issue in Tempe, though!
One of the most sustainable things to do in Tempe is to utilize its extensive public transportation network. It’s impressive how much the city has leaned on green public transportation.
The newest project is the Tempe Street Car, which opens in 2021. I loved traveling in street cars in Belarus and Hungary and look forward to having this option in Tempe, too. Streetcars are super practical public transportation options, environmentally-friendly, and help save you money!
The Valley Rail Metro serves downtown Phoenix, the airport, downtown Mesa, and Tempe. It’s a great way to get around the region as well as to and from the airport. A day pass costs $4 and it takes only 20-30 minutes to get from the PHX airport to ASU.
If you’re not staying at Canopy Hotel, but still want to ride bikes, use the Grid Bikes system in Tempe. This is the local bike-sharing program. You can pay as you go, which starts at 12 cents per minute. There’s also an app you can download to find the closest bike dock.
I love cities with copious public transportation and Tempe certainly does!
I hope to visit in-person very soon because all the sustainable things to do in Tempe has truly blown me away.
Is Tempe, Arizona high on your list now? Comment below!