There are many places to explore and activities to do in the Phoenix metro area and within a few hours drive of Tempe. A few examples are given here. The Phoenix metro area has an assortment of excellent museums for different audiences including the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Phoenix Science Center, Heard Museum (Advancing American Indian Art), and Musical Instrument Museum. There is also the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo.
As a rule of thumb in Arizona, it is 4 to 5°F cooler as you increase in elevation every 1000 ft. The elevation of Tempe is at approximately 1100 ft, so trips to Payson (1 hour 30 min drive from Tempe, elevation 5000 ft), Prescott (2 hour drive from Tempe, elevation 5000 ft), Sedona (2 hour 15 min drive from Tempe, elevation 4300 ft), and Flagstaff (2 hour 30 min drive from Tempe, elevation 6900 ft) can be 15 to 25°F cooler. Highlights include Tonto Natural Bridge State Park north of Payson, Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona and Cathedral Rock in Sedona, and Grand Canyon National Park approximately 1 hour drive north of Flagstaff.