16 Best Parks in Tempe, AZ

Tempe is a city situated in Maricopa County, Arizona. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, but the city has more to offer.

Tempe is known for its many fun outdoor attractions and activities, ranging across cultural attractions, spectacular arts, event centers and more.

For nature enthusiasts and active explorers, the city offers scenic desert trails, parks, and scenic spots to admire the city’s beauty.

Tempe has over 50 community and neighborhood parks, including Kiwanis Park, Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park, and Tempe Beach Park.

Tempe Parks provides a place for residents and visitors to learn, relax, have fun, and bond with one another and the environment.

Here are some of the best parks to visit in Tempe, AZ.

Best Parks in Tempe, AZ 

1. Papago Park 

 Papago Park
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Papago Park

Papago Park is a municipal park. It measures about 1,500 acres.

Hiking and biking trails, giant sequoia cactus mesas, lagoons, and picnic spaces can be found here.

Papago Park has been referred to as Tempe’s Point of Pride, and when you visit, it wouldn’t be hard to see why.

For a great day out, you will enjoy this incredible setting, which features beautiful red rocks with different rock formations and multiple hiking, jogging, and bicycling tracks.

Another good thing about this place is that visitors with mobility challenges will find traveling on the extensive, paved routes simple, so nobody is left out.

You will also find gorgeous palms and cacti on the surrounding grounds.The Pyramid-shaped Hunt’s Tomb, situated on top of a hill in the park, is another fun thing to see.

This grave and memorial belong to George W. P. Hunt, the first Governor of Arizona.

You can ride a bike, drive or stroll up and enjoy the lovely views from here.

The Park has other intriguing sights, including Hole in the Rock, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Zoo, and many small lakes.

Don’t miss the attractive lagoons, which provide some of the most stunning Tempe photographic settings during your trip.

Address: 1000 N College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

2. Hanger Park

Hanger Park
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Hanger Park has several designated zones for visitors who like to participate in organized sports.

The Park contains one basketball court, a multi-purpose field, two soccer fields, and one sand volleyball court.

All the sports fields and courts are situated away from the playground, so you can be assured that your kids are protected from stray balls.

If sporting activities do not interest you, Hanger Park is also a great spot to enjoy the scenery and the city’s pleasant weather.

Take your bike, walking shoes, or scooter and explore the concrete path looping around the park.

Hanger Park was designed to serve as an overflow retention basin for the Gila Drain.

If you feel tempted to carry a kayak or a floating device, please resist that urge; it is not advisable.

You can bring your furry friend for a run in Hanger Park.

Address: 501 E Knox Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284, United States

3. Kiwanis Park

Kiwanis Park
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Kiwanis Park

Kiwanis Park is a 54,000 square feet outdoor recreational complex with an amphitheater, a tennis center with 15 courts, a lake, and multiple basketball and volleyball fields.

This 125-acre leisure complex includes a bowling alley, a 12-acre reservoir, a kid’s playground, a variety of sports, and an indoor wave pool.

You can rent a pedal boat, bike, or kayak to use its beautiful lake.

The Cloud, a splash playground, is another exciting attraction in the park.You will also find a tiny kid area with a miniature climbing structure and music makers.

Zip lines, swings, and a three-story tower with many slides are available at Kiwanis Park.

Additionally, despite the normal 10 pm closure, the Park stays open until midnight for partners who want to go on a romantic stroll.

If you are vacationing in Tempe with your partner, this area is perfect for an after-dinner romantic stroll. It is one of the top parks in Tempe, AZ.

Address: 5500 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85283, United States

4. Selleh Park

Selleh Park
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This hidden park gem is a fabulous destination for your vacation in Tempe.

Selleh Park, spanning 6.3 acres, was initially created in 1972 to commemorate the founder of Selleh Sporting Goods. 

Selleh Park’s most extraordinary feature is a pond with many ducks and turtles.

The Park has a basketball court, restroom facilities, a playground with a fun climbing tower, and many picnic tables and grills.

A walking park provides easy movement around the park, including remarkable pond views.Dogs are allowed in Selleh Park.

Address: 2425 S Los Feliz Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282, United States

5. Esquer Park

Esquer Park
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Although it may not be among the largest water parks in the city, Esquer Park is still a great place to go if you are looking for an escape from the heat.

As one of the top parks in Tempe, AZ, this spray park has a splash playground, a splash pad, and pools.

Besides having a splash playground, the Park includes a regular garden, basketball court, and benches.

Esquer Park also has a section with a skating and biking park.This Park is rarely filled up, making it suitable for a personal time out.

Address: 2407 E McArthur Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

6. Petersen Park

Petersen Park
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Petersen Park houses the historic Petersen House, which was turned into a museum.

Niels Petersen, one of Tempe’s pioneers and an immigrant from Denmark, had this house constructed in the early 1890s.

The Petersen House features a Queen Victoria architectural design, with its renovation in 1989 bringing the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation.

After an excursion to this vintage house, you can unwind on the peaceful grounds of Petersen Park.

This park extends over five acres and includes a playground, a covered picnic area, tables, and benches.

Address: Tempe, AZ, United States

7. Tempe Beach Park

Tempe Beach Park
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Tempe Beach Park

Tempe Beach Park, known as one of the most fun parks in Tempe, AZ, is a great spot for everyone, including kids.

Along with baseball diamonds and athletic fields, it offers a splash playground for children.

Temple Beach Park, spanning 25 acres, has over five miles of jogging paths and exercise trails.

Families can enjoy expansive picnic areas, water fountains, and grills.

Tempe Beach Park is also a famous location for swimming, as it is situated around Tempe Town Lake,

There are areas for fishing, boating, and other water-related activities.

Address: 80 W Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

8. Arizona State University Desert Arboretum Park

Arizona State University Desert Arboretum Park
Credits: Daderot [CC BY-SA 1.0], Wikimedia Commons
Arizona State University Desert Arboretum Parks
The Desert Arboretum Park is open to the public without charge from dawn to dusk daily.

This botanical park, which is under the Arizona State University, extends over 2.5 acres.

Its garden is nestled mainly into the east flank of the Tempe Butte, or A Mountain, as residents call this well-known geological formation in the city.

Desert Arboretum Park features native plants from the Arizona desert regions of Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuahua. It also has four ponds.

Experiments under Arizona State’s University environment and biological research programs occur in these ponds.

Address: 556 S Packard Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

Explore more cities in Arizona, do not miss our checklist of things to do in Maricopa, and things to do in Parker.

9. Daley Park

Daley Park
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Daley Park is among the oldest parks in Tempe, with over 17 acres ofParkland.

The park contains grills, baseball diamonds, lighting, ramadas, horseshoes, and softball fields.

There are two walking trails surrounding tour lake and a fun kid’s playground.

Daley Park is a perfect spot for recreational sports and family get-togethers, with its indoor picnic area and a drinking fountain.

At the park, you will find athletic fields, an expansive picnic area, and open green spaces that you can use to have fun.

Address: 1625 S College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

10. Estrada Park

Estrada Park
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Estrada Park is named after Pete Estrada, one of Tempe’s original pioneers who ran a 40-acre farm in what is now called South Tempe.

If you are searching for an outing where your little ones won’t return home with wood chips or sand in their shoes, this is the right park for you.

Estrada Park has a foam floor beneath the park equipment, large mature trees for shade, and a lot of picnic tables and benches.

The playground has a player with slides, several swings, a metal rope climber, and many spinning structures that kids will adore.

Estrada Park also has a basketball court and an exercise circuit close to the playground for those who want to work out while the kids play.

A picnic at this park is a lovely way for loved ones and pals to spend the day.

Address: 1801 E Palomino Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284, United States

11. Dwight Park

Dwight Park
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Dwight Park, known as the major park in Tempe, spans only four acres in size. It was formerly referred to as the Diamond Park because its shape was like a diamond.

It was established in 1974 and was renamed Dwight Park in 1988 in honor of the previous Tempe City Councilman, Joseph Dwight.

Today, guests can relax on the acres of grassy fields.The park is furnished with picnic tables, lighting, and grills.

Additionally, visitors can enjoy the soccer fields, playgrounds, and basketball courts. Dwight Park is one of the best parks in Tempe, AZ.

Address: 550 W Manhattan Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282, United States

12. Rio Salado Park

Rio Salado Park
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Rio Salado Park is a fantastic natural preserve in Tempe, AZ. It used to be an industrial area but is now a desert environment that houses numerous walking trails and over 200 bird species.

This park, designated as a wildlife preservation area, is a refuge for the thousands of bird species that pass through the area during the migration season.

Rio Salado Park has trails of different types, most casual and flat, and perfect for simple hikes and bikes.

Since it is a wildlife preserve, visitors must take extra measures not to litter to avoid the risk of disturbing the sensitive habitats of these unique birds.

There are plenty of other things outdoor enthusiasts will love about Rio Salado Park.

Address: 80 W Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281, United States

13. Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park

Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park
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The amazing Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park is the most prominent spot where dogs love roaming free in Tempe.

It is a part of the Tempe Sports Complex. This dog park is a popular place for dogs, and with 2 acres of space, your furry friend will have lots to explore

This fully fenced dog park provides multiple benches for seating and trees for shade. You will find this park a lovely place even during the hot weather.

A covered picnic area with tables gives dog owners a perfect place to relax while watching their dogs.

Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park does not have a separate area for large and small dogs, but tiny pups will feel comfortable playing with higher dogs since there is a lot of space.

The Tempe Sport and Complex Dog Park provides garbage cans and clean-up bags around the park, making it easy to pick up after your pup.

Restroom facilities for dog owners are in the sports complex, within a couple of hundred feet from the park.

There’s also a water fountain and bowls to ensure nobody gets thirsty.Sometimes, there are even kiddie pools for dogs to splash in too.

Parking is easy and close to the dog park, and with nighttime light, your four-legged friend can still enjoy the park after the sun goes down.

Make sure your pup is up to date on its vaccination and license. It would be best to put its tag on its collar before visiting the park.

Leave the leash on when entering and exiting the fenced-in dog areas, including the parking area. Food is not allowed in the dog park.

Address: 8403 S Hardy Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284, United States

14. Granada Park

Granada Park
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The views at Granada Park are undoubtedly priceless.The park is an excellent location for meet up and play dates.

The Park features an extensive kids’ playground, a little kids’ playground, rock walls, and several swings in a vast sandy playground.

The small playground contains slides, a shade cover, and a rock wall, while the large playground has slides, tic tac toe, monkey bars, and excellent climbing.

Plenty of picnic space, a restroom, and a lagoon surrounding the location makes it even more unique.

Phoenix New Times named Granada Park the “Best Picnic Spot” in 2019, and it’s not difficult to see why.

This gorgeous Park has fantastic views of Piestewa Peak, and the massive grassy areas are ideal for an afternoon picnic.

There are also trash and recycle bins scattered throughout the Park.

Amenities at Granada Park include lighted tennis courts, art sculptures, a playground, grills, a lagoon, a picnic area, and restrooms.

Additionally, there is access to the Arizona Canal Path in case you want to run or walk.

Address: 6505 N 20th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States

15. Encanto Park

Encanto Park
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Encanto Park is one of the largest and most attractive parks in Phoenix, AZ, 20 minutes from Tempe, AZ. It extends over 222 acres of parklands.

Encanto Park has extensive private grounds, encircled by 7.5 acres of breathtaking waterways with shaded ramadas that can carry groups of up to 10,000 people.

The Park contains a lagoon, picnic areas, a swimming pool, fishing, two golf courses, and an amusement park.

The Park has games and a miniature train ride around the amusement area.

It has large areas of open grass for children to play, walking paths, many walking bridges over the park, and winding water channels to feed fish, ducks, and birds.

Encanto Park also features an Enchanted Island Amusement Park, which offers hours of fun for kids aged ten and below.

Spend a memorable afternoon on classic rides such as a mini dragon roller coaster and a carousel.

There is also an outhouse with Public restrooms, a building where you can buy snacks and bird food, and a massive playground for kids.

Address: 2605 N 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007, United States

16. Desert Breeze Park

Desert Breeze Park
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The famous Desert Breeze Park contains ball fields, a playground, tennis courts, a walking trail, and a carousel from the 1950s.

Fishing and swimming are permitted in the lake.It also has a unique Hummingbird Habitat that displays southwestern plants.

The Desert Breeze Railroad offers an exhilarating way to explore the Park. It operates from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

You can swim at the Park’s splash pad when the summer sun arrives.

Address: 660 North Desert Breeze Blvd E, Chandler, AZ 85226, United States

Also, check out or guide on things to do in Cottonwood, and things to do in Show Low for a fun time.

Plan a Trip to Tempe

Your vacation in Tempe could be a lovely experience. From visiting parks to exploring scenic spots and hiking on trails, there is something here for everyone.

Tempe Parks’ features make them perfect for families and couples since there are plenty of things to do there.