The town motto, “where three cultures flourish,” recognizes the town’s roots in the Yaquis, Mexicans and descendants of the original farmers.
Guadalupe is a small city of around 5,000 people, located in the Maricopa County of the state of Arizona.
It was founded in 1900 by the Yaqui Indians and has the motto “where three cultures flourish”. This refers to the three main populations found here, the Yaquis, the Mexicans and the Americans.
Nestled between Phoenix and Tempe, the 2010 census listed the population of the town as 5,523. Guadalupe was founded around 1900 by Yaqui Indians, who fled their homeland in Sonora to avoid oppression by the Mexican government of Diaz.
The cemetery of Guadalupe was established in 1904, in the original townsite of the town. The city of Tempe annexed the area surrounding the cemetery. The cemetery is now officially located in Tempe; however, it is still administered by the Guadalupe Clerk’s Office.
Respectful visitors are welcome to observe these ceremonies, although photography is forbidden. Guadalupe is primarily a residential area; most residents commute to other parts of the Phoenix area to work.
While you may think that there is not much to do in such a small city, there are plenty of places to see and many activities to do.
Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
1. Enjoy the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium
Located a bit north of Guadalupe, this beautiful aquarium allows you to witness a wide variety of fascinating sea creatures.
Here you will be able to see turtles, rays, sea horses, jellyfish, octopi, sharks and all sorts of interesting and unique fish.
The location includes 30 displays and some interactive tanks as well as an amazing ocean tunnel with a 360-degree view.
The aquarium is nice and clean, the staff is polite and engaging, and both kids and adults will love it.
2. Shop and Have Fun at Arizona Mills
Arizona Mills is a huge indoor outlet and shopping mall. It includes 185 stores from some of the most popular brands, plus a Rainforest Café and the largest IMAX cinema in the state.
The previously mentioned Sea Life Aquarium is included here, so this way you can “kill 2 birds” with one visit.
There is also a large food court with foods for all tastes, so you can easily spend an entire day here, just shopping, watching movies, eating and having fun. Source: Arizona Mills
3. Take a Walk in the Kiwanis Park
If you happen to visit Guadalupe during the summer (or just a warm day should be enough), then you should definitely take a walk in this beautiful park.
There are plenty of structures and playgrounds for the kids, and there is even a zip line.
You will also find beautiful alleys for walking or jogging, and a nice lake with plenty of birds to admire and paddle boats to ride.
There are special picnic areas, and fields where you can play basketball, baseball or beach volleyball. Overall, Kiwanis Park is a great place for outdoor fun and activities.
4. Watch a game at the Diablo Stadium
About 2 miles north of Guadalupe you will find the Tempe Diablo Stadium, a great place to watch a game of baseball.
The stadium is not that big, meaning that you will have a great view no matter where you sit. There are plenty of parking spots too.
The staff is friendly and will allow you to visit the stadium even if there is no game at that time, and during the games you’ll also find some good food here.
Throughout the stadium you will also find tributes brought to the big teams that have played here over the years. Overall it’s a great place to see.
5. Get some Mexican Gifts from Mercado Mexico
As you probably already know, Mexicans had a big influence on the history of Guadalupe, so you will find plenty of places related to their culture. One of them is the Mercado Mexico, a great gift shop with lots of cool Mexican products.
The staff is friendly and will help you pick the right souvenir for yourself or a gift for someone special. You will find items of all sizes and shapes, and for all budgets, so make sure to stop by to take a look. Source: Kathi Rendall
6. Pray at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Whether you are a spiritual person or not, feel free to stop by this beautiful Hispanic Roman Catholic church.
They have services in both English and Spanish, plus some good food sold by various church groups every Sunday.
Take some photos from the outside, enjoy the nice architecture of the inside, listen to some uplifting music, connect with God if that floats your boat, or just try to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Source: Ingrid Broue Jensen
7. Shoot A Real Gun at the C2 Tactical Gun Range
Whether you are passionate about guns or have just had a rough day and want to get rid of stress, make sure to stop by the C2 Tactical Gun Range.
They have clean and well-organized ranges. They also offer defense classes and sell guns and accessories.
Visitors were very pleased about this place and gave it plenty of positive ratings and reviews. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will guide you along the way if you have never shot a gun before.
So if you want to do something out of the norm, definitely stop by the C2 range.
8. Eat some Good Food at The Farm at South Mountain
After all of the walking, shopping and shooting, you might get hungry, so now you can stop by The Farm at South Mountain.
It’s a nice place with plenty of outdoor tables if the weather is good, and a wide variety of delicious recipes.
As the name suggests, the restaurant is located on a farm with some beautiful scenery, gardens, trees, alleys and animals.
They offer everything from breakfast to dinner and some of the dishes appreciated by visitors were the large burritos, the French toast, the fresh salads and the sandwiches. Source: The Farm at South Mountain
9. Take a Hike in Pima Canyon
If you like outdoor activities and beautiful sceneries, then the Pima Canyon is definitely a good place to visit. Depending on your fitness level, there are multiple hiking or mountain bike trails to choose from.
Not only you will be able to admire the South Mountain foothills, but along the way you will also find interesting Indian petroglyphs.
If you are going there during the weekend, make sure to come early in the morning to get a parking spot.
Depending on the length and difficulty of the trail that you choose, make sure to bring some water and snacks with you.
10. Take a Swim at the Kiwanis Recreation Center
This large complex covers 54,000 square feet and includes a lot of facilities for the entire family.
You will be able to take a swim in the indoor pool that also has waves, you can get a good workout at the fitness center, play some tennis at one of the 15 courts or just have a drink or a snack and relax.
The facility is clean and well maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The entire family can have a great time at the pool. The waves are alternated with periods of no waves so you can take a good swim.
The pool has a depth that gradually increases, so it’s safe even for those who are not so comfortable swimming in a deep pool.
11. Visit the Tempe History Museum
A very popular attraction of this area, the Tempe History Museum makes a great way to spend the afternoon with family or friends.
You will find out about the history of the area through various images, paintings, recreated scenes, cars, objects, artifacts and much more.
You will see how the Native American ancestors used to live and find out more about their culture. Besides this, you will also find local live music and various exhibitions that change on a regular basis.
You will find a good mix of history, science and archeology. As a bonus, entrance is free of charge.
12. Have some Mexican Food at San Diego Bay Seafood Restaurant
As the subtitle implies, this restaurant is focused on two types of food: Mexican and seafood, with some recipes combining the two.
The dishes are delicious and there are a wide variety of recipes to choose from, for all tastes and budgets.
The welcome is always warm and the service is excellent. If you are passionate about seafood, you will find raw oysters, octopus, red snappers, shrimp and much more.
You can eat the spicy Mexican food along with an ice-cold beer that is delivered in a frosted glass. Source: Lori Carroll
13. Have Dessert at the Waffle House
If you are not living in the US, you have probably seen this famous American dessert in many Hollywood movies.
If you visit this country you need to try as many waffles as possible. One place to do so is the Waffle House in Guadalupe, Arizona.
The food is served quickly and the staff is friendly and polite, but the location is a bit too small and gets crowded quickly.
Overall it is a nice place to get a good breakfast that will keep you going throughout the day, and allow you to visit all the other places on this list.
14. Visit the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
You don’t get to see a museum dedicated to firefighting too often, but this is no regular museum. It’s actually the largest of its kind in the entire world.
It displays a wide variety of fire trucks and equipment, with some pieces being 300 years old.
It also includes an area for the kids to play in, and even a fire truck where they can climb. And of course, there are plaques that commemorate fallen firefighters.
This place has a mix of history, science, technology and patriotism, so the entire family will love it.
15. See the View from Hayden Butte Preserve
If you want to get a good overall view of Guadalupe and the surrounding areas, you should take a hike to the top of Hayden Butte.
It is a short yet steep hike, so make sure to wear proper clothes. But don’t worry, because it is an easy hike that anyone can take.
And at the end it will be well worth it because of the awesome view from the top. The best time to take this hike is early in the morning or late in the evening, to watch the sunrise or the sunset.
Besides the city view, you can also admire various types of cactuses and other plants, and even some lizards.