Fortunately for Angels fans, Tempe Diablo Stadium is located close the the two best parts of metropolitan Phoenix: Tempe and Scottsdale. Tempe has a vibrant college atmosphere and lots of nightlife, Scottsdale is the Newport of Phoenix and features fine dining and golf. Then there are some interesting places a little further out.
The greatest advantages to staying in Tempe are proximity to the ballpark, the cost, and the nightlife.
Hotels in Tempe aren't very expensive compared to most downtown areas and many are close to Tempe Diablo. This year I am using Air BnB and managed to snag a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house for about $250 a night; not bad for myself, my dad, and my nephew. Overall, the cost of staying in Tempe is lower than Scottsdale.
Mill Avenue is about 3 miles from Tempe Diablo and offers a wide array of eating and drinking establishments. Think of it as Tempe's version of State Street in Santa Barbara, only with lower beer prices. The surrounding blocks offer dining options to suit every pallet.
For the hours outside of baseball, there are plenty of things to do such as hiking, museums, even an aquarium.
A little further up the road lies Scottsdale. The advantages here are premium golf courses and fine dining. And, depending on location, you will add 10 to 30 minutes onto your commute to Tempe Diablo, making it less of an Uber and more of a car rental situation.
Downtown Scottsdale has a nice range of restaurants but the best bars tend to me located in Old Town Scottsdale. A great way to spend a spring evening is enjoying the art walk on Thursdays. It is very casual and a great chance to meander through the neighborhood while finding something to eat or drink.
Hotels are plentiful, but Air BnB was less so. Many of the homes I looked at required a one week minimum, although some were on some nice golf courses. If you golf and have a decent travel budget, that might be your thing.
Glendale is about a half hour drive from Tempe Diablo and features Camelback Ranch, home of the Dodgers and White Sox, as well as Westgate, a shopping and entertainment area. Hotels are less abundant than Tempe or Scottsdale, but typically reasonably priced.
My Two Cents:
Stay in Tempe unless you have a free place to stay. You just can't beat catching a day game and heading to Mill Avenue. This year the World Baseball Classic games will be televised in the evenings, so catch a day Spring Training game, take a quick shower, then head to Mill for a bite and the WBC. This plan also works great if you are going during March Madness or the conference tournaments leading up to it.
On days the Angels are away from home, Tempe is located near the homes of the Giants, A's and Cubs and has freeway access to help you reach most other stadiums in about half an hour.
Your Two Cents:
What did I miss? Where are your favorite places to eat or grab a cold one? What stories do you have about a great night out in downtown Tempe, Scottsdale, or general Phoenix area?