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The Unauthorized Guide to ASU Downtown

​The ability to navigate the back alleys of Mill Avenue is as much engrained in an ASU student as an ID number or the importance of board shorts and flip flops. 

The university's Tempe campus has been around for a while and its students have grown accustomed to the square  mile of classrooms, snack spots, and a ton of other people. The downtown Phoenix campus is a little different. 

ASU Downtown is in the heart of the city -- it neighbors the arts district, several business pockets,  and sports complexes, and is full of Downtown secrets and must-knows in order to survive your freshman (or sophmore, junior, or senior) year. 

If you're new to the downtown campus or just haven't had the opportunity to explore, here are a few must-sees and shortcuts ...

Spot to Hang Between Classes: Royal at the Market
In the back of the Phoenix Public Market just off of Central Avenue and Pierce Street  (and a block north of the Cronkite Building), Royal is the best place to hang out if you have time to kill. Peruse the market's produce or check the deli's daily specials while the barista brews each cup once-at-a-time. 

Quick Coffee: Fair Trade Cafe
Sometimes you don't have the luxury of waiting for exclusively brewed coffee - you just have to grab it and go. Luckily there is an alternative to the titanic Starbucks at Taylor Place and the lackluster Java City offering in UCENT, and it's located in Civic Space Park. Fair Trade Cafe is located down the outside staircase of the A.E. England Gallery off Central Avenue and has the same menu as the Roosevelt location.

Spend Some Money: CityScape

Catch Some Eye Candy Before Class: UCENT
So, you might be sick of the colorless decorum, the lame food, and the uncomfortable seating, but the University Center is actually a pretty cool place to see some cool art. 

Host of the Action, Advocacy, Arts series that changes every semester at ASU, it's a great place to see the unique work of many local artists, pieces by Joseph "Sentrock" Perez.

Free Parking: Third/Fourth Street, Fillmore/Roosevelt Street
A few of you might already know this, but there is quite a bit of un-metered real estate that's just a block away from the Nursing and Health Innovation buildings. 

These streets offer parking for a couple hundred vehicles, and spots do fill up quickly on the weekdays, but if you can manage one its worth the walk. Just make sure you mind the signage, because there are a couple forbidden spots in the are.

Quick Escape: Third Street/Avenue HOV Entrances
Whether you're heading to Glendale or Tempe, if you haven't taken the lightrail, chances are you're leaving campus in the thick of traffic. The paths to the Seventh Avenue and Street freeway ramps are often clogged and riddled with obstacles. 

But the HOV entrance ramp heading West at Third Avenue and East at Third Street often provide a fast escape to your destination.
Hungry for more? Check out our must-visit list of downtown Phoenix restaurants on our food blog, Chow Bella.

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