This may be an obvious note, but sometimes sunsets look best on the water. Aside from the many manmade meres in local neighborhoods, the only sizable body of water in the Valley is Tempe Town Lake. Thanks to the many grassy areas, benches, lakeside ledges, and one stunning pedestrian bridge, there are plenty of places to watch the brilliant orange and pink desert sunset from this bustling city park. Caveats include having to share the scenery with maybe a boot-camp exercise class, a rowdy group of cyclists, a couple of family picnics, and about a million people out for a jog. However, you can always rent or take out your own kayak or pedal boat to get a little privacy on the lake as you watch the day end.

Practical Art

It's all about coming full circle at Practical Art, where you can actually take classes with the artists whose works you've seen sold or exhibited there. Jake Early filled a wall at Practical Art with Southwest-inspired prints, then taught a class in print-making. Laura Spalding Best showed more than 200 oil paintings on found objects, and shared her techniques for painting miniature landscapes during a class at Practical Art. The long list of artists who've taught classes there also includes Alexandra Bowers, Kyllan Maney, and Alex Ozers. Practical Art is the best place to find affordable classes with some of the Valley's best artists, in a casual, comfortable setting where building community is just as important as making art.

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