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Mesa: Outdoor Lifestyle Meets a Thriving Metropolis
Mesa, AZ is a playground for visitors due to the numerous activities it has at its disposal. Alongside the outdoor space and recreation that the city is famous for, the downtown area is a vibrant land of fantastic shopping, contemporary hotels, tantalising dining options and highly rated attractions. So not only is it the third biggest city in Arizona and conveniently positioned just 20 miles east of Phoenix, but Mesa is also an ever-popular destination choice for all manner of travellers.
If having fun outdoors is one of your passions, Mesa is the kind of destination choice for you. Along with the Sonoran Desert surrounding the city, it also boasts convenient access to countless hiking trails, two rivers and three lakes – and it doesn’t take much imagination to think of what activities can be enjoyed via such environments! One of the main areas of interest is the Usery Mountain Regional Park, which is a fantastic place to explore with great sights, an archery range and the popular Wind Cave Trail. Another family-friendly attraction is the Riverview Park. With various climbing structures, zip line, a lake for fishing in, and many other things, this is the ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown. And if golf is your game, Mesa is a great pick if you are basing your trip around sinking a few balls. This is because the city has a magnificent collection of golf courses, with the Las Sendas Golf Club arguably being top of the class in that regard.
Away from the outdoor recreational activities, Mesa is also home to a variety of other attractions and things to do. One of the main focal points of the city is the Mesa Arts Center. Not only is it the biggest arts complex of its kind in Arizona with five different art galleries and 14 visual/performing art classroom studios, but it also vaunts four performance spaces – including the expansive 1,600-seat Ikeda Theater. For a change of pace, and keeping with the area’s aforementioned appetite for golf, the family-friendly Golfland Sunsplash is a popular destination. Along with three challenging miniature golf courses, this thrilling attraction features a large arcade, waterpark and over 30 exciting rides in total. And if visiting museums is at the top of the list when travelling, Mesa has a selection of excellent examples in the form of the Commemorative Air Force Museum, Arizona Museum of Natural History and IDEA Museum – the latter an interactive art museum aimed at children.
Mesa is one of the state’s finest and most diverse places to indulge in some gift buying. Although before looking at the brick and mortar stores that populate the city, one of the best shopping experiences available is the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet. A state-of-the-art market that is open every weekend, an assortment of merchants take up the 1,600 market spaces and sell every type of item you could hope to find. As far as some traditional shopping goes, the downtown area has virtually all of the choice you could need. From national retailers to specialist boutique establishments, acquiring treats, presents and even everyday essentials is a simple affair. The city also has the advantage of numerous shopping malls, with the centrally located Mesa Riverview and Mesa Grand Shopping Center being two of the greatest. Both have a large collection of well-known retailers, eateries and forms of entertainment, making them ideal destinations for a day out.
Dining & Nightlife
Due to its sheer scale, you will find an array of dining and drinking establishments that are spread out throughout Mesa. With that said, the downtown area is understandably the most centralised place for such things – which is ideal due to its close proximity to the majority of hotels in the city! As far as restaurants go, you have a wide selection of eateries to choose from. In fact, Mesa is known as one of the top spots in Arizona for all-American, Mexican and Hawaiian cuisine. That said, the destination is also home to an extensive mix of other international flavours, and you can enjoy fresh and tantalising dishes that range from Polish to Vietnamese origin. Similarly, the city’s nightlife scene is a diverse and enticing attraction for travellers. Bars with live music and comedy, quiet watering holes with locally produced beverages, energetic and contemporary nightclubs – Mesa has essentially every base covered when it comes to nightlife options.