Explore the best places to visit in Mesa, Arizona, from the Musical Instrument Museum to the Mesa Arts Center. Find family-friendly attractions, outdoor adventures, and more. The charming city of Mesa is home to unique museums, stunning desert landscapes, two rivers, and a plethora of parks, shops, and restaurants. Being the third biggest city in Arizona, Mesa offers something for everyone.
From hiking the Sonoran Desert, appreciating art at its impressive galleries, or watching an MLB game at the bustling stadium, this vibrant city has no dearth of entertainment.
Wondering what to include in your itinerary?
We’ve got you covered with our list of the best places to see in Mesa, Arizona for an unforgettable time: –
Spend time amidst nature at the vast Usery Mountain Regional Park
Sprawled over 3,648 acres, this park offers a plethora of outdoor recreation activities. With over 30 trails, it is a hiker’s haven. You can also enjoy a picnic, horse-riding, or mountain biking here.
Wish to spend the night?
Head to its cosy campsites.
You’ll find RV space, picnic tables, electrical facilities, a barbeque, restrooms, and hot showers for a comfortable stay.
You can even use the outdoor fitness equipment near the Merkle Trailhead to sweat it out with a full-body workout.
Explore the Commemorative Air Force Museum
This family-friendly attraction is perfect to spend an enjoyable afternoon. It’s the only one of its kind in the state which features unique exhibits and aircraft displays.
You can learn all about the history of aviation and its evolution. You can also read inspiring stories of brave pilots who fought for a cause.
If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love to climb on bombers and cargo planes.
You can also go for guided cockpit tours and group tours. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. You can get a ticket for $15 while children under 5 can visit for free.
Appreciate art at the Mesa Arts Center
Spend an artsy morning exploring the rich collection of artworks at Mesa Arts Center. Spread across 2,10,000 square feet, this vast facility features the area’s best creations in visual and performing arts.
Stroll through its five galleries or catch a show at its 99-seater Farnsworth Studio Theatre.
Wish to enjoy a grander experience? Witness a performance at the 1,600-seater Ikeda Theatre.
From Broadway shows to musical concerts, there is something here for everyone’s taste.
Unwind at Rose Garden
Want to enjoy some tranquillity?
Head to the Rose Garden at Mesa Community College.
Opened in 1997, this exquisite garden features over 9,000 roses with 300 different varieties. It is one of the most picturesque spots to unwind after a long day of exploration and click some amazing pictures.
There’s even a botanical garden and a laboratory here that you can check out. Plan your visit around spring or fall to see the roses in full bloom and soak in their sublime beauty.
Watch an MLB Game at the Hohokam Stadium
Hear the crowd roar as you catch a baseball game at the Hohokam Stadium.
You’ll see over 10,500 people in this stadium, especially when the Mesa Solar Sox plays during the Arizona Fall League.
So, feel the exuberance at this famous stadium, perfect for a fun family outing.
Spend a fun afternoon at I.D.E.A Museum
An immersive learning experience awaits you at this unique museum. This is the perfect place for a fun family outing with plenty of hands-on exhibits where you can learn about arts, science, and history.
If you’re visiting with kids, head to the ArtVille Café, where they can prepare meals as if they are running a café.
There are many such intriguing exhibits along with a library which you can check out.
The place offers a plethora of kid-friendly activities which makes it a must-have on your itinerary if you’re on a family holiday.
Experience serenity at the Mesa Temple
Soak in the exquisite architecture of Mesa Arizona Temple and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The place attracts thousands of tourists to stroll through its picturesque grounds and beautiful structures.
You can learn about the church’s origin in the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center through a self-guided tour.
While you’re there, do visit the community garden colouring wall and add your own touch to it. You can also find a 3D model of the Mesa Temple, a play area for kids, reflection pods, computer stations, and more in this area.
Pick some fruit at the Orange Patch
How about picking some sun-kissed oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines?
Head to the Orange Patch to explore a myriad of local fruit varieties. You can also get some sweets, pickles, and jams from the on-site store.
Strolling in this abundant natural area while relishing delicious local fruit is a great way to spend a refreshing outing.
Go river tubing in Salt River
Home to Salt and Verde rivers, Mesa also offers an array of water-sports. Lounge by the riverside, enjoy a picnic or go river tubing in the Salt River.
Soak in the surrounding beauty as you gently float down the river for a pleasant day out.
The river is also the venue for annual tubing events such as Mardi Gras and Halloween-themed tubing sessions.
Step back in time at the Mesa Historical Museum
Dedicated to preserving historical artefacts, this museum is in operation since the 1980s and is the perfect place to get a sneak peek into the area’s history.
Check out the replica of a schoolhouse, period farming equipment, and plenty of memorabilia.
You’ll also find an exhibit known as the ‘Cactus League Experience’ which teaches visitors about the history of baseball training in the city. How intriguing!
Enjoy a spectacular performance at the Mesa Amphitheatre
A favourite amongst the city’s residents, the Mesa Amphitheatre has the capacity to seat 5,000 viewers.
Catching a concert in this vast space is an exciting and memorable experience.
Visitors especially love its tiered lawn that offers great views for all spectators. Check out the shows beforehand to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Enjoy a picnic at Riverside Park
Love to spend some time outdoors?
Head to the popular Riverview Park.
Featuring a large zipline, play structures, a splash pad, and a playground along with shaded picnic areas and much more, this park offers a host of different activities to enjoy for adults & kids alike.
There’s even a community fishing pond where you can try to catch species such as bluegill, bass, rainbow trout, and more. You can also play baseball at Sloan Park, where the Chicago Cubs also train.
Learn about evolution at the Arizona Museum of History
This 74,000 square feet space features over 10,000 historic photographs of the region along with some intriguing exhibits that focus on the geological and geographical history of the South West.
From giant dinosaur representations, an indoor waterfall, a model of an Arizona prison, and a goldmine to numerous historic artefacts, there is something here to pique everyone’s interest.
Pamper yourself at Superstition Springs Center
This shopping mall is home to plenty of brands and designers.
Along with this, it is famous for its outdoor amphitheatre where you can find free concerts being held.
It also has a cinema and a miniature golf course. If you wish to get the city vibe of Mesa, this is the place to be.
Soak in some history at the Mesa Grande Ruins
If you’re a history buff, you’ll love it here. The Mesa Grande Ruins are believed to have been the centre for administration and religious affairs of an ancient Hohokam village from AD 1100 to AD 1400.
Feel like an archaeologist as you explore this historic area where a large section still lies under the surface.
This is one of the most unique places to visit in Mesa, AZ.
If you have some more time on your hands, take a stroll through the city which is filled with artworks and historic structures.
Get your itineraries finalised and head to this incredible destination for an unforgettable vacation.
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FAQs: Best Places to Visit in Mesa
Q. Is Mesa bigger than Phoenix?
Phoenix is larger than Mesa.
Q. What is Mesa Arizona known for?
It is known for its desert landscape, historic landmarks as well as the great variety of outdoor recreation activities it offers.
Q. Is Mesa a walkable city?
It is considered to be the 36th walkable city in the nation.