With lakes, a national forest and the majestic Sonoran Desert on its doorstep, the city of Mesa is a gateway to outdoor fun and adventure. Located at the base of the Superstition Mountains in central Arizona, Mesa gives you plenty of ways to experience nature. Explore its cultural and historic attractions, including museums, concert venues and an ancient ceremonial site.
Make the most of Mesa’s beautiful scenery with a variety of active pursuits. Take one of the nature or dirt bike trails through the Lost Dutchman State Park. Look for the park’s animals, such as bobcats, jackrabbits and mule deer. Spot additional wildlife at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch. Nearly 200 bird species have been seen at this wetland sanctuary.
Explore the Tonto National Forest and water ski or powerboat across one of its lakes. Head up to the Superstition Mountains to cruise across Canyon Lake aboard the Dolly Steamboat. Salt River is a great place for tubing during the summer.
Discover the city’s indoor attractions with a walk around downtown. Visit the Mesa Arts Center for concerts, theater and art exhibits. Kids will enjoy hours of science, technology and art-based fun at the Idea Museum. See colossal dinosaur skeletons at the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
For even more history, walk the interpretive trail at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park. Built between 1100 and 1400, this ancient mound was an important ceremonial center for a large Hohokam village in the Salt River Valley.
If you are a golf enthusiast, swing your clubs at one of Mesa’s golf courses. More than 40 courses are located within a 30-minute drive of the downtown area. For those who like to get active in the water, choose from a dozen public pools and water parks.
Mesa is located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Phoenix. The city is within easy reach of the Goldfield Ghost Town and is a good base from which to explore the historic Apache Trail.