Mesa Tourist Information and Tourism

(Mesa, Arizona - AZ, USA)

Although Mesa remains one of the more low-key and understated cities in the state of Arizona, it is actually amongst the biggest, after only Phoenix and Tucson. With a population in the region of half a million people, the city continues to expand at a fast pace.

Many people consider Mesa to be something of a sleepy suburb of Phoenix, since this metropolis is just under 19 miles / 31 km to the east, being reachable in less than 30 minutes thanks to the connecting Superstition Freeway (US-60). However, that doesn't mean that there aren't a number of top-notch tourist attractions within the boundaries of the city itself, such as the captivating Arizona Museum of Natural History and the enormous Mesa Community College Rose Garden - the largest of its kind on the American Southwest.

There is plenty to see within Mesa, and plenty more just outside of the city. Therefore, it is sensible to pop into the Mesa, Arizona Convention and Visitors Bureau when you arrive, for some tourism advice. Named 'Visit Mesa' and opened Monday through Friday, this tourist information center stands on North Center Street, being found just a minute or two from the Arizona Museum of Natural History and directly across from the US Post Office.

Mesa Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Those on holiday in Mesa will find lots to do in the form of actual tourist attractions, guided tours, public parks and evening entertainment. Paddleboat cruises are a popular draw card at Saguaro Lake, while a safari-style trip around the Sonoran Desert is also on offer. The theme of recreational activities continues on the Salt River, where tourists can often be spotted floating along with the flow in just an inflatable rubber ring.

Live music frequently takes place at the open-air Mesa Amphitheater, nearby Rendezvous Park, although if you prefer to sit inside, then you can choose between either the National Comedy Theater or the Silver Star Playhouse. Being located within the heart of Arizona does mean that Mesa enjoys some very hot summer temperatures, and so if you are here as a young family, the city's very own Golfland Sunsplash Waterpark will probably have your name on it very quickly. More information about Mesa Tourist Attractions.

Various old sites and landmarks reside within Mesa, the most important of which now appear on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. Amongst the oldest is the Alhambra Hotel on South MacDonald Street, which dates back to the early 1890s and was mostly rebuilt at the beginning of the 1920s with Spanish Mission Revival style architecture, following significant fire damage that almost completely destroyed the building.

Standing on West Main Street and on the western side of downtown Mesa is the Alma Ward Meeting House, built by the Mormon Church in the first decade of the 1900s and now functioning as a stylish dining room for the Landmark Restaurant, famed for its stuffed meat loaf. Considerably older is the Mesa Grande Archaeological Site on North Date Street, which resides a little to the north of the city center and comprises a partially excavated Hohokam (an ancient culture) mound. However, not all of the main landmarks in Mesa are especially old, with the mid-1980s Bank of America Tower dominating the Financial Plaza, next to the Fiesta Shopping Mall on South Alma School Road. More information about Mesa Landmarks and Monuments.

If you are a tourist with just enough time to pay a visit to one museum, then the Arizona Museum of Natural History it should be. Children will certainly appreciate the Jurassic exhibits on Dinosaur Mountain and the numerous fossils, as well as the authentic recreation of a Hohokam village and the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. Another family favourite is to be found just down the road, namely the i.d.e.a. Museum, which was recently known as the Arizona Museum for Youth before being renamed. There are lots of hands-on activities at the i.d.e.a. - suiting not only toddlers and younger children, but also tweens with inquiring minds, meaning that they will learn information as they play. The Mesa Arts Center is another cultural magnet in the city and opened in the year 2005, costing almost US$100 million to complete. More information about Mesa Museums.

Getting out and about is certainly likely to be a part of any holiday in Mesa, particularly if you are happy to hire yourself a rental car or use the plentiful public transport that is available. Of course, Phoenix is almost definitely going to be at the top of any list of potential day trips from Mesa, as it is so close and so appealing. Tourist attractions here include the Phoenix Zoo, the Castles-N-Coasters theme park and the Arizona Science Center. Nearby Scottsdale is where you will discover Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Taliesin West architectural school, and in Tempe, the Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility may well appeal to budding astronomers. The Deer Valley Village makes for another extremely popular day trip, as do both the North Mountain Village and the Paradise Valley Village, to the northwest. If you have time to travel a little further afield, then Flagstaff and Tucson should be added to your list. More information about Mesa Attractions Nearby.

More Mesa Information / Fast Facts and Orientation