10 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Mesa, AZ if You’re New to the City

Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Mesa, Arizona is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and a plethora of activities to enjoy. From exploring the stunning landscapes of Usery Mountain Regional Park to immersing yourself in the arts and culture of the Mesa Arts Center, there’s never a shortage of things to do in this desert oasis. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie looking to indulge in the local cuisine, Mesa has something for everyone.

So whether you’re searching for apartments in Mesa, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here is Redfin’s list of the top 10 things to do in Mesa, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

Mesa, Arizona

1. Explore the Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden in Mesa is a stunning showcase of the unique flora and fauna of the desert. With over 50,000 desert plants on display, visitors can wander through the beautiful outdoor exhibits and learn about the diverse ecosystems of the desert.

The best time to visit is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat, and the garden is easily accessible with paved pathways and wheelchair-friendly areas. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Mesa, the garden is a must-see for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike.

2. Visit the Mesa Arts Center

The Mesa Arts Center is a vibrant cultural hub that offers a wide range of artistic experiences. From live performances and art exhibitions to hands-on workshops and classes, there is always something exciting happening at the center. Visitors can check the schedule for upcoming events and plan their visit accordingly. The center is easily accessible by public transportation and offers ample parking for those driving. Whether you’re interested in visual arts, music, theater, or dance, the Mesa Arts Center has something for everyone.

3. Take a hot air balloon ride

Experience Mesa from a whole new perspective with a hot air balloon ride. The breathtaking views of the desert landscape and the city below are truly unforgettable. The best time to go is during the early morning hours when the weather is calm and the skies are clear. Several companies in Mesa offer hot air balloon rides, and transportation to the launch site is usually included in the package. It’s an adventure that will leave you with lasting memories of Mesa’s natural beauty.

4. Explore the Usery Mountain Regional Park

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Usery Mountain Regional Park is a paradise for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, and the best time to visit is during the cooler months of the year. With stunning desert landscapes and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, the park is a great place to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of Mesa’s outdoors.

Mira Mesa San Diego

5. Discover the Arizona Museum of Natural History

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a fascinating destination for history buffs and curious minds. From dinosaur exhibits and ancient artifacts to interactive displays and hands-on activities, the museum offers a captivating journey through Arizona’s natural and cultural heritage. The museum is located in the heart of downtown Mesa, making it a convenient stop for visitors of all ages.

6. Enjoy a culinary adventure

Mesa is a melting pot of culinary delights, with a diverse range of restaurants and eateries to explore. From Southwestern cuisine to international flavors, there’s something for every palate. Visitors can take a food tour of Mesa to sample local specialties and discover hidden gems. With a mix of casual dining and fine dining options, Mesa’s food scene is sure to satisfy any craving.

7. Attend a spring training game

Mesa is a hotspot for baseball fans during spring training season. Visitors can catch a game at Sloan Park, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs. The stadium offers a fun and lively atmosphere, and the games are a great way to experience the excitement of America’s favorite pastime. Attending a spring training game is a must-do activity for sports enthusiasts.

8. Shop at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet

For a unique shopping experience, head to the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet. With over 1,600 boutique-style shops, visitors can browse through a wide variety of goods, including clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more. The swap meet is open on weekends and offers free parking and easy access from major highways. It’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind treasures and support local vendors.

mesa arizona mountain view at sunset

9. Explore the Mesa Historical Museum

Dive into Mesa’s rich history at the Mesa Historical Museum, where exhibits and artifacts showcase the city’s past. From pioneer life to the development of Mesa as a thriving community, the museum offers a fascinating look into the city’s heritage. Located in downtown Mesa, the museum is easily accessible and provides a glimpse into the stories and people that have shaped the city over the years.

10. Take a scenic drive on the Apache Trail

The Apache Trail is a scenic byway that winds through the Superstition Mountains and the Tonto National Forest, offering breathtaking views of the desert landscape. Visitors can embark on a road trip along this historic route, stopping at overlooks and attractions along the way. The best time to go is during the cooler months. It’s a picturesque adventure that showcases the natural beauty of Mesa’s surroundings.

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