Goldfield Ghost Town Photo – courtesy of VisitMesa.com
Few areas of the country offer the kind of beauty, history, and unique culture that is available in Mesa, Arizona. Located just 20 miles to the east of downtown Phoenix, Arizona’s third-largest city welcomes millions of visitors from all across the globe on an annual basis. In addition to being an urban haven for fine dining, shopping, and nightlife, the natural wonder of the geological formations in the area make it a gem in the Arizona landscape.
Mesa has a considerable history of supporting diversity, enrichment, and opportunity. The population in this area dates back roughly 2,000 years, supporting the Hohokam people. This culture is the original builder of the area’s first system of canals. When compared to the rest of the world at this period, they constructed the largest and most intricate canal system in the prehistoric world. When translated, this culture’s name means “The Departed Ones.” Thanks to their early efforts in moving water, the Sonoran Desert was transformed into an agricultural oasis in the region. The impact on the land was considerable. The canals extended over hundreds of miles. To this day, some of these resources are still in use as well.
Little is known of the first settlers following the Hohokam culture. However, Mormon settlements were later formed thanks to the efforts of the pioneer Daniel Webster Jones. Following their arrival, a group known as the “First Mesa Company” arrived. They continued to cultivate the area and take advantage of its natural resources. Following the Great Depression, Falcon and Williams Fields were constructed, giving rise to an exponential growth in tourism. Today and since the 1950’s, Mesa has continued to grow in correlation with the expansion of Phoenix.
This city has a wealth of beauty that is made possible by both man and mother nature. There are a huge number of historic properties and houses throughout the area, including a number of military sites still intact after decades of development. Among the notable locations to see are ammo bunkers, the Fitch Farm House, and a replica of the Lehi School that was originally constructed in 1880.
Within the city limits, there are over 2,000 acres of designated park land. These areas include golf courses, lakes, and a number of stunning, natural rock formations. The golf courses drawing in players from all over the region include the Long Bow Golf Club, Augusta Ranch Golf Club, and Dobson Ranch. West Mesa is home Fiesta Mall, an ideal location for visitors who are interested in doing some shopping while in the area. To the east, visitors can enjoy a number of wonderful touring acts at the outdoor amphitheater. East Mesa also hosts the Superstition Springs center, another area for dining, entertainment, and local shops.
Mesa is the host to the Chicago Cubs for Cactus League Spring Training . Voters recently passed a proposition that will built brand new facilities for the team and locks them into using Mesa for Spring Training.
Travel throughout Mesa is simple when using public transportation. In fact, they have recently received a considerable grant to revitalize the light rail that runs throughout the city. In terms of culture, there is plenty to experience when in Mesa. The Mesa Arts Center is a modern destination that brings in historical art, contemporary artists from all over the nation, and hosts a number of public events throughout the year. Because Arizona features such an extensive amount of natural and cultural history, the Arizona Museum of Natural History serves as an intriguing stop for any visitor. Finally, nature lovers should make plans to stop by the Usery Mountain Regional Park or experience Salt River Tubing. Mesa is conveniently located near many outdoor activities. Many visitors and locals hit the Salt River for rafting or take the drive to the Canyon lakes: Apache, Canyon, Saguaro and Roosevelt.
When it comes time to dine, there are a wide range of possibilities that are suitable for tastes of any kind both young and old. Mesa features the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Organ-Stop Pizza, and many five-star restaurants as well.
Many visitors to Mesa are drawn by the Mesa Convention Center. This hi-tech center is located near the downtown area and is constantly full of conventions and meetings. Many visitors looks for nearby restaurants during their convention visit. Restaurants near the Mesa Convention Center.