Mesa, Arizona, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Sonoran Desert,” is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a plethora of unique experiences for locals and tourists alike. Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Mesa boasts a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural landscapes, and an array of activities that cater to all interests. In this guide, we’ll explore 15 unique things to do in Mesa, AZ, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this hidden gem.

Hiking Adventures in the Superstition Mountains

Mesa is surrounded by the awe-inspiring Superstition Mountains, a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Peralta Trailhead offers a thrilling hike to the stunning Weaver’s Needle, while the Hieroglyphic Trail promises ancient petroglyphs and picturesque views.

Mesa Arts Center

If you’re an art aficionado, the Mesa Arts Center should be your first stop. This cultural hub hosts a variety of exhibits, performances, and workshops. Be involved in your community’s art scene and encourage up-and-coming creatives.

Mesa Grande Cultural Park

Step back in time at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park, where you can explore ancient Hohokam ruins. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the area’s indigenous history and culture.

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden in nearby Phoenix is a short drive away and showcases an incredible collection of desert flora. Wander through the garden’s trails and discover the unique beauty of desert plants.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

For a truly unforgettable experience, take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Arizona landscape as you gently float above the desert terrain.

Salt River Tubing

Cool off in the Arizona heat with a tubing adventure on the Salt River. Drift along the serene waters, surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and wildlife.

Mesa Golfland Sunsplash

Fun for the whole family awaits at Golfland Sunsplash. Enjoy water slides, mini-golf, go-karts, and arcade games. It’s the perfect place for a day of excitement.

Antique Shopping on Main Street

Mesa’s historic Main Street is a treasure trove of antique shops and boutiques. Hunt for unique finds, from vintage clothing to retro collectibles.

Tonto National Forest

Explore the vast beauty of Tonto National Forest. With miles of hiking trails, camping spots, and opportunities for water recreation, it’s a nature lover’s paradise.

Mesa Market Place Swap Meet

For a taste of local culture and great deals, visit the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet. You’ll find everything from artisan crafts to delicious food vendors.

Rockin’ R Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner

Experience the Old West at the Rockin’ R Ranch. Enjoy a hearty chuckwagon dinner and watch a thrilling Western stage show under the stars.

Visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History

Discover the fascinating history of Arizona at the Museum of Natural History. From dinosaur exhibits to Native American artifacts, it’s an educational adventure for all ages.

Mesa Urban Garden

Green thumbs and food enthusiasts will appreciate the Mesa Urban Garden. Learn about sustainable gardening practices and enjoy the beauty of organic crops.

Explore Mesa’s Craft Beer Scene

Mesa has a burgeoning craft beer scene. Visit local breweries and taprooms to savor unique brews created by passionate artisans.

Enjoy Authentic Southwestern Cuisine

Don’t leave Mesa without savoring the flavors of the Southwest. Try local dishes like Sonoran hot dogs, green chili burritos, and prickly pear margaritas.

Now that you have a comprehensive list of unique things to do in Mesa, Arizona, it’s time to start planning your adventure. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a good time, Mesa has something special in store for everyone.


Mesa, Arizona, is a hidden gem in the desert, offering a rich tapestry of experiences. From outdoor adventures in the Superstition Mountains to cultural exploration at the Mesa Arts Center, this city has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the unique charm of Mesa, AZ.


Is Mesa a safe place to visit?

Mesa is generally a safe city for tourists. However, like any place, it’s essential to exercise common-sense precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

What’s the best time to visit Mesa, AZ?

The fall and spring months offer the most pleasant weather for outdoor activities. Avoid the scorching summer heat if possible.

Can I visit the Superstition Mountains on my own?

While some trails are suitable for solo hikers, it’s advisable to go with a group or hire a guide for safety, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area.

Are there any annual events in Mesa worth attending?

Mesa hosts several annual events, including the Mesa Arts Festival and the Arizona Celebration of Freedom, which showcase the city’s vibrant culture.

Where can I find the best Mexican food in Mesa?

Mesa is known for its excellent Mexican cuisine. Some local favorites include Tacos Chiwas, La Famiglia, and Carolina’s Mexican Food.

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