Situated in the peculiarly named Maricopa County, Mesa is the third-largest city in the state of Arizona right after Phoenix and Tucson. The city is dotted with intriguing museums, awe-inspiring artwork, many hiking opportunities, and endless gastronomical delights. For a fulfilled, off-the-beaten-path sightseeing activity, visit the Orange Patch where you can enjoy a day of picking oranges with your family and take in the numerous varieties of local fruits available. Some other popular attractions here include Sloan Park which is one of the largest stadiums in the US, Mesa Arts and Culture Center and Mesa Amphitheatre.
What makes Mesa an amazing city to visit is not only what you can explore within the boundaries but also the encompassing locations that make for some of the most brilliant weekend getaways from Mesa. Take a look:
Phoenix’s warm, dry temperature allures visitors from all around the world, especially sun-lovers and those wanting to escape snow-cold months. The fascinating city offers boundless arts and cultural hotspots and historic districts, as well as numerous shopping and dining avenues. Several visitors come here just to enjoy the wonderful outdoors. Golfing is one of the top activities to enjoy in Phoenix, however, you’ll also get ample opportunities for hiking, camping, biking, and climbing. Some famous places to visit in the city include the Musical Instrument Museum which is known to be one of the largest such museums in the world, the Desert Botanical Garden located within Papago Park, and the remarkable Heard Museum dating back to 1929.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the city is between November to April.
How to Reach: The Line 531 Bus leaves West Mesa PNR every few minutes to take you to Van Buren St & 1st St in Phoenix. The journey takes around half an hour and costs only a couple of bucks.
While Scottsdale is often connected with pleasant weather and golf courses, the city has a lot more to offer than that. One of the most famous attractions here, Taliesin West is the former winter home of the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but nowadays, it functions as a school of architecture that offers you a glimpse of the legend’s heritage. Art installations, western-themed structures, and high-end galleries can be found throughout the city, especially if you stroll through Old Town Scottsdale. Additionally, if you are a nature lover and an outdoor enthusiast, be sure to explore the trails in the McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve or make a stopover at the Botanical Gardens to learn about the flora and fauna of the region.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit Scottsdale is between late September to November and March to early May.
How to Reach: If you don’t want to drive or take a rental taxi, you could take a tram from Mesa Dr/Main St to University Dr/Rural and transfer over to University/Rural TC to take bus 72 to Scottsdale Rd & Highland Av.
One of America’s most iconic attractions, the Grand Canyon is a truly awe-inspiring natural feature that has been attracting hundreds and thousands of visitors for years from all over the world. There are two rims, north and south, that can be accessed via two opposite sides, but the south is more popular since it is open throughout the year as opposed to the north which is closed during the winter months. Apart from the Skywalk at Eagle Point, which is situated at the West Rim, the most famous attractions in the Grand Canyon are located on the South Rim. The visitor center and Mather Point Overlook, the Rim Trail, and the Hermit Road Drive are some of the noteworthy sights here.
Best Time to Visit: March to May and September to November are the most popular months to visit Grand Canyon.
How to Reach: If you want to avoid switching between multiple transport options, the best way to come here is in your car. The drive would take slightly over four hours and only cost $25 to $35 in fuel.
Surrounded by stunning red rock mountains, bluffs, and canyons, Sedona is one of the most beautiful destinations in Arizona. The landscape here is nothing less than exquisite, with implausible views from every street corner and hiking path. Cathedral Rock is the most photo’d attraction in the area and one of the city’s most imposing spots. The most definitive view of the Rock is from Red Rock Crossing Park. Some other places of interest here include Uptown Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive, and Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit Sedona is between March to May as the climate is pleasant and the area is in full bloom. Hikers, especially, prefer this season, as desert flowers add a vibrance of color to the otherwise rust-colored trails.
How to Reach: To avoid driving to Sedona, you can take a tram from Mesa Dr/Main St to 44th St/Washington, then change over to PHX Airport/44th St Stn to get a Flixbus for Flagstaff from where you can get bus 8583 to Sedona which operates twice daily. The entire journey takes around 6 hours but only costs between $11 to $15.
This popular Wild West town is the granddad of western legends, where personalities of the Old West have been eternalized in stories, and in a certain situation, reincarnated here on the sandy streets of Tombstone. Located in the southeastern crook of Arizona, the eclectic town has conserved and renovated many of the original structures and offered them to tourists as museums, restaurants, and stores. OK Corral is the most prominent attraction in Tombstone. This is where the infamous shoot-out of 1881 among the Earp and Clanton gangs took place, a historic event in the Old West. Allen Street, the main street running across town, is where you will inevitably find yourself because this is where most of the important attractions can be found – restaurants, shops, and renowned old saloons.
Best Time to Visit: Mid and late fall is the best time to explore southeast Arizona.
How to Reach: The most convenient way to travel between Mesa and Tombstone is in a self-driven car. The ride takes slightly over three hours and would only set you back $19 to $27 in fuel.
Apache Trail is an out-and-out gold mine of things to do and see for tourists. Whether you want a picturesque drive through the desert, some family time with the kids, or just a blissful day at the lake, this is where you can find it all. There are numerous stunning locations and enjoyable activities along this legendary 40-mile stretch. The first primary stop is a reconstructed 1890s ghost town, Goldfield Ghost Town, which offers tours of a history museum, the now-defunct gold mine, Old West gunfights, and much more. The 320-acre Lost Dutchman State Park offers several great tracks into the wilderness encompassing the Superstition Mountains. Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat, Fish Creek Hill, and Apache Lake are a few other interesting places to explore here.
How to Reach: To go anywhere in Apache Trail, hop on a bus 30 from University Dr & Mesa Dr to get to University Dr & Power Rd. From here, the popular locations in Apache Trail are all under half an hour. The entire journey only takes under an hour and costs between $30 to $40.
A stone’s throw away from the United States, Mexicali is a great weekend destination with a plethora of things to do and experience. If you are here only for a couple of days, start your trip at the Centro Estatal de las Artes to explore the best of local and student artworks. Additionally, make it a point to stop at the Café Literario, a built-in diner with a routine indie film night and a very pleasing vibe. Furthermore, there are over a hundred Chinese restaurants in La Chinese, the largest Chinatown in Mexico. The cuisine is 100% genuine, and the place is filled with vibrance and excitement. Lastly, Mexicali also offers some natural gems such as the Cañón de Guadalupe which is home to an astonishing canyon, a splendid valley, and natural hot springs.
Best Time to Visit: November to March are considered the most preferred months to visit here.
How to Reach: The most suggested way to get to Mexicali from Mesa is by taking a bus to Calexico and then hop on to a Mexicali-bound bus. The buses would take under five hours in total and cost you between $50 to $125 in fare.
You may find yourself engulfed by a desert, but whether you enjoy the dry environment of the forges or the wetlands that steered pioneers here to search for gold, there is something for everyone in Mesa. Likewise, the gems surrounding the city as mentioned in our list of the most amazing weekend getaways from Mesa offer you so much in terms of natural landscapes, arts and culture, history, outdoor activities, and so much more. So, get ready to plan your travel to Mesa and its neighboring areas today.