Nestled in the heart of Arizona, Mesa is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re strolling through Downtown Gilbert’s Heritage District, embarking on scenic trails, or indulging in award-winning cuisine, Mesa offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to every type of traveler.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row: A Taste of Country and Rock & Roll
Immerse yourself in the vibrant downtown Gilbert scene at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. This American Gastropub, founded by country music star Dierks Bentley, stands out with award-winning food, exhilarating nightlife, and a rock & roll attitude. Live entertainment on weekends enhances the unique country atmosphere, making it a must-visit for music and food enthusiasts alike.
Apache Trail and Superstition Mountain Museum: A Scenic Day Trip
Embark on a popular day trip along the historic Apache Trail, winding through the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest. Discover an authentic old west stagecoach stop, a mining town, the famous Elvis Presley Chapel, and the beauty of a mountain lake, all set against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert.
Scenic Nature Cruise aboard the Dolly Steamboat: A Journey through History
Step back in time with a 90-minute nature cruise aboard the Dolly Steamboat. The captain shares fascinating facts about the historic Apache Trail, Canyon Lake, and the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s gold. This leisurely cruise offers a unique perspective on Arizona’s natural beauty.
Tortilla Flat Stagecoach and Saloon: An Authentic Old West Experience
Established in 1904, Tortilla Flat is an authentic Old West stagecoach stop along the scenic Apache Trail. The saloon, adorned with currency and business cards from visitors worldwide, offers a taste of the Wild West. Indulge in “prickly pear” cactus treats and immerse yourself in the charm of this historic settlement.
Espiritu: A Funky Cocktail Lounge Redefining Mexican Cuisine
Named one of America’s best new restaurants in 2022, Espiritu is a funky and upbeat cocktail lounge in the East Valley. Chef Roberto, nominated as the best chef in the southwest, is transforming the Mexican food scene with top-notch mariscos dishes and a menu of progressive cocktails.
Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch: Horseback Riding in a Picturesque Landscape
For a unique horseback riding experience, head to Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch. Guided trail rides traverse Saguaro cactus-studded ridges, the Salt River, dry arroyos, and creosote-covered hills. The Bulldog Cliffs and the majestic Salt River offer picturesque backdrops, making this a trail ride unlike any other in the Phoenix area.
Agritopia: Where Urban Farming Meets Culinary Excellence
Agritopia, named the leading ‘agri-hood’ in the country by The New York Times, is an urban farm designed to flourish in the urban setting of Mesa. The farm’s produce is sold at The Farm Stand and served at Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop. Explore Barnone, a community for skilled craftsmen, where artisans showcase their handcrafted goods.
Garage-East: Elevating Arizona’s Wine Culture
Discover the vibrant wine culture of Arizona at Garage-East, a wine lab located at Barnone. With more than 120 wineries across the state, Arizona has cultivated a wine culture that honors its high deserts. Garage-East, serving Arizona’s best grapes on tap, offers a unique tasting experience led by winemakers Todd and Kelly Bostock.
Schnepf Farms: A Rich Agricultural Legacy and Glamping Experience
Delve into the agricultural legacy of Arizona at Schnepf Farms, dedicated to preserving family farming. Pick your own fresh organic produce, savor farmhouse kitchen cooking at the Farm Fresh Café and Bakery, and experience glamping in vintage Airstream trailers on the 300-acre organic peach farm.
Goldfield Ghost Town: Reliving Arizona’s Wild West
Explore the excitement of Arizona’s Wild West at Goldfield Ghost Town. Daily gunfights, underground mine tours, and the only narrow-gauge railroad in operation in Arizona offer a glimpse into the area’s rich history. Visit this gold mining town and experience the grandeur of the Wild West.
Postino East Wine Café and UnderTow: A Culinary and Cocktail Haven
Indulge in thirty-six unique, approachable wines and simple, delicious food at Postino East Wine Café. For a nautical-inspired craft cocktail experience, visit UnderTow, a bar serving worldly and tropical cocktails in an immersive setting aboard a turn-of-the-century Clipper ship.
Queen Creek Olive Mill: A Family-Operated Olive Mill and Farm
Just east of Mesa, the Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only family-owned and operated working olive mill and farm. Grown at the base of the San Tan Mountains, the olives are pressed to produce high-quality extra virgin olive oil. After the tour, dine in the olive grove, savoring Tuscan-inspired dishes featuring the region’s finest ingredients.
In Mesa, Arizona, every step unveils a new facet of this multifaceted city. From culinary delights to outdoor adventures, Mesa is a destination where history, culture, and nature converge, inviting you to explore and experience the vibrant tapestry of this Southwestern gem.
By Kinya Claiborne, STYLE & SOCIETY
Photo Credit, Marselle Washington, Rev-Engine