Mesa, Arizona, is the third largest city in the state, a suburb located about 20 miles east of Phoenix. The area was first settled about 2000 years ago by a Native American civilization referred to as the Hohokam (which means, “Those who have gone”). The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a great place to learn about this lost tribe, and at the Park of the Canals you can see evidence of the ... read more
canals they created as early as 700 B.C. The main center of the arts is the Mesa Arts Center, which is the largest in Arizona, and boasts a whole range of theaters and galleries. Also make sure to check out the Mesa Mormon Temple at night, the third largest outside of Salt Lake City—the city was founded by Mormon pioneers, and around ten percent of the population are still Mormon. But perhaps the biggest attraction of Mesa is the chance to head out into the surrounding Sonoran Desert, whether on foot, bike, jeep or horseback. Even better, take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and enjoy the sweeping views of desolate beauty. And if the desert proves too much, you can relax by tubing down the Salt River, beer in hand.