Mesa is a city close to Phoenix and is located just south of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. It is one of the largest suburban cities in the US, with a population of more than 500,000 people. Mesa has a strong history of agriculture and it was famous for being a fruit-growing region. It is a mix of the bustling life of a metropolitan city and the quiet life of a suburb. There are many activities and recreational places. You can enjoy the year-round sunny days and use the nice winter temperatures to do all kinds of outdoor activities that would have been difficult in the very hot summer.
Why should people visit during the winter?
Mesa, like the rest of the Arizona region, is surrounded by a desert and it has a warm and pleasant winter climate. There are many sunny days with minimal rain, but the nights can get cold. The winter is a busy season and the best time of the year to do all kinds of outdoor activities. Due to the pleasant climate, this time of the year attracts a lot of people escaping the cold north. All shops, restaurants, and recreational areas are open for everyone to enjoy their stay in Mesa.
Mesa is located in a desert, so it can get extremely hot in summers, but winters see a very pleasant temperature. The night temperature usually drops during the winter, and sometimes it frosts. Make sure you take appropriate clothing with you, and it is advisable to have heating at the location you stay in. There is not much rain throughout the year.
For more climate information visit Meteoblue
Things to see in Mesa
There are enough places that you can visit in the Mesa area:
- Arizona Museum of Natural History: It is one of the premier natural history museums and it has several displays of dinosaurs. You can also see the history of Sonoran Desert people and there is a Mexico and Central America hall (Mayas and Aztecs).
- Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum: It is a 55,000 square feet area that is dedicated to historic wartime aircraft, World War 2 artifacts, and memorabilia. You can see the Arizona desert from the cockpit of a Stearman.
- Mesa Arts Center: It is a multidisciplinary art center with 4 theaters, fiver art galleries, and 14 art studios. It offers live performances, exhibits, exhibitions and several kinds of festivals are also held here.
- Mesa Grande Cultural Park: It is considered to be a gem in Arizona. The Mesa Grande temple mound was constructed by The Hohokam, the ancestors of the Akimel O'odham (Pima). It dates back to AD 1100.
- True Garden Urban Farm: It is one of the highest tech greenhouse project in the US. Here crops that ordinarily won't grow in hot temperatures are produced. You can also witness the vertical aeroponic farm.
- Usery Mountain Regional Park: You can take a walk or go hiking, and experience the beauty of the Sonoran desert. There are different trails available based on the level of difficulty. If you get to the top of the mountain you will have an incredible view and you can also watch the sunset.
Things to see not far from Mesa
There are many neighboring towns and places in the surrounding areas that are worth a visit.
- Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: Located 21 Miles (34 km) from Mesa. If you are a car-enthusiast you would love this place. You can witness the entire history of automotive, and also participate in an auction. You will see classical and vintage cars displayed by their owners. Often more than 1000 vehicles are displayed daily.
- The musical instrument museum (MIM): Located 26 Miles (42 km) from Mesa. This museum exhibits a wide range of musical instruments collected from over 200 countries in the world. There are more than 6500 instruments.
- Queen Creek Olive Mill: Located 27 Miles (43 km) from Mesa. It is a family-owned farm with 7000 olive trees. You can taste and see how olives are pressed to produce extra virgin olive oil.
- Goldfield Ghost Town: 25 Miles (40 km) from Mesa. Experience the gold mine tour, see the old west history, and watch a gunfight. It is a small town but there are many activities, including a historical museum.
Activities in Mesa in the winter
When it comes to finding a good activity to entertain yourself, Mesa has many available options.
- Shopping: Mesa has a lot of shopping options around the city.
- Hot air balloon: You can take a hot balloon ride during sunset and enjoy incredible views of the city.
- Theater: you can watch comedy, dance, ballet and many other live performances at the theaters.
- Music: There are many small and stadium-sized venues.
- Cooking: Always wanted to improve your cooking? Join a cooking class and learn how to cook something special.
- Festivals: You can experience a variety of events during the winter period. One of the most beautiful experiences is the lantern festival.
- Fishing: you can go fishing on the Sal River.
- Walking: Explore the city and some of its many parks.
- Fitness and Yoga Retreats: You can find some top-class fitness and yoga retreats in Mesa to stay mentally and physically healthy.
- Golf: you can find some of the top golf courses in and around the city. Some also have other amusement activities like a pool.
- Art classes: Join an art class and learn how to paint, draw, or do some pottery.
- Day trips to other areas: there are several areas outside Mesa that will make a great day trip.
- Kayaking: You can go kayaking in the gentle streams of the Salt River.
Shops & Restaurants. Are they Open in winters?
Mesa is a big city and it has multiple shopping centers, and many restaurants. You will find all the major US stores and restaurant chains, and many local shops and local restaurants.
Apart from the shopping centers, there are also local farmers' markets that sell fresh products, like honey, baked goods, cheese, jam, vegetables, fruits, bread, and much more. A good example is Superstition Ranch Market (https://www.superstitionranchmarket.com/), but Mesa has more of this type of local market. You can also visit the American Indian Arts and Kactus Jock for native art and souvenirs.
The airport in Mesa is Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It is near to the south of the city of Mesa. You can take a taxi, Uber, bus or shuttle service to reach your destination.
Having a car can be convenient during your stay. You can rent one at the airport easily, but there are also numerous other locations if you do not want to rent one all the time.
There is a well-established bus transportation system in Mesa. You use it to travel to locations both within and outside the city.
There are 3 train stations within the city.
If you want to use public transport, an easy way to find the best route is to use Google Maps. You can find the directions from your starting point to the destination, and click on transit. It will then show you the available public transport options.
There are many standard medical and health care centers within the city of Mesa. The city has a general hospital, private hospitals, doctors, and numerous dental clinics. A short selection:
- Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital: General hospital with 24/7 emergency. (https://locations.dignityhealth.org/)
- Mountain Vista Medical Center: Hospital (https://www.mvmedicalcenter.org/)
- Dental Care Mesa: Dental Clinic (https://www.smilemesa.com/)
There are several different rental companies present in Mesa. Some of the most popular organizations that are commonly used include:
- Zillow (https://www.zillow.com/)
- Housing anywhere (https://housinganywhere.com/)
- Apartments guide: (https://www.apartmentguide.com/)
- Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) is also available in case you're looking for a more customized offer. The prices vary according to the location and the size of the accommodation.
You can find a nice 1 bed room apartment starting from $700 (approx. €578, £512, $889 CAD, $906 AUD).
If you are traveling with a Motorhome there are many parking options like:
Apache Campground: It is a great camping site and it is located in the city. Basic facilities like toilet and water are available. Prices start from $20 (approx. €16, £14, $25 CAD, $25 AUD) per night (https://koa.com/campgrounds/mesa/)
Twin Palms: A nice RV camping within the town. Facilities include restrooms, laundry and running water. Prices start from $45 (approx. €37, £32, $57 CAD, $58 AUD) per night. (http://twinpalmsrv.com/)
Happy days RV Park: 55+ parks with 180 full sites available for RV or motorhomes. All modern facilities are available. Prices start from $41.6 (approx. €34, £30, $52 CAD, $53 AUD) per night. (http://happydaysrvpark.com/)
Monte Vista RV resort: Camping space for tents and RV's. Many facilities. Prices start from $66 (approx. €54, £48, $83 CAD, $85 AUD) per night. (https://www.rvonthego.com/arizona/monte-vista-rv-resort/)
- Weather: The winter weather in Mesa (Arizona) will normally be chilly during the day and cold during the night. You have to pack accordingly.
Warm clothing: Even when you go to a warm location like Mesa (Arizona) you should not forget to take some things with you for your trip back home. When you return you are adapted to the warmer weather and need something to protect you from your hometown temperatures.
Consider the Weather: Always look at the type of weather in Mesa (Arizona). Things like humidity, wind, and rain do not show up in the temperature graph but can have a great impact on your wardrobe. There are several sites with long term forecasts and climate information. Is there often a short afternoon downpour like in the tropics, you maybe need to take a strong umbrella and shoos that can cope with the rain. If there is often a lot of wind you might need a more wind-resistant coat.
Check the local Shopping options: Try to find information about the local shopping options near your location in Mesa (Arizona). Are there stores where you can buy all your daily supplies, or are some things difficult to get? For some more remote locations, the options can be limited. If a certain item is really important for you might need to take it with you.
Look at the Local Culture: The local culture in Mesa (Arizona) can impact your wardrobe. If most activities are in more upscale locations you might take some more appropriate clothes with you. Or travelling if you travel to certain countries women need to cover themselves in certain areas.
Amenities: Know what’s Included in your house or apartment. Is there a coffee maker, a toaster, a washer and dryer, an iron, what is in the kitchen, what kind of towels are there? Things that are there means you do not have to take them with you. A furnished apartment or house can mean something from a few pieces of furniture to a well-stocked place with all the things you have at home. But most of the time your rental will not be stocked.
Mix and match: Wear layers so you can use your wardrobe more efficiently. And do not worry about wearing something more often, probably only you will notice this.
Important for you: If there is something that is really important for you that you want to have present in your house or apartment, take it with you. This can be something like a special knife for the kitchen, or a small mirror that you use in the morning. You can also purchase it locally if it is not that expensive.
Pet supplies: If you take your pet with you don’t forget to take supplies for a few days with you. And enough medication, vitamins, or other supplies if you can not purchase them in Mesa (Arizona) locally.
Food: Don’t take a lot of food with you. Only when there is something you really can not live without you, and it is not too heavy you could consider taking it with you.
Towels: Not all locations include bigger towels for the swimming pool or a visit to the beach. If you have to take them and don’t have a lot of room you can buy some big thin towels.
Office supplies: Normally you will not find any office supplies in your house or apartment. If you think you will use them you could pack some supplies like a scissor, notepaper, envelopes, some pens, and more depending on your needs.
Limit yourself: Don’t take too many shoes and jackets, you will not need them that often.
Best-fitting: Bring your favorite and best-fitting items that can multi-function
Washer: Do you have a washer and dryer onsite, you don’t need to pack a lot of clothes