Disclaimer: I won a trip for two to Mesa in a contest sponsored by Allegiant Airlines and Visit Mesa. All opinions provided are my own.
Mesa Arizona. Perhaps you’ve heard of it but not really sure just where Mesa is located and what it has to offer. Located just 25 minutes from the big city of Phoenix and the scenic Scottsdale, this suburb is often overlooked as a tourist destination. Having experienced the array of activities and attractions Mesa has to offer, I say it’s worth a second look at being the first destination choice on your list.
I really didn’t know what to expect when we found out we were visiting Mesa on Allegiant Air. I too didn’t even know where Mesa was on a map. All I knew is that it was the desert and it was probably going to be hot. I actually was dreading some of the planned activities thinking I was going to die trying to do anything in the heat! I was shocked (and thankful) that I was SO wrong! Considering it was May, we were lucky that temperatures were in the high 80’s with a nice Santa Ana breeze. It was so comfortable and I don’t think I ever even broke a sweat because the humidity is so low.
When we arrived later in the evening at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport on Allegiant Airlines, it was simply beautiful. The airport was smaller in size and navigating our way to baggage and to pick up our rental car at Enterprise was a breeze. It was a comfortable temperature, maybe mid 70’s and a lovely night.
We picked the flashy Dodge Challenger to drive since we left our kids behind for this trip and don’t usually have the chance to drive “fun sporty cars” at home! We headed out and checked it at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson which is centrally located to so many fun activities in Mesa. We had skipped dinner so we decided to eat at a On the Border Mexican Cantina restaurant, one of 5 restaurants right in the parking lot of our hotel!
The next day we began our adventures with the Green Zebra Experience. We got to drive TOMCAR’s through the Yavapai Indian Reservation along the Verde River. We had a blast driving the dusty trails and stopping to learn about the native culture and the landscape. We saw what I would say is the largest Saguaro Cactus ever! We even saw some wild horses drinking along the river bank as well. The tour was awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area.
On day two, we had the luxury of getting up early to go kayaking. (do you sense the sarcasm). Honestly, we had never been kayaking and thought it would be fun but really? 7am while you are on vacation? Ok…. maybe we are not the best with early mornings but we grabbed our coffee and hit the river and I’m SO glad we did. What an amazing experience with Desert Voyagers. Wild horses, coyote, blue herons, an eagle, fish and more. Despite the difficulty my hubby and I had on the best way to co-pilot the kayak (ahem… I totally was right), we had a blast and even went shopping later to look at buying our own kayak at San Tan Village later that day!
After that we were on to our next tour at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. This is a a local Olive Farm who makes AMAZING olive oils and other products right there on site. It happen to be Mother’s Day so we were treated to a special meal, I chose the bacon souffle, and a Olive Oil 101 tour. Doing the tastings of oil, I really could taste the subtilties of the different flavors introduced to the oil. My mind was reeling with ideas for new recipes using the fun flavors of chocolate, basil and lemon olive oils!
We then went on to visit Agritopia in Gilbert to try one of the famous cupcakes and have a delicious latte from the coffee shop and walk the cute community garden!
In between all these amazing activities, we had so much fantastic food and drink I couldn’t even fit it into this post. Read more about our dining experience here!
There is even more that we didn’t get to experience due to our time constraints, but Mesa also offers wonderful golf and spa getaways, hot air balloon adventures, mountain biking, farmers markets, hiking in the national parks, fantastic shopping and of course all those restaurants!
We LOVED our experience in Mesa and can not wait to get back and visit again. Now we understand why all those “snowbirds” head down to stay all winter long!
Don’t forget to head over and enter to win 2 ticket vouchers anywhere Allegiant Air flies. You could find yourself visiting Mesa soon too!
One more thing… love the coffee shop!
I love how you did your photos here. Way cool idea. That Tomcar adventure looks dope! I would be all over that haha! I am always up for adventure -less the kind that involves plummeting from planes or high cliffs LMAO. My line is drawn there. Oh and I won’t eat anything that crawls. HA!