Mesa Arizona City Guide
Arizona is one of those states that you can visit several times and still not see everything. This is probably why I continue to return year after year. That and my parents are snowbirds so it’s one of the only ways to spend time with them. I digress. Mesa is a rad town nestled between Phoenix and the Usery Mountain Regional Park. It’s the largest populated suburb in all of the US and it’s the third largest city in Arizona. All those fun facts aside, I present the Mesa Arizona City Guide! This is one of those posts that will continue to be updated as I discover more.
The Fresh Foodie Trail
Agritourism is easily the best way to experience cuisine within a region and Mesa has this sector on lockdown. The freshest food right from the source is exactly what the Fresh Foodie Trail is all about.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
The Queen Creek Olive Mill was where I found out how magical olive oil can truly be. Who knew olive trees could even grow in Arizona!? I’m embarrassed to say I’ve visited the area several times and just found out. I digress. The tour opened my eyes to the meticulous and delicate process of creating award winning olive oil. This was one gift shop I was truly excited to exit through. Did I mention they also serve food and prickly pear lemonade?
We were fully immersed in the trail when we stayed at the Schnepf Farm at the Cozy Peach (more on that later). We dined adjacent to a field, just down the road from where their peach trees were just beginning to bloom.
Agritopia is the utopia of agriculture communities. It seamlessly mixes residential with farming right in the heart of Mesa! It also happens to be the home of the original stand-up mixer!? They also house a plethora of dining establishments. Pick from the Joe’s Farm Grill, The Coffee Shop, The Uprooted Kitchen (all plant-based and seasonal!) Garage-East wine bar, and 12 West Brewing. There is surely something to please every person in your party.
The Orange Patch
Our final stop on the Fresh Foodie Trail was The Orange Patch – a citrus dream in the form of a classic wooden roadside fruit shop. First of all: ⚠️!CUTE PHOTO ALERT! ⚠️This place is adorable. I could have spent the afternoon relaxing beneath the citrus trees. It smelled delightful. In addition to its cuteness, the orange juice made my eyes roll to the back of my head it was so good.
The Cozy Peach at the Schenpf Farm
Whenever I think of “glamping” it will forever be synonymous with sixties camping trailers. What a treat it is to roll up to such a picture perfect scene: the sun setting on glistening Airstream trailers. And if that wasn’t dreamy enough, the warm cookie waiting instead our aluminum suite was enough to send me straight into a coma.
Mesa Farmers Market & Flea
This is one stop you won’t want to miss. The Mesa Farmers Market & Flea happens every Saturday from 8am-1pm in Pioneer Park on the Main Street. It’s a perfect mix of food and fashion. My personal favourite was Cote and Co, a shop within a gutted school bus cutely named Birdy. IT WAS SO COOL.
Another lovely corner of Agritopia is Barnone, a retail space for local makers. My personal favourites were the Prickly Pear Paper shop – little pleases me more than cute stationery, and the vintage photobooth. I did not hesitate to jump in that booth and capture some shots to remember the day. In addition to that, in Johnston Machine Co. there was a machinist working away on metal while we looked on behind the safety of a glass wall. It was mesmerizing.
The Dolly Steamboat
Step back in time and take a cruise around Canyon Lake on the most adorable tug there ever was, The Dolly Steamboat! It’s a great opportunity to sit back and watch the stunning rock formations of the Tonto National Forest. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some critters along the way.
Goldfield Ghost Town / Superstition Mountains
What’s a trip to Arizona without a high noon shootout? Did you even visit Arizona if you didn’t see a Ghost Town? The answer is no. Goldfield Ghost Town is one of the first stops on the Apache Trail and it boasts one of the most magnificent views of the Superstition Mountains. Not to mention, the various curios one finds in an old-timey western town – a mystery shack, gold panning, a reptile exhibit, mine tours, and so much more (including the off-themed zipline). If you want to discover more about this site, check out my Goldfield Ghost Town post.
The Apache Trail
While you’re cruising to the Goldfield Ghost Town and Dolly Steamboat, you’re already on your way up The Apache Trail. Might as well go all the way to Tortilla Flats and put a dollar on the wall of the restaurant by the same name. In fact, best to check out the washrooms in this joint too, there’s a photo opportunity not to be missed so bring a friend.
Now hear me out, Goat Yoga something that everyone should do at least once. There’s something enjoyable and hilarious about having goats jumping around while trying to do yoga poses. Plus they are cute as heck. They even had a couple of stoic alpaca friends hanging out at the center of the yoga circle. My only advice is to wear a t shirt vs a tank and leave the shoes on. These are live animals and they do go to the washroom whenever nature calls.
Neon Signs of Gilbert
My love of neon will never die (if you don’t believe me, check out my IG hashtag #PrettySecretsNeon for more examples of my deep fondness.) Thank goodness for places like Arizona who appreciate it as much as I do! Be sure to head down to Gilbert Road to check out there dining district and spectacular specimens of neon. It’s a feast for your eyes….and well, mouth too. There are several dining options to choose from.
Mesa Arizona City Guide
I will continue to update my Mesa Arizona City Guide post and the Google Map as I continue to discover more with every visit. I’m always open to new recommendations so please leave those in the comments below! And for more travel content check out my On The Road section.