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Mesa Travel Guide, Arizona


Mesa is one of the US cities that immediately conjures up an image of the Old West. Today this Arizona city is part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Area with a population just under one half million, who live in pleasant suburban sprawl. Mesa is located on a plateau with an elevation of 1,241 feet.

Mesa does not have much of a central downtown with no skyscrapers and few buildings over two stories high. Most of the residents live in mobile homes, gated mobile home retirement communities and modest tract homes, although there are some custom designed homes sprinkled through the city.

 The climate is hot and dry, favoring the retirees and asthma sufferers who come here for respite. Mesa is also physically beautiful, the plateau giving views of the delicate desert flora and uninterrupted skycaps that surround the city.

Mesa benefits economically by being a sought after retirement community and also by being the site of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Spring Training facility.

The city began about 1 AD, making it among the oldest of US settlements, when it was settled by the Hohokams, but it was the Mormons who arrived centuries later that named the city Mesa.

An important source of revenue in the past, Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993 to become the Williams Gateway Airport. Aeronautics figures importantly in Mesa which is the location for the Falcon Field airport and aircraft museum, which served throughout World War II as a training center for British RAF pilots.

 After the War, it was turned over to the City of Mesa and became the present day museum. There are many cultural events, from modern dance and ballet to symphony and rock concerts at the recently completed Mesa Arts Center and the Mesa Amphitheatre.

Several museums are worth visiting, including the Arizona Museum for Youth, the Mesa Historical Society and Museum and the Mesa Southwest Museum which serves up a healthy portion of Old West lore.

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  • marius_fArizona Museum of Natural History
    travel tip by marius_f posted more then 30 days ago
    This museum is just great and really well suited for kids to. I would say the highlight of the Arizona Museum of Natural History is their interactive dinosaur exhibitions which is displayed with shows and entertaining attractions. There...
  • evike14Mesa National Comedy Theatre
    travel tip by evike14 posted more then 30 days ago
    Every Friday and Saturday night improve shows are on in the Mesa National Comedy Theater. Being family friendly you can go with your family and I'm sure you will lots of fun. The actors/comedians are quite talented and they put such...
  • IvanOrgan Stop Pizza
    travel tip by Ivan posted more then 30 days ago
    A great place where the main 'course' of the evening has nothing to do with food but music. The Organ Stop Pizza is famous for its majestic organ that entertains from the center of the back wall the visitors who enter the...
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