Located about twenty miles from downtown Phoenix, Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona. According to the 2010 census, there were reported to be just over 439,000 residents in Mesa. Some of the history in Mesa dates back as far as 2,000 years ago when the Hohokam people roamed the desert. They are largely responsible for the development of the original canal system that brought water for agricultural. In 1877 a Mormon pioneer, Daniel Webster Jones led an expedition to Arizona from Utah. On July 17th, 1878 Mesa was registered as a townsite, and later incorporated in 1883. The former Williams Air Force Base in Mesa was in operation for fifty-two years and more than 26,000 men and women earned their wings at Williams Air Force Base. The base was closed in 1993 but a year later reopened as the Williams Gateway Airport. Today it is known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport with flights to more than thirty-five cities. To learn more about Mesa, Arizona click here.
Mesa has plenty to offer when it comes to dining, entertainment and shopping. More than 150 stores and restaurants are open at the Superstition Springs Center. There is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts free concerts throughout the year and a double-decker carousel for children. If you are looking for something a little more upscale, you will find it at Village Square at Dana Park which is a 400,000 square foot lifestyle center that has some of the best shopping in Mesa. Downtown Mesa has a quaint Main Street with boutiques and local businesses. If you are looking for something to quench your thirst after a long day of shopping, you will want to pop over to Desert Eagle Brewing Company and try one of their many microbrews.
Mesa, Arizona is steeped in aeronautical history and if you want to learn a little bit more you can visit the Commemorative Air Force Airbase of Arizona (CAF). CAF was founded to preserve and restore combat aircraft that was flown by all branches of the military, both from the United States and other nations. The facility has an aircraft hangar where guests can get up and personal with a piece of history, or you can visit one or two of the museums and take a War Bird ride.
The Mesa Arts Center has one of the most unique collections of art in the Valley. The facility has four theaters, Mesa Contemporary Arts’ galleries, exhibits, and a 700-oot Shadow Walk. Another museum to visit is the Mesa Grande, here you will learn all about the Hohokam people who roamed this area in AD 1100 to at least AD 1400. The live entertainment is some of the best in the Valley at Mesa’s Amphitheater. With a convenient location and great seating the Mesa Amphitheater accommodates over three million people each year.
Spring training for baseball has been a long-time favorite for locals and visitors since the mid-1940s. Mesa has two options for baseball enthusiastic. The Oakland Athletics have their spring training games at the newly renovated Hohokam Stadium. Although the stadium has been updated, it still has the original charm from thirty years ago. Sloan Park is a 15,000 seat ballpark with seven practice fields for the Chicago Cubs. Within walking distance of Sloan Park is the popular Mesa Riverview. Here you can do some shopping or get your fill of delightful eats.
The i.d.e.a. Museum, located in Mesa is an interactive experience that combines art, science and technology. There are three main exhibit areas, an outdoor atrium and the opportunity to create artwork out of recycled materials. If you prefer recreation that includes rock climbing and group fitness, then you will want to check out the Red Mountain Center. Located in northeastern Mesa, this is a 65,000 square foot multi-use facility operated and owned by the city of Mesa.
Mesa Public Schools is a nationally recognized district for providing excellent academics, sports, creative and performing arts and technical programs. Also in Mesa is Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus where more than 11,000 students attend professional and technological programs.
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