Mesa Grande – Mesa, AZ

Mesa Grande is a small desert suburb which borders the Salt River. It’s the little things, like the stunning sunsets, the desert blooms determined to thrive in the dry heat, and the friendly mom and pop shops, which let residents and travelers know that there’s more to this place than meets the eye. With more than 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, this area boasts a large assortment of leisure and lifestyle pursuits for people of all ages. Downtown Phoenix sits just 20 miles to the east, while the vast Sonoran Desert surrounds the community’s northeastern borders.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Mesa Grande and its surrounding areas have evolved into a culinary melting pot in the 21st century. You can find every type of cuisine imaginable including Cuban, Tuscan Italian, and American classics. La Merced, a Mexican-style restaurant that takes its name from the largest traditional food market in Mexico City, dishes out gigantic plates of boldly flavored and inexpensive eats. Favorites include amazing flautas packed with moist tender chicken or beef, huaraches served over spicy pico de gallo, and colossal tortas. For dinner, taste the carne de Puerco, savory chunks of tender pork in a spicy green chili sauce. Situated in a glossy mid-century building in Mesa Grande, Republica Empanada serves over 20 sweet and savory South American empanadas ranging from classic to unusual creations. The Puerto Rican-style Boricua Empanada combines the classic cheeseburger with Nutella, banana, cassava fries, and sweet plantains. You can also find classic Latin dishes like arroz con pollo and croquetas in the extensive menu. When the sun goes down, head to O’Kelley’s Sports Bar and Grill. This joint offers a taste of Irish in the desert, featuring a wooden interior, over 50 high-definition televisions and a regular nightly crowd. Share a game with friends at one of the pool tables, dart boards or golf arcade machines. Local bands play a selection of rock and pop every Friday and Saturday. Come ready for karaoke nights on Mondays and Thursdays, or stop by for poker night on Wednesdays. If you hate sitting on a bar stool the entire night, then stop by the Monastery. The sand volleyball courts, table tennis and horseshoe pits at this establishment keep guests on their feet the entire evening. Live music takes place on Friday and Saturday nights.

History & Culture

Mesa Grande's history dates back two thousand years to the time of the Hohokam Indians. The tribe, whose name roughly translates to "The Departed Ones," constructed the original 125-mile city canal formation that’s still in use today. In the late 1800s, U.S. Army troops fought the Apache off the land, opening the way for Western settlement. After World War II, the community witnessed a significant boost in development as many military families decided to settle in the area. Up until the late 1960s, more than 50 percent of the residents earned their income directly from farming. However, the tail end of the 20th century saw a massive increase in technology companies and health facilities, opening jobs in other sectors. Mesa Grande teems with cultural spirit and exuberant art. Over 200 sculptures line the streets of downtown, and many art galleries and successful artist studios have opened throughout the area.

Transportation

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the major air hub for the state of Arizona, sits to the west of Mesa Grande. The Valley Metro Rail runs straight through the community, connecting travelers to downtown Phoenix and Tempe. If traveling by car, you can use State Highway 60, which circulates the entire city. Mesa’s simple east-west, north-south grid pattern makes city navigation extremely easy. Public parking is abundant and affordable. Hailing a cab off the streets in this suburban community can be difficult; it's usually more efficient to call and arrange a pickup with a local company. Uber and Lyft operate all throughout Mesa and Phoenix. You can take a stroll along the ample sidewalks, but make sure to put on sunscreen and bring plenty of water to fight off the burning sun. Most streets have clearly marked bicycle lanes, making cycling a safe and fun option.

Cost

Mesa Grande carries a low cost of living when compared to Phoenix, but you can also enjoy the comfortable amenities of city life. The cost of a one-bedroom apartments comes in at an average $750 per month. A one-way ride around the city in public transportation costs $2.50, while gas prices stay around 11 percent lower than the national average. Grabbing a beer at a local bar will run you around $4.

Shopping

There's no shortage of shopping opportunities in Mesa Grande. More than 150 retail stores make up the enormous Superstition Springs Center, including large brands like T.J. Maxx, Macy's and Victoria's Secret. For upscale shops, residents can visit the Village Square at Dana Park, a 400,000 square-foot fashion focused establishment. In downtown Mesa, Main Street houses a fine collection of local boutiques. Edge Boutique contains a great assortment of dresses for every age and size. Residents can buy their groceries at the Basha's located in the Orange Tree Plaza. This family owned and operated grocery chain stocks fresh bakery items, a full service butcher shop and fresh local produce. The Mesa community farmers market is open on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., selling bake goods, fresh produce, salsa and more at unbeatable prices.

Parks

Mesa Grande and its surrounding communities contain a remarkable 57 parks and 133 basins. Two of these parks, Quail Run and Countryside, are dog parks with designated off-leash canine zones. Enjoy stunning desert views at Usery Mountain Regional Park, where you'll find 29 trails for mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking. If you want to take on a relatively easy hike, try the barrier-free terrain on Merkle’s Trail. Those looking for a bigger challenge can opt for the 7.1-mile Pass Mountain Trail, which stretches high into the mountainside and allows hikers entrance into the Tonto National Forest. The Quail Run Sports Complex contains four soccer fields, two baseball fields and two softball fields. Bring the little ones for a fun time at the generous playgrounds. This park hosts an annual Cinco de Mayo celebration that features a popular Chihuahua race, Mexican food and live Latin music.
Avia 266
2354 W University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201
1 / 20
6 hrs
$815 - 1,350 1-2 Bedroom Available Now
888-353-1279
IMT Riverview
711 N Evergreen Rd, Mesa, AZ 85201
1 / 38
1 hr
$890 - 2,355 1-2 Bedroom Available Now
877-320-9259