Mesa, the third largest city in Arizona, is one of the most incredible hidden gems! There is a ceaseless amount of surprises in this vibrant community popping up everyday. Even if you live in Arizona, you might be surprised by these incredible photography spots that you might discover via a scenic back road, hidden alleyway, new restaurant or quick detour.
1. Superstition Mountains
The Apache Trail in the Superstition Mountains just outside Mesa is one of the most majestic deserts in the world. The volcanic Superstition cliffs rise 2,000 feet above the ground like a ghost crawling out of the earth. At dusk or dawn, the sunlight shining across the valley is breathtaking and casts a golden glow over everything it touches.
2. Orange Patch
The Orange Patch is a great spot to take a beautiful picture as well as gulp down a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice! The Orange Patch is a family run Citrus farm where you can come and pick your own oranges as well as marvel at the bright coloured fruits hanging off their trees!
3. Usery Mountain Regional Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park is THE place to go if you're looking to spot saguaros. There are over 29 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in this area and most of them are relatively easy and short hikes bringing you to incredible vistas. A favourite of locals and visitors alike is the Wind Cave Trail, which looks out onto the adjacent Tonto National Forest.
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4. Mesa Community College Rose Garden
Take some time to stop and smell the roses…no literally stop and smell the roses. The Mesa Community College Rose Garden is one of the most colourful places to visit in Mesa. Over 400 volunteer tend to over 9,000 rose bushes all year round to ensure that no matter the time of year there is always something wonderful to see here.
5. Starlite Motel
Along the famed Route 60 there is plenty to see and along the route while passing through Mesa, but sure to stop outside the famous Starlite Motel's. What makes this such a popular spot is their ‘Diving Lady’ sign on East Main Street. Neon signs were once all the rage in America but have since become somewhat of a relic in today’s modern era. This classic sign was preserved by the Mesa Preservation Foundation at the cost of $120,000 and is now able to be seen by passers by for years to come!
6. Organ Stop Pizza
Organ Stop Pizza is one of those dining destinations you’ll talk about for years to come. The Organ Stop’s Wurlitzer theatre organ was built for the Denver Theatre and was installed in 1927. William P. Brown, a Phoenix real estate developer came up with the idea to take this old organ and place it on stage in a pizza parlous where it could be enjoyed as a landmark attraction after its year of use in the Theatre had come to an end. It’s 6000 pipes, percussion and traps are all preformed by wold class musicians for happy dinners throughout the year! This weird curiosity will surely be a hit wit!
7. Mesa Arizona Temple
The Mesa Arizona Temple is the building in which the Church of Latter-day Saints operates out of and even if you’re not religious, it’s stil a sight to behold for those of us who love architecture. It is one of the most impressive neo-roman temples you can see in Arizona. And the reflective pool located outside makes this beautiful mirror image which are hard to be wowed at! At Christmas time, they put on a HUGE light display which attracts nearly 150,000 visitors every year.
8. Park of the Canals
Park of the Canals is is an ancient Indian canal system which was used to grow corn, beans and squash in approximately 300 B.C. The Park of the Canals preserves about 4,500 feet of ancient canals. Along these canals, you can admire the amazing technology employed by these ancient cultures as well as look at some of the most gorgeous desert flora in Mesa.
9. Downtown Mesa Street Art
Along Main St and MacDonald you can see some of the most colourful and creative street art in Downtown Mesa. There is always a new mural by a local artist being painted so no matter how often you visit there is always something new to see.
10. Andy’s Frozen Custard
After all this driving, it’s time for something to eat! And there is no better place than Andy’s Frozen Custard. This retro style restaurants is serving up cold treats for hot hot Arizonan days. There is something to familiar and comforting about custard and they slick, vintage style of the restaurant makes it the perfect place to come and take a picture!
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The best way to explore Mesa and its wondrous attractions is by vehicle! To find out more about riding with USA Auto in Mesa, Arizona, check out their website!