Mesa, Arizona

Seriously Red

Mesa Downtown
Mesa Downtown
Mesa Metroline
Mesa Metroline
Sunset on the Mountains
Sunset on the Mountains
Granite Reef Recreational Area
Granite Reef Recreational Area

527,666

Population

Sunny Days: 301
48100 Affordability
90100 Schools
52100 Diversity
81100 Safety

The Best Thing About Mesa?

The Great Outdoors (For 9 Months)

Mesa is one of those places that feels more like an outdoor haven that happens to have access to a city rather than a city that happens to have access to the outdoors. Out here in Arizona, warm weather allows us to enjoy hikes, bikes, and trips to the river even in t-shirts while our relatives out east are huddled around their fireplaces. Legendary Usery Mountain Park understandably gets the most attention due to its beautiful landscapes and 3,500+ acres of outdoor adventures including long backpacking trips, horseback rides and family barbeque spaces. Nearby Saguaro Lake and additional local parks fill out the options for outdoor activities.

Here's a pov from a local on living in Mesa:
I live in the north east mesa. Power and Mckellips. (Not LaSendas) It is nice. good houses, low crime, lots of diversity, lots of families. It's not a heavily mormon area, like Mesa used to be so there are wine bars, and sports bars if you like to hang out. That part of mesa also is SUPER close to hiking and mountain biking trails. Its easy to get out and go camping, or to the river (5 miles).

For more local reviews check out The Reviews on Mesa:

The Worst Thing About Mesa?

The Damn Desert (For The Other 3 Months)

If you can’t handle summer temps that consistently clip 110 Fahrenheit/ 40 celsius, Mesa is probably not for you. If you think you can handle those days on account of the shady neighborhood walks that you’re used to back home, be warned that you are in the desert. We’re not well acquainted with things such as shade. Nothing is growing here. The air quality also isn’t great, in part due to the necessity of cars created by the extremely sprawled nature of the city. Mesa is one of the poster children for unsustainable desert cities. Those inclined to think about things like environmental sustainability probably aren’t the ones considering moving here in the first place, however, as Mesa is one of the most right-leaning cities in the country.

Here's a local with a summary of what the weather is like in Mesa:
Outside during the summer: Imagine standing in front of an oven set to 500 degrees with the door open, add some breeze (maybe), and now add retina-destroying light. That's BEFORE monsoon. During monsoon, add some humidity to the mix. If you stay inside in the AC or the pool outside you just deal with it just like you do in Canada during the winter when it's cold.

Rest of the year: fantastic. Although it can get cold in late December or January (like 20's at night for short stints).

Lifestyle Of Mesa

Mesa is the third largest city by population in the country without a significant downtown. This makes the lifestyle feel decidedly suburban. The city is working hard to change that though with a major housing and commercial district building effort that started in the late 2010’s. Apartments, condo developments, family housing and tons of new businesses are building the core traffic the area needs to support a restaurant and bar scene. Right now most people head to Scottsdale or Phoenix if they’re looking to “trip the light fantastic” but if you stick around it looks like that’s going to change.

If you want to check out what locals in Mesa get up to here's the calendar of events.

Worklife Of Mesa

The Mesa economy is exploding. It is strongest in tech and healthcare. Data centers from Google and Apple are popping up all over the area which means all sorts of engineering, technician and operational data center jobs are in high demand. Engineers of all kinds are also in high demand. Electrical for the tech construction and civil for overseeing civic growth. Education is also a huge employment category as Mesa is the largest school district in the state. As with many affordable cities in the southwest, south central and southeast there are long haul wfh’ers moving her to take advantage of the low costs and warm weather.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

WFH

If you just switched to working remotely, Mesa should be on your list of places to check out. It’s warm year round, and comes with a number of things to do, such as go for a hike, check out the beautiful Arts Center, explore a museum, attend a Spring Training Baseball game at Hohokam Stadium, or have your friends over for a barbecue. You’ll never be too far from a golf course either, with a whopping 25 courses located around town. The warm weather, solid housing market, and proximity to Phoenix are extremely appealing to recent retirees and those with growing families as well. Mesa has a little something for everybody… if you’re comfortable with the heat and the politics.

Neighborhoods in Mesa

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The Area

Mesa sits in the Phoenix Metro Area also known as the Valley of the Sun. While Phoenix definitely carries the most gravitational weight of the cities in the Metro, that include Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale, the growth in the other cities and suburbs is balancing things out right quick. Mesa sits on the southeast corner of the Metro and just an hour from the foothills of the Tonto National Forest. The Valley is of course a valley in the desert and as such is scorching hot in the summer months(and increasingly the spring and fall) but you aren’t far from cooler climes in the national forests that run along the eastern side of the state.

Downtown

Young Professionals

The lack of a vibrant downtown has held Mesa back from drawing large community of youngsters. New development in Downtown is changing that as the housing options for rentals and condo purchases have taken off. New businesses are bringing those who want to walk to work and even Covid didn’t seem to slow things down. The historical district, adjacent to downtown is also drawing in some of the young professionals. A light rail system gets you downtown and different ‘hoods in the district are emerging as nice options. Check out Temple Historic District, West Second Street District and Wilbur Street Districts if you’re looking to get in on the revivals before it’s too late!

  • Downtown
  • Historic Districts

Temple Historic District

DINKs/SINKs

Mesa is more family and retiree friendly than Young Professionals or couples or singles with no kiddos who want a quieter scene than the typical downtown pub crawl. The Historic Districts of Mesa are really the ideal choice for these communities. Great homes and neighborhoods that fell into disrepair but are on their way back and not only have their own commercial district but border the downtown area and have a recent light rail addition to whisk them down to the growing commercial spots should they get the hankering. You can buy a home for cheap here and renovate it for a nice start on city living.

  • Temple Historic District
  • West Second Street District
  • Wilbur Street Historic District

Eastmark

Families

Mesa is known for great planned communities for families and a good place to start your search is Eastmark. This master-planned community has over 40 parks, tons of biking/walking trails, shopping and some of the best schools in Mesa. Alta Mesa is another nice, reasonably priced option. Built around Alta Mesa Golf Club it also has great schools and a beautiful Greenbelt Park and runs through the center of the neighborhood. Ideal for the kiddos and the grownups to recreate. If you need something fancier checkout Las Sendas. 5,000 sq ft+ luxury homes will all the plush amenities an upscale development offers.

  • Eastmark
  • Alta Mesa
  • Las Sendas
  • Dobson Ranch

Sunland Springs Village

Retirees

Mesa and the entire Phoenix metro are huge draws for retirees. Warm weather, low cost of living, great healthcare and a friendly outdoor lifestyle make it perfect if you’re ready to enjoy living large. Mesa and the Phoenix Metro are notable for the variety of 55+ communities available to empty nesters, snowbirds and retirees. The big communities include: Sunland Springs and Villages, Dreamland Villa, Leisure World and Fountain of the Sun. Prices across these communities range from $100k all the way up to $700k at Sunland Springs. Plenty of retirees also choose the golf-friendly neighborhoods of Alta Mesa and Las Sendas if they prefer to be outside of the 55+ community experience.

  • Sunland Springs Villages
  • Dreamland Villa
  • Leisure World
  • Fountain of the Sun
  • Alta Mesa
  • Las Senda