I’m a nearly native to Mesa. My grandparents were original snowbirds who spent winters in Mesa in the ‘70s, my dad went to ASU, and then my parents moved here—to Mesa—when I was four. I’m about as Mesa as they come. Sure, I moved to Tempe for four years in college, but then came right back to Mesa, bought a house in Mesa and had my baby in Mesa (okay, technically Gilbert at Banner Gateway).
And you know what—I love my ‘hood. Northeast Mesa, this is your love letter. If you’re considering a move to the East Valley, here’s a few reasons why Northeast Mesa has been so good for me!
1. Proximity to the outdoors
Yeah, yeah the whole Valley boasts more than 300 days of sunshine and the promise of outdoor adventure, but northeast Mesa’s proximity to some of the best outdoor gems make it easy to load the kids up and reach that 1000 hour goal of outdoor time this year.
We are less than 20 minutes to Saguaro Lake where we can picnic on the water, dip our toes in Phon D Sutton’s beach, stand-up paddleboard down the river or wakeboard on the lake.
We’re also just as close to Usery Mountain Regional Park, boasting the famous Wind Cave hiking trail along with several other trails, plus campgrounds, an archery range, shooting range and nature center. Local rangers also offer kids and adult programming (our favorite for kids is the scorpion hunt night hike).
2. Protected bike paths
Mesa offers five off-road bike paths throughout the City and a new one is under design right now to make cycling as a family in northeast Mesa even safer and closer. The Lehi Pathway will be a 2.2 mile loop near Lehi Crossing. All these city pathways are completely separated from cars and are so much more of an outing than doing a loop in your neighborhood for the 845th time.
3. A localists’ mecca
If you’re a shop small gal, northeast Mesa is a great neighborhood for you! From boutique fitness studios to small coffee shops (Hava Java is my favorite) and even local brewery taprooms, there’s so many indie businesses to experience and explore within a five mile radius. (Yes, there is a Target just up the street, so don’t stress about that!) There’s also a lot of locally-owned extracurricular studios for kids here that go beyond typical dance studios and karate studios, such as a skateboard school and East Valley Children’s Theatre.
4. City resources
The City of Mesa is the 36th largest city in the country. We’re a unique city that doesn’t feel that big, but our local government offers robust programming and offerings to residents that you don’t get in smaller cities and towns here.
We have our own library branch in northeast Mesa, our own Household Hazardous Waste facility (where you can drop-off batteries, prescriptions and more for safe disposal) and a rec center with rich programming at an affordable price point for both kids and adults (they even have a gym!).
5. There’s a million kids here
Seriously. Northeast Mesa is full of big families which is amazing for playdates, meeting mom friends and feeling supported in your community. In a family-focused area of the City, it’s just nice to be in a neighborhood where there are always children at whatever event, shop or restaurant you’re at.
6. Falcon District
An up and coming district within northeast Mesa, the Falcon District boasts a general aviation airport (with a runway viewing deck open free for families!) and is known as a high-tech hub for aerospace/aviation and defense jobs. Thanks to all those businesses, the district is constantly bringing in new shops and restaurants to the area—last year a FatCats opened in the heart of the district and a hotel is currently under construction.
7. Mesa Tennis Center
The Mesa Tennis Center is open to the public and features 16 lighted courts complete with updated shade structures, furnishings, sound system and resurfaced courts. Not a country club, but run by the City, this center provides affordable, high quality tennis courts in the heart of northeast Mesa.
The center offers affordable youth and adult group tennis lessons, adult leagues, tournaments, open court reservations and racket restringing and repair.
Northeast Mesa is the only place I’ve ever called home, and it’s a lovely area. Maybe one day I’ll get to move outside of my bubble, but for now, raising my little guy, it’s a great community to call home.