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Things to do in Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek

Consider this your introduction to half of the East Valley, Arizona's largest city—the essential, can't miss, make-sure-you-check-out things to see and do in the towns of Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek.

Queen Creek Olive Mill

Photo: Queen Creek Olive Mill, Credit: AOT


Downtown Gilbert, aka the Heritage District
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Saturdays are particularly notable in Gilbert's Heritage District thanks to the weekly Gilbert Farmers Market, and the bi-weekly Gilbert Art Walk (seasonal). More than 30 restaurants, plus shops, parks, murals and events make any time a good time to explore this highly walkable downtown.
Arizona Goat Yoga
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Arizona Goat Yoga may have been the originator of the nationwide goat yoga craze in 2015, but there's nothing stale about the experience. Get in a little exercise while having fun at this unique spot featured on "The Amazing Race" and "America’s Funniest Home Videos," and recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records (twice!).
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
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Stroll 110 acres of greenery, ranging from marshland and riparian habitats to upland vegetation areas. Spot visiting birds on 4.5 miles of trails, or take a break at educational areas including an ethnobotanical garden, a paleontology dig site and pollinator-welcoming gardens. Also at the preserve: the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, where you can see comets, meteors, planets and the sun from our little blue dot. Just be sure to check the hours—the trails are generally open from dawn to dusk, but the observatory operates separately.


Downtown Mesa
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Wander past public art, stop into local shops and antique stores, and browse a number of recognized museums (including a few on this very list). When you've worked up an appetite, try Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken, Main Street Harvest/Proof Bakery, Que Chevere or Tacos Chiwas.
Arizona Museum of Natural History
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Have a blast in the Grand Canyon State's past. Family-friendly exhibits go back in time to educate visitors on Arizona's history from archaeology and paleontology to its earliest peoples and cultures. You'll know you've found it by the giant dinosaur seemingly bursting from above the entrance.
The Revelry
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This isn’t your average gaming spot. First: It boasts the state's largest covered patio—perfect for those sunny Arizona summers. Second: The games are as varied as they come. Try technologically enhanced (spotlights, touch screens!) mini-golf, "take aim" at a simulated shooting range, or stick with the classics, like pinball. The on-site Box Bar restaurant keeps you full with bites and brews in-between gaming.
Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum
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Docents (more like storytellers) bring history to life at the only combat aviation museum in Phoenix. Special tours let you climb aboard bombers and cargo planes, including six aircraft used during World War II.
Mesa Arts Center
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At one of the premier cultural centers of the Southwest, you'll find inspiration at Broadway shows, sold-out concerts, and National Geographic presentations. The Mesa Contemporary Arts (MCA) Museum's rotating list of artists and exhibits has previously featured work by Esao Andrews, Patti Warashina, Aaron Coleman, Brian Viveros, Amy Sol, and Kelly Vivanco.
Usery Mountain Regional Park
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Camp, mountain bike, practice archery, hike, horseback ride and more on 3,500 acres neighboring the Tonto National Forest. Twenty-nine miles of trails include paths to popular wind caves and stunning panoramic views.
Saguaro Lake
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Discover canyon-walled Saguaro Lake aboard The Desert Belle, which has been hosting boat cruises since 1964. Themes include live music, wine tasting and a nature exploration of the Arizona landscape.

Queen Creek

Superstition Farm
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Be a dairy darling. Get educated on life on a farm at Moo University, taste the freshest of milk and ice cream, and meet the cows responsible for those delicious dairy flavors at the petting zoo.
Queen Creek Trail System
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Get a feel for Queen Creek’s equestrian and agricultural heritage. Miles of trails along the Queen Creek and Sonoqui washes connect downtown Queen Creek to neighborhoods, area farms and San Tan Mountain Regional Park.
Fresh Foodie Trail
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There are more than tumbleweeds and cactus in the desert. Taste the fruits (and vegetables and dairy and more) of the East Valley’s lush farmland on this self-guided foodie tour, with multiple stops in Queen Creek. Trail highlights include:


Downtown Tempe/Mill Ave.
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Shopping, history, dining, late-night entertainment, college athletics and even a bit of hiking—Mill Avenue and its surroundings serve as an energetic place-to-be for more than just Arizona State University students.
Tempe Center for the Arts
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A hub of creativity with a calendar of concerts, plays, musicals, festivals and more. Inspiring performances within the center are matched by the building's gorgeous exterior architecture.
Tempe Town Lake
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Picnic on the lawn, walk the lake's edge on paved trails or explore the surface with stand-up paddleboarding, boating and fishing. Bring your own vessel (day permit required) or rent a boat from the on-site Boat Rentals of America. Special events include festivals, concerts and a decked-out holiday boat parade.

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