Twenty miles east of Phoenix, Ariz. in the Sun Valley, Mesa is a suburban hub bursting with activity. Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona, but despite its recent spike in growth, the surrounding Superstition Mountains and Sonoran Desert maintain a tranquility not found in many cities. Mesa’s rich history and serene natural habitat provide an oasis for retirees searching for generous cultural and outdoor excursions. Even though the population is approaching 450,000, the cost of living, level of crime, taxes and average home price have all remained lower than the national average creating a friendly financial environment for retirees. Mesa, Ariz. is nationally recognized as a one of the best places to retire in the country as a result of its endless opportunities to feed lively and active lifestyles.
The history of human habitation in Mesa extends back 2,000 years when the Hohokam people settled the area and built a canal system which is still in use today. But the main draw of Mesa comes not only from what people built in the area, but from the natural environment intertwined throughout and around the city. Many communities in Mesa such as Las Sendas make a point to have quick access to desert walking paths and place the desert views center stage. Hiking and mountain biking along with fishing and rafting on the Salt River to the north and Saguaro Lake to the northeast are easily accessible. The most dependable event nature has to offer Mesa? Every evening, 365 days a year, stay tuned for a Sonoran desert sunset.
Sports fanatics of all kinds will enjoy Mesa’s annual calendar. Every spring Hohokam Stadium hosts the Chicago Cubs spring training. Beginning in February of 2015 the Oakland A’s will jump on the bandwagon and travel to Mesa for their spring training as well. Several golf clubs and courses around town provide limitless hours of golf and many communities and neighborhoods are organized around golf courses. And for residents who consider shopping a sport, the Fiesta Mall is home to the Dillard’s Clearance Center. Hundreds of highly discounted styles from current and past seasons line the racks.
History buffs and art experts alike have the opportunity to enjoy Mesa’s long list of museums. Mesa is home to the Arizona Museum of Natural History, Mesa Contemporary Arts at the Mesa Arts Center and the Mesa Historical Museum. Mesa Community College offers continuing and community education courses, along with the New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning program. Founded in 1995, New Frontiers is a peer-led program focused on organizing volunteer opportunities, social events and excursions in and around Mesa. For those of you who like to keep event filled calendars look to the arts. Sounds of improv induced hilarity, song, dance and theatre are heard from the doors of the National Comedy Theatre and the Mesa Arts Center almost every evening.
If ever there was a need to venture into Phoenix, the Valley Metro’s Light Rail is an easy way to get in and out of the city sans automobile. Visiting far away family members is made easier with a 20 minute drive to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. For more information on Mesa page through the online edition of the July 2013 Community Annual Report.