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As you arrive for your vacation in Mesa, you’ll undoubtedly be wondering about things to do in this ultimate desert playground. Well, you can rest easy, because, for the outdoor enthusiast, you’ve just landed in Nirvana! And away we go!


Fort McDowell Adventures

Widely known as Mesa’s premier adventure company, Fort McDowell Adventures should top your list of things to do! And with such a great variety of offerings, everyone in your party will find something amazing to try. 


First, have you ever dreamed of life as a cowboy (or girl)? If so, the horseback tour is for you! You’ll get not just a horseback ride, but a whole experience! In addition to the ride, you’ll also join in on a cattle drive. After that, have fun on a wagon ride. And last but certainly not least, join in on a memory-making open-air cookout. What could be better?


If you’re more of a modern adventurer, the Segway Tour may be more your style. This two-hour guided journey through the Sonoran Desert offers an up-close-and-personal look at native flora and fauna of the region. Because this area is exclusive and uncrowded, you’ll be able to enjoy blue skies and the Verde River in peace. 


Arizona Outdoor Fun

At Arizona Outdoor Fun, the list of things to do is long and exciting! First, you can try your hand at some heart-pumping ATV/UTV tours. If you’re still a beginner, don’t worry! Because we’ve got you covered with instructor-led Sidewinder ATV training. And if you’re a little more experienced, take off on the 2-hour guided Centipede Tour. 


Next is the fun family activity of hiking and gold-panning. Have you ever heard the line “There’s gold in them thar hills…”? Well, here there really is! You’ll be hiking through the historic Bradshaw Mountains, which boast one of the richest gold-filled mountain ranges in the US.   


Then is the option of an exhilarating zipline tour, soaring above the Centipede Trail with awe-inspiring views. 


Last is the private shooting range, with options for full auto and .50 cals. Don’t worry, you’ll be closely observed by an NRA Certified Range Safety Officers. 


Phoenix Zoo

If enjoying animals in natural habitats is on your list of things to do in Mesa, you’ll love the Phoenix Zoo. Because there’s something for everyone here, it’s truly a great family adventure. First, of course, there’s the animals! You can see species as varied as elephants to prairie dogs to flamingos. And for the arachnid lovers, meet your new tarantula and southwestern widow spider friends. 


Between the varied trails in the park, you can view animals native to the area, tropic animals, or African animals. It’s a worldwide education!

Next, be sure to take in Art on the Wild Side, an exhibit dedicated to “inspiration, celebration and conservation through art.” You’ll love it!


Dolly Steamboat

All Aboard! If you’re looking for a really fun thing to do, this is it! That’s because the Dolly Steamboat takes river cruising to a new level with several different options! First, you can try a scenic nature cruise, where you might spot some of the local wildlife. Next, you can opt for a romantic twilight dinner cruise with your sweetheart. Then, there’s an Astronomy Dinner Cruise, in which you’ll learn all about the solar system. Last, take a 3-hour cruise to spot Bighorn Sheep with biologists from Arizona Game and Fish Biologists. No matter which you choose, you’ll come home with special memories!


Hot Air Balloon Rides

Has a hot-air balloon ride ever made it to your list of things to do? If so, here’s your chance! At Rainbow Ryders, they offer two different experiences to make your hot-air balloons come true! First is perfect for the early risers – the Sunrise Balloon Ride. Launching just after the sun comes up, you’ll be up in the air for about an hour. Expect to see the stunning scenery of Deer Valley and the Sonoran Desert. When you come back down to earth, you’ll be treated to a celebratory toast and a flight certificate. 


The second option is ideal for night owls. A Sunset Balloon Ride offers the chance to experience the vibrant Sonoran Desert as your scenic backdrop. Launch is about 1 hour before sunset. And when you return, you can expect the same celebratory toast and a flight certificate. 


Mesa Riverview

Shop ‘til you drop! No vacation is complete with the obligatory souvenir and memento shopping trip! And here in Mesa, you can do it in style at Mesa Riverview. With a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment to choose from, you can easily find something for everyone on your list! And then eat a delicious meal and maybe even catch a movie. 


Hale Theater Arizona

A night at the theater is always a great thing to do on vacation! While you’re in town, expand your musical or theatrical horizons as you take in a show or a tribute concert. As the most recent offerings show, there’s a wide variety available. 


First, any pop music fans? If so, you’ll have your choice of shows like ABBA, or Elton John & Billy Joel tributes. 


Next, if you enjoy your music along with a show, hits like Bye, Bye Birdie or Beauty and the Beast. 


Last, if your interests are more blues-oriented, you’ll love a Roy Orbison tribute show. 


So whatever your taste, there’s something for you at the Hale Theater Arizona.  


We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

If an exciting night on the town sounds perfect for you, you’ll definitely want to check out the We-ko-pa Casino! 


There’s so much to do here! First of course, check out the games of chance. Who knows, maybe Lady Luck will smile on you. Choose from favorites like bingo, slots, and table games. 


Next, maybe you’ll want to take in a show. They offer a variety of musical genres to enjoy a night of hand-clapping and foot-tapping!


Last, but of course, not least, are the many dining options! A sampling of your choices include a snack bar, casual fare, a sports bar, and a fine dining venue. Come back again for a brand-new experience!


When You Run Out of Things to Do, Head Home To a JZ Vacation Rentals Property


No matter what you decide on, you can be assured of a luxurious and stylish property to return to at the end of each fun-filled day. Many of our properties feature pools and hot tubs, so you may even decide to vacation right in your own backyard!


We all look forward to welcoming you to the Ultimate Desert Playground of Mesa, with its myriad things to do, activities to enjoy, restaurants to savor, and new experiences to add!