Some of the best places to visit in Mesquite
Newcomers to Plano and their families are always looking for short breaks or staycation ideas which are on our doorstep. The City of Mesquite is one of those great places to try for a Weekend Trip, within a short drive (only 15 minutes to Downtown Dallas) from Plano and Collin County.
We took a visit one weekend in July and are excited to share 5 unique spots we suggest you visit in Mesquite, Texas.
You can also use their newly released app to plan your itinerary, share plans with friends and find all the local restaurants, hotels and more.
Get excited about the famous Mesquite Championship Rodeo
Mesquite was declared the “Rodeo Capital of Texas” by the State Senate in 1993. The Rodeo has a performance each Saturday evening from June to August. You can also catch the Winter Classic Rodeo at Christmas time and the Hip Hop Rodeo and Cowboys of Color.
If you get there early and bring the kids, they’ll enjoy a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Bounce House and kids get to chase a calf around the arena for a prize before the Rodeo officially kicks off for the night’s competition. There is no bad seat in the house as you get to watch the cowboys in the arena try to last eight seconds on a bull, rope calves, barrel race and so much more.
Speaking of, Mesquite Championship Rodeo is the only competitive Rodeo in North Texas with cash prizes, so you know you are seeing the best of the best. Although you’ll see tourists there, it’s as much of a destination for locals as well as a great place for late night concerts.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas-Mesquite, which was right next to it with free parking, a great pool for the kids and a very short stroll to get to the Rodeo.
Water Fun at the Luau
Our weekend began with a fun Luau Party hosted by Mesquite Parks and Recreation as part of National Park and Recreation Month. We joined tons of other visitors at the City Lake Aquatic Center and the kids loved the hula shows, contests, swimming, games and prizes. They have a great heated pool, fun water slide and great splash area for littles with shaded areas. It’s situated next to beautiful City Lake with fountains, which is popular for fishing.
It’s been held for 10 years, every 2nd and 4th Saturday from April thru November. If you head there, you’ll find a mix of artisan goods and fresh produce and you’ll never know what they’ll have until you visit. We met the owners of the Creole Cajun Booth and tried their spicy juice!
The Downtown area is a focus area for the City, undergoing revitalization and proudly showcasing unique retailers and storefronts of all types. We checked out the famous Pieced Together Quilting Store where you can take your loved one’s clothing items and recycle them into beautiful quilts to use around your home. We also sampled a coffee from Bear Cave Coffee, which is neatly housed inside a local arts theater.
The Town East Mall is thriving – always busy and full of interesting stories and a great Food Court, and over 3 levels. Whatever you are looking for, you’re bound to find it here, and it’s in the heart of Mesquite within a 7-10 minute drive from wherever you are in the City.
BBQ and PIE – you can eat both at Porch Swing
Lunchtime is always a treat but more so when you get to try the barbeque options and a slice of pie at Porch Swing. The first location of its kind, owner Antonio Swad, built the restaurant from the ground up, designing it to be modern and unique with small touches, like the large wrap around porch (used for outdoor eating, birthdays and bigger events) and happy hours with live music on Saturdays. Modelled as a southern gastro pub, Antonio’s mother made pie when he was little, and he prides himself on having a kitchen which produces all flavors of homemade pie.
Endless Fun at Celebration Station
Our afternoon was spent inside and outside at Mesquite’s premiere attraction, Celebration Station. The kids got a package with access to try the Euro Bungy Bumper Boats, Arcade Games, Go Karts, Batting Cages and Mini Golf. They also have paintball available too.
Their favorites were the Go Karts and the Bumper Boats by far. In the heat, it’s a refreshing way to cool off even as a spectator with their water spray guns! Visitors can eat at any of the local restaurants close to the venue and then work off their lunch all afternoon at Celebration Station. The arcade has tons of fun games and if you hit the jackpot (like we did) the kids can take home a fun prize redeemed from the tickets they won.
The City of Mesquite has so much to offer. Just east of Dallas, surrounded by Lake Ray Hubbard, it has some great golf courses, heritage and butterfly trails (visit in October and March when the Monarchs are migrating) and walking trails. They have tons of fun free family events happening in the Fall and Winter.
We definitely recommend you visit and stay in one of the great hotels they have in Mesquite and when you do, tell us all about it in our Facebook group.
*Please note, I was hosted in Mesquite by the Mesquite Visitors and Convention Bureau. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*