Mesquite can be a shoo-in for folks considering a trip for their holidays or annual vacations.
This suburban city, some 14 miles east of Dallas, Texas, has chalked up many endearing titles to its name.
Mesquite prides itself as the "Rodeo Capital of Texas,” while also having been designated a “Playful City USA” and named too as a “Tree City USA” consecutively for 25 years.
Founded in 1878, this city also easily comes out as a hub of lifestyle and economic activities.
Mesquite, with 122.3 square miles of territory, lies at the crossroads of four major highway corridors: US Route 80, Interstates 30, 635, and 20.
Unique in its metro region, this city also boasts its own local airport, which is why many major American companies operate in Mesquite.
Unlock more of the charms of Mesquite in these top 15 things to do in this truly Texan metropolis.
Reminisce on History at Florence Ranch Homestead
Visit the Florence Ranch Homestead at 1424 Barnes Bridge Road, the site of a historic residence that turned 150 years old in 2021.
In its heydays, the homestead where the house is located covered 730 acres.
The home’s owners, the Florence family, engaged in farming and horse breeding and sheep-raising later.
In the 1890s, the house was expanded, and the homestead eventually came to be known as the Meadow View Farm.
This residence is a classic example of the rural 1800s Texan architecture, with elaborate wood trim in the gallery of this home’s simple frame structure.
In 1987, the Florence family’s latter generation donated the homestead to the city, and the house was partially converted into an educational museum.
Visit the Opal Lawrence Historical Park
Learn about some of the pioneers of Mesquite with a visit to the Opal Lawrence Historical Park at East Kearney Street.
This park was the former Lawrence homestead tracing back to 1874, preceding the 1878 foundation of Mesquite by four years.
The Lawrence family that owned the homestead lived here till 1995, after which its last member left the property to Mesquite City in his will.
The homestead is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a showcase of Texas’ rural origins.
The homestead’s house is largely unchanged and still depicts the prairie vernacular styling typical in early Texas.
Within the house, the rural Texan lifestyle painted on its ceiling is a feature you shouldn’t miss.
Shop at Town East Mall
Skip a side trip for shopping at Dallas if you’re visiting Mesquite where there are already plenty of high-end retailers to choose from.
You can go on a Mesquite shopping spree at the junction of Interstate 30 and Interstate Highway 635, host to over 3 million square feet of retail shopping space.
The Town East Mall, with its conspicuous tower and over 200 stores, is easily the top draw in this area.
This shopping center, one of the largest regional malls in eastern Dallas, also features a vibrant food court aside from its top retailers Macy's, Dillard's, JCPenney, Sears, and Dick's Sporting Goods.
The nearby Market East Shopping Center provides more options at its tenants, including Target, Michael's, Academy Sports And Outdoors, Ulta, Marshall’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Homegoods, Kirkland’s, and Burkes Outlet, and OfficeMax.
Dine at Zagat-rated Mesquite Restaurants
Mesquite is a melting pot of fine restaurants, and most diners in the city would gravitate toward Zagat-rated restaurants.
Family-run Mesquite BBQ at 145 East Davis St. has been one local favorite for more than 60 years, as it tempts diners with servings of pulled pork, brisket, sausage, among other specialties.
Yia Yia's House of Gyros, an authentic Greek-style restaurant at 904 East Davis Street, also draws patrons for its Pork Gyro akin to those served in downtown Athens.
Greek specialties of gyros, salads, and entrees are also on the menu of another five-star choice, Atheneos Greek Village Café at 1425 Gross Road.
Other culinary delights await you at Mesquite Diner at 313 US 80 Frontage Road, where the table fare revolves around omelets, Mexican dishes, roast beef, and tuna fish sandwiches.
Explore the Mesquite Heritage Trail
You can hike or bike to many of the points of interest in Mesquite via the 4.25-mile Mesquite Heritage Trail.
This extensive pathway opened in July 2015 and is considered the city’s largest recreational facility.
The Mesquite Heritage Trail traverses commercial areas and residential neighborhoods, thus connecting residents and visitors to the city’s various life and leisure attractions.
The trail starts at the southwest corner of Franklin Drive and Towne Centre Drive, proceeding northward to three trailheads.
Near the trail’s terminus near Interstate 30 and Greenbelt Parkway, you can check out an exercise station at the scenic Palos Verdes Lake Park.
Watch a Rodeo at the Mesquite Arena
Experience the deep Western roots of Texas with a booking for a seat at the Mesquite Arena at 1818 Rodeo Drive.
From June to August, this climate-controlled arena hosts the long-running Mesquite Championship Rodeo that debuted in 1957.
Rodeo events typically move from place to place, so Mesquite stands out as a perennial home to the Texans’ oldest sport.
During its run from spring to fall, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo offers you the thrill of watching a slew of events.
These Western come-ons include saddle bronc and bull riding, bareback riding, and barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and team roping.
These seasonal Texas sports spectacles happen each Saturday night starting 7:30 p.m.
Perchance, you can also catch a game of the indoor soccer team Mesquite Outlaws, which has the Mesquite Arena as home court.
Explore the Parks of Samuell Farm
Commune with the Great Outdoors hiking or biking the trails at the north and south parks of Samuell Farm at US-80 Frontage Road.
The South Park has an easy 2.5-mile trail while the North Park has a 1.5-mile path likewise beginner-friendly for hikers and bikers.
At the South Park, the attractions include a vintage tractor, a windmill, a wishing well, a playground, two red barns, a farmhouse with a breezeway, and picturesque bridges.
The North Park draws attention to its trail’s profusion of wildflowers and the exercise equipment that visitors can access.
There are ponds in both parks where fishing is allowed, and you can enjoy the sight of ducks and ducklings.
The parks are open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., and their entrance is free.
Enjoy Nature at the Paschall Park Butterfly Trail
Escape from the din of the city and visit Paschall Park and its Butterfly Trail at 1001 New Market Rd.
This serene pathway is the northern extension of the 1.6-mile East Mesquite Trail linking Paschall Park and two other parks—Travis Williams and Bruton.
Al told this linkage constitutes the Bruton Park–Travis Williams Greenbelt System that serves as a habitat for the conservation of many local species of flora and fauna.
A walk through Paschall Park’s trail will thus not only allow enjoying the company of butterflies but also provide a relaxing experience amid a lush, well-preserved natural environment.
The open spaces of Paschall Park are likewise ideal for disc golf and family picnics.
Have Family Fun at Celebration Station
Visit the Mesquite franchise of Celebration Station at 4040 Town Crossing Blvd. if you’re visiting the city with your kids.
This Celebration Station business chain on leisure facilities and services is its only franchise in Texas.
Offering family fun, the Mesquite location provides go-karts, bumper boats, batting cages, and an arcade.
Other offerings at Celebration Station include carnival rides, paintball, mini-golf, laser tag, and eurobungy.
Celebration Station offers daily specials wherein a price package can include unlimited ride passes with some snacks thrown in.
And if your family happens to be staying at the Courtyard Marriot Dallas Mesquite, Celebration Station would be just a few steps from your hotel.
Swing It at the Mesquite Golf Club
If swinging woods and irons is part of the rituals of your vacations, try the Mesquite Golf Club at 825 North Interstate 30.
This is a public golf course that the City of Mesquite owns and operates under the banner “Real Texas Golf.”
It originally opened in the 1960s as a 9-hole layout, but two years later, Mesquite Golf Club was expanded to 154 acres for an 18-hole play over 6,980 yards.
The course is vaunted for its well-maintained fairways, faster greens, and improved customer service following the city’s takeover of operations from private managers in 2013.
This golf destination provides a snack bar and pro shop, free Wi-Fi access, and a restroom on course.
Watch Texas Talents at Mesquite Arts Center
Book a ticket to the performances at the Black Box Theater of the Mesquite Art Center at 1527 North Galloway Avenue.
This facility is home to performance artists from Mesquite as well as those from the communities of the North Texas Metroplex.
The Mesquite Arts Center has been operating since the early 1980s and acquired in 1995 its headquarters and performance venue at North Galloway Avenue.
In all its years, the center successfully gathered actors, directors, producers, and technicians for high-quality presentations each season.
The Metroplex acting community and its followers thus have given consistent accolades to the Mesquite Arts Center.
Check Out the Action at Memorial Stadium
Watch out for scheduled events at the Memorial Stadium on the grounds of West Mesquite High School.
Located on Memorial Avenue, this stadium has a 19,400-seating capacity that is the largest in Mesquite.
Because of its size and easy accessibility, this stadium often hosts playoff games of Texas high school football tournaments as well as marching-band competitions.
Boys’ football action also happens at the nearby Frasier Stadium of the Lanny Frasier Middle School that also features a track oval.
At the Memorial Stadium, you can also appreciate the view of the local landmark Mesquite Tower built in 1990 as a radio tower for the radio station KEOM of the Mesquite Independent School District.
Pick a Sport at Evans Recreation Center
Rub elbows with Mesquite’s sports and fitness aficionados at the Evans Recreation Center.
Located at 1116 Hillcrest St., this facility provides a gym, fitness room, a sand volleyball court, a playground, as well as meeting rooms.
Evans likewise has a Senior Center giving folks from age 50 access to free support services and leisure activities like seated beach volleyball and free throw basketball.
Across from Evans, more recreation options for all are offered at the Westlake Sports Center.
Its facilities include nine tennis courts, four pickleball courts, an eight-lane archery shooting range, dressing rooms, and a pro shop.
Rev It Up to the Devil's Bowl Speedway
Pick a vantage seat at the Devil's Bowl Speedway at 1711 Lawson Road, reputed as the most popular dirt track for auto races in the Southwest.
As a venue for car racing aficionados, the Speedway holds weekly as well as special annual events.
The thrills that the Speedway provides largely emanate from its D-shaped track of tacky black clay in a half-mile, high-banked configuration.
With this design, you will have an unobstructed view of the entire track from any of the 10,000 seats at the Speedway’s grandstands.
You can catch the action at the Speedway on Saturday nights and set your Mesquite visit for the Devil Bowl’s special events like World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the United States Modified Touring Series.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit Lake Ray Hubbard
Lake Ray Hubbard is located near Garland, Texas, which is about 10 miles northeast of Mesquite.
This lake spans over 22,000 acres and is one of the largest lakes in north Texas.
This recreational lake is great for swimming, skiing, fishing, relaxing, and recreational boating.
No entrance fee is needed to enjoy the recreational opportunities in this lake which can be availed of in several parks around it.
One choice is Terry Park in the city of Heath, where the facilities include two boat ramps, a pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms, and a mile-long trail.
John Paul Jones Park in the city of Garland presents another option, offering a fishing pier and a lakeside walking trail.
Taking a vacation in Mesquite offers plenty of thrilling experiences that capture the unique Texas character.
Whether it’s watching raucous rodeos and pulse-pounding car races or touring the city’s historical places, Mesquite memories can be built just as solid.
With all these, Mesquite can certainly rank not only as a leading Texas destination but also count as one of the top must-visit cities in the U.S.