Mesa is the third largest city of Arizona. Tucson and Phoenix are the two largest cities. Some of the other large cities include Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tempe. Mesa is part of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area which is located in central Arizona. It is the 12th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city is considered to be a bedroom community, or largely a community of commuting workers. Mesa has several outdoors recreation areas close to the city and has numerous local technological and business sectors.
Mesa has a unique economy since many of its residents work outside of the city. Some of the largest employers include the aeronautical industry and automotive equipment manufacturing industries. Mesa has a Boeing facility at its large Falcon Field Airport. Mesa was the location for the development of the Apache Longbow helicopter.
The city is still a military aircraft research area. There are several local businesses that are part of the Falcon Field Airport business plaza including aviation training facilities, medical transport, and tour services. TRW Vehicle Safety Systems is a large employer in the area. There are several automotive safety parts produced at their facility include air bags, safety belts, crash sensors and more.
Arizona State University in Mesa is one of the local universities. It is a polytechnic institute with several degree offerings including business, engineering, pilot training, and more. The university offers degrees up to the doctorate level. It also offers one of the only golf management programs in the nation with its golf and facilities management major. Mesa Community College is one of the largest colleges in Arizona with over 25,000 students.
The Park of Canals is one of Mesa’s top attractions. It shows the historic irrigation systems that the Hohokam Native Americans used. The Salt River is also close to the Park of Canals. Mesa has a long history that goes back to the Wild West and there are several historic buildings including the Alhambra Hotel and the Ellis Johnson Home.
Other sightseeing areas include the Goldfield Ghost Town and the Superstition Mountains. Outside of Mesa is the Sonoran Desert with several mountain areas and desert cactus species. The Saguaro Lake is a local lake where residents fish, kayak, and swim. The Mesa Arts Center is one of the largest performing arts centers in Arizona. Several plays, performances, arts exhibitions, classes, and festivals are held at the facility throughout the year.