Nile Cappello is a deal guru at Travelzoo, based in the San Francisco office but rarely in one place for any extended amount of time. She suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust, and loves working for a company that feeds it endlessly. Mesa is currently being featured on Travelzoo's Featured Destination page, where those who've never experienced the magic that Nile describes can visit this Arizona hidden gem.
With your knock-the-air-out-of-you sunsets over rolling rocks and expansive deserts, it's hard to believe how often you are overlooked. You are unassuming, but those of us who love you know you're full of hidden gems.
We love that you are rooted so deeply in history, from the Hohokam and Apache tribes, to the desolated hope leftover from the Gold Rush ghost towns, to the cowboy spirit of the Wild Wild West. We've argued over the Lost Dutchman legend while hiking his trails, and have realized that what is real and what is superstition is simply a difference of perspective. When we look across the Sonoran Desert, we can feel how many others were lucky enough to take in that same view.
We get why the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A's choose to spend spring training on your fields. We know that your dry heat often feels like a hug, your community is as close-knit as it gets, and that the only thing better than your hot, slumbering days are your serenely quiet streets.
Food in Mesa is served with love and familiarity, and we know it tastes better that way. There's nowhere better for celebratory tequila shots (or fried oysters) than TQLA, and no better empanada than those at Republica. We know that your Southwestern and authentic Mexican cuisines reign supreme, and we are endlessly thankful for it.
We know that being active is not a hobby but a way of life, with your lakes and rivers and hikes as far as the eye can see. The most common type of rainbow in this town is the one on the side of hot air balloons; you might not have a lot of rain, but you still have a lot of color. We dream about running through the orange groves on a hot day, and the feeling of sticky faces covered in fresh orange juice. Biking, golfing, swimming, you name it -- Mesa, you are home to the best-spent days outdoors.
Most of all, we get how special you are. We get it, and you get us.