Rediscover why the East Valley is so special by playing tourist for the day. Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and beyond are filled with eclectic destinations bursting with East Valley charm perfect for down-to-earth days and unforgettable Arizona nights. With such a wide variety of experiences at our fingertips, it’s easy to overlook some of our true East Valley treasures. From tubing and wine, to local artisans sharing their craft, here are a few of the distinct destinations in our beloved East Valley – all less than an hour from Cadence and the growing Mesa Gateway Corridor!
1. QC Olive Mill
Queen Creek Olive Mill, a family-owned farm, grows and presses olives to produce high-quality extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed oils, vinegars, tapenades and stuffed olives for consumer purchase. You can enjoy salads, sandwiches and more at the mill, with lots of seating outside under the olive trees. If you just want some great ice cream, that’s cool too. Check their calendar for a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year. Support Arizona growers!
25062 S. Meridian Road, Queen Creek, 10 miles from Cadence
2. Goldfield Ghost Town
It’s fun. It’s funky. It’s historic. A visit to Goldfield Ghost Town is like stepping back in time to the days of the old west, complete with a historic gold mine. Learn about the town’s history, wander through the shops and don’t be surprised if an Old West gunfight breaks out! It’s worth it!
4650 N. Mammoth Mine Rd., Apache Junction, 18 miles
3. Barnone AZ
Barnone, located in Gilbert’s Agritopia® community, is a collection of quality, handcrafted products, artisanal eats and curated spirits. Visitors will find two restaurants, a nano-brewery, a winery, two machine shops, a florist, letterpress, woodworking, a salon and a farm store. Shopping AND eating, amidst skilled craftsmen. That’s a “yes, thank you.”
3000 E. Ray Rd., Gilbert, 7 miles from Cadence.
4. San Tan Flat
Sometimes, you just want a great steak, right? Enjoy satisfying steak, burgers, fish and chips, and accommodating kids’ meals. That’s the basics— then they kicked it up a notch with live music, firepits and cookouts in an outdoor seating area. Yes, of course you can even roast marshmallows! Kick up your heels — it’s perfect for a fun date or with the family.
6185 W Hunt Hwy, Queen Creek, AZ
5. The Ice Den
When it’s “Arizona dry heat” outside, stop by the official training center of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and take a spin around the rink in ice skates. All ages can participate in public skating sessions and programs, hockey programs and figure skating. During June, July and August, the Ice Den converts its third rink from ice to a turf field for soccer, lacrosse, flag football, kickball and more. How smart is that!
7225 W Harrison Street, Chandler, 25 miles
6. Joe’s Farm Grill
A local favorite, Joe’s is well known for fresh burgers, fries, salads, sandwiches and more, with veggies, fruit and herbs from the gardens right outside their door. Eating at an outdoor picnic table makes you feel right at home in Gilbert. It’s a home-grown favorite that draws people from all over the valley due to their great setting, friendly staff and high-quality ingredients. Favorites include the Farm Burger, Grilled Salmon Platter and corn fritters.
3000 East Ray Road, Gilbert, 7 miles
7. Schnepf Farms
Schnepf Farms is an East Valley “institution” and great place to take the family, with organic gardens, orchards and a country store. Every East Valley kid should spend some time here — it’s just that awesome. Whether farm tours, train rides, pick your own produce or the petting zoo — there’s options! Check their calendar for events throughout the year.
24810 South Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, 9 miles
8. Desert Belle Cruise on Saguaro Lake
Explore the Saguaro Lake area in a different way with a guided tour from Desert Belle Cruises. The natural setting relaxes you as you float amidst towering canyon walls. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes and other wildlife.
14011 N. Bush Highway, Mesa, 23 miles from Cadence
9. Salt River Recreation Tubing
You haven’t experienced the Salt River until you hop into a tube and float amidst the beauty of one of Arizona’s natural waterways. Salt River Recreation provides the tubes and a bus ride to the river. Don’t forget sunscreen and keep hydrated. No children under eight years of age. Keep an eye out for the area’s beautiful wild horses!
9200 North Bush Highway, Mesa, 18 miles from Cadence
10. San Tan Village
When I shop, I want the three “V”s— variety, value and it should feel a little like vacation. With its energized, fresh upscale feel, San Tan Village has reimagined “big box” shopping. San Tan Village offers shopping, restaurants and entertainment, making it the perfect place to spend the day. Apple, Banana Republic, Fossil, Dillard’s and Barnes & Noble are just some of the village’s featured retailers, with Harkins Theatres nearby. There’s also a splash pad! We love to top the day off with a classic pasta meal at Brio Tuscan Grille.
2218 E Williams Field Rd #235, Gilbert, 9 miles
We know there’s even more we could add to this list – where’s your favorite place in the East Valley to bring out-of-town guests or savor yourself as a proud local?
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