What’s the first thing you do when you don’t know where a place is? You Google it, right? There’s just one problem: When you Google the town of Mesquite, you’ll find not just one, but two Mesquites—Mesquite, Texas, full of natural beauty, great restaurants, and a world-renowned rodeo—but also a small town in Nevada, close to the Arizona border.
The two Mesquites are sister cities—but for the sake of confused Googlers, here is some help: How do these cities, separated by roughly 1,200 miles and nearly three full states, stack up? What do the cities have in common—other than the name, of course—and what makes each unique? Here is just about everything you need to know about Mesquite—both of them.
How Does Mesquite, Texas, Compare to Mesquite, Nevada?
First, the basics: How do the cities compare in terms of population, geography, culture, and so forth? We’ve broken it down into eight categories:
This is one category with a clear winner—assuming, of course, you prefer big and bustling cities to quiet communities. Mesquite, Texas, boasts a population of more than 140,000, while its sister city in Nevada is home to roughly 18,500 residents.
Both cities are winners here. Mesquite, Nevada, sits in the Virgin River valley—with eye-popping views of the nearby Virgin Mountains and the Mojave Desert—while its Texas counterpart sits on the Southern Plains, surrounded by lakes, farmland, and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The Texas city features more than 70 parks to enjoy.
Both cities boast a history that dates back to the late 1800s. Nevada's Mesquite was originally settled by Mormon pioneers in 1880, while Mesquite, Texas was formally founded in March 1878. It was one of the first cities on the Texas and Pacific Railway, which led to its growth in population. This one’s a draw, too.
Each city caters to different crowds. Mesquite, Nevada has, in recent years, become a popular retirement community, known for its golf courses and casinos—while Mesquite, Texas has become a fun destination for families enthralled by the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, the high number variety of attractions, and a diverse culinary scene.
Both cities love their fishing—and are, ahem, buoyed by easy access to some of the nation’s best angling. Mesquite, Nevada, is a short, 65-mile drive to Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States and home to more than 290 square miles of water surface. And Mesquite, Texas, is a short drive from Lake Ray Hubbard and has its own fishing spot in City Lake Park. As long as you get a nibble on your line, everyone is a winner.
Both cities love their basketball: In Texas, they love the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, led by young players Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis. It’s also home to the Mesquite Outlaws, the professional soccer team which recently moved to its new home at the Mesquite Arena. The Nevada counterpart, meanwhile, hosts the Mesquite Desert Dogs, a franchise founded in 2018 as part of The Basketball League, a minor league with teams across the country.
Mesquite, Texas is a bit spoiled with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport sitting in its backyard and serves millions of passengers from around the world every year. SGU Regional Airport, meanwhile, is the nearest airport to Mesquite, Nevada; the airport, located roughly 42 miles east of the city in St. George, Utah.
This one's too close to call: Weather in Mesquite tends to be similar across cities—with a pleasant average high of roughly 60 degrees in winter and 80 degrees in spring—but there’s one glaring difference: It’s not uncommon for Mesquite, Nevada to endure temperatures that routinely top 100 degrees in the heat of summer. (Then again, the humidity in Mesquite, Texas is no slouch—so wherever you go, don’t forget sunblock and a bottle of water.)
Things to Do in Mesquite
For all the differences between the sister cities, there’s one thing they both have in common: There’s plenty to keep you busy. Here’s a rundown of recreation in Mesquite, Nevada, and Mesquite, Texas.
Get your gaming fix in Nevada: The three casinos in Mesquite, Nevada, are open 24 hours a day with everything from poker to slots and bingo, and each boasts a relaxing resort experience. For gaming in Texas (of the family-friendly variety), check out Celebration Station, which has bumper cars, laser tag, batting cages, an arcade, and miniature golf among its attractions. Meanwhile, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo takes over town every summer—and shows the world why Mesquite, Texas is officially the Rodeo Capital of Texas.
Another category, another draw: You’ll find no fewer than eight Mesquite, Nevada, golf courses, rimmed by red-rock formations, canyon fairways, and plenty of palm trees. And in Texas, you'll find the award-winning, 154-acre, 18-hole Mesquite Golf Club—popular with novices and experts alike. And if shooting par is more dream than reality these days, try your hand at one of the three disc golf courses around town—one with 18 holes, and two with nine holes.
You can indulge in plenty of retail therapy in both cities, but that’s where the similarities end: Mesquite, Nevada shopping covers a wide swath of golf gear and apparel, as well as gifts and vintage items, while Mesquite, Texas, outfits ranch hands and wanna-bes alike with a wide variety of Western clothing—jeans, boots, hats, and belts. Check out the Boot Barn for the biggest selection. Also in Mesquite, Texas, you can find just about anything you’d ever want to buy at the Town East Mall, which has nearly 200 stores, including anchor stores Macy’s, Sears, Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. There’s also a food court with something for every taste.
Here’s another one where your winner depends on how you choose to enjoy the outdoors: The Whitney Pocket area, pockmarked with rocky red sandstone crops just outside Mesquite, Nevada, is a popular destination for camping, sightseeing, and hiking. Mesquite, Texas, meanwhile, hosts the outdoor Devil's Bowl Speedway—perhaps the Southwest's most famous dirt track. The banked, half-mile track sports a unique "D" shape that affords unobstructed views for up to 10,000 fans in the grandstands. You also can take advantage of those Mesquite parks for picnics, softball, tennis, swimming, fishing—or just relaxing outside.
History and heritage
There is no shortage of things to do in Mesquite, and that extends to learning about regional history. The Virgin Valley Heritage Museum Mission showcases southern Nevada history through collections, exhibits, special events, and more—while the Florence Ranch Homestead looks at Texas’ homesteading history through the lens of a ranching family that arrived in the region in the early 1870s. Also in Texas, the Opal Lawrence Historical Park give a view of ranching life in the region since the 19th century.
Mesquite vs. Mesquite: Tale of the Tape
Let’s call it a draw: Both cities are winners. Mesquite, Nevada, boasts gaming, golf, shopping, and natural beauty while Mesquite, Texas is proud of its family fun, which ranges from rodeos to disc golf, and beyond. In any event, either Mesquite will welcome you to town with open arms during your next visit.
Written by Matt Wastradowski for Matcha in partnership with Mesquite CVB.