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The Perfect Day in Mesquite

Located just east of Dallas, the city of Mesquite, Texas, is the perfect mix of Southern hospitality and Western culture that make the Lone Star State so unique. Whether you live in the area or are just traveling through, make a point to carve out at least one day to check it out. With tons of attractions that set it apart from the rest — including a speedway, an arts center and a world-renowned rodeo — you’ll find plenty to fill your day. In fact, choosing what to do may be the toughest part of your trip.

But don’t worry, help is here. Here are some recommendations for spending the perfect day in Mesquite, including some of the best dining and cultural attractions in the area. Take advantage of every moment and enjoy all that this Texas city has to offer.

What to Do

You’ll find several signature attractions in Mesquite that draw people from throughout the region. You can’t hit them all in one day, but at least one of these must-dos should be on your list.

Watch a Race at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway

The Devil’s Bowl Speedway is an exciting Texas tradition and a can’t-miss attraction when you’re in the area. Known as the most famous dirt track in the Southwest, the speedway offers unlimited and fast-paced entertainment for crowds of all ages. The racing season is from March through November, and while there are more than 10,000 seats in the stands, you’re never far from the action. You can even buy a pit pass that allows you to get up close to see the cars — and even sit in them. Watch the race from the pit or go back in the stands for a wider view. Just remember to bring ear plugs. The weekly championship series includes four classes: the South Dallas Battery & Electric IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, USRA Modifieds, SL Nabors Roofing USA Limited Modifieds and Factory Stocks. Plus, there are special events held throughout the year. If you’re lucky, you might even see some fireworks.

Explore Your More Artistic Side

The hub of arts and culture in the city is the Mesquite Arts Center — a centrally located venue that celebrates everything from visual arts to musical performances. The Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, in particular, has been a favorite among locals for more than 30 years. The center is also known for kids programs and art exhibits. If you’re up for something more theatrical, make sure to catch a show at the Mesquite Arts Theater, which has been around since the early 80s. You’ll find comedies, mysteries, musicals and improv performances throughout the year.

Don Your Boots and Experience The Mesquite Championship Rodeo

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The Mesquite Championship Rodeo attracts some of the country’s top competitors. Mesquite Convention & Visitors Bureau

It’s a little-known fact that Mesquite is the “Rodeo Capital of Texas” (as declared by the State Legislature in 1993). But once you experience the local rodeo scene, there will be no doubt left in your mind that it’s earned that designation. A permanent rodeo has existed in Mesquite since 1958, and the Mesquite Championship Rodeo now hosts local and national events throughout the year, including bull-riding competitions, concerts, barrel racing and so much more. The climate-controlled, air-conditioned facility was built in 1986, and it features 61 luxury suites, an entertainment area and two HD video boards to see all the excitement. If you get hungry, there’s even on-site barbecue.

For something truly different, consider taking advantage of the rodeo’s “shark tank” in the center of the arena. Visitors can purchase tickets to watch bull-riding from inside a closed cage amid the action. Those inside the shark tank are eye level with the animals and competitors and get to see the excitement from the best seats in the house. It is an adrenaline rush as the bull becomes excitingly close to ramming into the tank.

Celebration Station

Those with families won’t want to miss Celebration Station, Mesquite’s indoor and outdoor amusement park. Enjoy activities like bumper boats, laser tag, mini golf and an arcade. There are rides for the younger kids, and batting cages and paintball competitions for the teenagers.

Where to Eat

Kick off your day with a pastry from Hannah's Gluten Free Bakery in downtown Mesquite. It’s a great option, whether you’re eating gluten-free or not. Take your tasty pastry to go and make the short trip over City Lake Park to enjoy a walk around the lake.

You’re bound to be hungry after a long day of adventuring. When the cravings start to hit, head to one of Mesquite’s wide variety of restaurants. There’s something for every appetite ranging from Tex-Mex to Italian. For some authentic Texas barbecue, Mesquite BBQ has been cooking it low and slow since 1959. For Tex-Mex, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Cafe Del Rio and El Atoron are all excellent options, although you could dine at a different Tex-Mex place every meal for a week and end up very happy. Snuffer's Restaurant and Bar is known for its burgers, while Yia Yia’s House of Gyros is a small place with excellent Greek and Middle Eastern options.

Come Back Soon

Once you’ve completed everything on this list, then you have truly experienced the highlights of Mesquite. However, it would be impossible to do everything the town has to offer in just one day. Visit again soon to explore the sights you may have missed and take in all that this Texas town has to offer.

Written by Sarah Strohl for RootsRated in partnership with Mesquite CVB.

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