Finding a place to eat for a large group doesn’t have to be challenging. With more than 150 restaurants to choose from in Mesquite, you’ll have no trouble finding something that works for your group’s various personalities and preferences.
For Texas-sized portions of top-notch barbecue, your group’s first stop should be Soulman’s BBQ. Even barbecue aficionados will be impressed with the flavor and creativity, and the sides (arguably one of the most important parts of a picnic) are unforgettable. Soulman’s also offers catering options, so you can dine in or take lunch or dinner back to a hotel conference room or nearby park. Posados Cafe is a Texas favorite for fast-casual Mexican fare, and the Mesquite location has a large seating area where groups can dine in the restaurant, as well as off-site catering services. Seafood lovers will be thrilled to learn that the Mesquite Red Lobster location has a large banquet room, perfect for seating large groups who don’t want to be split up.
The same is true of lodging in Mesquite. Several hotels in the area offer group rates and have ample parking for tour buses. Hampton Inn and Suites is among the most convenient options, given that it’s connected to the Mesquite Convention Center and Exhibit Hall. (This also means its large ballroom can be used for group events.) There’s a fitness center on-site, so folks who need to blow off some steam during the trip have an outlet. The nearby Holiday Inn Express and Suites provides easy access for tour buses—it’s right off the highway, so large vehicles won’t have to tool around town.
For groups with many dietary preferences, the Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Mesquite might be the best bet. It’s walking distance from the many restaurants, so it’s much easier for the group to split up and head to whichever nearby eatery meets their needs. A comfortable lobby area makes a nice space to start the day, and a 40-person meeting room can be arranged to meet your group’s needs.
What to Do and Where to Go
It may be outside the big city but don’t be fooled: there are many things to do in Mesquite. It doesn’t hurt that the city is the official Rodeo Capital of Texas and thus home to the Mesquite Arena, home of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. This is a quintessential Texas experience, and as part of a group ticket package (which includes rodeo admission and food for groups of 12 or more), you’ll also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the grounds. If your group prefers motorized sports to the old-fashioned ones, the Devil’s Bowl Speedway is the perfect destination.
You certainly don’t have to leave Mesquite to find things to do, but it’s also incredibly easy to hop on the bus and make a day trip into Dallas. Sports fans will jump at the chance to visit the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which offers several types of group tours depending on your specific interests. The Dallas Zoo offers groups of 15 or more a 33% discount on entry, and the Dallas Arboretum offers discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more. There’s also the excellent Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which has 11 permanent exhibit halls and rotating special exhibitions and offers discounts for groups of 10 or more.
Got some history buffs in the mix? Take a tour of Mesquite’s historic Florence Ranch Homestead, a restored 19th-century farm filled with artifacts important to the local history. For some more contemporary history, head to Dallas for a JFK Assassination Tour, which walks you to the Grassy Knoll and through that fateful day in 1963, then delves into some of the theories about what happened. Some tours include admission to the JFK Assassination Museum. Pop culture enthusiasts won’t want to miss a chance to tour South Fork Ranch (discounts for groups of 15 or more that save $6 per person), where you can explore the Ewing Mansion where 13 seasons of Dallas was filmed.
Written by Emma Walker for Matcha in partnership with Mesquite CVB.