Less than 20 minutes outside of Dallas, you’ll find a true Texan city known as the Rodeo Capital of Texas. If you’re looking for affordable suburban life right outside the big city, this could be your place. Mesquite is a family friendly city where nearly 80 percent of residents are married and 70 percent are homeowners. That’s likely because owning a home in Mesquite is pretty doable — even for young, first-time home buyers, as the median age is a very low 32. The average listing price in Mesquite is $186,359 and median rent per month is $1,495.
Sold? Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to live in Mesquite: Buy a cowboy hat and boots. The city’s biggest event is the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, which dates back to about 1946 and features saddle bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing at the Mesquite Arena. There’s also a Rodeo Parade that goes through town each year. The arena also hosts concerts and other events.
Mesquite is also big on family oriented community events like the Summer Sizzle festival, which includes a BBQ cook-off and fireworks, a daddy/daughter dance, The Pumpkin Fest to ring in fall and Christmas in the Park, when kids can meet Santa. Shoppers can drop their cash at the first enclosed mall in Texas, Big Town Mall, or at Retail Row, Mesquite’s shopping and dining district. Retail Row is one of three “Rows of Texas,” the other two being Restaurant Row and Rodeo Row — did we mention the rodeo is a big deal here? When you think “mesquite,” you might think about smoked meats and BBQ. And there is no shortage of that here. Check out Mesquite Barbecue, the oldest restaurant in town. “Our BBQ tastes the same now as it did in 1959,” the restaurant claims. “Why fix it if it ain’t broke!”
If you’re not exactly a cowboy, there are other ways to stay active in Mesquite rather than joining the rodeo. Check out the Westlake Sports Center for a little archery and tennis, hit the links at the Mesquite Golf Club or head to Celebration Station where you can hit the batting cages and the rock climbing wall. If you prefer to be active out in nature, take a hike or bike ride on Mesquite Heritage Trail. Speaking of biking, the annual Rodeo Road Rally brings in thousands of cyclists each year.
History buffs will want to learn about what life was like on the prairie in old Mesquite. The Florence Ranch Homestead was established in the late 1800s, two years before the township of Mesquite was founded. Today, it serves as a museum about early pioneer ranching. The Opal Lawrence Historical Park is another homestead from the era.