Things to Do in Yuma, AZ – The Best Tourist Attractions and Quiet Places to Go in the World’s Sunniest City

Apart from Phoenix, there’s another great city in Arizona that is worth exploring – Yuma! This vibrant desert city is located on the Colorado River and is known for its amazing sunsets and warm weather. Find out the best things to do in Yuma, AZ.

things to do in yuma az

Why Is Yuma Worth Visiting?

Before we get into all the things to do in Yuma, AZ, let’s get to know it. Despite its small population, Yuma has played an important role in Arizona’s history.

Yuma was first established as a fort in 1848, after the end of the Mexican-American War. The goal was to control traffic along the Colorado River. The city grew around the fort and continued to be an important location in Arizona over time.

Today, Yuma has a population of around 100,000 people. The city is best known for its warm winters and hot summers. It’s also sunny for at least 91% of the year, which is why it was named ‘The Sunniest City on Earth’ by Guinness World Records.

People flock to Yuma every year for that reason, as well as its beautiful desert scenery. The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including one that celebrates the history and culture of Native Americans who lived in the area long ago.

Things to Do in Yuma, AZ – Downtown

Whether you are visiting for the first time or a returning visitor, you may be surprised at all the things to do in Yuma, AZ. Yuma’s downtown area is filled with shops, restaurants, and opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

If you’re looking for a special gift to take home, check out the shops in Historic Downtown Yuma. Located on Main Street between 1st Ave. and 4th Ave., this area is home to many unique shops.

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Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens

Downtown Yuma also features the Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens. This historic house is maintained by the Arizona Historical Society and was built in 1890 by E.F. Sanguinetti, one of Yuma’s most prominent early merchants. The house contains original family furnishings as well as exhibits depicting life at the turn of the century. The museum is open from Wednesday through Saturday.

Yuma Art Center

Another attraction in downtown Yuma is the Yuma Art Center, a non-profit organization that offers classes and workshops on several art forms including painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, sculpture and more! It also has a gallery that features rotating exhibits of local artists’ work. The Yuma Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Yuma History Museum

Yuma History Museum is the perfect starting point to learn all about Yuma history, dating back to prehistoric times. Exhibits include artifacts from Native American tribes such as the Mohaves and Quechans, and Mexican and U.S. military artifacts from the 1850s onward. A highlight of a visit is seeing the actual courtroom where Wyatt Earp presided as justice of the peace in 1900.

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area

Visitors can learn about military history at Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which is located on the site of the first permanent European settlement in Arizona. The heritage area includes the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, which features a museum with exhibits on military life and transportation along the trail.

Parks and Outdoor Activities in Yuma, AZ

The list of outdoor things to do in Yuma, AZ is endless. There are several city parks that are perfect for a picnic lunch, such as Gateway Park, West Wetlands Park or Riverside Park. For those who enjoy hiking and biking, there are many trails to explore in the area. The Arizona National Scenic Trail runs through Yuma and offers hikers breathtaking views of the desert landscape.

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The Colorado River is also a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. And for those who want to take in the desert scenery from a different perspective, hot air balloon rides are available. The Colorado River State Historic Park is a must-visit!

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Yuma Territorial Prison Park is located on the site of a former prison which was built in 1876. It was designed to hold over 100 prisoners. Today, it is a museum which houses artifacts from the early days of the prison, along with stories about the convicts who once lived here and the staff who worked here.

Yuma Conservation Garden

This garden is open to visitors November through April, on Saturdays and Sundays. The garden features several displays of native plants as well as educational opportunities for visitors.

Yuma River Tubing

For a fun day on the river, rent an inner tube from Yuma River Tubing and enjoy a leisurely float down the Colorado. You can take your time on your own schedule or join one of their group floats, which last about 2 hours. They even have tubes for pets!

Kennedy Memorial Park

Kennedy Memorial Park includes an outdoor stage, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and basketball courts. If you’re looking for a place to get active, this is the perfect spot. The park also has a playground and picnic area.

Things to Do in Yuma, AZ – Away from Downtown

There are many things to do in Yuma, AZ that are away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. If you don’t mind a short drive from Yuma, there are a few places we recommend visiting. One is the Cocopah Reservation, home to Cocopah Museum. The museum tells the story of the Cocopah people and their history in the area.

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge is another great place to visit. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. There are over 280 species of birds that can be found here, as well as other wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep and coyotes.

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Cibola National Wildlife Refuge

North of the previous place, you’ll find Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is home to several species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. There are also over 200 species of birds that can be found here.

Imperial Sand Dunes

The North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area, featuring the Imperial Sand Dunes, is a great place to explore if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s located about an hour from Yuma and offers visitors the chance to hike, camp, and stargaze in the desert.

Martha’s Gardens Medjool Date Farm

If you’ve never tried fresh dates, this is your chance! Martha’s Gardens offers tours where you can learn about date farming and sample some of their hand-picked dates. The farm is open every day except Sunday, but reservations are required.

Plan Your Trip to Yuma and Enjoy the Sun!

Now that you know some things to do in Yuma, AZ, it’s time to start planning your trip! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or a chance to relax in the sun, Yuma has something for everyone.


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