10 Things to Do in Yuma AZ

Yuma was originally founded as Colorado City. It later assumed greater significance as thousands of opportunist Americans travelled south via Yuma to California to cash in on the 1849 gold rush.

Packed with history and surrounded by nature, let’s explore the best things to do in Yuma, Arizona.

1. Historic Downtown

The destructive floods of the past mean that most buildings here now only date back to the 1920’s, but with the revitalization of this area, the history lives on.

Discover what the North End has to offer with historic tours, or simply enjoy the shopping, dining and entertainment that can be found.

There are regularly fairs or events on in the area as well.

2. Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park

No longer in operation, Yuma Territorial Prison is now a state historical park with quite the reputation.

It was strategically built (by its very own pioneering prisoners) on the banks of the Colorado as an additional safety measure against common jailbreaks of the time.

Don’t forget to snap your own mugshot before leaving using the original mirror that created a simultaneous front and side profile in one photo.

3. Gateway Park

With your toes in the sand and history overhead, Yuma’s Gateway Park offers a family friendly riverside spot to pass a warm day.

This is the best place to observe the historic Ocean To Ocean Bridge, which was originally designed to carry the Ocean to Ocean Highway. The bridge was renovated and reopened to vehicles in 2002 after 14 years of pedestrian and bicycle only traffic.

The park is the perfecting setting for a picnic with its playgrounds and a little beach next to the refreshing waters of the Colorado River.

4. Colorado River State Historic Park

Containing the old U.S. Army Quartermaster Depot and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, this park has a mix of full on history and fun exhibits for children.

It is home to some of Arizona’s oldest buildings, where you can soak up information and follow the history of the Colorado River and it’s crucial crossing in Yuma in the time of the Old West.

To keep the children engaged, head to the Yuma Crossing area to learn about the railroad, see the original pivot point and board the steam train on display.

5. Castle Dome Mine Museum & Ghost Town

Where a bustling mining town once reigned, the abandoned city of Castle Dome now lies utterly empty.

You can make your way through more than 50 buildings, including homes, shops, and a church, each offering their own input to build the history of the town.

Frozen in time, this western ghost town preserves a precious history of the Old West for all to enjoy.

6. Waylon’s Water Park

Full of family fun, featuring more than 15 slides and attractions, Waylon’s water park is a refreshing stop with plenty to do.

Not restricted to getting wet, thorough entertainment can be found on the mini golf course alone.

With a pleasant restaurant on site, this place caters to all ages and is the perfect hideaway on a hot day.

7. East Wetlands Environmental Restoration Area

Not far from Yuma Prison lies the recently restored natural habitat area of Yuma’s East Wetlands.

Since the restoration began in 2002, the removal of trash and dirt and replanting of native species has triggered a huge increase in bird species. The wetlands hold several trails and paths to walk or cycle, and some nice areas to stop and rest while and enjoy the nature.

8. The “Official” Center of the World

Just a short drive from Yuma in Imperial County, California, this seemingly random point has been approved as the official Centre of the World by the Californian state and the French government.

Established in the 80’s by Jacques-Andre Istel, the site consists of many interesting monuments, including a spiral staircase to nowhere, formerly part of the Eiffel Tower.

You will also find a set of granite pyramids meant to depict the history of humanity, a church, and of course a plaque marking the spot.

This bizarre stop is only open from March to December, but you will get a certificate when you visit.

9. Yuma River Tubing

From April to September in the sunny summer months of Arizona, Yuma River Tubing offers an excellent alternative way to experience the Colorado River.

No matter how old you are, you’re free to try and sure to love this floating journey from where the company drop you upstream, under the Ocean to Ocean bridge, all the way back to West Wetlands Park.

The activity takes about an hour and you can even take refreshments and at the right time enjoy the sunset, surrounded by your friends or family.

It’s best to reserve as spots fill up fast, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun!

10. Martha’s Gardens Date Farm

Arizona, particularly Yuma, is quickly becoming an ever more popular place for date production.

It is hardly surprising since dates require continuous sunshine and Yuma holds the title of the sunniest place in the world.

At Martha’s Gardens you can wander through the palm groves and learn about the growing process and history of the organic farm.

You can also grab lunch, try their famed date shake, and buy other dare products to take away before leaving.

Keep in mind that peak season runs from September through to April.

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