If you’re eager to know about the best and fun things to do in Yuma, AZ, then this article is for you!
Yuma is a small town that lies southwest of Arizona. It was renamed twice as Arizona City before it was left as Yuma. The name ‘Yuma’ was gotten from the Spanish word, ‘Humo,’ which means smoke. The people of the previously Arizona city used to smoke in their practices; hence the term.
Talking about tradition, Yuma is a city with a lot of history and is surrounded by nature. You will find many fun things worth your time and money in Yuma.
For instance, behind the Colorado River lies the Yuma Territorial Prison State. There’s also the Historical Park, where you can find preserved cells and a Wild West era prison guard tower. Close to the Historical Park lies the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, a 19th-century military warehouse and telegraph station.
You’ll also find the Gateway Park, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Castle Dome Mine Museum & Ghost Town, Waylon’s Water Park, etc.
Read down to check out some of the best things to do in Yuma, AZ.
Best and Fun Things To Do In Yuma, AZ
1. Visit Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
Initially established in 1876 before its closure in 1909, the Yuma Territorial Prison Park was Arizona’s first prison. The prison was built by its first prisoners on the banks of Colorado as a security measure from prison breaks of that time.
Although it was reopened in 1970, it is currently no longer in operation, as it has been renamed and used as a state historical park.
You are free to take a walk through the iron cells of the state’s first prison. Inside the prison lies the solitary chamber and other places where the pioneer prisoners spent their sentences in the desert.
In addition, you can participate in the park’s event schedules, including ghost tours around the prison.
Address: 220 Prison Hill Road, Yuma, AZ 85364
2. Visit Colorado River State Historic Park
Initially referred to as Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, the Colorado River State Historic Park was founded after the 1960s. The park’s name was changed from the former to the latter to reflect the park’s true nature and reveal the Colorado River’s history.
You can take a walk to view the park, which was operated as the main Arizona supply depot of the Army and was followed by many worthwhile events. Don’t miss out on the exhibits around the park to know more about the history and importance of the Colorado River.
Apart from being known as a historical place, the state park is also used as a park. So you can visit with your family and friends every weekend or during holiday periods for a lovely and comfortable day while having the park’s grounds all to yourself.
The Hilton Garden Inn Yuma Pivot Point hotel is nearby, where you can book if you’re staying beyond a day.
Address: 201 N 4th Avenue 2336, Yuma, AZ 85364
3. Gateway Park
Situated just beside the Yuma Territorial Prison Historical Park, the Gateway Park is a riverside park that offers a family-friendly riverside environment where you can pass your warm day.
In addition, it is a perfect location to view the historic ocean-to-ocean bridge that was initially established to anchor the ocean to ocean highway.
Renovated and re-established to cars in 2002 after being designed for just pedestrians and bicycles for 14 years, the Gateway Park will make you imagine yourself on the beach in your journey.
In addition, it offers a perfect environment for hosting picnics because of its playgrounds and a small beach close to the refreshing waters of the Colorado River.
Gateway Park can be likened to an oasis along the river, and you’ll find many fun things to do. For instance, you can fish on the docks or have a lovely day in the playground.
You can also take a picture with the ocean-to-ocean bridge, as you can view it perfectly from here. You can set your date venues and picnics in the riverside park.
Address: 1st Street & Gila, Yuma, AZ 85364
4. Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens
Established during the 19th century, the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens is another attractive place where you can spend your spare time.
Located in the downtown area of Yuma, it is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is now used as a museum exhibiting the life of the famous merchant E.F. Sanguinetti.
The Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens offers you the opportunity to follow the story of Sanguinetti and find out how he came to Yuma empty-handed yet has gone on to become an influential businessman that impacted the community he had grown so fond of.
You can know more about his history and his family and relate them with that of the town in those days. A Garden Café is located next door if you care for any refreshments. In addition, the Arizona Historical Society presently runs the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens.
Address: 240 S Madison Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364
5. Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma
Make time to visit the interesting Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, as you wouldn’t want to miss out on its exciting and mouthwatering activities and scenery.
Talking about the setting, this wildlife refuge provides a fantastic view of mountains, wetlands, desert, and river put together, which creeps into both Yuma County, Arizona, and Imperial County, California.
Even though it is located along the Sonoran Desert, the vast majority of its land is occupied by wetlands, which makes it a perfect refuge for wildlife and the best area for you to observe nature. This explains why it is called Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.
If you are one of those that enjoys viewing mountains, rivers, deserts, or wetlands, here is an opportunity for you. You can even take a view of these four views all at once.
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge offers you the opportunity to enjoy boat trips, fishing, hiking, and camping. If you are a first-timer, you are free to wander through the Painted Desert trail is an exciting prospect.
Address: 12812 Wildlife Way, Yuma, AZ 85365
6. The “Official” Center of the World
The Official Center of the World was created in the ’80s by Jacques-Andre Istel and is made up of lots of impressive statues and monuments, such as a spiral staircase that leads to nowhere and part of the Eiffel Tower.
The Center of the World is located not too far from the Imperial County of California, Yuma.
The Californian state and the French government officially approved the place as the Center of the World. In its vicinity, you’ll discover a granite pyramid set designed to show the history of humanity.
You’ll also find a church and a plaque marking the area. However, the spot is only available for visitation from March to December, but you’ll be given a certificate as you visit.
Address: 1 Center of the World Plaza, Felicity, CA 92283
7. Waylon’s Water Park
Have you been searching for a place to relax your stressed body and have fun? Then, Waylon’s Water Park is there to help you relieve your stress and make your day a fun-filled one.
The place offers many attractions and more than 15 slides; hence, you can never complain of any dull moment.
In the park lies a mini-golf course and an excellent nearby restaurant, where you can find any dish.
Therefore, irrespective of your gender and age, everything is available for you right here in Waylon’s water park, thus making it a perfect venue for your family outing.
Address: 4446 E County 10th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365-3615
8. Historic Downtown
Featuring lots of local attractions, the Historic Downtown, as its name implies, is a historical site where you can find historical areas and perfect restaurants (this will augur well for people that have good taste for good recipes).
As we earlier mentioned, the place houses many historical areas that you wouldn’t want to miss for anything.
For instance, it houses the iconic prison, the famous Sanguinetti home, and the popular Gateway Park. Not just that, the place features dining with unique recipes, shopping centers, and other entertainment centers.
As long as the Historic Downtown is concerned, you won’t lack fun things to do.
You can even come with your family and friends to explore its theatre and museum.
Address: Yuma, AZ 85364, (800) 293-0071
9. East Wetlands Environmental Restoration Area
Another fantastic fun location you wouldn’t want to miss out on is the East Wetlands Environmental Restoration Area.
Just a stone’s throw from the Yuma Prison, the place restoration area was officially started in 2002 by the Bureau of Reclamation. Workers cultivated more than 200,000 native species, including trees, shrubs, and plants.
It also features the removal of more than 330,000 cubic yards of dirt and trash and the establishment of water routes. These activities have led to a massive increase in birds and wildlife and have provided a habitat for more than 330,000 species.
You can walk through many trails and pathways even though it doesn’t provide restrooms or drinking spots. However, there are still lots of benches and other seats where you can rest for a while before you proceed.
Address: Along the river east of the ocean to ocean bridge Yuma, AZ 85364
10. Castle Dome Mines Museum & Ghost Town
Situated in Castle Dome Mountains, Castle Dome Landing is a ghost mining town that features a museum that has re-established and renovated the 1878 town for outsiders.
It is a place where you must strive to spend your free time, as it has fun-filled activities.
You are free to spend a few hours going back to history by walking around the town. You will discover several impressive buildings occupied by the blacksmith, the mercantile, the doctor, and the post office.
Apart from these, the place is also beautified with circa-1800s tools and furnishings. You can lodge at the Shilo Inn nearby.
Address: Castle Dome Mine Road, Yuma, AZ 85365
11. Yuma Visitor Information Center
Situated at the center of Yuma along Main Street, the Yuma Visitor Information Center is among your favorite place where you can gain more knowledge about exciting locations in the area.
If you find the site very enjoyable and choose to spend more time there, you can go indoors and ask any worker to do things in the area.
Several places may be recommended for you based on your preferences and time limit. The Yuma Visitor Information Center is the perfect option for shelter during rainy or cold weather.
You can find time to check out the take-home souvenirs for your vacation as you are there. You can lodge in the Hampton Inn & Suites nearby.
Address: 264 S Main Street, Yuma, AZ 85364
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12. Arizona Market Place
Located on S Avenue, the Arizona Market Place is a famous local flea market that features over a hundred vendors and many shops and stores that deal in goodies.
The place is specifically meant for people that see themselves as locals, who go around the market to sort for wares.
In Arizona Market Place, you’ll find different eye-catching wares. You can also have some tastes of their local yummies, including burgers, hotdogs, ice cream, and date shakes, amongst others.
In addition, the city of Yuma has a hotel close to the venue known as Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Yuma, where you can rest for a while on your trip.
Address: 3351 S Avenue 4E, Yuma, AZ 85365
13. Dome Valley Raceway
Is car racing your favorite sport? Then, in Dome Valley Raceway, you will find some of the best drivers that you can be a fan of, as they have outstanding skills and off-track personalities in Formula 1.
Maybe you have been dreaming of a similar repeat of your favorite on the sand; the Dome Valley Raceway also provides that.
A 300-foot track, the Dome Valley Raceway is undoubtedly equipped with a feel of professionalism. They possess enough equipment and facilities, as well as concession stands.
Here, you can never tell if you will see another Lewis Hamilton. If you are a car race lover, you must not fail to visit this place, as it features lots of intrigues and mouthwatering races.
Address: 18725 E. CO. 7th St. Wellton, AZ 85356
14. Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza
Situated on Madison Avenue, the Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza was established in 2010 as outdoor recreation and exhibit. It is created with easy-to-read panels, making it fantastic for visitors to discover things about the Yuma history.
In this center, you’ll find old photographs and read fascinating tales that have to do with legendary attractions in the area.
You can take pictures with the natural steam engine in the plaza, which offers you a great souvenir to take back home. You can lodge at one of its hotels nearby at Howard Johnson by Wyndham.
Address: N Madison Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364
15. Yuma Art Center
Some people appreciate ancient art, some prefer modern art, while art enthusiasts love them both. If you are a fan of outstanding art theaters and museums, you must not miss out on the Yuma Art Center.
The center is continuously run by the City’s Yuma Parks and Recreation Department.
It has several enticing activities and pleasurable events, including a 650-seat Yuma Theatre, Four Visual Art Galleries, and studios for both locals and visitors.
There is nothing about the ancient and modern art life that you wouldn’t find in the Yuma Art Center, both in architecture and displays.
The visitation is free for all; sign up to their website.
Address: 254 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364-1425
16. Yuma Conservation Garden
Located close to Highway 80 and Pacific Avenue, the Yuma Conservation Garden is one of Yuma’s best things to do.
It is a botanical garden that occupies a 28-acre space, where you can freely tour around and discover the Sonoran desert while also learning a lot about its local environment.
Apart from discovering the local flora and fauna of the garden, it also provides a relaxation center where you can choose to take a break after a tedious yet fascinating trip or tour. You can also spend a little time close to the pond to see ducks that swim around the water.
A hotel is located nearby, otherwise known as Shilo Inn, Yuma, where you can decide to take some rest.
Address: 2520 E 32nd Street, Yuma, AZ 85365
17. Yuma River Tubing
The Yuma River Tubing is a center that offers almost the same experience as the Colorado River. The best time to participate in this fun activity is during the April to September sunny weather of the Arizona region, when you want to cool off after a long journey under the hot sun.
It is a pleasurable way of relieving yourself of many stress that comes with working and walking under the heat of the Arizona sun.
However, it could be a little challenging, as you may not know how to access the tubes, who will drive, how to move with the box, and what will be the possible route to the car at the end.
The Yuma River Tubing will answer all the questions that bother you and more, thereby providing you with unique options for the similar feeling you would experience in the Colorado River. Your age or personality does not matter here, as everyone is free to tour via this floating journey.
The journey features thrilling moments like upstream to the ocean bridge, under the ocean, and lastly to the West Wetlands Park.
The journey doesn’t often take more than one hour, and you are free to come with your refreshment, which is best enjoyed amongst family and friends.
Address: Yuma River Tubing, Yuma, AZ 85365
18. Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
A National Historic Landmark, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area houses many local attraction centers.
The National Heritage Area is a town in Yuma that you wouldn’t plan to miss because it features several activities, including hiking the trails, resting in the parks, and visiting museums.
If you plan to spend a little time just working out on your outing, you can use the trails within the area. The heritage area is one of the most affordable things you can do in the Yuma.
So again, you can do two things at the same time by staying fit and active and at the same time enjoying the city’s beautiful views.
Address: 180 W 1st Street, Suite E, Yuma, AZ 85364
19. Balloons Over Yuma
You can also consider viewing the attractiveness of the Yuma city in the form of a hot air balloon flight. Balloons over Yuma is Yuma’s only commercial balloon flight runner.
They are among the Yuma Visitor’s Bureau, designed to market the trip and tourism industry to the masses and 300 others.
It is pretty fascinating to see balloons flying in hot air. Its average flight ranges from 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the winds. You can also rest on a flight while viewing the farmlands, treetops, and hills and with the company of birds.
You can create a picture of marching into a basket flying around 75 feet high, with a transparent balloon hovering over your head and the cool air swinging your whole body, having the world at your feet. That is what you have always dreamt of, particularly in a carnival.
Address: Yuma, AZ 85365
20. The Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground
Located in West Westland Park, the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground is majorly a kid’s play center, making it one of Yuma’s best family fun centers. Due to its unique environment, your kids are free to romp in and around the area.
The playground is created to take the form of a castle and is a very fun-filled area to play in.
You can sit back and relax as you watch your kids get involved in several activities in the playground, such as a two-bay zipline, a vast climbing net, and an innovative face-to-face relaxing and pleasurable swing.
There’s a hotel nearby, known as Days Inn by Wyndham, Yuma, where you can lodge with your family.
Address: 282 N 12th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364
21. Children’s Museum of Yuma County, Inc.
The Children’s Museum of Yuma County was established to provide a lifetime playful experience, which gives kids the opportunity to learn through hands-on, interactive exhibits and explore, imagine, and create.
The museum renders services to families all over Yuma County, Arizona, Imperial County, California, and other nearby cities like Northern Mexico: San Luis and Algodones.
Its mission is to respect the region’s diversity and provide a lasting educational experience to every visiting kid.
The Children’s Museum of Yuma County offers exhibits and programs that inspire kids’ curiosity, encourage learning, and engage them in fun but educative activities. It teaches them about art, music, science, nature, economy, and others.
Address: 200 S Main Street, Yuma, AZ 85364, USA
22. Cocopah Wild River Family Entertainment Center
Cocopah’s Wild River Family Entertainment Center is one of the first fun centers around Somerton and the Yuma areas.
This stunning facility features 24 lanes of bowling, laser tag, and a huge arcade room. In addition, in this place, food and beverage services are provided.
Cocopah Wild River features a sports bar and lounge with big-screen TVs, Brunswick billiard tables, and dart games, where adults can relax and enjoy themselves.
Additionally, more than twenty 42-inch LCD TVs around the lounge area will make you enjoy your favorite sporting events.
Situated right along with Avenue B & County 15 close to Highway 95, the Wild River Center features a spacious bus parking and motorcoach parking environment. In addition, it has onsite restrooms, an onsite restaurant/food vendor, and other food services.
Address: 15136 S Avenue B, Somerton, AZ 85350
23. Desert Horse Adventures & Party Ponies Yuma
You might not see private forests or mountains littered with trails as several other trail rides offer.
Still, you will be shocked to find out that there are several fun destination rides in Yuma’s Wetlands parks close to the Mexican border, along the Colorado River, and within the desert.
Provision has been made for the availability of many saddles of similar sizes (15″) that would be perfect for riders below 160 pounds.
Make sure you wear comfortable pants and closed-toe shoes or boots, as no sandals will be allowed. North Idaho mountain horses are available for rent.
The reason for the horses is to climb and cross rivers and bridges, and the horses don’t always plan to fly back to the barn. Desert Horse Adventures & Party Ponies offer trail rides within the Yuma vicinity.
However, the most popularly known riders, even for the inexperienced riders, are in or across the Gila River, locally called Shit Creek.
Address: Desert Horse Way, 1219 E. County 19th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365
24. DOSIS VR Games, LLC
Do you plan to visit Yuma, or are you already in the city? Then, do not look past DOSIS VR Games. It offers you the opportunity to see yourself in a virtual reality world.
All you need to do is book your session, birthday party, and other events. You will experience every action around you through its attractive single and multiplayer game options.
DOSIS VR Games offers enough space to see several cars parked comfortably. In addition, it houses several things like food service, motorcoach parking, onsite restrooms, specials/coupons for groups, and recommended reservations.
Address: 2544 S 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364, USA
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25. Fisher’s Landing
Situated along the banks of the eye-catching lower Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona, the Fisher’s Landing is an incredible resort featuring the Rio Loco Bar & Grill. In addition, it houses a filled General Store; hence, it has every amenities or tool campers will ever require for a memorable stay at the place.
The Fisher’s Landing is a center that features a restaurant, gas dock/bait shop, and offers complete service boat shop.
Above the Imperial Dam lies the Lower Colorado River containing Ferguson Lake and Martinez Lake, two of which you will find some of the finest multi-species fishing and watersport opportunities in AZ.
According to the comp policy, there is enough parking for buses as far as the space is concerned.
Food services onsite restaurant/food vendor are available, and gift shop/shopping and outdoor picnic center. There is also the motorcoach parking and specials/coupons for groups.
Address: 10882 Fisher’s Landing Road, Martinez Lake, AZ 85365, USA
26. Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Established on January 25, 1939, by Executive Order 8039 from public lands, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was built to protect the desert bighorn sheep.
It occupied 665,400 acres of pristine Sonoran desert and is located in Arizona within the southwestern United States, northeast of Yuma, and southeast of Quartzsite.
The Kofa NWR allows all of its visitors to relieve themselves of the stresses of their everyday life and reconnect with their natural environment.
In this center, you can connect with nature in several ways. It features enormous space and immense wilderness that offers fantastic recreational opportunities. Onsite restrooms are also available.
Address: Palm Canyon Road, Yuma, AZ 85365, USA
Paddling refers to the practice of divine feminine beauty of Kundalini yoga, meditation, and comfortability on a stand-up paddleboard in the high sea.
It is an exercise that provides a modified peculiar yoga practice in which you focus on your breath and activate your energy by channeling the chakras.
Located in the beautiful South San Diego Bay close to Coronado Bridge, the Paddalini is an enjoyable Paddle Yoga Class. However, it would be best if you didn’t miss out on it during your stay in Yuma.
It is a Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga Class that combines paddling, breath-work, and a modified Kundalini journey.
You can also visit the scenic Coronado Bridge Bay as you participate in an active paddleboard exercise. You can hear the soothing sounds of the ocean as you take part in a meditative, modified yoga session.
You will also feel Savasana using your fingertips into the sea and board rocking to the music of the water.
Address: 1123 W. Kings Lane, Yuma, AZ 85365
28. The Escape Room
Owned by a female entrepreneur, the Escape Room aims to give visitors a live-action experience through standard escape rooms created with simple sets and fantastic themes. With this brand, you can get a real-life interactive experience in classic escape room themes.
In the escape room, every theme is created with attention to detail, unmatched realism, and a fantastic storyline to dunk players. The space will engage its partakers in using its room items, sorting for clues, and solving puzzles to escape within its time frame.
Due to the company’s extraordinary experiences, several clients have become drawn to patronize it, including Wells Fargo, at&t, Sephora, Girl Scouts, Comcast Xfinity, The Home Depot, Verizon, US Army, US Air Force, Sears, and Dilliard’s amongst others.
The Escape Room is a pale pink building that accommodates many other ventures. The room features a brand logo on the wall, welcoming you to the center.
You’ll be well-prepared with different game posters on the window for the waiting adventure. There is a parking lot behind the building.
Address: 285 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364, United States
29. Peanut Patch
Find time to visit Yuma, AZ, to taste some of the best fresh peanuts, dates, fresh fudge, gift baskets, and mail orders in Peanut Patch.
It is a place that features local retail peanut sales and general candy stores. In addition, it offers several different kinds of unique food items.
The Peanut Patch is most famous for dealing with signature items like peanut brittle, fudge, and postal delivery. In addition, it houses a bit postal center just for supplies.
Situated at 4322E County 13th street, the peanut patch features enough space for bus parking, motorcoach parking, an onsite gift shop, and an outdoor picnic area.
Address: 4322 E County 13th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365
30. Cloud Museum
Situated over 10 miles North of Yuma, Arizona, the Cloud Museum invites you to explore its fantastic website, featuring items mostly from Johnny Cloud’s collections, which is how the name was gotten.
He (Johnny Cloud) started the group in 1989, and since then, it has provided a reminder of its early years of statehood. You will find this venue in the farming community of Bard, California, on State Highway 24.
It features several collections, including cars, trucks, tractors, power tools, hand tools, household equipment, boat engines, wheels, and items from local businesses such as the old Bard Post Office, with several other things too many to count.
The collections are extensive, numerous, adequately arranged, and very attractive. You can always access the museum every day of the week from 9 am to 4 pm, except for the hottest summer periods.
You’ll always find a caretaker to attend to you whenever the leading man, Johnny, is absent. There is enough space for bus, motorcoach parking, and onsite restrooms.
Address: 1398 York Road, Winterhaven, CA 92283, United States