15 Best Things To Do In Yuma, Arizona

things to do in yuma arizona

Yuma, Arizona is the gateway of the Great Southwest and an endless ocean of wild western history. Bordering California and Mexico, this beautiful city nestled right in the southwest corner of Arizona has a unique geography which created the Yuma Crossing. Home to over 100,000 residents, its population nearly doubles during the winter season. The 11th largest city in the state and one of Arizona’s original eight counties, the first Europeans arrived in the Yuma area in 1540, about 80 years before the pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Yuma, Arizona.

1. West Wetlands Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

West Wetlands Park is regularly recognized as the best park in town, and for a good reason: visiting this park will almost feel like staying at a resort, given the number of activities that people of all ages can try out. There are trails by the river for walking, biking, and horseriding. Boating is allowed on the river here. The lake is stocked with fish for those who want to try their hand at fishing. There’s also a playground in the park where kids can have fun. Picnic sites are also found for those who want to kick back and enjoy a meal outdoors amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

West Wetlands Park

Address: 282 N 12th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364, United States

Website: West Wetlands Park

2. Yuma Conservation Garden

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Yuma Conservation Garden on Monday, January 2, 2012

In the past, the area where the Yuma Conservation Garden can now be used only featured duck ponds. However, in 1989, the Yuma and Laguna Natural Resource Conservation Districts asked for and were granted permission to convert the area into a botanical garden. While the duck ponds are still found here, the highlight of this attraction is now its desert garden, home to a number of plants and wildlife endemic to the Sonoran Desert, such as cacti, birds, and some animals. Plane enthusiasts can spot some aircraft flying in and out of the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.

Yuma Conservation Garden

Address: 2520 E 32nd St, Yuma, AZ 85365, United States

Website: Yuma Conservation Garden

Opening hours: (1st Nov - 1st May) Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on weekdays)

3. Gateway Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

As a city in a desert, Yuma can get very hot at daytime. To cool off, locals and visitors alike take a dip in the Colorado River, which you can access in Gateway Park. The Ocean to Ocean Highway Bridge, which is right on top of the park, provides enough shade for swimmers and those hanging out by the river. There are outdoor showers here if you want to rinse off once you are done swimming. There are other activities that visitors can try out in the park if the weather gets cooler. There are trails here for walking and biking. Dogs are also welcome in this park. There are also picnic tables set up under a pavilion should you wish to enjoy a meal here.

Gateway Park

Address: E 1st St & S Gila St, Yuma, AZ 85364, United States

4. Colorado River State Historic Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Looking for something to do today with family? We have you covered. Our 10 acre park allows you to social distance and...

Posted by Colorado River State Historic Park on Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Colorado River State Historic Park provides more than just a green oasis in Yuma; it also serves as a witness to the past, present, and future of the Colorado River. The park was where the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, which served as the main supply depot of the US Army in Arizona from 1865 to 1883, can be found. The Colorado River played a key role in facilitating the flow of supplies, as the goods were brought to the depot via the river. The facility was later abandoned, only to become revived again to serve as the headquarters of the agency responsible for providing irrigation to the Yuma Valley. Exhibits in the park provide guests with information on what the future holds for the river.

Colorado River State Historic Park

Address: 2336, 201 N 4th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364, United States

Website: Colorado River State Historic Park

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: 6 USD for adults, 3 USD for youth (7-13 years). Children 6 and below have free admission.

5. Castle Dome Mine Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Castle Dome Mines and Museum on Friday, November 30, 2018

This attraction is not your conventional museum, one that houses artefacts indoors. Instead, what you will see here is the remnants of Castle Dome, the longest-worked mining district across the state. While at least some of the buildings and equipment are not in their original locations - these have been staged to resemble life in a mining town in the 1800s - a trip here will still make you feel as though you have travelled back in time, or at least were transported to one of the flicks depicting the Wild West. The highlight of this attraction is the trip to Hull Mine, which features a fluorescent phosphorescent mineral wall.

Castle Dome Mine Museum

Address: Castle Dome Mine Rd, Yuma, AZ 85365, United States

Website: Castle Dome Mine Museum

6. Waylon's Water World

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Waylon’s Water World is a great place to head to in order to catch a break from the hot Yuma sun. This water park has over 15 slides and attractions, ranging from adrenaline-pumping rides such as the Big Bowl and Constrictor to more relaxed options such as the lazy river, which flows through the entire park. There are non-water-based activities available here as well, including mini-golf and go-karts. There’s also a section where visitors can have fun playing video games. The water park has its own restaurant and bar so you don’t have to worry about interrupting the fun activities you’re doing to go out to grab a bite to eat.

Waylon's Water World

Address: 4446 E County 10th St, Yuma, AZ 85365, United States

Website: Waylon’s Water World

7. Yuma River Tubing

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Yuma River Tubing on Sunday, June 9, 2019

This is a lazy river in the truest sense, as visitors can spend some time relaxing on tubes as the river carries them gently. There are two options available for guests to choose from: a 3.5-hour-long float and a shorter one that takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Regardless of which option you choose, the organizers will drop you and your party off at the designated area, together with the floats that you will be using. The ride is gentle enough for all ages, and there are no known areas where the flow suddenly speeds up. If you wish, you can also arrange to rent extra floats so you can bring snacks and drinks with you on your trip. However, you will need to provide your own cooler.

Yuma River Tubing

Address: Yuma, AZ, USA

Website: Yuma River Tubing

8. Martha's Gardens

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Martha's Gardens Date Farm on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lovers of dates, look no further than Martha’s Gardens to get your fill of these tasty snacks. The property plants and produces Medjool date palms, which they sell as dates and date-based products such as bread, ice cream, and shakes. Tours are offered for those who are interested in seeing the date palms up close and get a better understanding of how their fruits are harvested and produced for customers’ consumption. Do be aware, however, that the tours need to be arranged beforehand and a minimum of 10 guests need to join it. Be sure to wear clothes to protect you from the sun (e.g. hat, sunglasses, sunblock) and bring water if you’re planning to join the tour.

Martha's Gardens

Address: 9747 S Avenue 9 ¾ E, Yuma, AZ 85365, United States

Website: Martha’s Gardens

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

9. Yuma Territorial Prison

Posted by LouAnn Barton on Friday, 21 July 2017

Overlooking the Colorado River, visitors will find the ruins of Arizona’s famous Territorial Prison. Remaining buildings that served as part of Yuma Quartermaster’s Depot are a short distance west. On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates were locked into cells that were constructed by their own hands. Following the next 33 years, 3,069 prisoners – 29 of which were women – were imprisoned there for crimes ranging from murder to polygamy and most commonly, grand larceny. 111 prisoner deaths followed, with tuberculosis being a common factor but, as the stories go, even death did not free all of them from their prison.

Yuma Territorial Prison

Address: 1 Prison Hill Rd, Yuma, AZ 85364

Website: Yuma Territorial Prison

10. Arizona Historical Society Sanguinetti House Museum

Posted by Yuma County Historical Society on Saturday, 10 June 2017

A quaint, charming, 19th-century adobe house turned Arizona Historical Society museum, this is an important piece of history. Here, the life and home of E. F. Sanguinetti (the Merchant Prince of Yuma) is presented in a fun and interesting way.

As a 15-year-old, penniless boy who arrived in Yuma, E.F. Sanguinetti learned the mercantile trade at a tender age and gained a good reputation in Yuma. Wealth followed his hard work and business sense and when WWI caused cotton prices to drop severely, he was in debt but through perseverance, he managed to repay all those debts and his story is one to be heard.

Arizona Historical Society Sanguinetti House Museum

Address: 240 S Madison Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364

Website: Arizona Historical Society Sanguinetti House Museum

11. Kennedy Memorial Park

We're playing some pick-up hockey tonight at 8pm. If you're interested, come and check it out. If you're ready to play, bring your gear!

Posted by Jason Helton on Friday, 17 October 2014

On 24th Street & Kennedy Lane, this 17 acre (6.87 hectare) community park for all ages features various amenities for those looking to kick back and unwind or to engage in healthy physical activities. Full-fledged cookouts can be enjoyed using the picnic tables and grills found in the picnic area.

If you’re more into sports, there’s a basketball court, four sand volleyball courts, and more. There’s also a 2,364 linear foot (720 m) walking path for those who love a good stroll in the park, and for the children, there are two playgrounds.

Kennedy Memorial Park

Address: 2251 S Kennedy Ln, Yuma, AZ 85365

Website: Kennedy Memorial Park

12. Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

A storm brings much-needed rain to Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Happy Holidays!

Posted by Kofa National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, 29 December 2016

665,400 acres (269,277.8 hectares) in total with 547,700 acres (221,646.3 hectares) designated as a wilderness area (the second largest wilderness area in Arizona), the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 for the protection of desert bighorn sheep and other native wildlife. Protected from mining or logging and the construction of permanent roads, structures or vehicles, the desert landscape is preserved for generations to come with the help of the important wilderness designation.

Along a ride through the refuge to Big Eye Mine, Thumb Butte, with the Big Eye on the north side of the rock, can be viewed. There’s also a picnic spot, and you can walk up to Big Eye Mine cabin along a trail that continues on to the mines.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Address: Palm Canyon Rd, Yuma, AZ 85365

Website: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

13. Casa De Coronado Museum

Did you know that this photo that hangs in Yuma Landing is a charcoal drawing? The title " Six Reasons for Freedom" it...

Posted by Casa De Coronado Museum on Thursday, 15 June 2017

Showcasing the history of tourism in Yuma, Casa De Coronado Museum contains exhibits of tourism pamphlets and brochures about Arizona and Yuma, furniture and appliances from the early 1900s, historic photos, and more. With side-by-side rooms instead of cabins, Arizona’s first “modern-style” motel opened in 1938. Visitors can learn about the growth of Yuma through exhibits of brochures and pamphlets, appliances and furniture from the early 1900s, and more. There is also original memorabilia that can be found here.

The Yuma Landing Sports Bar and Grill directly across the street (where the first plane to land in Arizona touched down) also provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the aviation history of Arizona.

Casa De Coronado Museum

Address: 233 S 4th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364

Website: Casa De Coronado Museum

14. Joe Henry Memorial Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

There’s plenty of fun stuff to do in this quiet neighborhood park. Family events can be reserved and held under the shelters, picnic tables topped with piñata poles, and grills can be used for barbecues or a fun-filled birthday party. For sports lovers, there are volleyball courts and softball diamonds. There are also playground areas (for ages 5 to 12) with monkey bars and tunnels, rock walls, and more. This is a great spot for kids and a favorite park for Yuma parents.

Joe Henry Memorial Park

Address: Yuma, AZ 85364

Website: Joe Henry Memorial Park

15. Yuma Art Center

Posted by Yuma Art Center on Thursday, 20 July 2017

With an annual reach of over 100,000 visitors, the Yuma Art Center aims to advance the arts, provide opportunities for community participation, and encourage artistic growth. Exhibitions and material showcased are in relation to the Yuma Valley’s culture and indigenous people. Every year, over twenty visual art exhibitions and two full-length theatre productions are produced, approximately fifty visual art and performing classes are held and tons of films are screened. Annual summer mural programs are also facilitated by the center as well as the coordination of festivals and events.

Yuma Art Center

Address: 254 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364

Website: Yuma Art Center

Experience the southwest corner of Arizona

Downtown Yuma, Arizona (2)
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Come to Yuma, Arizona and experience this city with a history that predates the arrival of the pilgrims to Plymouth Rock.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Rauf likes to read, write, box, cook, collect art and have deep deep discussions on mind altering topics.

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Yuma
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!