Plan a Fall Adventure in Yuma, Southwest Arizona, Where Wild West History and Nature Meet

The Colorado River in Yuma’s East Wetlands, with a view of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge and the Yuma Territorial Prison Watchtower.
Historically referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Great Southwest’, Yuma is an authentic southwestern destination located between San Diego, California and Tucson, Arizona, and bordering Mexico. Home to what’s known as ‘the narrows’ of the lower Colorado River, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area honors the historical site of where fortune seekers heading to California’s gold rush and expeditions such as Juan Bautista de Anza and the Mormon Battalion, crossed over into California.

Holding the Guinness World Record as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth,’ it is no wonder that sun-seekers and folks from Canada and the northern and mid-western states flock to Yuma to get some winter relief.  However, as Yvonne Peach, co-owner of the historic Coronado Motor Hotel says, “Yuma is far more than a winter destination. Fall is an ideal time of year to visit. The weather is perfect for hiking and bird watching in the wetlands, canoeing down the Colorado River, and visiting the historic sites and museums. Visitors from all over the world come year-round to see the Yuma Territorial Prison.”

Historically, the Colorado River was an important water source, as well as a water highway and major crossing point at the narrows. The narrows was the easiest place to cross the Colorado River into California. Today the Colorado Riverfront is part of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, and features nature and outdoor recreational activities, noteworthy historic sites, and a charming historic downtown.

If you visit Yuma, Arizona this fall, be sure to put these riverfront destinations on your itinerary:

Yuma Territorial Prison State Park
was opened in 1876, and housed 7 inmates who built their own cells. The prison was in operation for 33 years, and housed 3069 prisoners, including 29 women, and some of the Southwest’s most notorious criminals such as “Bandit Queen” Pearl Hart, “Buckskin” Frank Leslie, murderess Elena Estrada, and Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magon.

Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park was a distribution center for the U.S. Army who used it to store and send out supplies to military posts in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. You can tour five of the original depot buildings and view military history exhibits and also learn about the construction of Yuma’s major irrigation systems from the early 1900s.

Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza Part is the historic site where the first railroad entered Arizona in 1877. Here you can view exhibits about the Yuma Crossing, and see the original concrete pivot where the railroad bridge would open up to let steamboats pass through, as well as a 1907 Baldwin locomotive known as the “ghost train”. From fall through early spring, you can experience an audio installation that re-creates the arrival of a steam locomotive.

Yuma’s East and West Wetlands are beautiful natural areas that follow the Colorado River. Here you can go birdwatching (there are over 400 bird species in Yuma), follow nature trails, go fishing, enjoy a picnic or BBQ, or launch a canoe. The West Wetlands also has a Hummingbird Garden and Butterfly Garden featuring native plants of the Sonoran desert.

Historic Downtown Yuma features an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants, art galleries, a winery and craft brewery, and is also home to the Yuma Art Center and Historic Yuma Theatre. It’s the perfect place to get your holiday shopping done, grab a bite, or attend one of the many downtown events and festivals.

Celebrating its 76th anniversary as Yuma’s destination hotel, the historic Coronado Motor Hotel is within blocks of the Colorado River, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area and the historic downtown. The Yuma Landing Bar & Grill, the hotel’s onsite restaurant, is situated where on October 25, 1911, the first plane landed in the state of Arizona. There is a state statue in honor of the pilot Robert G. Fowler, who flew and landed the Wright Model B biplane. The restaurant also features a collection of historic photos and memorabilia of Yuma, with even more that can be seen in the hotel’s Casa de Coronado Museum.

“We’re celebrating the hotel’s 76th anniversary, the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, and 104th anniversary of the first landing of an airplane in Arizona,” says Yvonne. “Check out and for our special hotel packages and group rates, and all the specials at the restaurant. If you subsrcibe to our monthly Captain’s Log e-Newsletter, you will automatically be entered into our onthly giveaways. There’s so much to do this season at the riverfront. From the museums and casinos, to golf, events and festivals – you’re sure to have a fun time.

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Media Contact
Company Name: Coronado Motor Hotel
Contact Person: Yvonne Peach
Email: Send Email
Phone: 928-783-4453
Address:233 4th Avenue
City: Yuma
State: Arizona
Country: United States