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Yuma, Arizona Your Sunniest Winter Destination!

By Joan Rykal

Yuma, Arizona is considered one of the sunniest places, if not the sunniest place in the world. Yuma offers a whopping 360 days of sunshine annually. Given that stat, if you visit Yuma this winter, what are the odds those five days that may not be so sunny will fall during your stay? According to the World Meteorological Society, Yuma offers 4000 hours of sunshine per year. So, most likely, a winter visit to Yuma will be all kinds of sunshine-y days!

And let’s be clear here, all that sunshine does not mean hot, hot weather, but rather very comfortable temperatures. Yuma winters enjoy average daily temps around 76, with evening lows averaging 50 degrees.  

Another fun fact – and most likely due to the gobs of sunshine the area experiences – Yuma is the winter vegetable capital of the world. In fact, Yuma is the source of approximately 90 percent of the leafy vegetables produced in the US from November through March and 75% of the lettuce worldwide.

So, what do you do if you’re headed to Yuma this winter? Well, first book your stay at one of 7 Encore RV resorts, that offer wonderful amenities and the perfect place to stay while you explore Yuma.

Once you’ve chosen your Encore resort, get busy enjoying all that sunshine. And here are a few ideas on how to do that:

Monte Vista (AZ)

Find a Date!

No, not the romantic kind, but the kind you eat! More than 7,500 Medjool dates are grown in Yuma and to celebrate that fact, each winter the city holds a Medjool Date Festival. The 2020 event is scheduled for January 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Yuma and promises dates, dates and more dates, as well as live music, Celebrity Chef demonstrations and all kinds of fun.

Go to Prison!
Not for real, but a trip to Yuma must include a visit to the historic landmark that is the Yuma Territorial Prison. The setting for many a Hollywood film as well as popular books, the prison, which the inmates helped construct, was established in 1876 and operated for 33 years. Now, the prison is Yuma’s Number One tourist destination and visitors can walk through the prison and views the cells as well as the solitary confinement holding. Take your mug shot to remember this experience. January is a great time to visit as the Annual Gathering of the Gunfighters happens where Old West guns fights are re-enacted to the delight (and thrill) of visitors! 

In February, Yuma Crossing Days are celebrated with historic re-enactments.

Suni Sands RV Resort (AZ)

Play in the Sand!

There is plenty of sand to explore in and around the Yuma area and they are pretty spectacular as “sandboxes” go. The Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area showcases sand dunes that can soar roughly 300 feet high! The location has been the backdrop for many popular movies ranging from the silent films days to present-day, including “Lawrence of Arabia” and most recently, “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” Adventurous types can explore the dunes via all-terrain vehicles, while the more serene option is to view the massive dunes from the Osborne Overlook Highway. 

Take a History Lesson!

Yuma is rich in history and has plenty of attractions that detail the history of the area. The afore-mentioned prison is just one of those. The Colorado River State Historic Park was once a military supply point and visitors today can see the quartermaster depot as well as other restored historic buildings that detail the importance of the area and its proximity to the Colorado River, a major transportation hub. To get an idea of what a mining town was like, visit the Castle Dome Mines Museum and Ghost Town which holds the remnants of a booming mine town dating back to 1878.  In town, the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens is a lovely way to learn the history of Yuma by touring the 19th century adobe home of E.F. Sanguinetti, who was known as the “Merchant Prince of Yuma”, rising from a penniless 15-year-old-boy to build a booming mercantile trade. The current exhibit “CLUES: History Mysteries of Yuma” takes visitors on a room by room search for clues to solve the mystery while uncovering Yuma’s history.

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