Moving to Yuma, AZ? Here's Your Guide
So you're moving to Yuma, AZ. Welcome!
Our town has attracted people to its wilderness for centuries. Early settlers discovered it was the safest place to cross the rushing waters of the Colorado River. And today many people visit Yuma to admire its vast landscape and multifaceted culture. Frankly put, Yuma is a great place to call home.
Uprooting and moving to any new place is exciting, but Yuma is different.
Here, you'll find adventure mixed with the comforts of a close-knit community. You'll discover the adrenaline rush of the Colorado River waters and the quiet peace among the mountains. And when you've taken in all that nature has to offer, there are a slew of art galleries, restaurants and attractions waiting to tempt you.
So congratulations - you're home.
Yuma is a Growing City
To those relocating to Yuma, AZ, you aren't alone.
The population of this growing city was 93,064 in 2010, up from 77,515 in 2000. The population grows in the winter months because retirees escape the chill of other areas and flock to a warm haven.
The people who move here are doing so for good reason - Yuma, AZ has a lot to offer.
Yuma Offers a Rich History
Thanks to the Colorado River, Yuma is a place that people have been attracted to for a long time. Local history buffs can go into vast detail about the Native American tribes, namely the Quechan and Cocopah tribes, which settled along the banks of the river to fish, farm and hunt.
Spanish explorers also discovered this area, particularly the spot where the river becomes most narrow, allowing for easy passage back and forth across the banks.
Jump forward to the gold rush in 1849 and what would soon become the location of the United States Army's Fort Yuma, and the city boomed.
With an appreciative eye focused on rich history, Yuma uses its strong foundation and keen ability to attract newcomers - and to build on something greater. Those who visit the area today find a thriving waterfront, a rich culture of arts and music, and a great opportunity to enjoy the city's culinary offerings.
Best Places to Dine and Drink
- River City Grill - If variety is your style, you'll find it at River City Grill. As the top rated Yuma, AZ, restaurant on TripAdvisor, this joint has become an admired destination. Reviewers love its gluten free options, as well as the variety in dishes, which range in inspiration from the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Pacific Rim and India. Craving coconut curry or spinach ravioli? These are local favorites. Order a cocktail and head to the patio - a great spot to watch the hustle of town while you relax. Learn more >
- La Fonda Tortilla Factory - This long-standing, family-built establishment offers samples of Yuma, AZ's heritage through Spanish-Mexican inspired dishes. Regulars continue to rave about the fajitas or famous tortilla soup. Show your extended family how well you've settled into your new home by snapping a photo outside of the colorful restaurant. Learn more >
- Prison Hill Brewing Company - If you crave the craft brews offered in bigger cities, fear not - Yuma, AZ is getting a star on the map after welcoming Prison Hill Brewing Company early in 2014. Brewer Chris Wheeler has 22 years of experience in the beer industry and serves up five of the brew pub's homemade beers on any given night.
Great Historical Tours in Yuma, AZ
- Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park - To get a feel for Yuma, AZ's history, take a trip back in time and visit the prison built in 1876. The first seven prisoners locked in cells actually constructed the cells themselves. A trip to the prison, which has been well preserved since it was deserted in the early 1900s, is an affordable trip for families. Adult admission is $6 and children 7 to 13 can get in for $3. Don't forget to visit the watch deck for a view of the surrounding area. You may also take a trek down the banks of the Colorado River on one of the nearby walking trails. Make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while sitting in a picnic pavilion above the river. Learn more >
- Castle Dome Mines Museum and Ghost Town - The abandoned buildings of Castle Dome City have endured the Arizona sun and wind since it was built in 1864 as a mine city. Those relocating to Yuma, AZ can imagine the experience of the newcomers before them, those who moved there in an attempt to strike it rich. Walk the dirt roads and find the abandoned town just as it was in years past. The casino is ready to deal a new deck of cards, the dentist and doctor are waiting to nurture any ailments, and the mercantile is stocked for sales. Learn more >
Hiking Trails in Yuma
- Telegraph Pass - If you're a bit of a daredevil, venture off the paved path and hike the 5-mile, 1,700-foot elevated climb to the top. Plan on it taking quite a bit of time - many people spend up to two hours completing the trek. But the breathtaking views are worth the hike. Tips for your first hike on this trail: take plenty of water, start in the morning when it's cooler and pack a first aid kit. If you're looking to increase your cardio routine or mix up your regular workouts, this is the trail to take.
- Imperial National Wildlife Refuge - Enjoy the natural beauty of the Colorado River with a visit to this wildlife refuge - complete with lakes, wetlands and nature's green vegetation against the backdrop of the desert mountains. The refuge is made up of 26,000 acres, protecting wildlife that lives along a 30-mile stretch of the Colorado River in Arizona and into California. Check the visitor's center for opportunities to hike, fish, hunt and watch the variety of wildlife. Bird lovers love to watch bald eagles that stop by during the winter months. Ducks, geese and marsh birds also create their homes here, as well as the endangered Yuma clapper rail. Learn more >
Entertaining Music Venues
Music is a big part of what makes Yuma, AZ a great and diverse community. After getting settled down in your new home, there are plenty of venues to experience, each of which offers a unique experience.
- Village Jazz Series - Those moving to Yuma, AZ might be surprised to find a thriving jazz scene in a desert town. For five years, the Village Jazz Series has been pumping out free jams every Thursday night from January to April in the Village of Yuma Palms Regional Center. Bring your own chair or a blanket and revel in a night of lively music. Learn more >
- Jazz Straightahead with Doc Jazz - If you're still eager for jazz, check out Jazz Straightahead with Doc Jazz, a weekly radio show. It airs noon to 2 p.m. every Saturday on KAWC-FM 88.9. Check the station for regular announcements about the local jazz scene. Learn more >
- Yuma Art Center and Historic Yuma Theatre - In addition to the local art galleries and classes offered at the theater, you'll find plenty of entertainment options to keep you busy at the Yuma Art Center. Many touring artists and local musicians have taken the stage over the years as a way for the community to come together and interact. When you attend a show at the Yuma Art Center, you'll find more than entertainment. Use it as an opportunity to get to know the town and its many offerings. Learn more >
Don't Miss the Local Events
- Annual Yuma Medjool Date Festival - Free admission to this annual festival includes plenty of other goodies. Be one of the first 1,000 in line and get free Medjool Dates and coffee at the gate. While snacking on this local favorite, you can take a tour of the DatePac Packing facility and learn about the nearby farms that grow the dates. Walk along Main Street and watch chef demonstrations, kids' activities and you can even submit your own date-infused recipe. When you aren't learning about or eating the dates, enjoy live entertainment with local bands, belly dancers and a children's art contest. Learn more >
- Colorado River Balloon Crossing Festival - Sit on the shores of the Colorado River and appreciate the view as hundreds of hot air balloons fill the sky as they cross the waters below. The festival is home to some of the most colorful and creative balloons in the world. Lasting three days, the festival highlights the area through a variety of events. It kicks off with a mini balloon release featuring balloon designs by local students. The Desert Balloon Glow takes place Saturday night of the festival. Attendees can sit in the Yuma's Desert Sun Baseball Stadium and watch tethered balloons glow across the desert sky as the burners fire at full capacity. The whole production is set to music. Entry is free but requires the donation of a non-perishable food item to the Salvation Army. Learn more >
- Yuma, AZ Senior Games - With its growing retirement-age population, Yuma, AZ offers a variety of activities for its aging community - including its annual Senior Games. Whether you're up for running track, bowling or even throwing darts, there are a variety of programs that fill this week-long event. If sports aren't your thing, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for those who still want to get involved. There are plenty of other ways to help, such as handing out water, registering competitors and cheering on your new neighbors. Learn more >
Where to Shop
- Arizona Market Place - Since 2001, the Arizona Market Place has been home to 32 acres of shaded outdoor shopping. Start with breakfast and stroll around the vendors to find antiques, fresh fruits and vegetables, toys, hand-woven clothes, and art. Live music welcomes visitors to sit on one of the benches throughout the market, and possibly stay for a few hours. The market also is looking for new vendors to expand the many different things already offered to shoppers. Come with ideas in mind, and perhaps you could become a regular staple in this community shopping venue. Learn more >
- Desert Olive Farms - Want a taste for a regional favorite? Make your way to Desert Olive Farms and taste a sample of the oil that comes from more than 470,000 olive trees on 360 acres in nearby California. But the local store offers more than oil to add to your pantry. Stock up on balsamic vinegars, cook books, cooking tools and moisturizing soaps and lotions made from the same olives grown just over the state line. The health benefits of this tiny little olive are numerous, ranging from heart benefits to better memory. Olive oil is also a healthy way to moisturize your skin under the dry desert sun.
- Gran Plaza Outlets - If you need to stock up on anything from jeans to a party dress, the Gran Plaza Outlets have provided a place for Yuma, AZ residents to shop since 2013. Storms that swept through the area originally delayed the opening of the outlets, so when they finally opened the doors, lines of people stretched across the plaza. More than 500,000 square feet have been developed into about 140 stores with outlet prices of up to 50 percent off regular retail stores.
Trusted Yuma, AZ Medical Services
- Yuma Dental - Whether you need a first-time dentist for your child or you want to get a cleaning for yourself, Yuma Dental offers a variety of oral health services. The gentle, caring staff provides a personal service for those who might need emergency care or routine preventative treatment. Yuma Dental is a trusted dentist office in Yuma, AZ.
- Yuma Regional Medical Center - This not-for-profit hospital has more than 400 beds served by 2,000 employees, plus 300 doctors who provide care within a variety of specialties. The Yuma Regional Medical Center also provides education through tobacco cessation classes, a lung disease support group and regular tours of the facility. The hospital also organizes a forum each year to host local doctors who discuss ways to improve the overall health of the community. Thanks to these discussions, doctors are able to make progress in the community's care, including those in the aging community. Learn more >
- Expanded facilities, including Veteran Centered Community Based Care - With the growth in population, the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System has expanded to meet the demands of seniors who live in the area. Veterans seeking medical care previously had to drive three hours to Tucson, but they can now stay in Yuma, AZ to receive medical care. Another big expansion included pacemaker checkups. Now, those with pacemakers can be treated locally. Learn more >
Most Fun Places for Kids
- Z Fun Factory - Whether you want to take a spin on a paddle boat or you'd rather hit the mini-golf course, Z Fun Factory's name says it all. An arcade with 50 games, coconut-climbing trees 30-feet tall and the Pirate Playhouse obstacle course will keep your family busy all day. And if you're not ready for the ball pit, head over to the Z Crow Bar, where adults can be tempted by a beverage or snack while the kids burn off their energy. Learn more >
- Waylon's Water World - If you aren't used to the Arizona sun, you might want to stop by this water park during a particularly steamy weekend. Relax under a private cabana or drift along the 180-foot long lazy river. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, jump on one of water slides - including the 360-degree turns of the Constrictor, one of the largest constrictor waterslides in the country. Learn more >
- Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground - This playground was built in 2007 by volunteers after thousands of kids from the community contributed ideas. There are different areas for younger and smaller kids, as well as some sections big enough for adults to join in on playtime. Take a walk across the parking lot to visit the hummingbird habitat or bring your own fishing rods to cast a line in the stocked pond. Learn more >
Explore Yuma, AZ
Yuma, AZ has plenty to offer. If you're moving to Yuma, AZ, we're sure you will discover that it's a wonderful place to call home. From the local eateries to the rich history, be sure to immerse yourself in everything the rich city has to offer.
Call to learn more about what Yuma Dental or schedule an appointment today online.