By: Kathy Manney/Around Our World
Located on the borders of Mexico and California, Yuma bills itself the “other” Arizona. The desert divisions here are stark and striking. With more than 90% of the time being sunny, Yuma also bills itself “America’s city with the most sunshine.”
Yuma is best known for its historic Territorial Prison which once held the most dangerous men and women in the territory. Yes women - of the more than 3,000 prisoners formerly detained here, twenty-nine were female.
Built in 1876, the prison was operational for thirty-three-years. Despite a notorious reputation, it was a model institution for its time.
Visiting the Yuma Territorial Prison is an out of the ordinary experience. It embraces an impressive amount of southwestern heritage.
A romantic evening cruise on the Colorado River is a pleasant ending to a Yuma trip. At Fisher’s Landing, board a 50-foot paddle wheel boat for an enchanting 3-hour dinner cruise. Upon embarking, the setting sun brightly gilds the water and the rich red sunset dropping behind the mountains is most breathtaking.
When returning home on Highway 95, be sure to stop in Quartzsite, a rock hound’s paradise since the 1960s. Like Yuma, Quartzsite is a Mecca to millions of visitors each year - most of whom are senior citizens who converge here during the winter.
During this time of the year, vendors spring up to sell everything imaginable - from honey to auto parts, creating one of the world's largest open-air flea markets.
First-rate winter weather, averaging 80 to 85-degrees, is no doubt why this area has become a sizeable retiree Mecca. Retirees arrive and occupy this corner of Arizona every year, mostly during January and February. Thousands upon thousands of RV’ers live between Quartzite and Yuma and until you see for yourself, you can’t believe how many reside temporarily in this far-flung western desert.
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