One perfect day in Yuma, AZ

Spend a day in Yuma where you'll find good eats and gorgeous gardens in this revamped river town

Dina Mishev

What it was: A Colorado River town living off railroad-era glory days.

What it is: Stepping things up with a $60 million riverfront reboot and wetlands restoration.

Where it is: So far southwest, it's practically in California--and Mexico.

Bask in it: Yuma claims the Guinness World Record for most hours of yearly sun. In March, days hover above 80 degrees.

Zoom through history: 500 years of it, on a 90-minute Segway tour ($60;

Can't-miss local dish: Yuma sits in the center of Medjool country. Try the frothy date shakes at Basket Creations and More (245 S. Main St.; 928/341-9966).

Eggs alfresco: We love the oatmeal Swedish pancakes and eggs with spicy sausage at the Garden Cafe ($; 250 S. Madison Ave.; 928/783-1491).

Curry, chipotle, wasabi: River City Grill ($$; 600 W. Third St.; 928/782-7988) goes eclectic with the spices. Nab a patio seat beneath twinkling lights.

Hollywood claim to fame: Yuma Territorial Prison is mentioned in 3:10 to Yuma, and the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area shows up in Star Wars and Return of the Jedi.

Explore the riverfront: Yuma's waterfront is taking on a new sparkle. Hundreds of acres of wetlands have been restored. From the beach at Gateway Park, you can hike or bike a 3-mile loop through East Wetlands marshland and cotton woods. 259 S. Gila St.; 928/373-5243. 

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