Enjoy A Warm Weathered Winter Beach Day Here Without Even Leaving The US

Imagine escaping frigid winter temperatures and heading to a beach, sinking your toes in the sand as the bright sunshine kisses your face. It may sound like a distant dream, but Centennial Beach in Yuma, Arizona makes it a reality. Hidden away in one of the sunniest places in the world, this little-known retreat offers a unique winter experience. Unlike other beaches that may close during the colder months, Centennial Beach remains open year-round, allowing visitors to bask in the sun's warmth even in the dead of winter. 

With its sandy shores and refreshing waters (it's nestled on the Colorado River), Centennial Beach looks like a tropical paradise in the heart of the southwestern United States. Visitors can trade the winter coats of their colder climates for swimsuits and enjoy the city's peak season from November to March. This getaway spot challenges the traditional notion of a winter escape, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that will have you forgetting it's even winter at all. 

A budget-friendly winter escape in Yuma

Centennial Beach is located on the "lower bench" of the 110‐acre West Wetlands Park along the Colorado River. The beach is open all year, from dawn to dusk, and admission is free, making it a budget-friendly destination for individuals and families. It's a great place to visit during the winter months when the weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging during the day from the high 60s to high 70s degrees Fahrenheit, rather than during the summer months when the temperature can soar well over 100 degrees. When visiting, make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of water to stay hydrated under the Arizona sun. 

You can take a refreshing dip, play in the sand on the shore, or launch your boat for a cruise. The waters are stocked by the Arizona Game & Fish Department for angling adventures. You can play a game of beach volleyball or rent inner tubes for a leisurely float down the Colorado River. The picnic tables in scenic spots make it ideal for lunch with family and friends, while facilities such as restrooms and showers ensure your comfort. You can walk along the trails, and the park has a large playground that has ADA-accessible features. Kids will have a blast on the zip-line and climbing the huge play structure.

History, nature, and family activities near Centennial Beach

Yuma has tons of activities to offer during the winter season beyond Centennial Beach. You can visit the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park to explore old buildings and exhibits showcasing life at the prison, which was in operation in the late 1800s. Another great option for history lovers is the Colorado River State Historic Park, which illustrates the development of the American West through 19th century structures and artifacts. If you're into mining, the Castle Dome Mines Museum & Ghost Town is an excellent place to explore the area's mining history. You can also visit Martha's Gardens Medjool Date Farm, which has around 8,000 date trees. Indulge in date shakes and other treats while learning how this delicious fruit is grown.

Head to Gateway Park for more breathtaking views of the Colorado River. This beautiful park also has a sandy beach for swimming and playing. If you're interested in learning about the history of the local Native American Cocopah Tribe, the Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center is a great place to visit. Here, you'll find exhibits on the culture, traditions, and artifacts of the Cocopah people. Finally, Z Fun Factory is an entertainment center for families looking for some indoor fun. It has arcade games, laser tag, miniature golf, and more. Whatever you choose to do, whether it's exploring history, splashing at the beach, or engaging in recreational activities, Yuma has something for everyone who wants a warm winter getaway.