Ask your smart phone, Google, or your smart friends for “the sunniest place on earth” and they’ll all give you the same answer – Yuma, Arizona. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for that very reason and Yuma has sunshine 91 percent of the daylight hours each year (4,055 hours out of 4,456). So it’s warm and sunny, but because of the lack of humidity (Yuma is actually the driest city in the United States), it doesn’t feel hot and the award for the hottest cities actually goes to Miami and Key West, Florida. If you spend a lot of time in the cold rain or snow, you’ll immediately appreciate the feeling of the sun warming you from your bones.
Yuma gets rain, but when it rains, it really rains! It’s like a magical event where people come running out of their homes to see it. They dance around like children and enjoy the wonder and excitement of it all. The rest of the time it’s a consistent paradise, with cool evenings, quiet breezes, and and overall comforting feeling that’s hard to describe.
Why pick just one city when you can live near 16? Yuma is equidistant between Phoenix (178 miles) and San Diego (180 miles) and is within a radius of just over 300 miles to Tucson, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. Drive to Mexico in just 25 minutes and spend the weekend on the beach for a small fraction of the cost of a typical vacation.
Yuma has all of the creature comforts of any large city (restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, casinos, spas, etc.), but where it really sets itself apart is with its culture, history, and amazing landscapes that act as a gigantic playground.
Sand dunes – Yuma is the gateway to a mass of inland sand dunes which extend for more than 40 miles along the eastern edge of California Imperial Valley. Because of the close proximity to Hollywood, movies are constantly filming and some of the big ones include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dune, Spaceballs, Stargate, and of course, 3:10 to Yuma.
Playing in the desert – People drive to Yuma from every neighboring city just to play with their toys. They ride ATVs, sand rails, razors, motorcycles (anything that goes fast) up and over the landscape of sand dunes and mountain trails. This house offers two 2-car garages and a gigantic 87-foot driveway, so you’ll have plenty of room for fun toys, and you’re just three blocks from the start of a huge network of trails.
Exploring – The Gila Mountain Range turns a beautiful pink and purple every evening, but before that, it’s an amazing place to go exploring. There’s a huge network of trails leading to remote areas filled with native cactus, ancient petroglyphs on rock faces, memorial flags at the tops of tall mountains, and even a crashed B-17 military airplane that can only be reached by foot.
Time traveling – If you’ve seen the movie 3:10 to Yuma, then you know it was one of the first old west towns, famous for its prison which still stands today. Aspects of the old west are visible everywhere (especially old town) and at times you can actually feel what it was like to be a cowboy in the growing town. That’s especially when you push through the swinging doors of the famous restaurant “Lutes Casino” or cross the border and stroll down the streets of Los Algodones, Mexico.
Chillaxing – Yuma is one of the best retirement destinations in the country, so if there’s one thing the people of Yuma have mastered, it’s relaxing. Just make the transition from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and it’s hard to miss – the people of Yuma are comfortable and friendly. Playing a quiet and relaxing game of golf, talking around a fire, gathering with live bands in the desert (with an open invitation to anyone passing by), and organizing floating events in Martinez Lake and down the Colorado River.