On this Arizona trip, groups will dispel the myth that the desert lacks water; the Colorado River is the state’s border on the west. The river has made agriculture and water recreation major attractions for cities on the edge of the river, and this itinerary will stimulate groups’ minds, palates and sense of adventure.
The Arizona Office of Tourism provided this five-day sample itinerary.
Three hours southwest of Phoenix, the trip begins in Yuma, where travelers have been crossing the Colorado River for hundreds of years.
In fact, the first European explorers visited this area 80 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Along the revitalized Yuma riverfront, groups can visit the notorious Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park or tour the Colorado River State Historic Park.
In Yuma’s historic North End, visit the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens, which showcases Yuma’s pioneer days in one of downtown’s oldest buildings. It’s surrounded by rose gardens and an aviary.
At Yuma Art Center, groups can browse world-class galleries. Or catch a show at the Historic Yuma Theatre. For dinner, enjoy a riverfront barbecue in Gateway Park.
For some fun after hours, there’s plenty of action at the Cocopah or Paradise casinos. Overnight in Yuma.
The diverse challenges posed by Yuma’s 234 holes of golf have earned high marks from Golf Digest magazine. Take a morning to enjoy an unhurried round under the sunniest skies in the United States. The group doesn’t golf? Take a side trip to the Imperial Sand Dunes, a famed film location since the days of Rudolph Valentino, or tour a desert date garden. Overnight in Yuma.
Drive north to the Heritage Center at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. This museum preserves and shares the history of this U.S. Army testing facility.
Afterward, continue north toward Parker. Tour the Colorado River Indian Tribes Museum for a look at the Native American history of the river. If it’s the weekend, head into the Buckskin Mountains to find the Nellie E Saloon, a solar powered “watering hole” in an old mining camp. After, head to BlueWater Resort & Casino. Overnight in Parker.
Drive north to Lake Havasu City, home of the London Bridge. Have a relaxing lunch at a lakeside restaurant with a view. This afternoon, grab sunscreen and get in the water for a great view of the London Bridge and many photo opportunities. Groups can rent just about any type of watercraft imaginable, like pontoon boats, wave runners, ski boats and kayaks.
For dinner, relax and have a meal overlooking the lake as the sun goes down. Overnight in Lake Havasu City.
After a good night’s sleep, get up with the birds and take in their view of the lake and surrounding desert in a hot air balloon or seaplane ride. See stunning desert views and the Mohave Mountains.
By now, the group has earned a brew at a local brewery and another view, like an Arizona sunset over the water.
Arizona Office of Tourism