Marine Corps Air Station Yuma specializes in air-to-ground aviation training for US and NATO forces. Yuma is located in Arizona and the Colorado River travels alongside the city. Yuma is a fairly large city offering many amenities as well as outdoor recreation.
Many relish the hiking and nearby desert Imperial Sand Dunes recreational area. Yuma is close to Mexico, so there are great eats to be had as well as cultural influences. Did you know that Yuma is the lettuce growing capital in the US?
This is the desert so the weather is hot or mild all year long.
What is there to do around Yuma Marine Corps Base?
Lake Martinez: 35 miles from Yuma.
Imperial Sand Dunes: For the off road enthusiasts, it’s 20 minutes outside of Yuma and very popular.
Colorado River and other waters. Get cool in the heat. Tubing down the Colorado is available every weekend during the summer months with pick up and transportation back to the vehicle for about $15/person.
Yuma Territorial Prison: Now a historic landmark and official Arizona State Park, this prison opened in 1876. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Golf Courses: Countless golf courses to be had.
Picacho Peak State Park: Located 30-45 minutes outside of Yuma. Many activities to be had: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and more for the outdoor enthusiast. Beautiful!
Z Fun Factory: Great family hangout including go carts, mini golf and bumper boats. There’s a water park in the summer.
Local Parks: Kennedy (pool, water park and skate park), Wetlands (restored wetlands and park), Carver (pool and water park), Gateway Park (river beach park), and more. Many of the subdivisions and developments in Yuma have small parks within them as well.
Petro glyphs at Castle Dome: 45 minutes outside of Yuma; you will have to hike to get there.
Mexico: Marines are not allowed to go to Mexico anymore, but dependents can. There are two border crossings near Yuma: San Luis (30 minutes south) and Algodones (15 miles west). You can walk across at Algodones and there are tons of shops and restaurants easily accessible. Keep in mind, during the winter months the lines to cross back into the U.S. and customs lines can take a couple hours because of the snowbirds.
Arizona Marketplace: Open October thru April. Huge flee market every weekend; something for everyone!
San Diego (2 hours +/-) East
Lego Land: Great theme park for children under 8. Tickets are very expensive, more so than the other parks in the San Diego area. Get discounts on admission at the ITT ticket office. There are also yearly passes available that are affordable.
Disneyland: Located in Anaheim (about 2 hours). The tickets at ITT only save you a couple bucks, but keep checking because they do offer military specials occasionally. Sometimes you can get better deals on Disneyland specials.
Padres Games: The San Diego Padres as a great way to spend an evening at Petco Park. The trolleys and trains run to the park nightly on game nights. Get discounted tickets at ITT.
San Diego Chargers: The San Diego Chargers games are a lot of fun…
USS Midway: The aircraft carrier has been fully restored and is a great way to spend the afternoon.
Seaport Village: A great place to visit and check out many of the unique stores and walk along the ocean.
If you are stationed at San Diego, you may want to consider buying a family pass. Two adults in the same household can get a yearly pass for approximately $89. 1 adult pass is $71. Koala club for kids $24 (ages 3-11) and $28 (ages 12-17). When you become a member, you also get 2 free tickets for guests to come in. Click here to become a member or get more information. One trip to the zoo and one trip to the Wild Animal Park in a year pays for itself by being a member. Parking is free at San Diego, $6 or $9 at the Wild Animal Park.
La Jolla Cove: A neat place to spend some time along the water. It offers a children’s beach, a seal beach, and a free protected park for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can walk along the rock beds and look for crabs and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Big Bear: Approximately 2 hours away. Big bear is known for its ski resort and lake and the military has discounted cabins for rent up there. It’s a quick drive up there. Check out ITT on base to book.
ITT (Information Tickets and Tours): Discounted tickets to various events.
Palm Springs Area (2.5 hours +/-) Northeast
Riley’s Farms: A wonderful time to be had by all any time of the year. Year round civil war adventures, gold rush and homesteading acts. They have a pick-your-own-seasonal-fruit all throughout the year.
Cochella Fest: Annual festival in Indio, awhere you can enjoy music for three days including rock, indie, hip hop and more.
Stagecoach Country Music Festival:Annual festival in Indio (April) where country music fans flock for three days of music.
Cabazon Outlets: The place to go for a day of shopping, just outside of Palm Springs. Top it off with a visit to the local casino just minutes away for a night of gambling and entertainment.
Palm Springs Aerial Tram: This place is awesome. In the midst of summer heat, you can go up the tram and see and play in snow! The tram rotates and provides a fantastic view. Discounted tickets available for military. One of my husband’s platoons hiked from the bottom to the top! That’s impressive!
Palm Springs Resorts: So many great places to go check out for a weekend get away. We loved to take the kids down and buy day passes for the pool, enjoy the sun and eat poolside. Top rated resorts: Miramonte, Hotel Zoso, Parker Palm Springs, Viceroy Palm Springs, Rancho Las Palmas, Renaissance Esmeralda, La Quinta, JW Marriott.