Travelrific® Travel Journal

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The World’s Sunniest City

By Linda Tancs

Sun worshippers, take note. The sun is mostly always shining in Yuma, Arizona. In fact, the locale has been designated the World’s Sunniest City by Guinness World Records! To put that in perspective, the annual average of the possible hours of sunshine is 91 percent (a mean of 4,055 hours out of 4,456 possible hours in a year). Thankfully, there’s much to do to take advantage of that. The area boasts nearly a dozen golf courses, for starters. Or maybe you’d like to off-road on the dunes or spot desert critters at one of the three national wildlife refuges. And then there’s the Colorado River and lakes, which offer tubing, canoeing and boating opportunities. About 15 miles south of Yuma is another bit of terrain worth exploring although it requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Known as the Valley of the Names, it’s a remote desert in California (Yuma being the nearest city) comprising 1,200 acres of land filled with signatures, dates, messages and drawings made from rocks. Legend has it that the practice started during World War II, when soldiers stationed in the area for desert warfare training wanted to leave a memento for loved ones. If you go, stay on the trails, and don’t be tempted to add your own messages or take any rocks from the site.

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