It is impossible to capture the essence of Parker in one word, sentence, paragraph, or even a novel. The Town of Parker is nestled along the Colorado River; sitting calmly on weekdays, offering romantic sunsets and peaceful night skies. On weekends however, Parker transforms into a bustling oasis - with boats, jet skis, active locals and tourists coming together to enjoy the experience on the water. Parker’s multi-cultural presence reverberates through generational locals, recent transplants, and members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes(CRIT).
Locals often boast the luxury of access to their own private river during the week; yet they happily welcome visitors with open arms and share their favorite spots and experiences. Members of the CRIT community give visitors a look into a number of cultural experiences and history through events and museums. Whether you are initially attracted to the water, the Parker Strip, the culture, or the history; you will find Parker is a great place to visit and an even better place to call home.
How To Use
Use this interactive itinerary to build your trip! Each category recommends a number of stops to help you get the fullest experience during your visit. Simply hover over any photo for a brief description then click the circle to add a listing to your itinerary (click again to remove it). Once you've completed your itinerary, enter your email address and click submit to have it delivered straight to your inbox. Happy traveling!
Arts & Culture (Recommended up to 2)
This community is truly one of a kind when it comes to celebrating local culture and artistic expression. Whether it is locals from the CRIT community that are sharing their culture through fun events, traditional jewelry, and delicious food; or creative entrepreneurs finding artistic inspiration in the desert. Parker will keep you mesmerized with its vibrant local culture.
This annual, multi-cultural celebration of the CRIT community brings the community together with artwork, cultural dances, traditionally prepared food, pageants, carnival rides, and even a 3k Walk and Run.
After learning about the tribes throughout the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo history and culture, take the opportunity to shop local Native American art, jewelry, and pieces made by local artists at the gift shop.
Yes, there is a fully operational, solar-powered bar just five miles north of Parker. The truly unique architecture and artistic touches throughout the Desert Bar have made it a staple to the Parker community. Open April - October.
History, Heritage, & Tradition (Recommended up to 4)
Parker is as rich in history as it is in heritage and tradition. With so many passionate individuals and local organizations preserving what once was; this community will pleasantly surprise even the most knowledgeable history buff with their storytelling on some of the most obscure pieces of local history. Learn about the history of the CRIT community and many of the other historic treasures scattered throughout Parker and the surrounding communities.
Parker locals often refer to the Bouse World War II Training Camp as one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets. The top-secret camp was home to the revolutionary Gizmo Tanks that would blind enemy troops on the battlegrounds.
Listen to rare stories from elders and storytellers about the Mohave, Hopi, Chemehuevi, and Navajo tribes. The films explore a number of topics including reservation origins, community issues, and celebrates the diverse culture.
The CRIT library was developed in 1958 to give CRIT tribal members access to educational materials. It quickly became a space to learn about CRIT culture and an expansive collection of archives.
The one and only Ford Dealership, or Parker Motor Sports, has been around for over 100 years. The business has been run by the Beaver family for generations.
The Parker Historical Society, formerly the Save The Jail Committee, is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and presenting the multi-cultural history of the Parker community and surrounding communities.
Parker Area Historical Society
Parker was once the temporary home to over 17,000 Japanese Americans that were interned during World War II. Today the Poston Monument serves as a memorial to the resilient Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes.
Wine & Dine (Recommended up to 4)
Food, drinks, and fun are all staples of the Parker community! What better way to fuel your outdoor adventures on the lake and cultural experiences than with some locally prepared specialty dishes and a few beverages on a dock bar. Opt for a pizza from a multi-generational restaurant, or order fried fish from every restaurant in town and tell us which one is the best! No matter which spot you choose to dine in; you can count on sunsets, views, and river entertainment to pair perfectly with your local fare of choice.
This spot brings a Caribbean twist to the Colorado River. Whether you like your fish and shellfish prepared in a ceviche cocktail, fried to perfection, or served with a side of steak; this spot has got what you are looking for and more!
Club Roadrunner sits right at the edge of the locally loved Parker Strip. Guests can plan on enjoying a lively time with a perfect mix of dancing, drinks, music, and fun.
Mexican food, margaritas, and fresas con crema for dessert? Si por favor! El Serape is known for its family-friendly environment and impeccable service. Plus, their chile Rellenos and shrimp fajitas will keep you coming back for more.
Looking for the perfect place to enjoy a meal, a drink, and a famous Parker sunset? We challenge you to visit Fox’s 7 days in a row for a totally different, rotating menu. Seriously! Enjoy a different cuisine deliciously done every night.
Open since 1977, this local gem uses locally sourced food, fresh ingredients, and serves up locally brewed beverages to pair with your pizza. With traditional family recipes and a modern twist; this Parker favorite merits a visit.
Get unlimited options like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even drinks with a perfect view of the brave soul's water skiing and water lovers splashing around the river.
Their expansive specialty features menu items like hand-dipped cod, unique appetizers like Arizona Egg Rolls, and Saturday specials, such as fried zucchini and specialty aged prime rib.
The Sundance Saloon touts fried chicken perfection from Friday to Sunday along with other options like Philly Pizza and Gluten-Free Chicken Sandwiches; the restaurant owners pride themselves on having something for everyone.
Take your pick of specialty menu items like Barbacoa or stop in on a Friday night as the Mexican restaurant transforms its menu to feature everything from hand-cut steaks to Chicken Parmesan, all with homemade sauces!
Outdoor Sports & Recreation (Recommended up to 2)
Parker is every outdoor and water lover’s dream; there is an abundance of state parks dedicated to enjoying the Colorado River that surrounds the community and fun-loving locals that are willing to share their favorite spots. The water creates a lush environment for wildlife; so nature lovers will be pleased to explore the parks and refuges sprinkled throughout the community.
According to locals, the Alamo State Park is the go to spot for fishers looking for the perfect catch. Give the park a visit and fish for bass, then rest and relax in the lively lake environment.
This serene protected ecosystem is a perfect place to experience an abundance of wildlife like endangered birds, bighorn sheep, and a number of unique aquatic species. Visitors are able to go boating, kayaking, hunting, and fishing.
Parker is full of adventure and opportunities for thrilling outdoor activities. Get out on the water, reserve a spot for your next camping trip or check out a full list of ways to enjoy the park on the Buckskin Mountain State Park website.
This nearby state park offers a number of ways to enjoy the Colorado River. With plenty of space to enjoy boating, camping, fishing, or simply relaxing in the water. Be sure to add this 2,000 acre-park to your list of places to visit.
Since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated and lured by the stories of hidden treasure. Such a treasure can be found near Parker, AZ - at a place referred to as "The Jewel of the Desert" but better known as Emerald Canyon Golf Course. Carved out of the mountains and canyons overlooking the Colorado River, Emerald Canyon is a must play for any true golf enthusiast.
With stunning sunsets and night skies, this sandy beach cove is an excellent place to plan a camping trip. Visitors can also enjoy watersports and swimming on the river.
This expansive 1,100-acre regional park is the perfect spot to explore the outdoor beauty in this region. Spend the morning hiking, mountain biking, taking your dog to the 2-acre dog park, or enjoying the BMX/Motocross trails.
Mining in the Swansea Area began around 1862, but major activity had to wait for the coming of the railroad. Little remains in the town from the glory days of Swansea. The townsite has suffered from the weather and vandalism in recent years. Several adobe and brick buildings, the railroad grade, numerous foundations, and the mine shafts remain.
On several celebrated occasions Buckskin Mountain State Park becomes a Float Town. Join locals and visitors for an annual ‘float’ on the Colorado River from Buckskin Mountain State Park to La Paz County Park.
Parker is surrounded by water and the best way to enjoy it is to rent a water toy from this local business. They offer a number of affordable rentals for any thrill seeker visiting the community, including water skis and powerboats.
Local Lodging (Recommended up to -5)
Parker has so many fun events, dining experiences, culture, and ways to enjoy the Colorado River. Be sure to extend your #RuralAZ vacation and enhance it by staying at one of the many local lodging spots in the community!
This fun local lodging spot is a great place to stay and experience Parker. Guests can plan on enjoying a fun all encompassing adventure and a peaceful night’s rest!
Our resort has an abundance of citrus trees, large shade trees, and green grass. Its 17 acres are divided into a mobile home park, RV spaces with full hook-ups, motel units with electric kitchens, microwaves, boat launch ramps, boat slips, horseshoe pits, and a complete volleyball court. In addition, there is a recreation hall and a universal fitness center.
This inn sits near a number of fun State Parks and activities for anyone looking to get the full Colorador River experience. Count on all the amenities and spacious rooms.
This resort is a perfect stay for anyone with an RV who wants to live on the Colorado River for a few days. The unique resort has beachside cabanas and plenty of options for visitors with a variety of RVs.