For Arizona residents craving a day at the beach, Puerto Penasco on the Sea of Cortez is less than two hours south of the Mexican border via Sonoita. This easily accessible town, otherwise known as Rocky Point, is washed by the warm waters separating the mass of Mexico from the Baja Peninsula and padded with pleasant sandy stretches.
While Puerto Penasco's nightlife may have visitors seeing stars, there are plenty of sand and water-oriented pursuits to keep things hopping during the day. When the tide is out, search for marine creatures hidden in rocky tide pools. For those who want to get more than their feet wet, plan to splash out on a surfboard or scuba dive.
Visibility is lower here than in waters further south, but there are other attractions that compensate. Blue-foot Boobies call Bird Island, a quick boat trip off shore, home, as do lazy sea lions. Cruise out for a day of snorkeling, should scuba seem too deep, and some bird watching.
Join a charter fishing excursion for bass, mackerel, flounder and other seasonal offerings. Optionally, evening cruises are designed to catch sunsets only over dinner at sea.
Adrenaline junkies can air out with a parasail if a round of golf at one of the local courses doesn't provide enough excitement.
An easy daytrip from Arizona, Puerto Penasco is an up-and-coming Sea of Cortez hot spot. Visit while there's free beach space.
Puerto Penasco is 225 miles from Phoenix, Arizona.