As I ventured into the geographically isolated beauty of Lake Havasu City, I couldn’t help but be captivated by its status as an oasis in the desert, blessed with over 300 days of glorious sunshine each year.
The city’s story began in 1963 when it was established on the eastern shore of Lake Havasu, nestled along the border of California and Arizona, tracing the path of the majestic Colorado River. Today, it proudly boasts a thriving population of over 50,000 residents and welcomes a staggering 775,000 visitors annually.
Lake Havasu itself, after which the city takes its name, was brought to life through the construction of the iconic Parker Dam, a monumental project that spanned from 1934 to 1938. The shimmering waters of the lake now serve as a breathtaking centerpiece, drawing in visitors from all walks of life.
From university students seeking adventure to avid boaters chasing the thrill of the open water, and retirees looking for a tranquil retreat, Lake Havasu City caters to a diverse range of visitors throughout the year. This vibrant city has rightfully earned its reputation as an active event destination, constantly abuzz with exciting activities and gatherings.
So, let’s embark on a journey to explore the very best that Lake Havasu City has to offer. Prepare to be enthralled by the multitude of experiences that await, ensuring unforgettable memories in this desert oasis. Here is my list of the best things to do in Lake Havasu City.
1. London Bridge
As I stood in awe before the iconic London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, I couldn’t help but marvel at its fascinating history. Originally gracing the river Thames in London, England, this architectural marvel was meticulously dismantled in 1967 and transported across the ocean to its new home in Arizona.
The journey of the London Bridge was no small feat. Each block was carefully shipped overseas and painstakingly trucked from Long Beach to its current location. Now standing proudly, this 280-meter-long bridge has become a beloved attraction among the many wonders Arizona has to offer.
Situated near downtown Lake Havasu City and surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere, the London Bridge serves as a gateway to an array of exciting local attractions. As I explored the bridge, I couldn’t help but notice the visible scars that bear witness to its survival through the tumultuous times of World War II. It’s a testament to the bridge’s resilience and endurance.
From the bridge’s vantage point, I was treated to a breathtaking view of Lake Havasu. The tranquil waters shimmered under the warm Arizona sun, adorned with a variety of boats gently swaying in the shadow of this iconic structure. It was a sight that truly captured the essence of Lake Havasu City and its unique blend of history and natural beauty.
2. Rotary Community Park
I found myself drawn to the serene beauty and countless recreational opportunities offered by Rotary Community Park in Lake Havasu City. Nestled in a central location, this park serves as an inviting oasis for both land and water enthusiasts, providing a perfect place to unwind and recharge.
As I explored the park, I discovered that Rotary Community Park is not only the largest public beach in the Lake Havasu area but also boasts an impressive array of amenities. The park caters to a wide range of interests, offering volleyball courts for some friendly competition, a skate park for adrenaline-fueled excitement, and spacious picnic areas with convenient barbecues for delightful outdoor gatherings.
One of the highlights of the park is its fantastic two-mile-long path that encircles the entire park. This scenic path invites visitors to engage in invigorating activities such as jogging or leisurely walks while immersing themselves in the park’s natural splendor. With each step, I reveled in the refreshing breeze and marveled at the picturesque surroundings.
Whether I was seeking an energetic game of volleyball, a thrilling skateboarding session, or a peaceful stroll along the path, Rotary Community Park provided the ideal setting for all my recreational desires. It was a place where the community came together to embrace the joys of outdoor activities and create cherished memories.
3. Fishing in Lake Havasu
As an avid angler, I couldn’t resist the allure of Lake Havasu, a renowned destination for recreational fishing and boating. This stunning lake, formed by the construction of the Parker Dam on the majestic Colorado River between 1934 and 1938, beckoned me with its promise of abundant fish and unforgettable fishing experiences.
What sets Lake Havasu apart is its exceptional fishing conditions, which are favorable almost year-round. It’s no wonder that many consider it one of the premier fishing lakes in the entire Southwest region. With each cast, I relished the thrill of reeling in a variety of fish species that call this crystal-clear lake home.
Lake Havasu is particularly celebrated for its bass fishing. Throughout the year, the lake hosts an impressive lineup of over thirty fishing tournaments and activities, all centered around the pursuit of this prized catch. Anglers from near and far gather to test their skills and compete for the glory of landing the biggest bass.
While exploring the vast waters of Lake Havasu, I learned that conservation efforts have led to the protection of three fish species found within the lake. These restoration initiatives have played a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the fish populations.
4. Lake Havasu History Museum
As the dam took shape and time marched on, this once rugged area transformed into the vibrant Lake Havasu City we know today. It’s a testament to the power of human ingenuity and the remarkable ability to shape our surroundings.
To truly understand and appreciate the rich heritage of this region, I made my way to the Lake Havasu History Museum. This remarkable institution serves as a gateway to the past, preserving the stories and memories that have shaped Lake Havasu’s evolution. Stepping through its doors, I was transported back in time, immersing myself in the captivating narratives of the area’s development.
The museum is a treasure trove of information, providing insights into the mining and fishing camps that once dotted the landscape, as well as the monumental changes brought about by the construction of the Parker Dam. Each exhibit and artifact showcased the triumphs and challenges faced by those who contributed to the birth and growth of Lake Havasu City.
It’s heartening to see how the Lake Havasu History Museum was established with a clear mission—to educate present and future generations about the importance of preserving our historical heritage. As I explored the museum’s halls, I couldn’t help but feel a profound appreciation for the efforts made to keep the past alive and relevant.
5. Bridgewater Channel
Nestled beneath the iconic London Bridge, there lies a hidden gem that adds a vibrant touch to the heart of Lake Havasu City. This enchanting waterway, known as “The Channel,” beckons with its narrow expanse, inviting boaters and visitors to indulge in a lively experience.
As I strolled along the waterfront, I couldn’t help but marvel at the bustling atmosphere that surrounded me. The Channel is lined with an array of charming shops and delightful restaurants, creating a lively backdrop for the non-stop boat parade that graces these waters each day. The energy and excitement were palpable, making it the perfect spot to soak in the vibrant spirit of Lake Havasu.
When the weather heats up, locals and visitors flock to “The Channel” for a refreshing escape. It has become a beloved hot-spot, where boaters and beachgoers unite to enjoy the sun-drenched shores. Known for its inviting beaches, it offers a haven for relaxation, socialization, and leisurely enjoyment.
Taking a break from the energetic boat parade, I decided to embrace the laid-back ambiance and find a cozy spot along the beach. As I settled in, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of camaraderie with my fellow boaters and beach enthusiasts. We exchanged stories, laughter, and shared in the joys of summertime bliss.
“The Channel” proved to be an ideal place to bask in the warm sun, acquiring a sun-kissed glow or simply reveling in a well-deserved rest. The tranquil waters mirrored the vibrant energy of the surrounding area, creating a harmonious balance that embodied the essence of Lake Havasu City.
6. Lake Havasu State Park
Nestled in close proximity to the renowned London Bridge, lies a hidden treasure – the Lake Havasu State Park. As I ventured into this captivating haven, I discovered a world of natural beauty and endless recreational opportunities.
The park’s allure was undeniable. With its picturesque beaches, meandering nature trails, and well-equipped campsites, it offered a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over me as I immersed myself in the serenity of this remarkable place.
Exploring the park, I discovered a multitude of activities to engage in. For water enthusiasts, the park provided three convenient boat ramps, allowing easy access to the glistening waters of Lake Havasu. Whether it was boating, jet skiing, or kayaking, there was no shortage of aquatic adventures to embark upon.
As I strolled along the sandy shores, I marveled at the pristine beaches that stretched out before me. It was an ideal setting for picnics and sunbathing, where families and friends gathered to savor the warmth of the sun and the soothing sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore. The beach areas were alive with laughter and joy, as visitors reveled in the beauty of their surroundings.
The park’s diverse wildlife was another captivating aspect of this desert oasis. I encountered a vibrant array of birds, agile lizards, and adorable desert cottontails. It was a true testament to the richness and biodiversity of the area, offering nature enthusiasts a glimpse into the wonders of the desert ecosystem.
7. Boating in Lake Havasu
As a passionate boating enthusiast, Lake Havasu has always held a special place in my heart. The sandy shores beckon to family boaters, sport boaters, sightseeing enthusiasts, and even house-boaters, offering a haven for all who appreciate the thrill of being out on the water.
What sets Lake Havasu apart is its incredible location. Stretching along sixty uninterrupted miles of lake and river waterways, it boasts a central position that allows for easy exploration of its scenic wonders. No matter the time of year, Lake Havasu guarantees abundant sunshine, transforming it into an irresistible paradise for boat lovers like me.
While spring break may be the peak season for visitors, I’ve come to realize that Lake Havasu’s allure extends far beyond those bustling weeks. Anytime I find myself on the lake, I’m captivated by the beauty of a sunset painting the sky with vibrant hues, casting a magical glow over the tranquil waters. It’s a sight that never fails to take my breath away, reminding me of the enduring charm that Lake Havasu holds throughout the year.
Boating on Lake Havasu is an adventure brimming with endless attractions. The lake boasts hidden coves and secluded beaches, where I can anchor my boat and bask in the serenity of nature. Exploring the canyons and marveling at the towering cliffs that surround the lake adds an element of awe to my boating experiences. As I navigate the shimmering waters, I often encounter an array of wildlife, from graceful birds soaring above to curious creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Lake Havasu’s abundant biodiversity truly makes it one of the most popular boating destinations in Arizona.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered a collection of lighthouses standing tall amidst the desert landscape of Lake Havasu City. This extraordinary city proudly boasts the title of having more lighthouses than any other in the entire country. What’s even more fascinating is that you can choose to explore as many or as few of these remarkable structures as you desire.
It all began in 2000 when a group of passionate residents recognized the need for enhanced nighttime navigation for boaters on Lake Havasu. They took it upon themselves to find a solution, and the result was truly remarkable. Twenty-six meticulously crafted replicas of famous lighthouses were erected along the shores of the lake, serving as beacons of safety and guiding lights for seafarers. These miniature marvels have since become an attraction in their own right, drawing tourists from far and wide.
Each lighthouse replica faithfully mirrors the unique beacon pattern of its original counterpart. For instance, lighthouses on the west coast are adorned with a vibrant green beacon, while their counterparts on the east coast proudly display a striking red one. These authentic details add to the charm and accuracy of the replicas, making each lighthouse a captivating sight to behold.
As I ventured along the shores of Lake Havasu, I found myself drawn to the allure of these miniaturized lighthouses. Standing beside each one, I marveled at the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into their creation. The lighthouses exuded a sense of history and purpose, evoking a nostalgic longing for the maritime heritage they represent.
Exploring the collection of lighthouses in Lake Havasu City became an adventure in itself. With each step, I discovered a different beacon illuminating the night sky, casting its mesmerizing glow over the tranquil waters. It was a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of the community that had brought these beacons to life.
9. Aquatic Center
I discovered a hidden gem nestled within the C.V. Wood Community Center – the Aquatic Center. Seeking a change of pace from the shimmering lake, I ventured into this water wonderland and found a world of excitement awaiting me.
As I stepped inside, I was greeted by the joyful echoes of laughter and splashing water. The Aquatic Center had something for everyone, ensuring a day filled with endless fun and adventure. Its attractions were diverse and catered to all ages and interests.
I couldn’t resist the allure of the indoor water slide, a thrilling journey that sent me spiraling down into the refreshing pool below. The adrenaline rush was invigorating, and I couldn’t help but let out a triumphant cheer as I emerged from the water.
Families with young children were happily splashing around in the dedicated children’s pool, their squeals of delight filling the air. The little ones were safe and secure, surrounded by colorful water features and shallow depths that allowed them to explore and play to their heart’s content.
What impressed me most about the Aquatic Center was the variety of special events it offered. From dive-in movies where you can enjoy a film while floating in the pool, to lively costume parties that add an extra element of fun, there was always something exciting happening. For those seeking a more active experience, the center also offered aquatic fitness classes, providing an opportunity to stay fit while having a splashing good time.
I found myself in awe of the magnificent golfing opportunities that await in the breathtaking surroundings of Lake Havasu and the Colorado River. Nestled amidst stunning rock formations and sparkling waters, this region boasts some of the finest golf courses in Arizona.
No matter your skill level, you’ll discover a golfing haven that caters to your passion. With an impressive selection of over a dozen courses within a convenient 90-minute radius of Lake Havasu, I was spoilt for choice. Each course offered its own unique charm and challenges, promising an unforgettable golfing experience.
What truly delighted me was the accessibility of these courses. Unlike many exclusive clubs, all the golf courses in this area were open to the public. This meant that golf enthusiasts like me could enjoy the highest quality courses and exceptional landscapes without the burden of exorbitant fees. It was a golfer’s dream come true.
As I played round after round, I was captivated by the stunning vistas that unfolded before me. Towering rock formations, the shimmering waters of Lake Havasu, and the majestic Colorado River all contributed to a visual symphony that heightened my golfing experience.
11. Lake Havasu’s Hiking Trails
Being an avid hiker, I was thrilled to discover that Lake Havasu holds a well-kept secret for outdoor enthusiasts like myself. This Arizona destination proved to be a haven for hiking enthusiasts, offering a plethora of stunning trails just waiting to be explored.
What impressed me the most was the sheer variety of hiking options available within a short distance from the city center. Lake Havasu boasted an extensive trail network that catered to trekkers of all types, showcasing diverse terrains, natural wonders, and breathtaking scenery at every turn.
No matter the season, hiking in Lake Havasu proved to be a year-round activity that delighted the whole family. With each step I took along the trails, I immersed myself in the wonders of nature and reveled in the serenity that surrounded me.
The trails in Lake Havasu offered a tapestry of unique features and hidden gems. I encountered mysterious rock formations that seemed to whisper stories of ages past, and stumbled upon remnants of abandoned mining areas, adding a touch of intrigue to my hiking adventures.
As I ventured deeper into the wilderness, I was captivated by the natural diversity that awaited me. From lush desert oases to rugged canyons, the landscape unfolded in all its splendor, rewarding me with awe-inspiring vistas that etched themselves into my memory.
12. Bird Watching in Lake Havasu
One of the highlights of birdwatching in Lake Havasu was the renowned birdwatching event that had been taking place for over 113 years—the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts. This prestigious gathering brought birdwatchers of all levels together, contributing significantly to bird conservation efforts. Participating in this project was not only a thrilling experience but also an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of these magnificent creatures.
The annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts showcased the dedication and passion of birdwatchers, united in their shared love for avian beauty. Together, we scoured the diverse habitats of Lake Havasu, meticulously documenting each species we encountered. The data we collected played a vital role in understanding bird populations, migration patterns, and habitat conservation.
Birdwatching at Lake Havasu was more than just a hobby; it was a profound connection to nature. As I stood in awe of the winged creatures that graced the skies and waterways, I felt a deep sense of appreciation for the fragile ecosystems that supported their existence. The tranquility of the surroundings allowed me to fully immerse myself in the avian symphony, where every chirp and flutter resonated with the beauty and harmony of the natural world.
With over 300 sun-filled days gracing Lake Havasu City each year, clear nights are equally abundant, presenting an awe-inspiring canvas adorned with billions of stars. As darkness descended upon the city, I found myself immersed in a celestial spectacle that stirred my imagination and ignited my sense of wonder. The vast expanse of the night sky, unimpeded by light pollution, unveiled a breathtaking panorama that left me in awe.
Seeking a deeper connection with the cosmos, I ventured a few miles into the enchanting desert surrounding Lake Havasu. It was there, far from the city lights, that I truly witnessed the sheer brilliance of the Milky Way. The celestial tapestry stretched across the velvety night, painting a picture of countless stars and galaxies that sparked my curiosity about the mysteries of the universe.
In this secluded haven, I discovered the magic of meteor showers. The desert nights treated me to a captivating display as shooting stars streaked across the sky, leaving trails of fleeting brilliance. It was as if the heavens themselves were putting on a celestial symphony, a testament to the sheer beauty and wonder of the universe.
Whether I was camping beneath the starlit sky, taking a leisurely stroll, or simply stepping outside my front door, the allure of stargazing in Lake Havasu never ceased to captivate me. Each night held the promise of a new astronomical discovery, a chance to glimpse distant constellations and distant worlds. The sheer magnitude of the cosmos humbled me, reminding me of the vastness and infinite possibilities that lie beyond our earthly realm.
14. Cycling in and around Lake Havasu City
As a passionate cyclist, the diverse landscapes of the Lake Havasu area called out to me, enticing me to embark on thrilling biking adventures. From the moment I set foot in this region, I knew that it was a haven for cyclists like myself, offering a myriad of possibilities to explore on two wheels.
The mountainous terrains that sprawl across the area are a cyclist’s dream come true. As I navigated the winding paths and tackled the challenging climbs, I felt a rush of adrenaline and a sense of accomplishment. Whether I was a beginner seeking a gentle introduction to off-road cycling or an experienced enthusiast craving an adrenaline-pumping ride, Lake Havasu had something to offer to every level of cyclist.
But Lake Havasu wasn’t just about mountain biking. Its open roads stretched out before me, beckoning me to embark on long, scenic rides. I pedaled along the winding routes, the sun warming my back and the wind caressing my face. The freedom of the open road, coupled with the breathtaking vistas of the lake, mountains, and the city, created a truly unforgettable cycling experience. Each pedal stroke brought me closer to discovering the hidden gems that lay scattered throughout this captivating region.
One of the greatest joys of cycling in Lake Havasu was the opportunity to immerse myself in the stunning natural beauty that surrounded me. The picturesque lake shimmered under the golden rays of the sun, reflecting the clear blue sky above. Majestic mountains provided a breathtaking backdrop, while the cityscape added a touch of vibrancy to the landscape. It was as if every pedal stroke revealed a new postcard-worthy view, fueling my passion for exploration and discovery.
One of the remarkable aspects of off-roading in the Lake Havasu area is the sheer variety of options available, catering to all skill levels and preferences. Whether I was a beginner seeking a thrilling introduction to off-roading or a seasoned expert yearning for a heart-pounding challenge, Lake Havasu had it all. Sand dunes, canyons, and open desert areas awaited me, each offering a unique off-roading experience.
The sand dunes, with their towering peaks and vast stretches of golden sand, provided the perfect playground for adrenaline junkies like myself. I revved up my engine and conquered the dunes, feeling the exhilaration as my vehicle soared over the undulating terrain. The thrill of conquering nature’s obstacles was unparalleled, and the stunning views from the dunes added an extra layer of awe to the experience.
But Lake Havasu’s off-road trails were not just about heart-pounding action. They also led me to captivating points of interest that showcased the region’s rich history and natural beauty. Exploring the trails brought me in close proximity to abandoned mining towns, where remnants of the past stood as silent witnesses to a bygone era. I soaked in the atmosphere of these ghostly towns, imagining the stories they held within their weathered walls.
Moreover, the off-road trails around Lake Havasu provided access to national monuments and hidden gems that few had the privilege to witness. I discovered pristine wilderness areas, where the untouched beauty of nature surrounded me in every direction. It was a humbling experience to be in the presence of such raw, unspoiled landscapes and to have the opportunity to traverse them with my off-road vehicle.