Known as Arizona’s West Coast, Lake Havasu City is the perfect destination for a beach-bum getaway or a fun-filled adventure. The city has a wide range of things to do. So to help you out, we rounded up our "Top 10 List" with local tips so you won't miss any of the hotspots or hidden gems in this beautiful desert oasis.
You don't have to book a flight to Europe to see this beautiful piece of British history. Built in 1831, spanning the River Thames in London, the stone structure was dismantled in 1967 and sold to Lake Havasu City founder Robert McCulloch. The London Bridge was shipped through the Panama Canal and reassembled where it sits today, arching majestically across the Bridgewater Channel where it beckons sightseers from around the globe to marvel at its history-filled stone arches. Today, you can still see strafing scars left by Nazi warplanes during World War II and the structure's steel lamps, fashioned from the melted-down metal of Napoleon Bonaparte's war cannons.
Local Tip: From October through April, don't miss the walking tours at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to discover the secrets etched into the centuries-old granite blocks. Tours cost $10 per person. See the Visitor Information Center in the English Village for more information.
With its placid, no-wake water, the Bridgewater Channel is a scenic and lively social scene where locals and visitors mingle while soaking in the sun along the shore or cruising the channel by boat, personal watercraft or paddle boarding.
Make sure to pack a picnic or take advantage of boat-in dining where you can access great restaurants along the channel to fulfill your craving for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plus, you can even order Papa Leone's pizza delivery by a person on a skateboard while chilling out on the channel.
Local Tip: Head to the English Village to board your watercraft on a unique Rubba Duck Safari or a rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak at Southwest Kayaks for your water cruise down the Bridgewater Channel. However, you don't need a boat or watercraft to enjoy the Channel action, pack a cooler and find a spot to relax on the beach in between boats.
While you can enjoy the clear waters of Lake Havasu right in the Bridgewater Channel, exploring all of Lake Havasu by boat is a must-do experience that reveals stunning rock formations, secluded coves and hidden beaches. Head north to the epic Topock Gorge, referred to as the "miniature Grand Canyon" and make sure to hang out at The Sandbar where boaters congregate in the middle of the Colorado River. Or head south to check out the picturesque Copper Canyon, known as a popular party spot, and other favorite places like Steamboat Cove, Skiers Island or Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge at the southern-most part of Lake Havasu.
Local Tip: Don't have a boat? Don't worry! Lake Havasu City offers all the rentals you need for a fun day on the lake, from fast deck boats to pontoons to personal watercrafts.
Looking to lounge on beautiful sandy beaches? Lake Havasu is known as Arizona's West Coast and features the best beaches in the state. One of the most popular for families is the city's largest waterfront public beach at Rotary Community Park. In addition to the beach, you’ll find great amenities — picnic areas, barbecues, playgrounds, beach volleyball courts, ball fields, bocce ball courts, restrooms, a walking path, exercise stations, even a skate park. For a white-sand beach experience that's close to town, check out Lake Havasu State Park for beautiful lake views, boat access and easy parking. However, for the real Lake Havasu beach-bum life, there’s no better way to do it than by renting a boat or personal watercraft to explore a multitude of hidden beaches and coves.
Local Tip: For the ultimate in family fun, the floating jungle gym at Beach Shack Rentals is an experience to remember. The over-water platform is a perfect place to swing and slide, all with the option of plunging into the channel's water from one of the gym's features. Or take turns launching your friends from the "blob" — an inflatable contraption that allows you to shoot your friend sky-high over Lake Havasu.
When you throw a line into Lake Havasu, you have a genuine chance of hooking a record Redear Sunfish, a lunker of a Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass or a trophy Striped Bass. The lake's year-round fishing weather and 19,300-acre impoundment on the Colorado River help produce a wide variety of hungry trophy fish — making Lake Havasu one of the best fishing lakes in the Southwest! Anglers of all levels can cast from a range of public fishing docks or jump on a boat to hunt for the ultimate catch with a local fishing guide or boat rental.
Local Tip: White Sturgeon were planted in Lake Havasu in the 1960s and while the giant, prehistoric-looking fish has not been caught in the lake, many wonder whether the fish lurk in the lake's depths. White Sturgeon can live to be 100 years old and grow to over 1,500 pounds. While tackle shops like Bass Tackle Master might not be able to point you to any Sturgeon, they can outfit you and show you where the other Lake Havasu lunkers live.
Lake Havasu City is one of the best-kept secrets for hiking and mountain biking in Arizona. From fall through spring, the climate is divine with perfect conditions for exploring the many trails and adventurous mountain peaks. Whether you're a beginner or pro, this region offers a wide range of terrain, along with awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, cottontail rabbits, bobcats and a myriad of species of birds. For quick access and tons of adventures, SARA Park is your ultimate hiking and mountain biking playground to explore the 1,100 acres that line the brilliant waters of Lake Havasu with trails for all levels. For a wide range of hikes, check out the complete hiking guide.
Local Tip: Desert hiking and mountain biking require special preparations and precautions. Consider leaving early in the morning on days when the mercury is forecasted to climb, and always bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as well as a hat and a trusted partner.
Lake Havasu City is abuzz with activity on any given weekend, but throw in a special event and the excitement gets dialed up a notch. Speedboats race across the lake, hot air balloons dot the sky and personal watercrafts snake through serpentine courses. Special events fill the Lake Havasu City calendar, adding a whole new level of spectator sport to the area. While you're checking the calendar for a special event that suits you, consider a tour to Copper Canyon, Topock Gorge or the lake's 27 replica lighthouses.
Local Tip: For a little adrenaline and a wide-ranging tour of the lake, check out the Bluewater Jetboat Tour to Topock Gorge, where you will pass 3,500-year-old petroglyphs and rock formations like the Devil's Elbow before cruising into the gorge.
Lake Havasu City is a desert playground of slick rock, desert washes and off-road trails that offer limitless exploration for off-roaders. Motor past old mines or climb dunes right from town. This region has a network of 1,800 trails and some with beautiful views of Lake Havasu. Arizona off-road trail enthusiasts have a multitude of choices. Plan your action-packed, off-roading Arizona weekend getaway now.
Local Tip: Hop directly onto dirt from the end of Challenger Drive on the south side of town or, for lake-view trails, head to the pavement's end at London Bridge Drive. For a fully guided off-road experience, browse some of Lake Havasu City's many off-road tours or many rental companies.
Nothing beats teeing off or chipping onto iridescent golf greens amongst the scenic red rock mountains and shimmering waters of Lake Havasu and the Colorado River. Located in the heart of town along the water's edge is the popular Bridgewater Links Golf Course, with an executive, 9-hole course right in the heart of the action. For a golfer's getaway, The Refuge has an awesome 18-hole, championship course with panoramic lake and mountain views. For more details, check out multiple courses in and around Lake Havasu City.
Local Tip: The Refuge's private course is available for public play through their "member-for-a-day" program, where visiting golfers can not only experience the lakefront course but also have access to the country club's pool, spa and restaurant for the day.
Lake Havasu City's dining and entertainment is an adventure all its own with more than 140 restaurants serving up diverse and delicious dining options. Without question, the boat-in dining places are some of the most popular restaurants and bars in the area and include The Turtle Grille at the Nautical Beachfront Resort, Javelina Cantina, Barley Brothers Brewery, Shugrue's, Makai Café, Blue Chair, Burgers by the Bridge, Martini Bay at London Bridge Resort, to name a few. Want to venture inland and explore the endless array of dining options throughout Lake Havasu City? Let us help you navigate your way with our downloadable Dining Guide.
Local Tip: Small, but celebrated, craft brewers have popped up in Lake Havasu City, serving up cold, refreshing local beer to locals and visitors alike. Check out what Lake Havasu City has been brewing with a tour of these local hotspots, including College Street Brewhouse & Pub, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Mudshark Brewery and Barley Brothers. If wine is more of your speed, check out the Octane Wine Garage for a great food and wine scene in the downtown area of Lake Havasu City.