Sun-dazzled Lake Havasu is an immensely popular holiday destination, attracting families looking to relax and spring breakers intent on a wild string of drink-drowned days. The lake itself is actually a vast reservoir on the Colorado River, which is fantastic for fishing, its warm deep waters teeming with bass and catfish. It’s also great for boating, swimming and a range of water sports, while the surrounding rocky landscape is laced through with hiking trails. Alternatively, take in everything at once on one of the hot air balloon rides for which the area is famous – there’s even an annual hot air balloon festival. And you can also pop into Lake Havasu City, situated beside the lake, to sample the nightlife and restaurants, and to see the town’s main bridge, which travelled all the way from London, England, to carry Americans across the Colorado River. Lake Havasu is three hours northwest of Phoenix and 2.5 hours south of Las Vegas, and the nearest airport is McCarran International Airport, just over two hours away.
Lake Havasu has year-round good weather and some of the best fishing in Arizona, drawing anglers from across the south-west. The lake’s deep, shadowy water is well-known for its population of tasty catfish and giant bass, frequently hauled squirming to the surface on the end of a fishing rod. Anglers can cast out from one of the free public-access fishing docks, or fish from their boat, cruising the 450 miles of shoreline in search of that memorable catch.
Explore secluded coves and beaches, roar through open water, or nose up the Colorado River while boating on Lake Havasu. The weather is warm all year round, and the scariest things in the water are the huge non-threatening bass fish the anglers are after, so it’s also great for a swim. There are no size restrictions or speed limits on most of the lake, and Lake Havasu City has several repair and equipment shops.
The bridge that spans the Colorado River has a startling history: it once bestrode the mighty River Thames in England. Between 1831 and 1968 it carried vehicular traffic between north and south London; but all the while its east side was sinking into the riverbed, unable to support the demands of an industrialized metropolis. So the bridge was put up to auction and bought by eccentric local entrepreneur, Robert P. McCulloch, who shipped it to Lake Havasu City via the Panama Canal and had it reassembled in the city he’d founded. Today it is Arizona’s second biggest visitor attraction after the Grand Canyon, and you can still see the strafing scars inflicted in WW2.
Barley Brother’s is Lake Havasu’s best watering hole, selling a well-balanced range of craft beers crowned by its famous Trippleberry Wheat, flavored with raspberries, cranberries and blueberries. As well as the booze it has a simple menu of satisfying pub grub. Highlights include wood-fired pizzas and its perennially popular lobster burger.
This large and well-equipped resort is situated right by the famous London Bridge on the shores of the Colorado River. It’s within walking distance to most of downtown Lake Havasu, and just across the bridge visitors can enjoy the London Bridge Beach. The resort has a ton of in-house activities, too, with its three pools, waterslide and 9-hole golf course.