September 23, 2012

By Michelle Gardia

Lake Havasu City, an idyllic desert resort town, is perched on the shores of Lake Havasu. Created by the construction of the Parker Dam on the Colorado River in 1938, Lake Havasu straddles the border of Arizona and California. The city is a mecca for winter visitors from colder climes and offers several luxury RV resorts and long term vacation rentals.

The London Bridge

The city’s showpiece is the London Bridge. Originally spanning the River Thames since 1831, the bridge could not withstand the stress of 20th century automotive traffic and was put on the auction block by the City of London in 1967. Lake Havasu City founder Robert P. McCulloch placed the winning bid of $2,460,000 on April 18, 1968. His was chosen over higher bids because of his promise to keep the structure as a bridge, rather than repurposing the granite.

The blocks were numbered before the bridge was disassembled, then shipped through the Panama Canal to California and trucked to Arizona. Interestingly, the bridge was rebuilt on dry land and the Bridgewater Channel was dredged beneath it.  The bridge was completed and rededicated in a ceremony on October 10, 1971. 

You can tour the bridge and learn more about its history on an hour-long walking tour conducted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. See the strafing scars from WWII that mar the bridge’s granite surface and enjoy the panoramic view of Bridgewater Channel, Lake Havasu and the surrounding desert mountains.

Event Central

Mild temperatures and sunny skies make Lake Havasu City the ideal fall and winter event venue. There are over 15 events in the month of October alone!

Some upcoming major events include:

  • 31st Annual IJSBA World Finals - September 29-October 7

Elite athletes from around the world come to compete in the IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association) World Finals, an invite-only event for personal watercraft racing.

  • 35th Annual Relics & Rods Run to the Sun – October 17-21

This much-anticipated event showcases pre-1972 classic cars and trucks in a beautiful lakeside setting. The event concludes with a parade of all the cars and a pancake breakfast – yum, pancakes!

  • 41st Annual London Bridge Days Parade – October 27

Small town Americana at its finest! The parade will feature marching bands, Shriners in tiny cars and local organizations on their floats.

  • 2012 Sand and Water Expo – October 27-28

                  The brand new Sand and Water Expo combines two of the biggest attractions in the Lake                   Havasu area – the desert and lake! Come see the latest in boats, personal watercraft, ATVs, dirt                   bikes and more.

  • 30th Annual Boat Parade of Lights – December 1

Bring your lawn chair and hot chocolate and enjoy the sight of boats decked out for the holidays. Their sparkling lights reflecting on the water of Bridgewater Channel are sure to put you in a holiday mood.

Tours

When you visit Lake Havasu City, you can soar over mountains, take a 4-wheel drive through the desert and relax with a boat ride across a sparkling blue lake, all in one day. An organized tour is a great way to experience many “secret spots” that many visitors may never find on their own. A searchable list of tours may be found on the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) website.

Activities

Hiking

Lake Havasu City is surrounded by miles of pristine desert for hiking. There’s varied terrain, suitable for all fitness levels. Whether it’s a leisurely lakeside stroll or a heart-pumping trail run in the hills, you’ll find it here.

Fishing

There’s a reason there are multiple fishing tournaments held on Lake Havasu each year. The lake is home to many species of fish, including the prized striped bass. There are six free fishing docks in and around Lake Havasu City, or you can fish from shore or boat.

Cycling

Clean air, clear skies and lots of open space provide plenty of places to ride. An 8.5 mile long multi-use trail

parallels Arizona Highway 95 through town, making it easy to get around town and stretch your legs at the same time. If you don’t have any particular destination but still want to hop on your bike, the Island Trail is a popular choice. The paved 3.6-mile loop runs around the interior of the “Island”, which is connected to mainland Lake Havasu City by the London Bridge.

In addition to the attractions and activities that make Lake Havasu City a must-see travel destination, there is an intangible appeal – the relaxed vibe of the place and friendly residents. A 2012 branding study showed that the #1 Lake Havasu City asset as perceived by visitors is its mood, “Laid-back, fun, with a small town feel”.

For more information:

Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-242-8278 www.GoLakeHavasu.com

London Bridge Tours – Lake Havasu City Visitor Center, 928-855-5655

September 23, 2012

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

January

February

  • Snow is a Four Letter Word

    Bowser & Blue sing about Canadian Snowbirds - great music video that makes you want to to take to the road and head south.

  • The Sacred One Standing

    The Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole brings new energy to the continuum of monumental art on Haida Gwaii. Carved out of centuries-old red cedar, these monumental works once lined the beaches in Haida villages. Poles mark ...

  • Haunted Ghost Train of Ely

    Autumn in Ely, Nevada is a pleasant time of year; the kids are back in school and the air is not too warm or too cold. Hollyhocks still display their colorful hues and apples are still falling from the trees. Of course, fresh mountain air, ...

  • History Road: the Ultimate Car Show at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum

    History Road: the Ultimate Car Show at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. For more information visit www.ReynoldsAlbertaMuseum.com.

  • RVing in Laughlin, NV

    This is an RV adventure to Laughlin, Nevada ... the city that Don built. We will interview Don Laughlin who created this "little Las Vegas" on the Colorado River.

  • RVing in the Baja

    RVing in the Baja Peninsula

  • Lake Chelan Winterfest

    Every January, the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Lake Chelan Winterfest Festival. The charming town is transformed in to a winter paradise for the annual weekend-long event. Marvel at the outdoor gallery of ice sculptures created

  • Temecula Wine Country

    Enjoy wineries, hot air ballooning, golfing, entertainment, restaurants and events in this beautiful valley. Not to mention the shopping, markets and casinos.

Heading out on an RV Voyage soon? Here's a quick check-list of pre-trip planning details that should not be overlooked.