Lake Havasu City Visitor and Convention Bureau
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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