Lake Havasu Travel Guide

Lake Havasu is located on the Colorado River and was created when Parker Dam was built between the years of 1934 and 1938. If you like water activities and swimming, then Lake Havasu vacations are perfect for you. There is so much to enjoy about the Lake Havasu area, and you'll enjoy it even more by staying in one of the many Lake Havasu vacation rentals. Don't see your favorite Lake Havasu activity, be sure to let us know so we can add it to this Lake Havasu Travel Guide.

What to Do in Lake Havasu

lake havasu water skiingOf course the number one activity is to play on the lake. There are so many water activities to enjoy, making spring and summer the most popular times to go on a Lake Havasu vacation. Three of the most popular beaches for swimming are Windsor Beach, London Bridge Beach, and Cattail Cove State Park. Here you can enjoy the water and have a fun day splashing and cooling off in the water. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen along with a lunch so you can have a fun-filled day at the beach.

Cool Off with Some Water Activities

Another fun water adventure is kayaking. All Season Watersports offers kayaking tours. You can also rent Seadoos, tritoon boats, and ski equipment (knee boards, wake boards, tubes, water skis, etc.). If you've never heard of stand-up paddle boarding (also known as SUP) then you're missing out. This activity is great for the whole family, and you don't need waves or the wind. Vacations are a great time to try out new sports and have some fun, so give it a try on your next Lake Havasu vacation.

Go on a Tour Around Lake Havasu

There are many tours you can take along Lake Havasu. Go with Capt. Doyle's River Excursions down the river in search of petroglyphs as Capt. Doyle explains the history of the river including myths and legends of the local Native American tribes. Or you can go for a ride on the Dixie Belle, a paddlewheel boat where you'll listen to a narrated tour. Bluewater Jet Boat Tours also offers tours: One tour is a two and a half hour tour that heads 25 miles north through the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge where you can view up to 394 different species of birds. The second is a three-hour tour that heads 22 miles south passing Parker Dam where you can view blue heron nesting sites.

But there are more than just water tours. Arizona Segway Tours offers one- and two-hour tours of the Lake Havasu area on personal transports (two-wheeled motorized vehicles). Lake Havasu City Tours offers a driving tour of the city, and for a remote desert hiking experience, join Sunset Charter and Tour Co. to explore the Sonoran Desert.

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What to See in Lake Havasu

The biggest attraction at Lake Havasu is the London Bridge. This bridge was built from the years of 1824 to 1831 in London. If you've ever heard the song, "London Bridge Is Falling Down," that comes from this bridge which began to sink into the Thames River. City officials decided that the bridge would need to be replaced and put the bridge up for sale in 1967. It was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch and shipped to Arizona in pieces. Once in Arizona, it was reassembled and opened in 1971. When it was first built, there was no water under the bridge, but it instead connected a peninsula to Lake Havasu City. Later, the land underneath the bridge was dug out so that the water from the Colorado River detoured under the bridge causing the peninsula to become an island.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Lake Havasu

lake havasu shoppingOne of the biggest attractions on Lake Havasu vacations is the Old English Village near the London Bridge. Originally built when the London Bridge was built in Lake Havasu City in the 1970s, the Old English Village is an open-air mall made to resemble an authentic English Village. There are many quaint shops in this shopping area including gift shops such as Sud Duds, Lotions & Potions, and London Bridge Candle Factory. This is a must-see on your Lake Havasu vacation.

Other shopping in the area includes Desert Rose Gifts and Interiors, which has a great collection of Southwest accessories and unique gifts. For women's accessories, check out the Pink Closet, a cute shop that has some great deals on exclusive women's clothes and other items.

Restaurants in the Lake Havasu Area

While visiting Lake Havasu, you'll likely want a night or two out. Cha-Bones, a restaurant specializing in steaks, has a great atmosphere that's been called "urban chic." Another popular American restaurant is Barley Bros. Restaurant and Brewery. One of their specialties is their wood fired pizza where you can choose between a spinach feta pizza, a spicy baja chicken pizza, or a margherita pizza (and more!).

Javelina Cantina
is a great Mexican restaurant for the whole family. Here you can find fish tacos, tamales, and a salmon tostada. They have a kid's menu, so everyone in the family is sure to find something to eat. Juicy's River Cafe is another local favorite, and Scoops is a great stop if you're looking for ice cream. They have homemade ice cream, sherbets, and sorbets, and waffle cones that are made fresh. The scent in the shop is just heavenly.

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When to Visit Lake Havasu

The best time to have a Lake Havasu vacation is between late spring and Labor Day. This is when you'll find the most activities and will best enjoy the water. The appeal of Lake Havasu is playing in the water, so you'll want to wait till it's good and warm outside before heading out to Lake Havasu. There are many who use this area as a winter spot to escape the cold, however, if you're looking for a place to winter, Lake Havasu may just be the perfect spot. But for those who are looking for a vacation, wait until it starts to warm up before planning a vacation to Lake Havasu.

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What to Bring to Lake Havasu

Because Lake Havasu is such a perfect vacation destination for water fun, swim suits, sunscreen, and beach towels are essential. Most of your Lake Havasu vacation will be spent in or near the water. If you have them, it would also help to bring water toys including inter-tubes and other flotation toys that you can use in the water. If you're planning on going out on the boat, be sure you have life jackets for everyone, and bring along knee boards, wake boards, water skis, etc. if you have them. It will prevent the need to pay for rentals, saving you money.

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Local Services in Lake Havasu

You'll find the typical stores and restaurants in the Lake Havasu area. One thing to be aware of is many of the shops are seasonal and will be closed between September and April. If you decide to go on a Lake Havasu vacation in the winter, the basic stores and services will be available, but you'll have less luck finding specialty items, rentals, or gifts.

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What to Know About Lake Havasu

During spring break, many Arizona college students head to Lake Havasu to party and release some stress from school. Because of this, the Lake Havasu area can turn into a sort of "Fort Lauderdale" for Arizona. Most of this partying is centered on the London Bridge. If this is not your cup of tea, avoid this area of Lake Havasu during this time. Other times of the year when partying can be found are on the weekends and during the summer. Lake Havasu is a large lake, so it shouldn't be hard to avoid the crowds and sounds of celebrations. Finding a Lake Havasu vacation rental further away from the London Bridge should help reduce chances of being disturbed by young partiers.

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Getting to Lake Havasu

If you plan on flying to Lake Havasu, you'll want to either fly into the Las Vegas or the Phoenix airports. From here you can either rent a car or take a shuttle. The Havaus/Vegas Express Co. will take you from the Las Vegas McCarren Airport to Lake Havasu, and can even drop you off at your door. If you're driving from Phoenix, then you can take I-10 west to Arizona 95 north.

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Why Lake Havasu vacation rentals?

Vacation rentals are a great way to make your vacation more comfortable and fun. Instead of staying in a small hotel room, you can find a vacation home that will fit your whole family with room to spare. You might be surprised at how affordable a vacation rental is. You can find vacation rentals at Lake Havasu with amazing amenities including having a pool and/or hot tub, wireless internet, a garage, DVD players, yards, patios, and more. Why spend your Lake Havasu vacation in a cramped hotel room when you can get so much more from a vacation rental?

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