The odd delicacy of Lake Havasu is adorned with the epitome of contrast – the fruitful vegetation, palm trees, greens of golf courses, and swamps along the waterfront combined with the natural backdrop of a harsh, nearly uninhabitable desert environment…the arid annual temperature of 70 degrees or more, almost unbearably scorching during the summer months (a record temperature that rivals Death Valley at 128 degrees), combined with the frigid but refreshing temperatures of the man-made lake…the desolation of the surrounding cliffs and jaggedly barren mountains combined with the flourishing waterfront and its fertile valley terrain.
Merely a two-hour drive south of Las Vegas, on the border of California and Arizona, Lake Havasu City is one of the most prominent small resort towns in the entire desert southwest, being one of the most popular destinations in the United States for partying college students during Spring Break. The town, with a population of almost 60,000, has been featured twice on MTV for Spring Break coverage.
Lake Havasu City closely competes with the Grand Canyon as Arizona’s most cherished tourist destination. Though the majority of the town may seem moderately developed but particularly bland, typical of the southwest, the downtown area and the London Bridge is the focal point of activity. The original bridge was replaced in the late sixties/early seventies with stone materials that were imported directly from London, hence the catchy title. The area’s most popular beach is located near the illustrious bridge, as it may be very difficult to find a parking spot due to the consistency of visitors, elderly and youthful alike. Most of the shops, nightclubs (Kokomo being the most popular), and lakeside restaurants can also be found near the bridge – making the city’s hotspot perfect for couples seeking romance, as well as singles seeking nightly adventure.
Parker, a town fifteen miles south of Lake Havasu City, is also a renowned tourism community, which harnesses the Parker Dam – the barrier responsible for the lake’s creation from the Colorado River, technically the same body of water that runs northward into the Hoover Dam area, the Grand Canyon, and Lake Powell. Outdoor activities in both Lake Havasu City and Parker range from prestigious golf resorts and honeymoon suites to jet ski rental facilities, fishing boats, speed-car races, desert hiking trails, state parks, and recreational camping spots. The city is home to massive annual events, such as the International World Jet Ski Final Races, professional fishing tournaments, custom boat competitions, the Havasu Triathlon at the Havasu 95 Speedway, and the Western Winter Blast – a pyrotechnics convention full of various explosives and detonation devices. There are no limitations for thrills, sightseeing, and sporting ventures along the unique waterfront paradise – though the surrounding Mojave Desert is about as unforgiving as a landscape can be.