Written by: Amy Oostyen, Eton College Travel and Tourism Class Student
Lake Havasu City, best known as Arizona’s beach resort city, is situated on the majestic Colorado River. The fast growing city consists of a mainland and a manmade island that was formed by a stagnant stream which has been converted into an essential part of lake.
I hadn’t looked into this destination at all as it was a last minute decision to visit my aunt. My inspiration to visit this beautiful city was that my mother, grand-mother and two aunts were also travelling to Lake Havasu City from Niagara Falls, Ontario. Already living on the West Coast inspired me to look into a flight as well. In no time at all and very limited research, I found a return flight from Bellingham, WA to Las Vegas, NV for a price that was very adequate.
There is no major airport in Lake Havasu City, however it borders Las Vegas, Nevada and is only a couple of hours drive away. There is no shame in stopping in a casino for just a moment on your way through Las Vegas to bet a twenty on black. We had pre booked a car rental and were off to start our journey through the desert.
Driving through the Hoover Dam was quite an experience; it was like something I have never seen before. We did not book a tour however; there was an information center which provides you with brochures and pamphlets. There are also plaques along the walls of the Dam which also give information and tell stories of the people who poured their blood, sweat and tears into creating this magnificent piece of architecture.
I travelled to Lake Havasu City in May of 2010; the temperature was a very high 80 degrees Fahrenheit and rising. The sun was beaming, boats populated the glistening lake and sun-kissed civilians occupied the beaches. Turtle beach was a public beach that a lot of the locals would enjoy. When I stumbled upon this gem, I felt as if I was in the right spot, at the right time, in the right moment. I just knew, for the next four days, I was going to be able to relax and enjoy everything that this laid back, beautiful city had to offer me.
A very unique attraction within this city is a bridge that was brought to the USA from London, England in 1968. The famous London Bridge was purchased by Robert McCulloch and cost him seven million dollars to reconstruct. We walked over the ‘sinking’ bridge and enjoyed the beautiful view. Under the bridge is a waterfront area known as the English Village, where we enjoyed strolling along the boardwalk window shopping and stopping at a few patios along the way for some shade and of course some tasty treats.
Did you know that Lake Havasu City has more lighthouses than any other city in the USA? Totalling eighteen, they wanted to make the lake safer for night boating and fishing; smaller replicas were made of some of the greatest lighthouses ever built in the USA.
On our last day in this gorgeous desert, a few of us decided to hike Cupcake Mountain. Cupcake Mountain is for experienced hikers only, what a trek that was. Once we reached the top of this iconic mountain and guzzled an obscene amount of water, the spectacular natural backdrop was absolutely stunning. The rolling desert mountains, turquoise coloured lake and city scape were magnificent. Once we caught our breath, we were on our way back to reality.
After working up an appetite, we decide to head to a restaurant that was recommended by a local Lake Havasu City native. Shugrue’s Restaurant and Bar provides a stunning view of the Bridgewater Channel and the famous London Bridge. This casual fine dining restaurant had very friendly staff and a fantastic atmosphere. Ordering an array of seafood and sipping on award winning wine, was the perfect way to end an amazing trip in Lake Havasu City. Upon our exit, I had noticed the restaurant was selling hand pump misters, brilliant idea. While touring around the city or sitting on a patio, the dry desert heat can really get to you. This also made for a great souvenir and I still use it on hot summer days here in Canada.
Lake Havasu City has been the place to be during spring break for students in university and college in the surrounding areas of Arizona. The city and beaches are flooded with young adults all having a great time. If you are looking for a fun experience, this would be the best time to visit.
Every experience I had during my stay in Lake Havasu City was incredible. It has a variety of attractions and fun things to experience whether you are with family, friends or solo. Lake Havasu City will always have a little piece of my heart and I cannot wait to return and create more memories.