Wondering if there are fun things to do in Lake Havasu in Winter?
We are here to tell you there are TONS of things. Since we’ve spent the past three winters in Lake Havasu, we are sharing 28 fun things to do including several free ideas to plan your trip.
Lake Havasu City is a beautiful lake town in central Arizona along the California border. It attracts visitors year-round.
What is Lake Havasu known for?
Lake Havasu City in Arizona is known for being a prime destination for retirees in winter, college students in spring and boaters year-round.
During winter, Lake Havasu Arizona is a popular snow bird destination just like South Padre Island.
Lake Havasu Arizona offers an abundance of things to do and great scenery, especially in winter.
Additionally, spring draws West Coast college students to Lake Havasu and summer brings families to this lake destination in Arizona.
Lake Havasu is a gorgeous lake town with all of the conveniences of a big city. We particularly enjoy the free camping nearby, local craft breweries and beautiful weather.
Lake Havasu is a great winter destination with plenty of things to do.
28 Fun Things to Do at Lake Havasu in Winter
During our 3 winters RVing in Arizona, we explored on our own, hosted guests of all ages, and even traveled with friends. Therefore, we’ve tried a little of everything and have you completely covered.
We have created a full list of what we think are the 28 best Lake Havasu winter activities so you can have fun without all the planning and research.
Lake Things To Do at Lake Havasu AZ in Winter
Lake Havasu was created by the construction of the Parker Dam on the Colorado River in the 1930s.
The lake is 45 miles long and provides year-round fishing and recreational boating opportunities.
Did you know? Lake Havasu City is known as the Personal Watercraft Capital of the World.
Boating is a popular thing to do in Lake Havasu even in winter.
If you already have a boat and want to take it to Lake Havasu, a free motorized public boat launch is available at Site Six on Grand Island.
Rental boats and personal watercraft are available from dozens of different vendors in Lake Havasu if you don’t travel with a boat.
A few of the most well-equipped rental companies in Lake Havasu are:
Pro Tip: Free beach access is available at both London Bridge Beach and Rotary Park if you don’t have a boat at Lake Havasu and just want to watch other boats.
2. Paddle Lake Havasu
A non-motorized boat launch is available for free at Rotary Park or Mesquite Bay in Lake Havasu City.
Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are able to use the non-motorized boat launch.
Rotary Park is a great location to access the Bridgewater Channel Canal and the London Bridge with a kayak, canoe or paddleboard. For your own safety, remember to watch for motorboats zooming through the canal.
The beach area offers easy shore launching, restrooms, picnic tables and free paved day use parking.
3. Rent a tiki bar
If you won’t be making the trek south to Mexico in your RV this winter, then consider finding some beach vibes in Arizona.
That’s right you can rent your own tiki bar to cruise around Lake Havasu. You can join others or book a private tour with Cruisin’ Tikis.
The guided 90 minute cruises depart from London Bridge and explore throughout Thompson Bay.
Cruising on a tiki bar is a unique and fun thing to do in Lake Havasu in the winter.
Things to do at Lake Havasu without a Boat
If you are in Lake Havasu without a boat, don’t worry you can still enjoy the lake. There are several water-based things to do at Lake Havasu without a boat.
4. Beach at Lake Havasu – Best way to enjoy the water without a boat
A beach day is a great way to experience the lake without a boat plus it’s a free thing to do in Lake Havasu City.
If the water is warm enough for you, then enjoy a swim. If the water is touch too cold, you can enjoy a picnic or a nap on the beach while watching the boats go by.
Free beach access is available in Lake Havasu City Arizona at Rotary Park and London Bridge Park.
Did you know? Lake Havasu’s 450 miles of shoreline attracts over 2.5 million visitors each year.
Creative marketers have claimed Lake Havasu is home to the best beaches in Arizona.
When I heard this I chuckled a little and immediately started humming George Strait’s 1986 chart-topper “Oceanfront Property in Arizona”. Technically the sandy lakeshore is a beach but there are no seaside beaches in Arizona.
Although the water is a bit cold for swimming at Lake Havasu, fishing is still one of the popular things to do in Lake Havasu during winter.
Don’t worry, you don’t need a boat to fish at Lake Havasu.
The rocky shore and submerged rock piles at Lake Havasu make great habitat for fresh water fish.
Fish commonly found in Lake Havasu are crappies, bass (largemouth, smallmouth and striped), sunfish, catfish (channel and flathead) and bluegill.
6. Lake Havasu Aquatic Center
The Lake Havasu Aquatic Center is open year round. Even if the lake water is a little too cold for swimming, you can still go for a dip nearby.
Swimming at the Aquatic Center is a great year round indoor thing to do at Lake Havasu.
Admission is $6 for adults and includes access to hot showers.
The indoor/outdoor pool complex at the Lake Havasu Aquatic Center includes a lane pool and several waterpark features such as a wave pool, children’s pool and water slide.
It is located in the C.V. Wood Community Center.
English Things to do at Lake Havasu in Winter
I know it sounds weird to visit an English Village in Arizona. But the London Bridge has attracted several English-themed shops and restaurants.
A shopping area called the English Village is located adjacent to the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.
You can almost pretend you are in the UK while gazing at the original London Bridge as you wander along the waterfront in Lake Havasu.
7. Drive over London Bridge
London Bridge is Lake Havasu’s claim to fame.
While living in London I heard the original London Bridge was now in Arizona. But honestly, I didn’t really believe it.
While in Lake Havasu, I saw the bridge myself and the signs posted nearby confirmed the story.
Is the bridge in Lake Havasu from London?
Yes, the bridge at Lake Havasu is from London England in the United Kingdom. The stone bridge in Lake Havasu Arizona was originally constructed in 1831 over the River Thames in London.
Sadly, the bridge was not constructed to withstand automobile traffic and steadily sank at a rate of an inch every eight years.
In 1924, after only a few decades of automobile traffic, the east side of the bridge was measured four inches lower than the west side.
So the City of London began looking for a buyer for the old bridge and opened the sale for bidders in 1967.
How did the London Bridge get to Lake Havasu Arizona?
The founder of Lake Havasu, Robert P. McCullough Sr, won the bridge with his $2.4M bid in 1968.
Did you know? The equivalent of $2.4 million dollar London Bridge purchase price in 1968 is worth nearly $19 million today.
McCullough felt the bridge would drive tourism and improve local real estate.
Be sure to check out the bridge’s historic lamposts. These ornate lampposts were made after the Battle of Waterloo from Napoleon’s Army’s melted cannonballs.
After purchase, the bridge was dismantled in London so it could be reassembled in Lake Havasu Arizona.
All 10,276 exterior granite blocks were numbered prior to being disassembled. The blocks were shipped via the Panama Canal to Long Beach California and then trucked from Long Beach to Arizona.
The lake channel had to be dredged before the bridge could be built.
How much did the London Bridge in Lake Havasu cost?
Total costs for shipping, assembly, and dredging of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu were $7M in 1970 dollars. This does not include the $2.4M purchase price in 1968.
A steel frame replaced the previous interior construction reducing the overall weight by 60% and improving structural integrity to accommodate automobile traffic. Bridge construction lasted three years and the bridge was rededicated in 1971.
In conjunction with the bridge project, McCullough Properties built the English Village, an open-air shopping mall north of the bridge.
8. Tour London Bridge and English Village
The London Bridge connects Lake Havasu City to a small island, Grand Island.
On the Havasu City side of the bridge, there is a group of shops and restaurants known as the English Village.
If you are feeling a bit peckish, check out the fish and chips shop. Or pop into the English pub for a pint.
It is a cute touristy area to spend an hour or two wandering around.
9. Snap a Photo at the Red Phonebooth in Lake Havasu
Your trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the telephone booth for a photo op. Of course, there is a cute red phone booth, just like the ones all over London.
Thankfully this one doesn’t smell like a makeshift urinal, like most in London do.
The red English telephone booth is one of the top photographed places in Lake Havasu.
It is located on the canal front sidewalk under the London Bridge. The phone booth is on the town side of the bridge adjacent to the English Village.
Pro Tip: The closest parking is at the English Village but you’ll have to descend some stairs to get to the canal front.
Outdoor Things to do Lake Havasu in Winter
Winter in most of Arizona means mild, warm days that are comfortable for outdoor activities.
Mild winters in the desert are very sunny. It’s easy to get sunburned when the weather is so nice that you don’t feel hot.
10. Walk or Bike around the Grand Island Loop
Grand Island is a small island in Lake Havasu City and has several free outdoor things to do.
Grand Island is easily accessible across the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.
It is a great location for an afternoon outing.
I would consider the Grand Island multi-use path a can’t miss thing to do in Lake Havasu City, especially during winter.
Pro Tip: Parking is free once you drive over the London Bridge onto Grand Island from Lake Havasu. The free public parking areas are clearly marked.
Bicycles and pedestrians are both welcome on the almost four-mile Grand Island loop path.
We enjoyed the lake views and mild winter weather during our many walks around Grand Island.
On our first walk, a small owl flew over us and landed nearby during our walk.
This little guy seemed like he was posing for photos.
I believe he is a Northern Pygmy-Owl which is a diurnal owl species, hunting both at night and during the day. Their diet is composed primarily of songbirds.
The bonus of our walk was spotting our first Lake Havasu lighthouse.
11. Find the Lake Havasu Lighthouses
Lake Havasu is home to 28 replica lighthouses.
Did you know? Lake Havasu City in Arizona has the only lighthouse replica program of this kind in the world.
A lighthouse scavenger hunt is a great thing to do in Lake Havasu.
Pro Tip: Some of the lighthouses require a 4×4 vehicle. Always check clearance and accessibility before driving off paved roads.
There are many reasons why people love lighthouses but I simply love them because they remind me of home.
I grew up in North Carolina which has a notoriously dangerous coastline and is home to seven lighthouses.
The NC coast is nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to the number of shipwrecks lining the shores.
How many lighthouses are in Arizona?
Despite being landlocked, there are 28 lighthouses in Arizona.
All 28 of Arizona’s lighthouses are located on the shores of Lake Havasu.
Lake Havasu’s lighthouses are scaled replicas representing real lighthouses from all over North America including the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes.
Who built the Lake Havasu Lighthouses?
A non-profit volunteer organization, the Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club, built the Lake Havasu Lighthouses.
The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club funded and constructed all of the lighthouse replicas along the lake’s shoreline to ‘promote, preserve and improve Lake Havasu.’
They vary in size but the ones we visited were built at 1:3 or 1:4 scale.
The non-profit volunteer organization chose the location of the replica lighthouses based on their full-sized inspiration.
Lighthouses located on the east coast of the US and Canada were built on the east side of Lake Havasu. And those inspired by west coast beacons were built on the lake’s western shores.
A full list of lighthouses at Lake Havasu and their locations is available here.
12. Mountain Bike at SARA Park in Lake Havasu
SARA (Special Activities and Recreation Area) Park is a free county park in Lake Havasu City, Arizona with an extensive network of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Most of the mountain bike trails at SARA Park in Lake Havasu are rated intermediate due to the difficulty of riding on desert terrain.
After walking a few of the trails, I would not recommend them for beginners or less experienced bikers. There is one easy-rated loop but it is only one mile long.
For more details on mountain bike trail specifics including current conditions, we love the free, crowd-sourced MTB project app.
13. Hike SARA Crack
Crack in the Wall Trail, also known as the SARA Crack trail, is aptly named.
The narrow slot canyon leads from the trailhead to the shores of Lake Havasu.
SARA Crack is a great trail and is a popular way to sample all of the things Lake Havasu hiking has to offer.
Based on a personal recommendation, we chose to hike the SARA Crack trail.
How long is the SARA Crack trail in Lake Havasu?
The five-mile roundtrip hike on the SARA Crack trail in Lake Havasu crosses through several different desert landscapes including slot canyons, narrow ravine, wash bottoms and across the top of hillsides.
It can easily be combined with other nearby trails to extend the distance.
Our 6.2-mile loop hike included the SARA Crack trail and the Watershed trail along with a slight detour due to flooding in the slot canyon.
We enjoyed the small rope and ladder sections of the SARA’s crack.
Overall the canyon on SARA Crack in Lake Havasu is quite wide compared to others such as the slot canyons at Grand Staircase Escalante which sometimes don’t even have enough width clearance for a backpack.
The slot canyon at SARA is prone to standing water so be prepared to detour or get wet.
We chose to detour which added about a mile through semi-rough terrain, up and over the canyon ledges.
After making the detour and then walking to the other end of the canyon, we met other hikers who had walked through the water. Their legs were slimy and green from the knees down and I was happy to have skipped it.
The hike leads to a balanced rock along the shore of the turquoise waters of Lake Havasu.
A few ducks joined us while we ate our snacks along the shoreline. They had no fear of humans and were almost professionals in the art of begging.
14. Rotary Park
Rotary Park is a city park located in Lake Havasu.
It is a nice place to spend the day on the lake for free.
There is a sandy beach, picnic area, multiple playgrounds and a boat launch area at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City AZ.
Rotary Park also has public restrooms and covered picnic areas.
Pro Tip: Rotary Park is not pet-friendly so leave your pups at home.
15. Lake Havasu State Park
It is one of the only publicly owned campgrounds in Lake Havasu City. Camping is expensive especially since there is abundant free camping nearby.
They do charge an admission fee if you are not camping at Lake Havasu State Park.
Current-day use admission at Lake Havasu State Park is $20 for weekends or $15 for weekdays and includes up to 4 adults and one vehicle. Campsites start at $35 per night.
Full disclosure, we only visited Lake Havasu State Park to use their RV dump station for waste water disposal and fresh water refill. The $15 dump fee was a little higher than most AZ prices but it was the cheapest dump station available between Lake Havasu and Quartzsite.
Best Indoor Things to do in Lake Havasu in Winter
16. CV Wood Community Center
The CV Wood Community Center offers several indoor activities in Lake Havasu.
The gymnasium is the perfect place for a rainy day round of pickleball or basketball. With regularly scheduled sessions, you’re always in for some high-energy action.
And as the sun sets, the Relics and Rod Hall at the CV Wood often transforms into a vibrant hub of entertainment. Seating up to 1100 people, this multi-purpose area regularly hosts concerts and events that cater to a wide range of tastes and interests.
As previously mentioned the community center’s aquatic center offers a family-friendly indoor thing to do in Lake Havasu.
With a lap pool for the fitness freaks and a wave pool for those looking to ride the tide, there’s no shortage of watery fun. The kids’ pool is equipped with exciting waterpark features that are bound to make a splash!
16. Lake Havasu Museum of History
For those on the quest for indoor attractions in Lake Havasu, consider adding the Lake Havasu Museum of History to your list.
Walking through the small museum is a journey through time, as you unravel stories of steamboats, mining, wildlife, and local history through its well-curated exhibits.
The museum takes pride in preserving and presenting the rich history of the city, encouraging visitors to explore and appreciate the roots of this remarkable place.
Operating hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Your admission is donation-based, making it an affordable attraction in Lake Havasu.
So next time you’re in town and looking for indoor things to do in Lake Havasu, remember the Lake Havasu Museum of History awaits! It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon, absorbing the history of this vibrant city.
17. Grace Arts Live Theater
If your idea of a perfect evening in Lake Havasu involves immersing yourself in the mesmerizing world of performing arts, then Grace Art Live Theater is your go-to destination. Nestled within the heart of Lake Havasu City on McCulloch Boulevard, the theater stages a diverse array of productions that are sure to captivate and entertain.
Grace Art Live Theater combines grandeur and intimacy, setting the stage for unforgettable nights of theatre, concerts, youth productions, educational workshops, and special events.
Whether it’s the poignant narrative of a drama or the high-energy choreography of a musical, this theater has something for everyone.
From September to December 2023, productions include Frozen Jr, In the Heights, Elf, and The Fourmers.
So, if you’re wondering what to do at night in Lake Havasu, look no further. Plan a visit to Grace Art Live Theater, and spend an evening wrapped in the magic of live performance.
18. Dance Lessons at Arizona Coast Performing Arts
Continuing on the exciting journey of unique things to do in Lake Havasu, we have another gem for you.
If you’re someone who loves the rhythm of music and the grace of dance, then the Arizona Coast Performing Arts dance studio is the perfect destination.
Located in the enchanting Grace Art Live Theater, this dance studio is more than just a place to learn dances; it’s a space where passion meets art.
Offering dance classes Monday through Thursday, the studio provides an opportunity to dive into the realms of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Pointe, and even Musical Theatre, all under the guidance of experienced, passionate teachers.
What’s more, these classes are not just for kids or teens. The studio embraces dancers of all ages, from 3 years old to adults, making it a unique and fun indoor activity for families visiting Lake Havasu.
Admission is priced reasonably at $50 per month, ensuring that this vibrant experience doesn’t put too much strain on your vacation budget. However, classes are limited to 15 students, which reinforces the studio’s commitment to personal attention and quality instruction.
Remember, when looking for unique things to do in Lake Havasu, let your heart dance to the rhythm at the Arizona Coast Performing Arts studio within the Grace Art Live Theater.
The fun, friendly atmosphere, coupled with the enriching learning experience, makes it a must on your Lake Havasu itinerary.
19. Lake Havasu City Library
The Lake Havasu City Public Library is not just a hub for book lovers, but a community center offering a plethora of services that make it one of the unique things to do in Lake Havasu.
With free Wi-Fi and access to computers, the library ensures you’re always connected. Whether you need to catch up on emails, research local attractions, or just surf the web, the library’s digital services are at your disposal.
In the spirit of community and collaboration, the library also offers meeting rooms, making it a perfect spot for impromptu brainstorming sessions or quiet discussions.
For those who love giving back to the community, there are volunteer opportunities with the Friends of the Library group.
Lend a hand in organizing events or contribute to the library’s growth and maintenance – it’s a fulfilling experience and a fantastic way to meet locals and fellow travelers.
But the services don’t stop there! The Lake Havasu City Public Library offers engaging storytimes and sing-alongs for kids, ensuring your little ones are entertained.
Meanwhile, adults can take advantage of educational classes for all ages, from language lessons to legal and medical assistance.
Art and craft lessons and wellness classes further add to the library’s appeal, making it a center for learning and well-being.
So, while looking for what to do in Lake Havasu, don’t forget to visit the Lake Havasu City Public Library.
It’s more than a library; it’s a community haven that promises enriching experiences for everyone. Now, isn’t that a unique thing to do in Lake Havasu?
20. Find a Treasure at Paula’s Antique & Collectibles
As you continue your journey of discovery in Lake Havasu, make sure to visit Paula’s Antique & Collectibles. Located at 2036 McCulloch Blvd N, this unique antique mall is an absolute must-visit and is a delightful deviation from the usual tourist stops.
Formerly known as Bucky’s Antiques and Stella’s Antiques, the two shops have joined forces, relocated to a larger venue, and rebranded as Paula’s.
Closed only on Mondays, Paula’s opens its doors to a world of treasures from different eras.
At Paula’s, they buy, sell, and trade, offering a large collection of collectibles, with many rare and unique items that might just be the treasure you’ve been searching for.
What sets Paula’s apart is its reasonable prices, making it an accessible adventure for all who venture within.
Its charm lies in its little nooks packed with great items you never knew you needed.
Each vendor displays their own merchandise like in a consignment shop, and every booth offers something completely unique. You never know what you’ll stumble upon – it could be a vintage mirror, an old-world clock, or a piece of retro furniture that adds an eclectic touch to your home decor.
So, if you’re wondering about unique things to do in Lake Havasu, consider adding Paula’s Antique & Collectibles to your itinerary.
You’ll enjoy the thrill of the find and take home a piece of history. It truly is part of the Lake Havasu experience you don’t want to miss.
Check out the Lake Havasu Brewery Scene
Lake Havasu City lights up at night with a vibrant array of local breweries, making it one of the top things to do on Lake Havasu at night.
Winter, with its ideal weather, offers the perfect opportunity for both residents and tourists alike to unwind and savor an array of chilled brews outdoors.
And don’t worry – we’ve done all the research for you!
No need to guess where to go next, just read on and let us guide you through the best beer experiences Lake Havasu has to offer during the winter season.
21. Mudshark Brewery
Mudshark is the largest brewery in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, boasting multiple locations throughout town.
With a wide variety of beers to cater to all tastes, they have something for everyone. If you find yourself in need of a bite, Mudshark also offers delectable pizzas.
Our repeated visits to their taproom location speak volumes about its appeal. Or our love of beer, I’m not sure which.
The breathtaking view of the lake from their deck is nothing short of spectacular. Lake Havasu’s amphitheater-style design makes it a prime attraction, with the town’s gentle slopes providing picturesque lake views from various vantage points.
I really enjoy their Peaceful Pumpkin Ale and Hot for Teacher Apple Ale. Both are brewed with cinnamon and served with a cinnamon sugar rim on the glass. They are deliciously sweet and lovely.
Kevin enjoys several of the Mudshark brews. He buys the Scorpion Amber whenever we can find it in Arizona.
22. College Street Brewery
We made a quick pit stop at College Street Brewery to enjoy a delightful pint during their happy hour.
Happy Hour runs from 3p-6p on most days and lasts all day on Sundays. During this time, you can grab a refreshing pint for $6, and they offer a tempting selection of appetizers starting at $4 each.
One beer that College Street is renowned for is their Big Blue Van, an American-style wheat beer infused with a tantalizing blend of vanilla and blueberries.
While I typically have a soft spot for fruit wheat beers and fresh blueberries, blueberry-infused brews are not my top preference. The Big Blue Van was decent, but I didn’t feel the need for a second pint.
Interestingly, we discovered that other Lake Havasu breweries also feature blueberry-infused wheats, but unfortunately, we didn’t have an opportunity to try them out.
23. Hanger 24 Brewery
Our adventure led us to Hanger 24 Brewing, the single Arizona location of the California brewery. We were originally lured by the promise of their Taco Tuesday specials.
The live music was a delight, creating an energetic ambiance. Yet, the popularity of the venue resulted in lengthy bar queues. The tacos, while decent, weren’t particularly memorable.
Kevin decided on the Alt Bier Amber Ale and the Pacific Coast Hazy IPA. Unfortunately, neither managed to impress him enough to warrant a take-home purchase.
The beer selection left a bit to be desired for non-IPA enthusiasts, with an overwhelming focus on hop-heavy brews.
The sight of airplanes majestically landing at the adjacent airport was so captivating that we found ourselves drawn back to Hanger 24, not for the beer or tacos, but for the sheer pleasure of plane-watching.
Despite being initially disappointed in the Taco Tuesday experience, Hanger 24 had its shining moments.
Observing the planes taking off and landing at the adjacent airport was quite a spectacle. Furthermore, the local musicians adding their rhythm to the Taco ‘n Tunes Tuesday truly enriched the experience.
24. Barley Brothers
We haven’t had the chance to visit Barley Brothers yet, but it’s the only Lake Hav unchecked on our list.
Their diverse beer lineup boasts a selection of brews including a blonde, amber, oatmeal stout, IPA, hefeweizen, and a delightful fruit wheat beer.
Just like other establishments in Havasu, Barley Brothers offers fantastic happy hour deals on both food and drinks. From 3pm until 6pm daily, you can enjoy special discounts in their bar area. During this happy hour, select appetizers are generously discounted by 50% at Barley Brothers.
Lake Havasu City is home to several breweries that offer a variety of craft beers and ales for visitors to enjoy. Be sure to visit at least one on your next visit.
Best Day Trips from Lake Havasu
Exploring the surrounding area of Lake Havasu is a great way to spend a day, with many excellent day trips available to enjoy.
25. Mystic Maze in Topock
Take a day trip and immerse yourself in the mystery and magnificence of the Topock Maze, also known as the Mystic Maze.
Situated within a comfortable walking distance from Interstate 40 near Needles, California, this remarkable destination promises an enlightening day trip.
The Mystic Maze is not your ordinary attraction; it’s a spiritual portal for the modern Mohave people.
Dating back more than 600 years, this astounding geoglyph comprises intricate patterns and paths etched into the desert floor, epitomizing the craftsmanship of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe.
Each twist and turn in its design seems to whisper stories of the past, making it a living testament to the rich culture and history of its creators.
Respect is key when visiting this sacred site.
It’s fenced off to preserve its integrity, so while you’re there, remember to observe the boundaries and refrain from walking on the geoglyphs. Your understanding and observance help to protect this irreplaceable historic resource, allowing future generations to experience its wonder.
This remarkable site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, acknowledging its significance in our shared heritage.
So, for a day trip that takes you back in time, adds a dash of mysticism, and offers a unique experience, the Mystic Maze in Topock awaits your discovery.
26. Feed Wild Donkeys in Oatman
Just a short drive through the beautiful Black Mountains of Mohave County, you’ll find Oatman, Arizona.
With a fascinating history and plenty of modern-day excitement, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip from Lake Havasu.
Oatman began as a modest mining camp but exploded into a bustling town when gold was discovered in the area.
Believe it or not, over $10 million worth of gold was excavated here!
The town was named in honor of Olive Oatman, an indomitable young girl who was captured by indigenous tribes during her family’s westward journey.
This historic town is situated along the legendary Route 66, inviting guests to travel back in time with its preserved rustic charm.
After mining operations ceased, the burros used in the mines were released and now roam freely around the town. These friendly donkeys have become a beloved part of the Oatman experience, often spotted ambling down the main street seeking treats from visitors. Most shops sell donkey food — perfect for those keen to make some four-legged friends!
Pro Tip: Leave all snacks and food in your car. The donkeys in Oatman can smell food in your purse or children’s hands and aren’t shy about helping themselves.
Apart from the burros, Oatman boasts of endearing shops filled with unique finds.
The town also stages Wild West style gunfights daily at 1:30 and 3:30, which is a sight sure to delight both the young and young-at-heart.
So if you’re looking for a day trip from Lake Havasu that combines history, natural beauty, and a dash of Wild West adventure, Oatman, Arizona is a destination that simply can’t be missed!
Guided Tour of Oatman AZ and Route 66
Don’t want to drive or deal with planning the best stops? Why not let the locals lead the way on a guided tour of Route 66 and Oatman?
This half day tour starts in Las Vegas and is great to combine with a day trip from Lake Havasu.
You’ll travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, stocked with cold water, and journey along iconic Route 66.
The local guides, on this small group tour, are true storytellers.
You will be immersed in history at the Route 66 Museum and Cool Springs camp. Experience a high noon gun fight in Oatman Ghost Town, explore antique stores, and grab a bite at leisure. The tour concludes with a visit to the Route 66 Rock Shop.
With this guided tour of Oatman, you’re promised a complete, memorable experience of Oatman’s true essence. Let locals guide you through this historical gem.
27. Las Vegas
Las Vegas is the closest international airport to Lake Havasu. It is a 2.5 hour drive from Lake Havasu City AZ to Las Vegas.
Its close proximity makes Las Vegas a great day trip from Lake Havasu. If you’ve never been, Vegas isn’t just about gambling. It has something for everyone.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss the Bellagio fountain at night, it’s my favorite free Vegas attraction. Plus your first hour of parking is free at the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops across the street.
Big Bus Hop On Hop Off Tour
If you are limited on time and/or patience for Vegas traffic, consider booking a Big Bus hop on hop off tour in Las Vegas.
Big Bus Tour, an open-top bus ride that’s more than just transport – it’s your golden ticket to the city’s most popular attractions!
With 9 conveniently located stops around the city, you have the freedom to hop on and off all day from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Whether you’re a seasoned Vegas veteran or a first-time visitor, our buses arrive every hour, making it a breeze to plan your itinerary or go wherever Vegas takes you.
A full loop without hopping off lasts a manageable 2.5 hours, giving you a chance to soak in the sights and sounds of the city in one go. But the real beauty of the Big Bus Tour is its flexibility. Opt for a 1 or 2-day ticket and explore Sin City at your own pace.
Each bus is equipped with live guides and pre-recorded commentary, ensuring that you won’t miss a thing.
Experiences Around Las Vegas
If you’ve only got one day to experience the magic of Las Vegas, there’s no better way than with a curated tour or experience like this Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam Day Trip.
With so much to see and do, the city can feel overwhelming, but tours and experiences take the guesswork out of your visit.
Two of the top three things to see while in Vegas are the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon so why not see them both on one trip.
So don’t waste your precious time on planning and logistics make the most of your Vegas adventure with this day trip from Vegas.
Experience a thrilling day trip from Las Vegas, filled with natural beauty and man-made wonders. Tour stops include the Grand Canyon West, Eagle Point, and a photo stop at the Hoover Dam.
Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, savor a delightful lunch, and choose optional add-ons such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a helicopter ride, or even a pontoon trip on the Colorado River for an unforgettable adventure
Although, it’s not quite Vegas, Quartzsite Arizona is a great day trip from Lake Havasu. Quartzsite is located 1 hour and 15 minutes south of Lake Havasu City.
If you’ve never been to Quartzsite, it is unlike any other place I have visited. In winter, the sleepy little town converts to an RV mecca.
There is abundant cheap or free camping in the area which attracts close to a million RVs each winter. In late January, Quartzsite hosts a free RV show which is a fun way to spend a day.
For a day trip, though you’ll want to check out the swap meets aka flea markets that pop up in temporary structures each winter. I’ve found some great deals on new products but it’s all about the thrill of the hunt.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Quartzsite, Arizona, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities and attractions to explore.
From hiking and bird-watching to camping and stargazing, the possibilities are endless.
Whether it’s a day trip or an extended stay, there is something in Quartzsite for everyone!
Weather in Lake Havasu Arizona
The weather in Lake Havasu is great in winter and you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of outdoor things to do.
Where to Stay in Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu is a popular destination in Arizona year round. Therefore, an abundance of options are available but you’re probably still wondering where to stay in Lake Havasu.
Don’t worry, we’ve combed through all the reviews and combined it with our experience of Lake Havasu to provide the best places to stay.
🔹Budget Friendly Suggestion in Lake Havasu City
The best and most highly rated option for budget-friendly accommodations in Lake Havasu City is the Holiday Inn Express at London Bridge. It is rated 9.0 out of 10 stars with over 650 booking.com reviews.
Amenities include a prime location beside the London Bridge, free breakfast, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a business center, and a shared lounge. Family suites are available.
Recommended Places to Stay in Lake Havasu
We’ve narrowed down hundreds of places to stay in Lake Havasu to a few top picks based on budget.
- Luxury Recommendation
- Mid-Range Recommendation
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lake Havasu
- Located near London Bridge with outdoor pool and free breakfast
- Located near London Bridge with outdoor pool and free breakfast
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lake Havasu
- Budget Recommendation
- Island Suites
- Suites with free breakfast and outdoor pool
- Suites with free breakfast and outdoor pool
- Island Suites
- Free Recommendation
- Camping for Free on Public Land in an RV or rented campervan
Lake Havasu State Park is a popular campground in town but there are also several private campgrounds in town that cater to the winter RVers.
The top rated private campgrounds in Lake Havasu are:
If you don’t own an RV but want to camp, don’t worry you can rent a basic campervan from EscapeCampervan in nearby Las Vegas or Phoenix.
A weekend rental can usually be made for less than one night in a hotel.
How to Find Free Campsites
We usually prefer to camp for free without amenities, or boondock, on public land. With solar and large storage tanks for fresh and waste water, we can boondock for over 2 weeks without any connections.
Curious how we manage to stay in beautiful places for free without water or sewer connections? Check out our guide to saving water while boondocking.
Free campsites in Lake Havasu
A few of the most popular free campsite in Lake Havasu are:
Location of Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu City is located in west Arizona along the California border.
The Colorado River and Lake Havasu lie between Mohave County in Arizona and San Bernardino County in California.
Lake Havasu is easily accessible from Arizona, Nevada, and California making it a popular vacation area.
What is the closest airport to Lake Havasu City Arizona?
The closest airports to Lake Havasu are Las Vegas 2.5 hours north, followed by Phoenix 3 hours east and Los Angeles 4.5 hours west.
Summary Lake Havasu
We are always happy to detour through Lake Havasu Arizona. It’s become such a favorite that we’ve even taken family along for a visit.
The winter season in Lake Havasu can be a wonderful time of year with the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. From outdoor activities such as exploring the lake on a boat or jetski, to more leisurely pursuits like fishing or stargazing, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
With plenty of indoor activities too, such as shopping, dining, and day trips to nearby attractions, this area has the perfect mix of fun and relaxation during winter.
Whether you’re looking for exciting outdoor thrills or a calming getaway from the everyday grind, Lake Havasu is an ideal place to visit for your winter vacation!