Lake Havasu City, home of the historic London Bridge, is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Havasu on the Colorado River border of California and Arizona. The City was established in 1963 by Robert P. McCulloch, Sr., as a self-sufficient, planned community. Lake Havasu City is located in Mohave County, Ariz., and encompasses 42 square miles with 428 miles of streets. Situated off Arizona Highway 95, an 18-mile drive north leads to Interstate 40, and a 65-mile drive south leads to Interstate 10.
Pop. 53,103 (2014) – Lake Havasu City is the major population center of southern Mohave County, one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. Thanks to affordable housing, many winter and summer visitors own second homes in the area.
The London Bridge was purchased in 1964 by Robert P. McCulloch, Sr. for $2.46 million, then dismantled and shipped by boat from England to the U.S. It was rebuilt on a peninsula on Lake Havasu in 1971 for an additional $5.1 million. A channel was excavated under the bridge and a replica English Village was built next to it. The opening of the London Bridge in October 1971 brought the world’s largest antique to the area, a world famous attraction that continues to draw tens of thousands of sightseers to Lake Havasu City.
Lake Havasu offers some of the best cruising in the southwestern U.S., centrally located along 60 continuous miles of lake and river waterways that start from where the Colorado River meets Parker Dam all the way through Needles, Calif. to Laughlin, Nev. More than 400 miles of stunning coastline offer exceptional watersports, including fishing, skiing, kayaking and house boating, or you can explore the lake from the beautiful beaches, campsites and hiking trails. The lake is ideal for large and small-mouth bass and striper fishing as Lake Havasu is rated one of the top 100 best bass fishing lakes in America.
Lake Havasu City and the surrounding area are part of the northern and western limits of the Sonoran Desert, and feature outstanding biodiversity. For those interested in geological phenomena, within a ten-mile radius of Lake Havasu City, specimens such as volcanic rock, geodes, jasper, obsidian, turquoise, and agate can be uncovered.
The Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is a 6150-acre habitat south of Lake Havasu. The refuge is on the Bill Williams River, a tributary of the Colorado River. Native fish and migrating birds can be found here in abundance. To the north, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 37,515 acres along the lower Colorado river in Arizona and California. The refuge protects 30 river miles and encompasses 300 miles of shoreline from Needles, Calif., to Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Top Annual Events
Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair (January)
Buses by the Bridge (January)
Winterfest Festival (February)
Lake Havasu Rockabilly Reunion (February)
Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show (February)
Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) Race (February)
Bluegrass on the Beach Music Festival (March)
World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) (March)
Lake Havasu Marine Association Boat Show (April)
Desert Storm Poker Run & Shootout (April)
Fireworks Over the Lake July 4th Celebration (July)
IJSBA World Finals (October)
Relics & Rods Run to the Sun Car Show (October)
Monster Storm Poker Run (October)
Sand, Water & RV Expo (November)
Gem & Mineral Show (November)
Boat Parade of Lights (December)
Desert Bash Off-Road Poker Run (December)
Bass and striper fishing tournaments (throughout the winter)
Boat regattas (throughout the summer)
Movies & Television
- Day of the Wolves (movie) – 1971
- Prozzie (aka “Olivia,” movie) – 1983
- Bridge Across Time (aka “Terror at London Bridge,” movie) – 1985
- MTV Spring Break: Lake Havasu (TV movie ft. Notorious B.I.G.) – 1995
- View from the Top (movie) – 2003
- The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay (movie) – 2003
- HGTV (reality TV series, “Ultimate Beachfront Bungalow and More,” season 3, episode 9) – 2006
- Arizona Sky (movie) – 2008
- Party Heat (reality TV series, season 2 and 3, various episodes) – 2008-2009
- Nitro Circus (reality TV series, “Hydro Circus,” season 2, episode 2) – 2009
- Piranha 3D (movie) – 2010
- Criss Angel Mindfreak (reality TV series) – 2010
- The Food Channel’s Food Truck Wars (reality TV series, “Route 66: All-American Road Trip,” season 6, episode 1) – 2015
- Waterfront House Hunting (reality TV series, “Lake Havasu Haven,” season 1, episode 4) – 2015
- The Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites with Katie Lee (reality TV series, season 2, “Grilled and Que’d,” episode 4 and “Gettin’ Spicy,” episode 5) – 2017
- Highway to Havasu (movie) – 2017
- Viceland’s King of the Road (reality TV series, “Why’s America so Big?” season 2, episode 6) – 2017
Lake Havasu City offers a wide range of accommodations, including 17 condominium and vacation home rental companies; nine resorts and 15 hotels/motels totaling 427 suites and 995 rooms; and seven RV parks and campgrounds with 1,576 sites and 261 tent sites.
Lake Havasu City offers a host of dining options, 130+ locations at last count, with restaurant categories including American, Asian, bakeries, bars/lounges, coffee/juice bars, fast food/sandwiches, ice cream/yogurt, International/Specialty, Italian/pizza, and Mexican. For travelers looking for the social atmosphere of a restaurant, lounge or bar, Lake Havasu City has it all – family dining, lakeside scenic dining, cafés, brewpubs, steakhouses, sports bars, Greek food, and more. For visitors in a rush to get it all in, Lake Havasu City offers a wide variety of fast-food franchises, sandwich shops, pizzerias, delis, drive-through, and carry-out.
America’s Best Communities Competition
Launched in September 2014 to inspire revitalization and growth in small towns and rural communities across the country, America’s Best Communities challenged local leaders to bring their neighbors together to envision a stronger future and build a strategy to improve lives and livelihoods. It has served as a catalyst for positive change by awarding seed funding to help communities turn their exceptional ideas from vision to reality.
The competition began with 138 cities nationwide competing. After three years of competiton, grand prizes for the top three cities were awarded in April, 2017, with Lake Havasu City coming in second as one of America’s Best Communities.