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.
Lake Havasu City is located on what is known as the “West Coast of Arizona,” three hours driving time west of Phoenix, 2½ hours south of Las Vegas and four to five east of the Los Angeles region. The area attracts 775,000 visitors a year thanks to its calm waters, beautiful beaches, and desert weather with more than 300 sunny days a year. There is a range of restaurants and lodging, plus a boatload of annual events.
Pop. 52,527 (2010) – 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 from where the Colorado River meets Parker Dam all the way to Needles, Calif. 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, and hosts many boating events per year, including Desert Storm, POPRA Grand Prix, sailboat racing, cruising events and spring break celebrations.
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.
Top Annual Events
Annual Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair (January)
Buses by the Bridge (January)
Annual Winterfest Festival (February)
Annual Lake Havasu Rockabilly Reunion (February)
Annual Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show (February)
Annual Bluegrass on the Beach Music Festival (March)
Annual World Off-Road Championship Series (March)
Annual Desert Storm Poker Run & Shootout (April)
Annual Lake Havasu Marine Association Boat Show (April)
Annual Fireworks Over the Lake July 4th Celebration (July)
Annual Lucas Oil Drag Boat Races (October)
Annual IJSBA (Jet Ski) World Finals (October)
Annual Relics and Rods Run to the Sun Car Show (October)
Annual HITS Triathlon & Fitness Festival (November)
Annual Gem & Mineral Show (November)
Annual Boat Parade of Lights (December)
Movies and TV episodes filmed in Lake Havasu City include Day of the Wolves, Bridge Across Time (aka Terror at London Bridge), Piranha 3D, Criss Angel, Mindfreak, Nitro Circus Smash Lab, and most recently, The Food Channel’s Food Truck Wars and Waterfront House Hunting.
Lake Havasu City offers a wide range of accommodations, including 12 condominium and vacation home rental companies offering 474 units; 21 hotels/motels with 1,523 rooms and suites; and eight RV Parks and campgrounds with 1,718 sites.
Lake Havasu City offers a host of dining options, 139 locations at last count, with the largest concentrations of restaurants in these categories: American, Asian, Italian, Mexican ,and Ice Cream/Yogurt shops. 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, 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 carryout, too.
City of Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce
Lake Havasu City Downtown District
Lake Havasu Marine Industry Association
Lake Havasu Hospitality Association
Partnership for Economic Development