London Bridge may not be falling down any more, but that was happening before the famous monument was moved from the British capital to Lake Havasu to span the border between California and Arizona. It was then that the legendary bridge was rebuilt to perfection. Today, Angelenos who are curious about how the landmark looks in its second location will also uncover many other aspects of this laid-back retreat that will have Southland travelers repeatedly joining throngs of others who consistently go back for more.
Traveling to Lake Havasu from downtown Los Angeles means putting in about 4.5 hours moseying along in your vehicle. To get to this weekend haven and away from the fray of big city life, simply take the 5 south, slide into the lane for the I-10 east, then drive a few more hours before looking for signs for the Lake Havasu turn-off.
London Bridge Resort
1477 Queens Bay
Lake Havasu, AZ 86403
Click here for prices and availability.
Kick back in luxury during your Lake Havasu rendezvous at this decadent outpost that has just about everything you could want or need on hundreds of acres next door to English Village. You’ll spot this manse from the road because of its distinctive Tudor architecture that’s mixed with contemporary touches. Marvel at the roomy quarters, especially if you book the deluxe two-bedroom suite where six can exist in comfort with your gang’s own private rooftop patio and a spiral staircase for dramatic effect. Some 55 boat slips call the London Bridge Resort home, as does a nine-hole golf course, lots of walking trails and whole lot of indigenous flora and fauna. Also, if you’re looking to make waves at this lakeside resort, consider taking a ride on the Dixie Belle, Havasu’s only paddlewheel boat, and/or hop into the property’s fun and fanciful new wave pool where it’s belly flops for all.
Lake Havasu, AZ
When this legendary overpass was taken down from its original location above the Thames, the process was tedious, with each stone numbered and readied for a very famous move that saw the London Bridge rebuilt in Lake Havasu thanks to the city’s founder, Richard McCulloch, who bid and won the landmark for the paltry price of $2,460,00. On October 10, 1971, the new American acquisition was dedicated, and soon, millions flocked to Arizona to witness such a miracle. Today, London Bridge crosses a narrow channel connecting with Thompson Bay and can be seen from a number of angles. The best is just a quick turn onto McCulloch Boulevard North and across Arizona Highway 95. Turn left into a small parking lot near the London Bridge Resort and walk along the lower edge of the bridge to the promenade for a sight to behold.
Barley Brothers Restaurant and Brewery
1420 McCullough Blvd. North
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Lake Havasu, AZ
If you’re looking for a great place to kick back during your Lake Havasu getaway in the town that’s known as the host city for the International Jet Ski Boat Association World Finals, don’t pass up Barley Brothers for a refreshing draft beer, from classic lagers to hard-to-find stouts and ales. Enjoy delicious, fresh brews made in house on tap as well as an extensive menu that will have you munching away your hunger in no time.
Havasu Bait & Tackle Co.
3032 London Bridge Road
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86404
Fishing in Lake Havasu is a must-do event for the person who wants to breathe in a bit of fresh air while sitting and waiting for the right bite on these calm waters. Boat ramps are plentiful for those who are ready and willing to go searching for bass, the fishy treasure that’s the main catch, from big-mouthed bass to striped bass to white bass. Also snag catfish, walleye and the occasional sturgeon.
Related: Best Boating Trips Near Los Angeles
Havasu Landing Resort & Casino
One Main St.
Havasu, CA 92363
Lake Havasu isn’t Las Vegas by any stretch of the imagination. Still, gambling on the California side includes an awesome Native American casino at Havasu Landing. Right on the lake on the same premises as the area’s premier campground and full-service RV park this casino also offers a delightful place to stay. Enjoy everything from 243 high-performance slot machines to blackjack and poker tables. Beware, though: This is not an all-night affair. The colorful casino closes well before midnight on weekdays and at 1:30 AM on the weekends.
Related: Weekend Road Trip to Death Valley
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.