Water meets desert in Arizona’s backyard playground—Lake Havasu. Known for its mix of active outdoor adventures and “let the good times roll” mentality, this desert oasis has no lack of things to do. While it’s easy to get distracted by all the fun happening on the waterfront, we’re taking a look at some local sites beyond the typical tourist spots.
Solar Powered Bar
Only in Arizona will you find Desert Bar, an eclectic bar that looks like it came out of Mad Max. The bar was built on an old mining camp and has a make-shift feel, with swaying stools made out of steel, a tin roof, and glass refrigerator doors as windows. The owner has crafted different elements of the bar over the years, including a covered bridge and a church with a copper roof. Taking advantage of the desert sun, the bar is powered by solar panels and cooled down by “cooling towers” made from tall structures. These function like evaporated coolers, keeping a brisk airflow throughout the bar. Live music plays on the outside stage next to the horseshoe pit. Each year the owner focuses on constructing something new to add to the bar, and eventually hopes to build a little town. This spot is the perfect opportunity to grab a drink, take photos, and soak in the ingenuity of one man’s desert creation.
Some people collect stamps, others collect baseball cards, and in Lake Havasu, they collect lighthouses. So many in fact, it’s the city with the most lighthouses in North America and has a club dedicated to their maintenance. You might be wondering how they get 20 lighthouses in one spot. Well, these lighthouses are all replicas of famous lighthouses around the world and come in at ⅓ the size of their original counterparts. Scattered around Lake Havasu’s shoreline, people can view these beautiful monuments, pulled from places like Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and New York. Each one has its own style of architecture and rich history behind its construction. One lighthouse towers overhead like a black and white spire, one is made entirely of brick, and another is stumpy with classic red and white stripes. Check out the Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club for a full listing and map of these unique structures.
The Gnarliest Skatepark
If asked where the largest multi-use skatepark in the Southwest is, you might be tempted to say California. However, this honor belongs to Tinnel Skatepark in Arizona’s own Lake Havasu. This 40,000 square foot complex allows skateboarders, BMXers, and scooters to speed across a lakefront concrete course of dips, turns, and ramps. Tinnel Skatepark is also Street League Skateboarding-certified, which means it can be used as a site for pro skateboarder, Rob Dyrdek’s world-renowned skate competition. Even if you don’t skate, you can visit the park and awe in its impressive construction, and watch as future and current pro skateboarders rip it up doing their best tricks.
Stay Lakefront on the Shores of Havasu
Ready to visit some of these unconventional Lake Havasu sights? Set up your basecamp at The Nautical Beachfront Resort and you’ll get to say you stayed at the only beachfront resort in Arizona! Each room has a view of the lake and you’ll have access to courtesy docks, free beach mooring, and onsite watersport rentals. Located on an island, guests at The Nautical Beachfront Resort can kick off their shoes at the Turtle Beach Bar, grab a bucket drink, and feel like they’ve stepped into a tropical paradise.