Unexpected. That’s the first word that popped into my head as I entered Lake Havasu City. The roads were filled with big SUVs and trucks carrying boats, out of the back of these vehicles were blond women in U.S. flag bikini’s and muscular guys with their shirts off whooping and yelling, and in the middle of it all is a gorgeous, gigantic, blue lake spanned by… the London Bridge?!!
This is Arizona’s rendition of Fort Lauderdale or Daytona Beach… except the spring break party seems to never end and on some weekends there are so many boats on the lake that you can’t even move! And, the most annoying thing about the lake: you can’t get to it without spending money. So, no photos, no feet in the water, no lookie unless you cough out $20, some sort of park pass, or buy a condo or golf club membership. There’s a giant wall built around the lake made out of condos and private golf courses.
I came here looking for coffee but instead, I found a town full of squishy white bread, Budweiser beer, Twinkies, and no coffee. NO COFFEE. Because it’s a vacation town, I thought there would be at least one Starbucks. But nothing. Nada. Perhaps it’s out on the lake somewhere so you can grab a latte as you boat by.
I asked one park official where locals get their coffee and she pointed to the gas station and gushed about how great their brew was. For a moment I thought she was joking… and then realized she was completely serious. I did go to check it out… and discovered a wall of Twinkies near the entrance, then promptly walked out because the “brew” smelled like it had been burning into sludge all morning.
Thus, no coffee for me. I passed through town quickly but not before checking out the London Bridge. Seems the city purchased and relocated the 1831 London Bridge that once spanned the River Thames in London (John Rennie’s 1831 London Bridge). It was dismantled in 1967 and moved to Arizona as part of Robert P. McCulloch’s plan to build a vacation community in the middle of Arizona. First came the bridge in the middle of the desert. Then came the waterway and lake. Then came the tourists and vacation properties.
And now, everyone in Arizona seems to come here on the weekends to swim, sail, gamble, drink, and party.