Lake Havasu City is the first place I’ve ever visited with Wynston where I was overwhelmed by the possibilities. I knew the city was a popular destination for water sports and vacation, but it’s really so much more. Lake Havasu City is a fun place for people of all ages and interests. Whether you want to visit a dog-friendly bar, take a boat excursion or do some seaside shopping, the area has something for you. Our trip to Lake Havasu did not disappoint, and we ended up doing much more than anticipated. In this post not only do I share our experiences, but I also share reviews from all the places we visited. I also have a couple of fun side stories to share. I hope you enjoy our recap!
Lake Havasu City, AZ
Lake Havasu City, AZ has been a popular tourist destination since the inclusion of the London Bridge back in the early 1970s. A community built around innovation and possibility, Lake Havasu City is home to over 60 miles of navigable waterways. The city is host to over 300 events annually, and there’s always a trail, beach or hidden cove that you can discover. Whether you prefer a luxury yacht, kayak or fishing boat, Lake Havasu is an incredible place for you to be.
My stepdad visited Lake Havasu in late January, and that inspired my visit. In the 20 years I’ve lived in AZ, I had never been to the area, despite hearing amazing things about the lake and city. So, me being me, I booked Wynston and I a trip! A HUGE thanks to 4Knines for being our travel sponsor!
Unknowingly, I booked our trip during Arizona’s Spring Break. Luckily the area didn’t seem to be overpopulated or swamped with drunk college students. It was a lot less crazy than I expected it to be, quite honestly. The only time I got that “Oh yeah, it’s Spring break” feeling was during the drive to Lake Havasu. The traffic was frustrating and it slowed us down.
On that note, a funny side story:
I was taking some photos of Wynston next to the London Bridge when an older couple walked up to me. The lady asked, “Would you like me to take a picture of you and your dog?” “Yes, please! That would be very kind of you,” I replied. I picked up Wynston and we posed for the photo below:
Then, the husband asked, “Where do you go to school?”
Confused, I replied with, “I’m sorry?”
“Aren’t you here on Spring break?” he asked. I chuckled. My young looks got me again.
“Oh my goodness, no. I graduated college 8 years ago! I’m almost 31.”
“Oh wow, good for you! You look so young! I’m sorry!”
“I take it as a compliment. Thank you for taking our photo!” We exchanged goodbyes and we were on our way.
Now, let me back track a bit, and start with the night we arrived.
Our Arrival in Lake Havasu City
We arrived in Lake Havasu City around 3:30pm. We had no trouble finding our hotel, which was a Travelodge by Wyndham. I booked the Travelodge because it was close to the London Bridge Visitor’s Center, and that’s what I paid for. Prices were higher than usual because it was Spring Break. I spent $100/night, and let me tell you – it wasn’t worth it. Here’s my overall score out of 5 paws for this hotel:
That’s right – 2/5 paws. Everything about the hotel was mediocre at best. Maybe it’s because we’re used to staying in nice IHG hotels, like Staybridge Suites and Kimpton Resorts. But this stay was absolutely not worth $100 a night.
The employees were mostly friendly, but it wasn’t extraordinary service like we normally receive at other places. (Perhaps my expectations are too high?) Here’s why I gave the Lake Havasu City Travelodge 2 paws:
Breakfast: They say breakfast is included, but it’s not a real breakfast. If you’re lucky you may get a bagel and some cereal. Wynston and I were kicked out of the breakfast area because he’s not a service dog. It was ridiculous because it’s not a restaurant. It’s barely an alcove off the lobby of the hotel. You’ll need to get a hearty breakfast somewhere else.
Internet: Internet was fast enough, but every single time I opened my laptop or got back to my room, I’d have to reconnect to the internet.
Rooms: The beds were cozy but the blankets were super thin. I had to ask for an extra blanket. Two lamps in my room were broken, and the beds were too high for Wynston to jump on.
Outside area: If your dog likes to potty in grass, don’t stay here. The only place for your dog to do their business is in the rocks. There is no designated pet area.
If you just need a place to sleep (which we did) this hotel is fine, but I would not spend $100/night again. It’s maybe worth $75/night, and that’s being generous. If you’re visiting the area, I’d recommend the Holiday Inn Express, which literally sits on the London Bridge at the Visitor’s Center.
That Dane Bar
The highlight of our Wednesday was visiting That Dane Bar. We met Jackie from Go Lake Havasu there to enjoy a beer and talk about the wonderful city and everything it has to offer. That Dane Bar is an indoor dog-friendly bar in Lake Havasu. How cool is that?! Whether you have a dog or not, you can enjoy beer and wine while socializing with doggy locals. Your dogs can hang out with their pals, while you drink with yours! And if you don’t have a dog but need your furry friend fix, you can head to That Dane Bar to get it.
That Dane Bar receives 5/5 paws from us! It’s a super fun atmosphere, the owner is kind and welcoming, and Barktender, Rogue, is very handsome. At the bar you can play billiards and corn hole, watch the big game or just chat with your buddies. I think the concept of an indoor dog park and bar is brilliant, especially for hot summer months. That Dane Bar is a must-visit if you’re in Lake Havasu.
Angelina’s Italian Restaurant
After we left That Dane Bar, I was super hungry. Luckily there was an award-winning Italian restaurant literally 100ft away from our hotel. I walked over there with Wynston to order take out. The restaurant atmosphere looks like a lot of fun, and I’d love to eat there. Since I had Wynston, we had to take our food back to the room. I ordered cheese ravioli and a salad. We also got a side of rosemary bread, which was absolutely delicious. The service was great and the food was better. I would highly recommend this restaurant! They do have a dog-friendly patio, but it was closed because of the wind. 5/5 paws from us!
The next morning, Wynston and I drove to the London Bridge so we could seek out Makai Cafe. We were told that this great breakfast spot had amazing views and delicious food. Although it was windy, we sat outside and were not disappointed by the views.
The menu at Makai Cafe has plenty of options. I ordered coffee with a basic breakfast; Makai’s specialty potatoes with eggs over hard, toast and bacon for my boy. Everything was delightful except my eggs. They were definitely not cooked over hard. I let the waitress know, and she offered to switch them out, but I didn’t want to waste anymore food. Unfortunately I was charged for the full meal, even though my eggs weren’t thoroughly cooked. That’s why I gave Makai Cafe 4/5 paws.
The views and patio atmosphere make Makai Cafe worth visiting. It’s so peaceful and relaxing, and you have an incredible view of the London Bridge, which is literally right next to the restaurant. I would visit again to give them another chance.
The London Bridge & Visitor’s Center
After breakfast, Wynston and I took some more photos by the London Bridge on the Makai Cafe side. We headed to the Visitor’s Center area after we scouted out the shore below Makai Cafe.
Although we could have walked over the bridge to the Visitor’s Center, we drove. There seemed to be plenty of parking – and there was! The bridge is only about 1/4 mile long, so it is an easy walk if that’s what you prefer.
I absolutely LOVED the London Bridge Visitor’s Center area. It’s like a boardwalk of shopping, local eats and boat rentals. I’m not one for shopping but I went in all the stores because it’s all local merchandise, brands or water related items. I bought some beachy flip flops, which I’m pretty stoked about. It was a blast to go in the small shops. I felt like I was at a beach side village…because I kinda was!
After we did our shopping, we took some more photos by the London Bridge. One of my bucket list items was to take a photo of Wynston in one of the red phone booths, and we did! Wynston is super tiny but I like how the photo turned out!
I really took my time taking photos of Wynston and enjoying the shopping area. There was music playing, happy people and plenty of dogs. I just felt so happy. The weather was nice and Wynston seemed to be having a good time.
Another item on our to-do list was to go kayaking in Lake Havasu. Unfortunately this couldn’t happen because it was WAY too windy. To give you an idea of how windy it truly was, there were high wind advisories the entire time we were in town. There’s no way we could have had a relaxing time kayaking under those conditions. And it wouldn’t have been safe.
Instead, I went up to one of the boat rental and tour areas, and asked if they had any tours that allowed dogs. They didn’t, but the lady recommended taking a ferry ride. The ferry takes you to the California side of Lake Havasu, and it’s only $2 to ride round trip! The ferry was about to leave at the top of the hour, so we purchased our ticket and were on board within 5 minutes.
We sat on the top of the ferry so we could enjoy the breeze and the sun. There were only a few other people up there with us, as most people sat inside downstairs. We enjoyed spectacular views on the ride, and it was really cool to be in California after a 20 minute ride across the lake! You can choose to get off the ferry, where you can eat at a restaurant or go to the casino, or you can just stay aboard for a round trip. We chose to relax for a round trip ride.
When Wynston and I arrived back at the London Bridge after the ferry ride, we did a little bit more shopping. We also checked out the entrance of the Visitor’s Center, which is very grand and unique. You will definitely want to see it for some good photo opportunities.
Wynston and I spent several hours down by the London Bridge. I knew Wynston was tired, so we went back to the hotel for a few hours so he could take his afternoon nap. I took a shower and did some social media posting while Wynston slept. It was a great time to regain our strength.
It was suggested that Wynston and I visit The Nautical Resort for dinner to eat at The Turtle Grille. Little did I know, we’d have an amazing experience there.
The Nautical Resort & Turtle Grille
Most restaurants in Lake Havasu City have a dog-friendly patio, and The Turtle Grille at The Nautical Resort was no exception. The Nautical is out of the way of the main London Bridge area, so there’s a sense of seclusion. It creates a feeling of peacefulness because from the restaurant all you can see is mountains and lake.
Wynston and I walked in the restaurant and I asked if there was patio seating available for us. The hostesses looked at each other and told me the patio was closed because of the wind. I was extremely disappointed. I stood there for a second, looking down at Wynston.
“Okay, yeah, I understand,” I said.
The hostess looked at me. “You know what?” she asked. “Let’s get you a table for two inside.”
I was shocked. “You can do that?” I asked, with a hint of hope.
She winked at Wynston. “Yes, we can do that.”
The kind woman brought us to a table by a window overlooking the patio. The views were exquisite and I was feeling so grateful. I almost wanted to cry because I was so appreciative of the hostess being accommodating. Needless to say, our dinner was fantastic.
I got Wynston comfortable on his blanket, and he just sat next to me, quiet as can be like a real gentleman. I ordered a margarita and steak dinner for Wynston and I to share. I figured I could spend a little extra money on a fancy meal since Wynston and I were lucky enough to get a table inside.
Wynston received nothing but praise and smiles during our dinner at The Turtle Grille. I kept being told how good of a boy he was. He was very much welcomed. Wyn and I devoured our delicious steak dinner and I left a nice tip for the waiter. I also spoke to the hostess after dinner to thank her again for being so kind. We also had a couple of waiters thank Wynston for being on his best behavior. I’m such a proud mom.
The Turtle Grille gets 5/5 paws from us. Not only because we were accommodated, but also because the service was top notch and so was the food. We will be back!
After dinner, we headed back to our hotel for an early evening. Wynston was still tired, and we had to leave the next day. So we relaxed and I worked a bit.
The next morning we had some interesting encounters. You can hear about them on this Facebook live video that I made.
Wynston and I hit up a secluded beach area to take some photos and enjoy the water one last time. It was serene and beautiful. What’s nice about Lake Havasu is there are a ton of beaches to take advantage of. Most of them are dog-friendly, but be sure to double check before you choose a spot.
Our trip to Lake Havasu City, AZ was an unforgettable one. I already can’t wait to go back and check out more local cuisine and hopefully go kayaking! I feel like so much happened on the trip, and I hope I remembered to include everything in this post. I’ll be back to update it if I remember other noteworthy stories to include.
Phew. I think that’s all, folks.
Do you think your and your pup would enjoy Lake Havasu?