Introducing Lake Havasu City
This manufactured city on the banks of Lake Havasu lacks a soul, not to mention charm. But hey, it does have London Bridge. Yes, that would be the original gracefully arched bridge that spanned the Thames from 1831 until 1967, when it was quite literally falling down (as predicted in the old nursery rhyme) and put up for sale. Robert McCulloch was busy developing a master-planned community on Lake Havasu and badly in need of some gimmick to drum up attention for his project. Bingo! McCulloch snapped up London Bridge for a cool $2.46 million, dismantled it into 10,276 slabs and reassembled it in the Arizona desert. The first car rolled across in 1971.
Listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's largest antique, London Bridge may be one of Arizona's most incongruous tourist sites, but it's also among its most popular. Day-trippers come by the busload to walk across it and soak up faux British heritage in the kitschy-quaint English Village. The lake itself – which can be very pretty – is the other major draw. Formed in 1938 by the construction of Parker Dam, it's much beloved by water rats, especially students on spring break (roughly March to May) and summer-heat refugees from Phoenix and beyond.