Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Laughing in Laughlin!

When people think of Laughlin, Nevada, the first picture that comes to their mind may be of a bunch of neon lights lining an asphalt ribbon in the dessert. But a recent visit to that somewhat "young" city, greatly changed my mind's image ! I discovered this guest beach at one of the many resorts that are situated in Laughlin, along the banks of the Colorado River.

It is no wonder that my mind was skipping back to lazy days spent basking in the sun of a favorite resort in Cozumel. That is because this resort was built to resemble a Mexican seaside location, and I would say they were successful!

Instead of another section of the Yucatan Peninsula, that is Bullhead City, Arizona that one sees across the water.

Even though the day I visited was a sunny day in February, that date on the winter calendar did not stop a few brave sunbathers from soaking up some rays! That is probably one of the reasons that 3 million visitors come annually to enjoy all this area has to offer.

The mild climate is also one reason these lovely red flowers blooming, added to the feeling of a tropical retreat.

The thatched-roof umbrellas also add to the ambiance of the beach. This large resort contributes to the more than 10,000 rooms available for rental in the Laughlin area.

Hopefully, you are curious enough by now to ask the name of this hidden gem, and it is the Mexican-themed hotel in Laughlin, called Harrah's, phone 800-427-7247.

For many years of its history, there was not a bridge that connected Bullhead City, Arizona to its Laughlin, Nevada neighbor, so a variety of watercraft were used to connect the two. I photographed this water taxi from my hotel window. Water taxis can be hired not only to cross the river, but also to take passengers up and down the river to visit various attractions there. Fortunately for us tourists, Don Laughlin funded and built the Laughlin Bridge in 1987, at a cost of 3.5 million, so that a water taxi is now an option, instead of mandatory! (He later donated the bridge to the states of Nevada and Arizona.)

I also had the opportunity to take this lovely excursion boat, called The Celebration (1-800-228-9825) for an evening dinner cruise. It also gives sightseeing cruises up and down the river, as well as being available for private events, such as weddings.

There is a palmtree-lined, concrete walkway along the river that provides a great way to go from one property to the next, or just enjoy a stroll . Many of the city's 60 restaurants are located along the Riverwalk.

The Colorado River is used for a variety of recreational purposes, including jet skiing, fishing, swimming, and all kinds of paddle sports.

There are plenty of picnic tables and park benches along the Riverwalk where one can rest or visit with friends.

The colorful neon lights reflecting on the river at night can provide fascinating reflections.

Laughlin is the site of dozens of special events, and it was one such event---The Laughlin River Run---that was the reason I visited Laughlin for the first time. My husband and I rode our Harley there to participate in this mass pilgrimage to the desert of motorcycle enthusiasts. We went there because it was a weekend full of motorcycle exhibits, motorcycle stunt shows, hundreds of vendors of motorcycle-related attire and accessories, and top name entertainment. This is a photograph of a section of the souvenir bandanna that officially registered attendees were given. 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the event, and it is expected that as many as 50,000 motorcycle enthusiasts will roar into town sometime during April 25 - 29, to celebrate the occasion. You can find out more by visiting Regardless of the time you visit, you will be impressed by this famous "river in the desert". It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 43:19 that says "I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." I don't know if a Bible verse is what entrepreneur Don Laughlin was thinking, when he bought his first piece of Laughlin real estate back in 1964, but his name was forever immortalized there when the Inspector General of the U.S. Post Office officially named the city "Laughlin, Nevada." If you would like to learn more about this area, go to and you will see that you can have miles of laughin' smiles in laughlin! Tricia

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