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Watersports

While the London Bridge is what made Lake Havasu City, these days watersports on 45-mile-long Lake Havasu are the area's real draw. Whether you want to go for a swim, take a leisurely pedal-boat ride, try parasailing, or spend the day water-skiing, there are plenty of places to get wet. Lake Havasu is also known as the Jet Ski Capital of the World, so don't expect much peace and quiet when you're out on the water.

London Bridge Beach is the best in-town beach and is located in a county park off West McCulloch Boulevard behind the Island Inn. This park has a sandy beach, lots of palm trees, and views of both the London Bridge and the distant desert mountains. There are also picnic tables and a snack bar. Just south of the London Bridge on the "mainland" side, you'll find the large Rotary Community Park, which is connected to the bridge by a paved waterside path. Adjacent to the park is the Lake Havasu Aquatic Center, 100 Park Ave. (tel. 928/453-2687), which has an indoor wave pool, 254-foot water slide, and lots of other facilities. There are more beaches at Lake Havasu State Park (tel. 928/855-2784; www.azstateparks.com), 2 miles north of the London Bridge, and at Cattail Cove State Park (tel. 928/855-1223; www.azstateparks.com), 15 miles south of Lake Havasu City. Both state parks charge a $10 day-use fee ($15 Fri-Sun and state holidays).

You can rent boats from Fun Time Boat Rentals, 1685 Industrial Blvd. (tel. 800/680-1003 or 928/680-1003; www.funtimeboatrentals.com). Pontoon boats and ski boats equipped with water skis or knee boards both rent for $285 per day. If you're interested in kayaking or canoeing, contact Western Arizona Canoe and Kayak Outfitter (tel. 888/881-5038 or 928/855-6414; www.azwacko.com), which charges $25 to $40 per day for canoes and kayaks.

If your main reason for getting out on the water is to catch some fish, you'll likely come away from a visit to Lake Havasu with plenty of fish stories to tell. Striped bass, also known as stripers, are the favorite quarry of anglers here. These fish have been known to weigh in at more than 60 pounds in these waters, so be sure to bring the heavy tackle. Largemouth bass in the 2- to 4-pound range are also fairly common, and giant channel catfish of up to 35 pounds have been caught in Topock Marsh. The best fishing starts in spring, when the water begins to warm up, but there is also good winter fishing.

Canoeing the Colorado -- Paddling down a desert river is a fascinating experience. Rugged rock walls, prickly cacti, and thickets of water-loving plants drift by on shore as the cool water rushes past your boat. If you're interested in a scenic canoe tour, there are a couple of outfitters in the area. Both provide boats, paddles, life jackets, maps, and shuttles to put-in and take-out points, but usually no guide. Western Arizona Canoe and Kayak Outfitters (tel. 888/881-5038 or 928/855-6414; www.azwacko.com) offers self-guided kayak or canoe trips through the beautiful and rugged Topock Gorge, where you can see ancient petroglyphs and possibly bighorn sheep. Trips take 5 to 6 hours, and the cost is $48 per person, which includes the use of a kayak or canoe, paddles, life jackets, dry bags, coolers, and, most important, the shuttle service to the put-in point and back from the take-out point. Jerkwater Canoe Company (tel. 800/421-7803 or 928/768-7753; www.jerkwatercanoe.com) offers a similar Topock Gorge excursion and also arranges other canoe and kayak trips of varying lengths. Jerkwater's Topock Gorge self-guided 5- to 6-hour trip is $46 per person. There is a two-person minimum.

Golf

Lake Havasu City has three courses that are open to the public. Panoramic views are to be had from each of the courses here, and there's enough variety to accommodate golfers of any skill level.

London Bridge Golf Club, 2400 Clubhouse Dr. (tel. 928/855-2719; www.londonbridgegc.com), with two 18-hole courses, is the area's premier course. High-season greens fees (with cart) on either the Olde London course or the Nassau course are $49 to $59. The Havasu Island Golf Course, 1040 McCulloch Blvd. (tel. 928/855-5585), is a 4,012-yard, par-61 executive course with lots of water hazards. Greens fees are $26 to $32 if you walk and $35 to $43 if you ride. The 9-hole Bridgewater Links, 1477 Queens Bay Rd. (tel. 928/855-4777; www.londonbridgeresort.com), at the London Bridge Resort, is the most accessible and easiest of the area courses. Greens fees for 9 holes are $9 to $18 if you walk and $15 to $24 if you ride.

Golfers won't want to miss the Emerald Canyon Golf Course ★★, 7351 Riverside Dr., Parker (tel. 928/667-3366; www.emeraldcanyongolf.com), about 30 miles south of Lake Havasu City. This municipal course is the most spectacular in the region and plays through rugged canyons and past red-rock cliffs, from which there are views of the Colorado River. One hole even has you hitting your ball off a cliff to a green 200 feet below! Greens fees are $55 to $65 in the cooler months ($50 after 1pm), and tee-time reservations can be made a week in advance (further out if you pay $10 per player). Also in Parker is the golf course at the Havasu Springs Resort, 2581 Ariz. 95 (tel. 928/667-3361), which some people claim is the hardest little 9-hole, par-3 course in the state. It's atop a rocky outcropping with steep drop-offs all around. If you aren't staying here, greens fees are only $12 for 9 holes and $18 for 18 holes.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.