Laughlin, a river town of some 7,300 residents on the extreme southern tip of Nevada, offers visitors a unique vacation experience about 100 miles and 90 short minutes by car from Las Vegas (30 hours if you’re walking). Existing as it does within Nevada’s anything goes border, Laughlin has no shortage of gambling and adult entertainment opportunities at the Golden Nugget and nine other casino properties that line the Colorado River like neon sentries.
It’s safe to say Laughlin would not exist in its present iteration without visionary casino owner Don Laughlin, whose idea to build a small motel-casino on the dusty riverbank in 1964 essentially birthed an entire town into being.
To pigeonhole Laughlin as just another Nevada gambling town, however, would be selling short its beautiful ambient geography where high desert terrain, rugged mountain ranges and the blue Colorado itself provide invigorating recreational activities for the adventurous.
With that in mind, Vacation Now Google searched the entire web for fun things to do in Laughlin during your Golden Nugget visit and has returned with the following suggestions. We present them here for your edification and enjoyment.
There are some cars we all know exist, but have never actually seen. You can find that and much more in Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Collection, located in the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. The collection is divided into two areas with over 80 examples of those rare machines. The most famous piece in the exhibit is a motorcycle once driven by Steve McQueen. The museum is open seven days a week and the admission to the first part, located on the first floor, is free. Admission to the second part of the exhibit is only $2.
Address: 1650 S. Casino Dr. Laughlin, NV 89029
Sun over your head, wind in your hair and cool water around you. Sounds like a perfect way to spend some time on vacation. London Bridge Jet Boat Tours offer miles of cruising down the Colorado River through beautiful Topock Gorge that will just make the trip even more interesting. The boat will take you to the famous London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The six-hour tour departs Laughlin at 10am and returns at 4pm.
Address: P.O. Box 29279, Laughlin, NV 89028
If all you think about when you think about Nevada is desolate desert, go to Grapevine Canyon. You’ll be surprised at how interesting and diverse the desert can be. Thanks to the presence of the water spring, the canyon became a desert oasis and contains surprising amounts of life. You will find many rock drawings on the trail going from the trailhead to the mouth of the canyon.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Colorado River or sit down on one of the many benches and take in the view. Riverwalk is a mile long and connects most of the casinos in the city. The best way to start your walk is to park at the Riverside Casino.
Address (start of the trail): 1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV 89029
If you’d like to go for a pleasant hike or a drive and have a high-clearance vehicle, Christmas Tree Pass is a great destination. A graded dirt road will take you through the desert canyon all the way to the scenic Newberry Mountains. You’ll be able to see the highest peak of the range, Spirit Mountain, considered sacred by local Indian tribes. Wondering about the origin of the name? People used to decorate their juniper trees with Christmas decorations. Some people still bring a trinket with them during a hike to hang on the trees.
Directions: Take the 163 from Laughlin going west and look for signs for the Christmas Tree Pass.
If you’d like a little American history to go along with your Laughlin vacation, visit the American Heroes Museum. You’ll learn the stories about heroes from World War Two to Desert Storm and see “On the Wings of Eagles,” a multimedia presentation revealing America’s greatest moments. There is also a fine collection honoring Korean and Vietnam veterans.
Address: 2121 South Casino Drive, Laughlin, NV 89209
The dam opened in 1951 and to re-regulate Hoover Dam’s water releases. Building Davis Dam also resulted in the formation of Lake Mohave, an amazing recreational area and a wildlife habitat.
Your trip to Laughlin won’t be complete without a visit to Lake Mohave on the Colorado River. There are plenty of aquatic activities to enjoy on hot summer days, including fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing and scuba diving in addition to hiking, biking and horseback riding. For those of you who like a jolt of adrenaline, there is also cliff jumping!
The Laughlin portion of the 1,450-long Colorado River offers a wide spectrum of recreational activities. You’ll enjoy boating, water skiing, jet skiing and fishing or a refreshing dip in the brisk water. Launch ramp facilities are plentiful along the river, as well as a multitude of watercraft rental services. For a more relaxed pace, take a leisurely, scenic ride or dinner cruise aboard paddlewheel steamship replicas and tour boats while listening to a narrated history of Laughlin and the surrounding area. The river can also be enjoyed by strolling along Laughlin’s River Walk. Extending from the Riverside Resort to the River Palms, visitors can take a relaxing walk along the river’s edge and see the many fish and waterfowl that flock to its shores.
Several miles of Laughlin’s northern Colorado River front are transformed into a recreational paradise known as the North Reach Trails. A trails system offering a variety of walks and hikes, practical fishing nodes and a fully appointed day-use park, with Davis Dam as its backdrop, are main features. The project, including three developed trailheads and a signature pedestrian overpass, enhances Laughlin’s unique quality of life and its “soft adventure-appeal” while protecting natural and cultural resources on US Bureau of Reclamation lands in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Discover more about the area! The Colorado River Museum building is an important historical landmark. It was built in 1947 to serve the population of workers who were building Davis Dam. You’ll find interesting displays, artifacts and memorabilia of the area and the history of the people that made it all happen. The Museum is located 1/4 mile north of the Laughlin Bridge at Davis Camp and is open September through June Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Come paddle year round on the Lower Colorado River and enjoy desert paddling at its finest. Visit the many cultural and historic sites and see colorful rock formations, deep canyons and spectacular desert wildlife in the Black Canyon and Topock Gorge. Explore Lakes Mead, Mohave and Havasu or tour the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. They provide kayak and canoe sales; rental and guided river trips around the tristate area of Arizona, Nevada and California. Whatever your needs, they can help customize a memorable paddling experience on the Colorado River.
You can enjoy all these great Laughlin attractions at generously discounted prices when you book a getaway with Vacation Now. We have an innovative approach to vacationing where resorts work with us on wholesale pricing so we can offer you deep discounts on their behalf. In some cases you won’t have to pay anything except a refundable deposit. We get discounted rates through direct agreements with our resort destinations, including the beautiful Golden Nugget!
In exchange for taking advantage of our discounted rates, purchasers of Vacation Now packages agree to participate in a resort preview at their destination, where you will see all the amazing amenities and benefits the properties have to offer. As you’ll discover once you’ve taken your preview, the Golden Nugget on the tranquil Colorado River in Laughlin is a wonderful vacation destination.
The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is your place for big city fun wrapped up in small town charm along the banks of the Colorado River. Try your luck with our easy going casino floor, with chances to win big. The Golden Nugget offers a collection of amenities, award winning dining options, live entertainment and stylish rooms. The Colorado River Walk is right outside the resort’s back door! You’re sure to have a memorable trip with all these amenities waiting for you: the outdoor pool, your spacious Terrace room, and enticing restaurants such as the Saltgrass Steak House and Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. You’ll also enjoy exciting nightlife at the Gold Diggers nightclub, where you can party till the wee hours.
We think one of the most important things in life is making positive memories, and one of the best ways to do that is to take a Las Vegas vacation now through Vacation Now. So what are you waiting for? Book a visit today!