Reno and Las Vegas might be more famous, but Laughlin, Nevada, is a more sedate, relaxed and enjoyable place to enjoy nightlife, visit the casinos and explore the stunning natural beauty of the American west.
For some visitors, their trip will be all about trying their luck at Nevada's world-famous casinos, and the town has 9 separate establishments, so gambling devotees should never be bored. The casinos are also home to some of the town's best restaurants, as well as musical entertainment all night long.
However, there is more to Laughlin than just gambling. The town has a superb outlet shopping mall, where international visitors can snap up label clothes at bargain prices and sample local delicacies at a well-stocked food court.
Another unique aspect of the town is its location on the Colorado River. Water taxis travel the river, dropping visitors off at the casinos, while the Laughlin River Walk connects all of the major casinos and offers a relaxing stroll at the same time.
Outside town, visitors can easily drive to Lake Mohave (in nearby Arizona). This man-made lake offers a huge variety of water sports like water skiing, rowing, jet-skiing and parasailing. It's also one of the best places in America for bass fishing, while the countryside around the lake offers off-road driving tracks, canoeing routes and hikes aplenty.
For those who choose to rent a car, Las Vegas is not far away, and can be reached for a day trip. In fact, many people choose to stay in Laughlin for its access to natural beauty and outdoor activities, while they visit the town's larger cousin for a couple of days of entertainment. The stunning drama of the Grand Canyon is also easy to reach by car, making Laughlin ideal for anyone who wants an all-American sightseeing experience.
Best Time to Fly to Laughlin
Being largely desert, Nevada can be a little too hot for some people during summer (June to late August), and is ideal for families around April and May or October. Ski resorts are within driving distance from Laughlin, making February a good alternative, and accommodations can be cheaper then as well. There may also be some low season bargains in July and August, when the heat puts off a lot of visitors.
Getting around Laughlin
Laughlin is not a large city, and you can reach all of the casinos through the river walk or by water taxis. However, to get to the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead or Mohave a car will be essential. Las Vegas and Los Angeles can be reached by regular buses.