Is Laughlin, Nevada, a mini version of Las Vegas or a sorry version of the “adult Disney land”?
In 1940, all there was to this town was a motel and bar for workers, fishing enthusiasts, and miners around.
It even had the name south pointe which proves its only distinct quality was its proximity to the southern tip of Nevada.
At a point when even less was left of south pointe, the owner of a club in Vegas discovered it and saw potential.
This timely restoration by Don Laughlin in 1964 was the beginning of a prosperous journey ahead.
The place gets its name obviously from its founder.
However, this was not his first choice.
Laughlin Nevada has a population of about 7,000 people and is popular for gambling just like Vegas.
Although the town does not compare to Vegas in a lot of ways, it is a fun destination any day.
From Jet skiing to standard sushi, Laughlin has something for every member of the family.
Since the town has a lot of hidden gems, below is a list of how to have fun in Laughlin.
Things to Do in Laughlin, Nevada
1. Laughlin River Lodge and Casino
Right on the banks of the River is this 25-story tower with a thousand hotel rooms and a casino occupying 41,000 square feet of its grounds.
Opened in 1984 as Sam’s town gold river, its operations were maintained by the Boyd Corporation.
Shortly after, its name was changed to Gold River. Meanwhile, the resort kept expanding in construction and operations.
By the time it changed name and management to river palms and Tropicana Entertainment respectively, it had gone through a significant period of its existence.
Unknown to it, its title deed had still not gotten to its final destination, even at this point.
In 2014, it got sold to the Nevada restaurant services corporation to join an already popular chain of thriving businesses.
With sister video poker pubs like Dottie’s restaurant, bourbon street, Red dragon, and Lava Lita, Laughlin River Lodge serves as a fifth arm.
Although there are no table games, Laughlin resort boasts of about 653 slot machines, and a bingo pallor.
With its bowling alley, swimming beach, pool, and arcade area, it functions well as a destination with something for the whole family.
Food, snacks, and specialty drinks are also popular reasons for a visit to the Laughlin river lodge.
Address: 2700 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
2. Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area
The Colorado River is basically what gives Nevada’s southern tip, also known as Laughlin, an iconic shape.
Covering about 2,100 acres, the Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area is a popular park on the west bank of the river.
Serving as a beautiful secret for 13,000 years, it finally took its top spot as a tourist destination in 1964.
This shift of events was a result of don Laughlin building his first casino just six miles north of the area.
With an annual visit to the area of over a hundred thousand people, the park was opened in 1996.
Interestingly, this Nevada state park sits between three states: California, Arizona, and, of course, Nevada.
Six miles southwest is the California border, and less than a quarter mile across the river is Riviera, Arizona.
The park lies downstream from hoover and Davis dam and this location lets only clear crystal water flow to it.
There is also the man-made lagoon annually drawing visitors to launch their boats from its current-less waters.
From jet skis and swimming to camping, picnicking, wildlife observation, and hiking, there is always something awesome for every season.
Even fishing and classic beach relaxation are wonderful options when at the big bend of the Colorado state recreation area.
Visit the park any day between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm.
Address: 4220 Needles Hwy, Laughlin, NV, United States
3. Davis Dam, Laughlin
The creation of reclamation in 1902 was for two basic reasons: to provide water and generate hydroelectricity.
Providing the largest irrigation and municipal water in 17 states west of the Mississippi and being the second largest producer of hydropower out west are the rewards of the reclamation service.
Essentially, the ability to harness the river in the west and provide water in drought years is still the basis of the thriving southwestern part of the country.
Hence, the Colorado River system is basically the “water lifeline” of the southwest.
Specifically, the creation of about four dams on the Colorado River, one of which is the Davis dam, is the mode of operation here.
Stretching across the border between Arizona and Nevada, Davis dam starts 9 miles upstream from big bend park.
This Colorado River dam, once known as the Bullhead dam and completed in 1951, got renamed after Arthur Powell Davis.
Arthur Davis was a director of the U.S. Bureau of reclamation from 1914 to 1923, which is the same bureau still operating the dam.
Enclosing the Colorado River to form Lake Mohave, Davis dam creates a picture of blue water against a mountainous backdrop.
A tour of this spotless facility communicates the importance of the work done here as well as its overall contribution to the nation’s economy.
This does not mean you get to miss out on all the fun of fishing, relaxing, boating, and jet skiing in the cool Colorado water.
Address: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Laughlin, NV, United States
4. Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Museum
This vintage car museum is a part of the Riverside hotel and casino in Laughlin, Nevada.
Specifically, on the third floor of the resort, the museum spans about 30,000 square feet of space.
Artifacts in this museum are adorable motorcycles and cars accompanied by interesting and specific details.
If you are a vintage car lover, it will interest you to know that at the right price, most of these cars are up for purchase.
From Jaguars to corvettes, Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Museum is a rich blend of quality and diversity.
Hence, it is an enjoyable tour of not just beautiful and distinct cars but also of their character and personality in light of their glory days.
Rotating exhibits also feature unique private collections from car salesmen like Muntz and even don Laughlin himself, who was an auto enthusiast and collector.
In addition to its automobile display, there are also interesting antique gambling machines on display.
Little wonder its tour is like a walk through history.
Although the tour of the museum requires an admission fee, it comes freely to adults having the casino’s player’s card and kids.
You can visit this museum every day from 10 am till 9 pm.
Address: 1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
5. Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino
Laughlin’s history is more or less rooted on this ground.
As of 1966, this was the tri-state area, and it was willing to sell.
It was at this point the city’s founder Don Laughlin bought the property with its bankrupt restaurant and eight-room hotel.
With 12 slot machines, 2 table games, a restaurant, and 4 rooms to rent, Laughlin started a business in Nevada.
Currently, the two hotel towers have more video poker, slot machines, and rooms than you can use, even if you spent the whole year here.
There are also more table games, restaurants, and other engaging activities in the building.
If you are expecting dated rooms with your reason being its age, you will be pleasantly surprised at the Riverside.
Since it is a casino, there are a lot of themed ones to explore.
However, if gambling is not your forte, then it is a good thing you have more options than you can exhaust within a short time here.
Address: 1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
6. Laughlin Riverwalk Trail
The trail spans 3 miles, starting from Davis dam to the Laughlin river lodge.
Exploring this trail along the clear Colorado River offers a scenic view of many of Laughlin’s key entertainment options.
Specifically, you can access casinos, hotels, restaurants, and even water taxis from the Laughlin Riverwalk Trail.
More than spectacular buildings, the Riverwalk trail is popular for the angle it provides of beautiful nature.
Some sights to look forward to during your walk are local fish, green landscapes, and even water taxis.
Moreover, what’s not to love about relaxing along the trail alone with your thought, free Wi-Fi, and the cool sound of water?
Although it gets the bulk of its hikers at the break of dawn, the Riverwalk trail is never without locals or visitors.
With a nightlife of live music, festivals, Laughlin exploring, and group walks, the river walk is a highlight of the Laughlin experience.
Address: Laughlin, NV, United States
7. Mojave Resort Golf Club, Laughlin
This course is popularly known as the spot where man and nature teamed up to create a memorable golfing experience.
Its landscape sits between the banks of the Colorado River and the Mojave Desert.
As such, its Schmidt-Curley golf design maximizes its features to create a unique play area.
Right beside the course, housing its visitors at the Avi hotel and casino eliminates unnecessary trips to downtown Laughlin.
Its food, beverages, and food services also ensure a thoroughly relaxing vacation stay in Laughlin.
The Mojave Resort Golf Club was built in 1997 to challenge golfers of different skills.
Practice areas and holes cut across water, green fairways, and trees to make for its challenging yet rewarding play.
This Laughlin premier course is no doubt very beautiful, but if the game of golf is not enticing enough for your visit, hiking its surrounding mountains might be.
In fact, having your Colorado River experience from here is as intimate as it gets.
The facility also prides itself on its ability to maximize team and group bonding experiences through golf lessons and a gift shop with a variety of options.
Its award-winning golf course also encourages golf tournaments if you would like to have one.
The golf club opens from 5:30 am to 5:30 pm every day.
Address: 9905 Aha Macav Pkwy, Laughlin, NV, United States
8. Florida D. Grecco Fine Art Gallery
Laughlin, Nevada inspires not only a relaxing tour of a waterfront but also artists with creative talents.
Featuring a myriad of authentic pieces through various mediums, Florida D. Grecco’s fine art gallery holds works from both local and national artists.
Some international artistic pieces are also on display
Its owner by the name of Florida, who is also a passionate artist, has some of her works on display here too.
All things considered, art lovers visiting Laughlin will find this gallery a remarkable show of talent.
These imaginative pieces, which are also up for sale, come in different shapes, sizes, and categories.
Life figures, photographs, and paintings fill up the walls and corners of the gallery, to the delight of its audience.
In addition, short art classes are available to enjoy a more engaging experience at the gallery.
As a vacation destination, it is frequented by groups who spend time comparing or sharing personal interpretations of art pieces.
Hence, visiting this art gallery is never a stale experience, as it is always something different to someone else.
The gallery opens from 8 am to 8 pm daily.
Address: 1955 S Casino Dr Suite 222, Laughlin, NV, United States
9. Laughlin Outlet Center
The entrance to this outlet mall is right across from the edge water hotel and Casino in Laughlin.
In 1996, it opened its beautiful 90s aesthetic interior to cater to the various needs of locals in Laughlin.
From dining to fashion, spa, souvenirs, technology, and furniture, the Laughlin Outlet Center cut across wants and needs.
Its original total of 50 stores operated under an umbrella of its previous name-Horizon outlet center.
Unfortunately, its recent number of operational stores is not what it used to be.
Nevertheless, it is still your go-to place to get the best discounts on purchases.
Also, it is a nice reprieve from the sunny outdoors in Laughlin.
Engaging activities for kids are also available within its walls as well as hallway benches to take a break and appreciate the view.
Occupying about 258,741 square feet, the outlet features a total of 2 levels, one of which has a movie theatre with 9 auditoriums.
The mall opens from 9 am till 6 pm from Monday till Saturday and from 10 am on Sunday.
Address: 1955 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
10. Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park & Trails
Its 9 miles-paved path paralleling the Colorado River helped preserve some unique vistas and sites connected to Davis dam.
Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trail also goes by the nickname North reach project.
This Laughlin Park trail was opened in 2012, much to the delight of expectant explorers.
The place encourages the appreciation of ecotourism as it reconnects individuals to the outdoors.
Unveiling adventurous opportunities for its visitors, especially in groups, is an experience second to none.
Its highway pedestrian bridge provides both an overpass and underpass access to the Colorado River.
The area also features recreational trails from the bridge’s trailhead, restrooms, fishing piers, picnic sites, and other shaded shelters.
These recreational trails, which also have their own history, are accessible on foot, bike or horseback.
A hike or ride up the path also gives an amazing view of scenic areas and the Arizona side of the river.
The park is open from as early as 6 am to 11 pm every day of the week.
Address: Laughlin Civic Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
11. Riverside Lanes Bowling
If you still think Laughlin, Nevada has no nightlife, here’s one.
Riverside Lanes Bowling is where the pins hit the floor in Laughlin.
Popular for reasons like gambling and recreational water activities, engaging and entertaining family activities in the town are slightly over a handful.
Hence, a visit to the riverside lanes bowling during a Laughlin vacation should not be overlooked.
In fact, since it is located in the riverside casino, if you do not care much for gambling, here is a worthy option.
The facility itself is clean and in good condition with a number of friendly staff.
The lanes also host fun tournaments as bowling is always fun to participate in and watch, no matter the age group.
Hence, even though the bowling alley is always open, check out their website before going, as it hosts a lot of leagues.
In addition to the core subject matter of the place, you should also check out their snack bar.
Lanes open every day from 8 am to close at 1 am on Saturday and Sunday but at 11 pm every other day.
Address: 1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
12. Regency Casino, Laughlin
This is the smallest casino on the casino strip in Laughlin.
Considering its size, it more than compensates in age and character.
Sitting between the Edgewater and the Aquarius, the casino welcomes its visitors with a friendly cow statue.
For its size in a town filled with towering counterparts, it has quite a number of engaging activities for visitors.
Most of these experiences await right in front of its sizeable number of pool tables, slot machines, and video poker.
In addition to a unique gaming experience, there is also a bar and a gift shop to check out while at the casino.
Probably owing to its size, Regency Casino creates an intimate ambiance with good food and games.
Hence, it is always a memorable time at the regency casino in Laughlin.
With quite an extensive menu, the Chuckwagon restaurant at the casino solidifies the experience with delicious meals all day.
The casino is open from 7:30 am to 1 am on Friday and Saturday and till 10 pm every other day.
Address: S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
Looking to explore more of Nevada’s Cities? Why not check our list of things to do in Henderson?
13. Aquarius Casino Resort
This is the largest hotel on the casino strip of Laughlin.
In fact, this is the largest property in Laughlin, Nevada.
If you are visiting from Las Vegas and are partial to your comfort zone, check out Stratosphere’s sister hotel in Laughlin.
With over 50,000 square feet of casino space alone, if options in Laughlin were a resort, it would be the Aquarius Casino Resort.
In addition to having activities common to casinos in the area, the Aquarius also has some signature specials for its visitors all year round.
Being in a city known primarily for gambling, this place finds new ways to stay unique while delivering on its promise of a memorable experience.
Its eleven resorts on-site total about 1,906 guest rooms, all with a beautiful view of the Colorado river.
As a fun family getaway, it caters to basic needs and a lot of luxury wants.
Explore the cove, duet, windows on the river buffet, and the Vineyard Ristorante to your heart’s content.
Address: 1900 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
14. London Bridge Jet Boat Tours
You can always have a Laughlin river tour on a jet ski, but sharing this experience is the best reason to consider a group tour.
This is where the London Bridge Jet Boat Tours come in to save the day.
Spanning 58 miles each way down lake Havasu, it is a trip to visit the world-famous London Bridge.
Cruising at 40 MPH on 1,300 horsepower, the jet boats provide a relaxing and scenic, rugged view from the Colorado River.
In addition, wildlife sightings as well as beautiful pictures with different unique backdrops will keep you occupied.
With a total of 6 hours to spend on the overall tour, it is a wonderful daytime experience.
The trip itself is an informative one, with Arizona on the left and Nevada/California on the right.
You spend 2 hours getting to the bridge, 2 hours at your destination, and 2 hours on the ride back.
Upon arrival at the London Bridge in Lake Havasu, enjoy shopping, dining, drinking, and socializing at its peak.
As a popular boating tour with numerous packages tailored to fit different groups, it is, to say the least, an unforgettable experience.
Tour runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Monday to Saturday.
Address: 2020 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
15. Laughlin Labyrinths
Is this a mysterious playground in Laughlin, Nevada?
No, it is a unique desert single continuous winding circular path design made from stones.
Laughlin is popularly related to the Colorado River, and across from this river are beautiful rock formations.
Amidst this natural masterpiece is this manmade walking meditation elaborate structure called a labyrinth.
According to research, the effect of a labyrinth on the human mind and body is one of relaxation and calmness.
Hence, it has a worldwide reputation for enhancing creativity, creating mental balance, and self-reflecting, among others.
In Laughlin, there are nine such labyrinths on three different sites.
Its creator Wes Dufek says his spontaneous inspiration to build his first labyrinth came when he encountered a flat empty desert space while walking his dog in 2011.
Laughlin Labyrinth has a unique pattern to it forming different shapes using different sizes of stones.
To build his first labyrinth, Wes Dufek spent about three and a half months collecting the stones only.
Nevertheless, when it was finished, he couldn’t help but build more.
Today, visitors to the labyrinths are encouraged to spend time within the labyrinth, listening to their inner voices and finding their destinies.
Address: Thomas Edison Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
16. Christmas tree pass
Extending about 15 miles, the entire distance is basically a gravel trail from Laughlin to Las Vegas and vice versa.
However, the distance is surrounded by sights that are anything but basic.
The landscape here is one of desert variety and is considered sacred by several native tribes.
Leading over the southern Nevada Newberry Mountains, the trail features the Colorado River, the Mojave Desert, and Arizona from its viewpoint.
At the summit of the mountain is the popular Christmas tree pass destination.
The trees here are actually juniper trees that hikers in the area beautified with Christmas decorations.
After a while, the tradition of decorating these trees stuck, and it is what it is today.
Decorations range from lights to cards, marshmallows, presents, candy cane, stockings, and more.
Although these decorated trees stand out in an otherwise uneventful desert, they are scattered around.
Along its route of about 12 miles, there is wildlife to look out for and more trees or even cacti to decorate.
Since the terrain is actually a rugged one, you will prefer to tour this terrain with an appropriate vehicle.
Address: Lake Mead Recreational Area, Laughlin, Nevada
17. Laughlin River Jet Ski Rentals
With a population of about 7,000 and an annual tourist visit of about 2,000,000, there is definitely something Laughlin has to offer.
Apart from gambling, Laughlin is also known for its recreational water activities.
As if it is a Colorado River summer tradition, visitors to Laughlin usually love a private tour of the river at high speed.
This preference stands to reason and you will soon appreciate it while Jet Skiing up and down the Colorado River.
Allegedly the Jet Ski capital of the world, a Laughlin visit is not complete without this exhilarating sport.
As a matter of fact, a Jet Ski experience is always one of two opposite poles.
You either have the fun experience or you don’t.
However, getting the best Jet Skiing experience starts with the jet ski you use.
Interestingly, you can get an amazing Jet Ski rental with the least bit of financial commitment at the Laughlin River Jet Ski Rentals.
Develop balance, coordination skills, and even your leg muscles with Jet Skis, and have fun while doing it.
You also get wonderful customer service and safe skiing tips
Address: Laughlin, NV, United States
18. Grapevine Canyon Trailhead, Laughlin
Less than 30 minutes from downtown Laughlin is a field of amazing scenery and petroglyphs.
Although this is a great hiking area, this is also a sacred area for both historic and modern local Native American tribes.
Experiencing an outdoor adventure in Laughlin is always fun and invigorating.
Likewise, hiking the Grapevine Canyon Trail is no exception.
Grapevines actually mark the entrance to this area, which is so beautiful.
Lining the trail, hundreds of petroglyphs start at eye level and then travel on for quite a distance.
Interestingly, this canyon has the largest collection of these rock arts in southern Nevada.
Research dating these rock carvings to 1200-1900 AD says it is the result of chipping away at natural forming desert varnish.
Although the Mojave tribe in the area interprets the petroglyphs to be creation mythology, there are other speculations about these petroglyphs.
Even if you do not believe this was a means of communication for ancient Native American tribes in the area, you will agree the carvings do tell a story.
Address: Grapevine Canyon Rd, Searchlight, NV, United States
19. Minato Japanese & Korean Restaurant
This is the popular sushi destination in Laughlin, Nevada.
Basically, it is a hidden gem in the desert that renders a unique and phenomenal service.
In addition to its wide selection of fresh sushi, it has delicious Korean options too.
If you already have a misconception about sushi without even trying it, Minato is the second opinion you need.
The restaurant’s menu is full of options that look as good as they taste.
The above fact in no way tampers with the quantity or pricing.
In essence, if the deal is to find a place that combines comfort, deliciousness, quantity, and reasonable pricing, welcome!
The ambiance and hospitality at Minato Japanese and Korean restaurant is also something to anticipate.
This restaurant is open seven days a week and is open to hosting birthday surprises and other special occasions.
You can visit this restaurant every day from 11:30 am to 9 pm.
Address: 2311 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
20. Harrah’s Laughlin Beach Resort & Casino
At about 9 miles from Vegas, most of Laughlin’s visitors come for a jackpot.
However, all things considered, Laughlin, Nevada, is hotter than Las Vegas.
The bright side of this fact is that you can never get enough of a nice swim.
Harrah’s Laughlin Beach Resort and Casino is thus a great idea if you intend to maximize your stay outdoors.
Its resorts feature a lot of fun and engaging activities for all age groups even if you do not want to gamble
If you do want to spend time at the casino, though, it is always a great idea to relax at its beach after a winning streak.
Popular among satisfied Laughlin visitors, the place maintains a clean and customer-friendly atmosphere.
Whether you are staying for the shortest possible time or spending a while, this is a place you will want to return to while visiting Laughlin.
Address: 2900 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
21. Saltgrass Steak House
What is a vacation without having the best or alleged best of everything, especially the steak?
The Saltgrass Steak House in Laughlin is at the golden nugget hotel and casino.
Although all about great steaks, this is in no way the summary of this popular house in Laughlin.
Having its roots down in Texas since 1991, this restaurant chain spreads its presence far and wide.
In Laughlin, Nevada, it maintains a Texas theme, a beefy menu, and a full bar.
The restaurant also gives off an ambiance of Texas tradition and hospitality unique to itself.
Regarding its core objective of feeding satisfied customers, it not only does a good job but also a significant one.
After three decades in the business, it obviously learns and relearns the art of avoiding the trap of becoming a cliché.
Diners can also get to choose from different standard cuts of beef.
After a signature and hygienic preparation, a Texas side extra makes it a Saltgrass serving.
Visit any day between 4 pm and 9 pm or 10 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Address: 2300 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV, United States
Things to do in Laughlin, Nevada come in style and in all forms.
However, all the travel tip you will need to have the best time at the southwest tip is covered above.
If you will pick a hearty meal any day over a canyon hike, Laughlin will give you the option of both.
With all these places and things of interest to keep busy, learning its history or relaxing your mind at the labyrinth are still wonderful options.
Where in Laughlin, Nevada do you already look forward to?