The gambling town of Laughlin, NV sits on the shores of the Colorado River, across the river from Bullhead City, Arizona and about 90 miles South of that other Nevada gambling Mecca, Las Vegas.
Gambling isn’t the only fun thing to do while visiting Laughlin.
While not specifically gambling related, the town’s only bowling alley is located inside the Riverside Resort and Casino. Riverside Lanes features 34 lanes, snack bar and a lounge. Besides the fun of regular bowling, Riverside Lanes also has “Cosmic Bowling”, for a glow-in-the-dark experience, and “Bumper Bowling” available on every lane so even the little ones can have some fun.
One of my favorite things to do in Laughlin is shopping (it’s kind of my thing). Each hotel/casino in Laughlin has a gift shop, filled with fun, unique gifts and novelties.
One of my favorites is the Tropicana’s Boutique. It’s not very large, but it has beautiful clothing, handbags and jewelry. It also has a large section of high quality $10 items including scarves, purses, jewelry and watches.
Most of my shopping experiences in Laughlin revolve around the Laughlin Outlet Center, which features big name outlets like IZOD, Carters, Bath and Body Works, Lane Bryant, Reebok and many others.
In addition to the shops, Laughlin also hosts several marketplaces during the year, including the Avi’s Spring Marketplace Extravaganza (March) and the Marketplace during the Laughlin River Run (April) that sees vendors at several area casino parking lots, on the Nevada and Arizona sides.
There’s something to be said for seeing a great movie in a theater, with a giant tub of super buttered popcorn and a soda. In Laughlin, there are several local options, including the Riverside Resort, Stadium 9 Cinemas inside the Laughlin Outlet Center, and the Brenden Theaters, inside the Avi Resort and Casino.
My personal favorite is Brenden Theaters, although the Avi Resort is located about 12 miles away from the rest of the Laughlin casinos. The chairs are huge and comfortable and the theater is always clean.
Concerts and Shows
While Laughlin is not known for cutting-edge entertainment, the entertainment that is available fits. Laughlin is slower paced and perfect for older visitors looking to have a good time without the noise and hustle of Las Vegas. They enjoy seeing someone who was popular “back in their day”, who they didn’t get to experience when they were younger, such as Neil Sedaka, Debbie Reynolds, Brenton Wood and Paul Anka.
Not all entertainment is stuck back in the 50’s and 60’s however. I attended a Boys to Men concert at the Riverside Resort, Lit at Harrah’s Laughlin and the Summerland Tour at the Edgewater featuring Lit, Everclear, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray and Marcy Playground.
Reba McEntire, Trace Atkins and Kid Rock have also made an appearance in Laughlin.
Bikini’s Sports Bar, located in the Laughlin Outlet Center, has book acts with more of an edge, including Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs in Harmony and The Shop Boyz.
As you can see, there’s a little something for everyone looking for entertainment in Laughlin.
You can’t talk about Laughlin, NV without touching on the majestic Colorado River, which acts as a border between Laughlin and its sister city, Bullhead City, AZ. If you love boating, fishing or swimming, you won’t be bored in Laughlin. Many of the casinos even have a kiosk or booth for companies renting jet-skis or offering boating tours.
Harrah’s Laughlin and the Avi Resort both boast beautiful beaches to relax and enjoy the desert sun.
If the Colorado River sounds like too much of an adventure, you can still cool down at any of the casino pools or the Laughlin Community Aquatic Center.
There are also several ways to enjoy the outdoors without getting wet, including several parks like Big Bend, William Bennet and Mountainview Park. If you’re into hiking, Grapevine Canyon is a fantastic place to start, with nearby hiking and climbing trails up Spirit Mountain, petroglyphs and a waterfall.
For those that like to golf, there are several golf courses nearby, including Laughlin Ranch, which is an 18 hole, par 72 championship course designed by David Druzisky. When you book your reservation, be sure to ask about available golf packages at all of the Laughlin casino hotels.
You can also tee off at other courses in the area, including Desert Lakes Golf Club, El Rio Country Club, Los Lagos and Mojave Resort.
Everyone likes to eat, and Laughlin is not short on fabulous dining whether you are looking for a simple fast-food meal or an extravagant fine dining experience.
The area’s only In-and-Out Burger sits directly on Casino Drive, next to the Tropicana. The Riverside Resort just opened a FatBurger and you can find McDonald’s and Starbucks at several of the casino properties.
Each property offers a variety of 24-hour café options including the Riverside Café, Carnegie’s Dining Car at the Tropicana or Denny’s Restaurant at the River Palms.
Those looking for a more formal dining experience should also check out The Lodge at River Palms, The Tropicana’s Steakhouse or Granny’s at the Pioneer.
There’s no shortage of things to do when visiting Laughlin. Gambling is obvious, but even if you aren’t a gambler, Laughlin is still a perfect vacation spot.