With a few hours to kill, we decided to drive to Laughlin?

Laughlin Travel Blog

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On the way to Laughlin, Yeeaaah!



Rental car (2008 Chevy Cobalt w/sunroof) procured we found our way to US 95/93, and headed south. The hour and a half drive consists of the same scenery repeated many times over. I swear I saw the saw stand of Joshua Trees about a dozen times. It was like Ground Hog Day. But, as I had not seen desertscape in quite awhile, I was able to pick out features to day dream about. The dirt roads that only God and locals would take. The power lines that would all lead back to the Hoover Dam if you tracked them. There was the occasional bird and the street signs. I kept wondering how big the town of Searchlight would be when we finally got there.

Still on the way to Laughlin. Fresh out of yeahs.
(Not very. A couple of small casinos/bars, and a couple of dozen mobile homes.) The only other town was the originally, but unimaginatively named, CalNevAri. I wonder if it is pronounced phonetically, or if something like Kaleneeveri. It wasn’t big enough to stop and ask. Then there was Christmas Tree Pass. I looked in vain to see a Christmas Tree to show me the origin of its name. But, it was just a dirt road leading off into the desert. My immediate thought was to the old Jeep  commercial where a guy, who had just left their NFL Playoff tickets sitting at home on the table, asks his buddy where they are going, as they venture onto a like road. The answer was “Somewhere where they won’t find the body”. We stuck to the paved highway. We turned off onto SH 163, and shortly before Laughlin we found the other end of Christmas Tree Pass. I looked as foreboding coming out of the mountains as it did going in. I’m sure with proper planning and equipment it would safe to venture on, but I’ll leave that to the geologists, anthropologists, and other ologists would end up in the middle of nowhere.
Our first view of Laughlin
I was here to see glitz and glamour. I would be disappointed.


We decided to pull into the Aquarius Casino Resort Hotel, as Margo’s co-workers had stayed there and gave it the big thumbs up. As we were parking we saw a group of elderly people heading towards the elevator. I though little of it, as back home in Colorado, our tiny casinos are filled with the elderly happily smoking and gambling away their children’s inheritance. But, it should have been a clue. After parking, we decided that the first thing we needed to do was to eat. It was about noon PDT, but our stomachs were still on Mountain Daylight Time, so we were hungry. We settled on the first place we came to, having no culinary recommendation from the folks back home. As we walked towards and then in, we noticed a pattern. Margo and I appeared to be the youngest in the area.

Looking across the Colorado River at Bullhead City
We’re both 44, so this is an odd occurrence. Not for Laughlin. This town is definitely geared much slower than Las Vegas. Good bye, Glitz and Glamour. Hello, Blue Hair and Geritol. I really have nothing against the elderly. I hope to be one someday. But, I was geared up for high octane excitement. Laughlin looked like it needed a nudge to wake it up.


But, we were here because we had never been here before. So we ate. The food was so-so and the service was below average. I imagine when your pool of employees comes from a town as small as Bullhead City, AZ (across the river); you don’t have much to choose from. From there we decided to wander the shops along the river walk.  It was a sunny, but very windy day. Wind makes the best days tough.

Look! Bullhead City has a Home Depot
But we wandered up and down. We stopped in all the shops and kept looking for someone selling passage on a boat so we could get on the river. The only one we found left about the time we got there. I would imagine they are busier when the weather warms up a bit.


The Colorado River itself was nice. It seemed low to me, based on the visible rocks. But it was crystal clear. One area had some monster carp swimming, doubtlessly looking for a potato chip hand out. They were between two and three feet long, so previous tourists were likely very accommodating.


So after a few pictures we had decided we had seen all that we needed to see. This was just a look and see quickie trip, so the expectation were low. We had killed about 2 ½ hours in Laughlin. The drive back would take an hour and a half. That would but us back in Vegas around 4 PM. Check in at the Luxor was for 3 PM, so we got in our car and headed upstate.


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On the way to Laughlin, Yeeaaah!
On the way to Laughlin, Yeeaaah!
Still on the way to Laughlin. Fres…
Still on the way to Laughlin. Fre…
Our first view of Laughlin
Our first view of Laughlin
Looking across the Colorado River …
Looking across the Colorado River…
Look! Bullhead City has a Home Dep…
Look! Bullhead City has a Home De…
I dont know what kind they are, b…
I don't know what kind they are, …
The clear waters of the Colorado R…
The clear waters of the Colorado …
Laughlin Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
There have to better places to eat
The CafĂ© Aquarius, is located, not unexpectedly, in the Aquarius Casino Resort Hotel. The Aquarius is the largest hotel and casino in Laughlin. You w… read entire review
photo by: brett4321