While land-locked Arizona may not be able to compete with California in the surf and sand department, the state harbors a few gems along its own "West Coast." The Lower Colorado River creates a natural border between Arizona and California that fills dry desert lands with sparkling waters and diverse wildlife refuges. Here, the history of the Old West mingles with modern cities to offer fun and intrigue for folks of all ages. Visit October through May for cooler temperatures—the summer months typically push the thermometer over 100°F.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
As America’s first national recreation area, this water-lover’s paradise draws thousands each year for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, cycling, and camping. The 1.5 million acre retreat stretches across spectacular mountains, canyons, and valleys.
Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, in particular, invite visitors with year-round adventure. The two man-made lakes offer 290-square-miles of water for water sports and abundant fishing. Lake Mead has 7 launch ramps and three full-service marinas. At the Callville Bay Marina, near the Lake Mead Blvd. Entrance Station, you’ll find boat and kayak rentals as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and lakeside dining at the Callville Bay’s lounge. Rent a houseboat and camp in one of the lake’s hidden coves, or bring your RV or tent to the full-service campground that features 52 sites with fire pits, grills, restrooms, and running water. At the south end of Lake Mohave, Katherine Landing and nearby Katherine Beach have all the makings for a great day on the water: a boat launch, a sandy beach, hiking trails, camping spots, a fishing pier, numerous coves, boat and equipment rentals, and a picnic area.