Visitors to Laughlin, at the southern tip of Nevada, can choose between visiting casinos, golf resorts and spas, or embarking on outdoor adventures along the Colorado River and its surrounds.
Many of the 12 casinos line the Colorado River and are linked by a pedestrian thoroughfare known locally as the Laughlin Strip – a good place to start exploring. Choose one of the big, glitzy casinos, such as the Golden Nugget or the Tropicana, or check out the Colorado Belle, which resembles a Mississippi riverboat. For a smaller, local favorite, visit the family-run Regency.
The Colorado River is a feature of many of the outdoor activities in the area as well. Boating, water-skiing and fishing can be done here, and there are scenic boat tours offering dinner and music. Also visible from Laughlin itself, and just a short drive away, are the Black Mountains. The Secret Pass and McNutt Wilderness Area are particular favorite tourist haunts.
Take a day trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Head down Route 66 and take a tour of the Grand Canyon Caverns, the largest dry caverns in the US.
Rent a car and drive to see the Hoover Dam. It is situated 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Laughlin, and is well worth the trip.
Check the events calendar when you are planning your trip to Laughlin for one-off and annual spectaculars. There is a wide range of these events, including the Rockets Over the River firework display and the Laughlin River Run, which attracts more than 70,000 motorcycle enthusiasts.
Although Laughlin is often thought of as the home of a great range of casinos, it also offers many outdoor adventures, diverse and dramatic scenery and some hugely popular annual events.