When it comes to exploring the Golden State, many tourists overlook the intimate charm of its small towns. One such hidden gem is Needles, California, a city that offers a blend of history, nature, and adventure. No matter what interests you, Needles has something for everyone. Here are our top five picks of things to do in Needles, California.
1. Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
If you are a nature enthusiast, your trip to Needles would be incomplete without visiting the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Nestled along the Colorado River, this sanctuary is a haven for wildlife and a paradise for those who love to see nature in its unadulterated grandeur. This lush refuge is home to a myriad of plant and animal species, serving as a natural oasis in the midst of the Mojave Desert. Whether you are an avid bird watcher or simply seeking a tranquil environment, the Refuge offers an unparalleled experience. The scenic beauty of the Refuge is amplified during sunrise and sunset – moments when the golden hue of the sky is reflected on the calm waters of the River Colorado. A leisurely stroll or picnic here not only rejuvenates the senses but also provides a chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.
2. Mystic Maze Honey
Next on our list is a sweet treat straight from Mother Nature – Mystic Maze Honey. Journey to this family-owned local favorite where the magic of beekeeping unfolds. You can learn about the intricate process of honey making and the vital role bees play in our ecosystem. Their pure, raw honey is revered for its unique flavors and health benefits. While here, don’t miss out on a tour of the honey farm where hundreds of bees buzz around, busy as ever, crafting nature’s sweetest gift. The friendly staff at Mystic Maze Honey are always eager to answer your questions and enlighten you about the fascinating world of bees.
3. Needles Regional Museum
No visit to Needles is complete without immersing yourself in its rich history at the Needles Regional Museum. This modest museum is a treasure trove of local history, housing an array of artifacts, photographs, and stories that bring to life the city’s past. From tales of Native American tribes to the booming days of the railroad, the museum spans centuries of history. As you stroll through the museum, you’ll encounter pieces of old Route 66, learn about the harsh desert conditions the city’s early settlers had to endure, and discover the importance of the Colorado River to this arid region. The Needles Regional Museum truly allows you to step back in time and appreciate the resilience and spirit of this desert city.
4. El Garces Hotel
A significant chapter in Needles’ history is embodied in the El Garces Hotel. Once known as “The Crown Jewel” of the Santa Fe Railroad’s chain of Harvey Houses, El Garces was impeccably restored and transformed into a transport hub and community center. Although no longer a functioning hotel, the building’s Spanish Mission-style design and classic elegance are sure to take your breath away. During your visit, imagine the hustle and bustle of the early 20th century when El Garces was a sought-after stop for travelers. El Garces is more than just a symbol of Needles’ past, it’s a testament to the city’s timeless character and enduring heart.
5. Rivers Edge Golf Course
For those looking for some active leisure, the Rivers Edge Golf Course is the perfect destination. Located on the banks of the Colorado River, this 18-hole golf course offers splendid views and a challenging game for golfers of all skill levels. The course is meticulously maintained and surrounded by magnificent desert scenery, making your game a visually remarkable experience. Wrap up your day at their clubhouse where you can unwind and enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink. The Rivers Edge Golf Course is a testament to the fact that in Needles, the fun doesn’t stop at the city limits.
Needles, California, may be a small city but it boasts a wide array of attractions. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, a gourmand, or a golfer, this desert town has something for you. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Needles, a city that proves that great things often come in small packages.