The legendary, tropical-themed bars are closed. The pools, normally packed with drunken coeds, are empty. The canal, usually filled to the brim with loud and fast aquatic hot rods, is vacant.
The spring breakers who make Lake Havasu City, Ariz., a party destination in the spring and summer months are replaced by churchgoing, slow-driving, 5 p.m. dinner-eating snowbirds during the winter.
"We sort of hunker down in our homes during the summer months," said Betsy Hoff, a Lake Havasu City resident and an employee at the visitor center. "It can get a little rowdy."
It is reminiscent of small-town America during the "colder" months, with quiet residential streets lined with trees - in this case, of the palm variety - and neighbors greeting each other in the stores. Lake Havasu City offers a slow-paced reprieve from the daily grind.
Of course, the London Bridge, the city's main attraction besides the lake, can be explored at any time of year. It really is a bridge that once spanned the River Thames in England. In 1967, the city of London sought a buyer for the bridge, built in 1831, because it could no longer accommodate modern traffic and was set to be replaced, according to the local visitors bureau website.
Lake Havasu City founder and entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch offered the winning bid of nearly $2.5 million in 1968. Each block of the bridge was numbered before shipment so it could be reconstructed accurately in Lake Havasu City, the website notes. The bridge, which now spans the Bridgewater Channel Canal, specially built for the project, was rededicated in 1971.
The walk across the bridge is uneventful, with most of the interest underneath. While descending the staircase at the southwest end, take a moment to find the inscriptions of American soldiers etched into the granite. While stationed in London during World War II, a Sgt. Fitzwater took the time to carve his name into the abutment of the bridge, still visible today.
The best photo opportunities can be found under the bridge, near the water's edge. Visitors also can stroll leisurely along the canal, stopping into the wonderfully kitschy souvenir shops by the bridge, complete with London Bridge shot glasses and those T-shirts with images of slender bikini-clad torsos printed on them.
At the northeast end of London Bridge is the Lake Havasu City visitor center, offering an interesting pictorial history of the city and bridge.
Jan Kassies, director of visitor services for the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau, offers a walking tour of the bridge at 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
"It is the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona," he said. "Just behind Grand Canyon, but we're working on that."
Those feeling a bit more adventurous need not look far.
Several rental companies near the bridge offer a plethora of watercraft. Visitors can lazily putter along the canal or chug across the lake in a pontoon boat. A simple paddle boat ride for two along the canal at night makes for an interesting London Bridge pub crawl.
The surrounding area is covered in a network of off-road trails. Even those who don't own an off-road vehicle can rent an ATV by the hour.
For some visitors, a day on the links may be more their speed.
The Island Golf Course at the Nautical Beachfront Resort is a spectacular, yet easygoing 18-hole executive course. The bucolic Southwest splendor of the surrounding mountains and blue water wash over golfers as they make their way back toward the clubhouse.
Built in 1974, the short course meanders along the edge of the island. What the course lacks in distance - leave the driver in the car - it makes up for in sand traps. But for only $20, nothing beats a day on the golf course.
It also helps to be able to wash down that 17 over par with a cold one at Bogey's Sports Bar and Grill in the clubhouse.
Tee times aren't required but are encouraged, especially during the winter months - peak golf season in the desert.
I had arrived in Lake Havasu City expecting to find it exactly how I had left it back in spring break of 2008, crowded with half-naked 20-somethings swigging booze and life straight out of a bottle. Instead, I found an entirely different city, one that enjoys browsing the Sunday flea market on London Bridge Road.
Faced with this realization, I did as the locals do. I slowed my car to 35 mph, rolled down the windows and embraced the lack of winter, rowdy college kids and par 5s.