Henderson, Nevada is everything Las Vegas is not. Henderson has no strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a has a heavy concentration of outdoor adventurers.
Las Vegas is the neon sign that spells out everything not many of us get to see or do more than once or twice in a lifetime…unless of course, we’re in Las Vegas. While having access to this full-time may be appealing to some, most who love a few days and nights perusing the strip probably also appreciate a bit of distance from it.
Enter Henderson. Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas, is everything Las Vegas is not. No strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a heavy focus on outdoor adventure. With a more family-focused population of 300,000, Henderson ranked #2 on Forbes’ 2017 Top Ten Safest U.S. Cities list, while Las Vegas, needless to say, did not rank. And, while one may not have the same experiences in Henderson, there’s no lack of excitement or adventure in this Las Vegas Valley town.
Henderson is right in the middle of everything that the West is so famous for, with all the luxuries of city life and a progressive western culture that’s intoxicating.
Access to outdoor adventure and nearly a dozen National Parks and Conservation Areas is one of the most popular reasons to land in Henderson, either for a week or for a lifetime. There are seven National Parks within a days drive, all of which make for the perfect weekend trip — the uber-famous Grand Canyon National Park, for example. Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park are both just under three hours away, and if necessary, could each be packed into a day trip.
Hike through Red Rock National Conservation Area or nearby Spring Mountain Recreation Area, hang out with lions (at The Lion Habitat Ranch), and everything in between. Cycling and hiking trails, educational attractions, and amusement parks are plentiful. The Adventuredome Theme Park is a huge family favorite, with Cowabunga Bay Waterpark a close second. The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory & Botanical Cactus Garden is an unusual but effective combo. There won’t be much moaning at the mention of this educational day trip. A trip to the Hoover Dam is also a favorite.
Golf is (Really) Good Here
Henderson proper hosts eight golf courses, with 60+ courses in the greater Las Vegas Valley alone. Chimera, Wildhorse, Reflection Bay, and DragonRidge all are thought to be exceptional courses. But, there are a couple of standouts.
In 2017, Golf Magazine named Cascata, six miles from Henderson in Boulder City, the sixth best course in the state of Nevada. Shadow Creek, in North Las Vegas, was named first.
By Bike is the Best Way
Henderson is seriously bike-friendly, both in town and through the dessert.
The River Mountains Loop Trail is a shining example of this. Even The New York Times agrees that the River Mountains Loop is the best way to see the backcountry here, calling it a “challenging” and “more rugged kind of fun.” The loop winds cyclists through the Mojave Desert, into Henderson, and beyond to Lake Mead and historic Hoover Dam.
The Amargosa Trail is an urban trail that runs through the foothills of the McCullough Range and into many of Henderson’s most popular parks, including Paseo Verde Park.
A Night on the Town
Peruse restaurants in Henderson’s Anthem Neighborhood to find meals on par with those served at Circo at Bellagio. One of Anthem’s newest additions, Craft Kitchen, has integrated a Bellagio-inspired bakery that is said to turn meals into masterpieces.
The District at Green Valley is another restaurant- filled plaza with a variety of cuisines to please every palate. Me Gusta Tacos, a sustainable Mexican eatery, is a local favorite.
Henderson may not be Vegas, but there’s no shortage of casinos and nightlife in this resort town.