Clinging to the southern edge of the fabled World Capital of Gambling, the city of Henderson has garnered a reputation as something of a more laid-back, suburban alternative to Sin City and the lights of the Vegas Strip. Its neighborhoods sit nestled between the rocky rises and towering hoodoos of the River Mountains and Sloan Canyon, beset by the Nevadan deserts. Officially the second largest city in the state, the town has something of a chilled undercurrent, with smiling locals who flit between American diners eating BBQ and the winding trails of the canyon-cut hills. However, this is Nevada, and casinos are never too far away – gaming is a big pull in Henderson too. Add to that the draws of the mighty Hoover Dam, the seemingly endless recreational possibilities of Lake Mead (America’s largest reservoir), a clutch of fine local breweries and whiskey houses, and some seriously beautiful natural parks, and it’s easy to see why more and more people are heading here from the neon-lit megalopolis to the north. Let’s explore the best things to do in Henderson:
1. See locomotives and historic homes at the Clark County Heritage Museum
A fine introduction to the people, cultures, history and heritage of southern Nevada as a whole, the Clark County Heritage Museum occupies 30 acres of land in the lower fringes of Henderson city. Well-kempt and manicured, the site includes a host of historic buildings, all dating from when the Roberts family first rooted down here in the early 1900s. Particular draws include the whitewashed Candlelight Wedding Chapel, which was entirely rebuilt on this spot after hosting countless ad hoc weddings on the Vegas Strip, and the traditional Beckley House of 1912. There are also the rusting shells of old locomotives to see (perfect for any travelers interested in tales of the American railroad), along with exhibitions chronicling the Indian peoples who once thrived between the desert lands of what is now Clark County.