Las Vegas: Places to Explore

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Henderson and Lake Las Vegas

Suburbia spreads quickly to the southeast of the Las Vegas Strip, and it continues to spread; Henderson is one of the fastest growing cities in the entire nation. Much of this area is residential, with only a smattering of casinos.

One of those casinos—the M Resort—has arguably the most commanding views of the Strip; because the property is uphill from town, it literally looks down on the rest of the Valley. Another casino resort, Green Valley Ranch, is adjacent to one of the best shopping malls in the area. Both are worthwhile destinations for either a weekend or an afternoon.

Out near Lake Las Vegas, the vibe is much more luxurious; resorts such as the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa and Ravella dot the shoreline of a man-made lake, providing the perfect backdrop for golf and a variety of other outdoor activities. Bicyclists, joggers, roller-bladers, and good-old walkers will love the River Mountains Trail, a 35-mile loop that links Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, and Boulder City to the south. Pedaling over the sometimes-formidable mountains, it's hard to believe this deserted region is just a dozen miles from a major city.

Farther afield are the main attractions in this part of the Valley: Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Hoover Dam. If you've got the time, rent a houseboat for a multiday vacation on the lake; it's the best way to explore the body of water at your own pace. At the dam, take the tour for an inside look (literally) at one of humankind's greatest engineering feats. These icons are packed in summer, so it's best to plan your trip for a shoulder season such as spring or fall.

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