AAA Four Diamond Spa Resort Southeast of Las Vegas Strip
Less than 20 minutes southeast of the Las Vegas Strip, Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa cuts an imposing figure, with Mediterranean-style architecture, tiled roofs, and grounds covered with towering palms. You don’t have to worry about transportation to the Vegas Strip, thanks to a shuttle that makes stops there four times a day (it also goes to the airport). There’s a lot to do at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa, too—you’ll find restaurants, pools, a casino, and a movie theater. Frommer’s calls the AAA Four Diamond property “flat-out fabulous,” noting that “you can stay here with your parents or your kids, and every age group should be happy.”
In the upscale casino, exposed stone columns support towering arches and a vaulted ceiling. Gamers can try their luck with 2,200 slot and video-poker machines, a poker room, race- and sports-book areas, and more than 55 table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette. Spend your winnings at one of several onsite restaurants, including Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis and Tides Seafood & Sushi Bar.
The resort’s outdoor recreation area stretches across more than 8 acres dotted with manicured lawns, private cabanas, and infinity-edge dipping pools. You can indulge in a massage, facial, or mani-pedi at the onsite spa, which was named one of the city’s best hotel spas in a poll of Las Vegas Review-Journal readers. Later, slip into one of the lounges or bars for a nightcap.
Henderson, Nevada: Thriving Suburb Close to the Vegas Strip
A Las Vegas suburb, Henderson is conveniently close to the Strip but also far enough away to be an escape from the bustle. Livability.com named it a top family vacation destination, highlighting the city’s culture scene, which includes area art galleries and outdoor symphony concerts. At the Clark County Museum, visitors can trace southern Nevada’s history via a timeline exhibit. The museum campus also has several historic buildings—including a decades-old barn and a wedding chapel—as well as a walk-in mining trail.
You’ll find the Hoover Dam, one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, about 20 miles east of town. Take the guided tour if you want to learn more about the dam’s history and get a look at the inner passageways. Nearby Lake Mead hosts all sorts of watersports, including kayaking and fishing, but the bulk of the lake’s recreation area consists of mountains and valley with trails for hiking.
Henderson’s shopping scene is another draw: the town features one of the most popular malls off the Strip, Galleria at Sunset. The two-level shopping center houses more than 140 shops and five department stores. But Galleria really stands out because of its Southwestern-themed decor, including fountains, palm trees, and a topiary of animals in the food court. Alternatively, The District at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa offers an outdoor shopping experience with a pedestrian-friendly promenade that’s lined with boutiques and restaurants. There are also ample opportunities to relax here with a lushly landscaped central park and a grassy courtyard where musicians play live on Friday and Saturday nights from May through October.