AAA Four Diamond Hotel South of Vegas Strip
Less than 10 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip, the Mediterranean-inspired Green Valley Ranch cuts an imposing figure, with Spanish-style architecture, tiled roofs, and grounds covered with towering palms. You don’t have to worry about transportation to the city’s main corridor, thanks to a complimentary shuttle that runs back and forth from the Strip four times a day, as well as to the airport. But there's a lot to do right at Green Valley Ranch—the sprawling resort encompasses restaurants, pools, a casino, and a movie theater. Frommer’s calls the AAA Four Diamond–rated resort “flat-out fabulous,” and says that “you can stay here with your parents or your kids, and every age group should be happy.”
You’ll stay in either a deluxe king or deluxe two-queen room, both of which have a 42-inch LCD television and a roomy bathroom. In the upscale casino, exposed-stone columns support towering arches and a vaulted ceiling. Gamers can try their luck at 2,200 slot and video poker games, 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 eight onsite restaurants, including Hank's Fine Steaks & Martinis, known for its selection of aged meats, and Terra Verde, an Italian eatery with housemade pasta dishes and an extensive wine list.
Green Valley Ranch's outdoor recreation area stretches across more than 8 acres outfitted with manicured lawns, private cabanas, and infinity-edge dipping pools. You can also 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 Reader-Journal readers. At night, you can slip into one of the resort’s 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 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.
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