Recreations & Leisure
Although Henderson is a relatively young community, it has all the amenities and recreation options of a more established city. Much of this has to do with the prevalence of master-planned communities; the residential developers designed in the public spaces from the beginning, without waiting for the need to arise based on population growth. Part of the attraction of a master-planned community is that the parks and other open spaces flow well with the residential housing areas, creating a sense of balance and a feeling of being close to nature.
Henderson has more than 40 parks, providing more recreational facilities per capita than most other communities in southern Nevada. Notably, the city's Parks and Recreation Department won a gold medal for excellence in administration in 1999 and is accredited by the National Park and Recreation Association. In 1994, Henderson was named the Sports Illustrated Sportstown for the state of Nevada. The award recognizes the strength and depth of the city's community sports programs.
Public-use facilities include walking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, softball/baseball fields, six recreation centers, golf courses and two performing arts venues. One of the recreation centers, the Multigenerational Facility at Liberty Pointe, is the largest facility of its kind in the state. Also notable is the Henderson Pavilion at Liberty Point, an outdoor amphitheater used for cultural performances.
The city offers more than 600 programs, activities, classes and special events throughout the year. Sports instruction is available for racquetball, volleyball, aerobics and much more. Activities and social programs for seniors are held at the Henderson Senior Center. Youth programs, for those in preschool through middle school, are offered before and after school and on school holidays.
Nature enthusiasts will want to visit the City of Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. The preserve has an interesting history: Once just a wastewater reclamation facility, the site evolved into a bird habitat naturally over time. Over the years, the evaporating ponds on the site attracted more than 200 species of birds. As the bird population grew, the site gained the attention of birders and the National Audubon Society. In the 1990s, the city formally dedicated 80 acres of the site as a bird viewing preserve.
Water sports are available at the MonteLago Village Marina and nearby Lake Mead. At the marina, visitors can rent boats, book a yacht rental or take a gondola cruise. The lake itself is used for boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking and swimming. Lake Mead is the fifth most popular site in the U.S. national park system. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area actually includes two lakes: Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. The park is a popular destination for those who love to boat, swim, fish, water ski, kayak, hike, camp, picnic, sightsee or just relax in the sunshine. Scuba diving is also popular, and the park is visited by both experienced and novice divers. Maps and more information about the park are available at the Alan Bible Visitor Center.
Lake Mead was created when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s. Hoover Dam, named after President Herbert Hoover, is a massive concrete gravity-arch dam, built to control flooding and allow for irrigated farming. In 1985, Hoover Dam was designated a national historic landmark.
The Colorado River is another popular outdoor destination for Henderson residents. Accessible about 14 miles from the city, the Colorado River is used for fishing, rafting, canoeing and exploring.
The most prevalent outdoor recreational activity in Henderson, however, is golf. Residents, visitors and business travelers love Henderson's selection of private, semi-private and public golf facilities as well as resorts. Private courses include: Anthem Country Club, DragonRidge Golf Club, The Foothills Country Club and SouthShore Golf Club. Local golf resorts include the Rio Secco Golf Club and The Falls Golf Club. Public and semi-private courses are: Tuscany Golf Club, WildHorse Golf Club, Reflection Bay Golf Club, Revere Golf Club, Black Mountain Golf and Country Club and Desert Willow Golf Course.
There are shopping, dining and entertainment areas located throughout Henderson. Many of these are situated for convenience, with easy access from nearby residential neighborhoods. One of the busier entertainment areas is the MonteLago Village along Lake Las Vegas. Complete with five-star hotels, a marina, the Casino MonteLago and the Spa Vita di Lago, the village represents the new and luxurious style of entertainment demanded by Henderson residents and visitors. High-end retailers populate the retail storefronts and classy dining establishments serve dinner at the waterfront. The centerpiece of the village is a stunning bridge designed after the Pontevecchio Bridge in Florence, Italy.