If you’re looking for a planned community in one of the country’s most unusual landscapes, Henderson may be just the ticket. Just outside of Las Vegas, Henderson has more than 20 such suburban developments — with bike paths, golf courses, lakes and other amenities — with a total population that’s just shy of 300,000.
Once you venture outside your neighborhood, there’s easy access to plenty of manmade entertainments — from public pools to casinos and nightclubs to the Clark County History Museum, which traces the region’s development from the Ice Age forward.
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Henderson residents more inclined to the natural world also have a wealth of places to explore, including the River Mountains Loop Trail. Completed just six years ago, it’s a 34-mile car-free route that joins Lake Mead National Recreation Area with the Hoover Dam and other remarkable sites in the Las Vegas Valley.
The state’s second-largest city, Henderson is part of the comparatively diverse Clark County School District, which is the nation’s fifth-largest, serving more than 320,000 students. — Sara Ivry