People relocate for many reasons, from starting a new job to needing a change of scenery. While it's an exciting venture, moving to another town or city can also be challenging and even intimidating, because you'll be facing many unknown circumstances. If you're planning to start a new life in Henderson, Nevada, you can reduce your uncertainty by learning more about the city beforehand. Check out this comprehensive guide of Henderson to get you ready for your big move.
Overview of Henderson
Located in Clark County in Southern Nevada, Henderson belongs to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, which stretches the entire length of Las Vegas Valley. It's about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas. In terms of population, it's the second-largest city in Nevada.
With its thriving economy, excellent infrastructure, and virtually endless recreational opportunities, Henderson has a lot to offer both residents and tourists. Due to its proximity to Las Vegas, the city's an ideal destination for people who want to have easy access to world-class entertainment and amenities while still being able to enjoy a relatively relaxing lifestyle. Its wonderful blend of modern affluence, hometown charm, and abundance of green spaces make it one of best cities to live in the United States.
History of Henderson
The history of Henderson dates back to the time when construction on Hoover Dam began. In 1929, a settlement called Jericho Heights was built at the current site of the city to house dam workers. It became Midway City three years later. With the construction of the 2,800-acre Basic Magnesium Incorporated plant during World War II, the town quickly established itself as the main producer of magnesium in the country. Primarily a federal installation, the plant supplied the United States War Department with magnesium for producing airplane parts and munitions.
In 1942, Midway City was renamed Henderson in honor of Senator Charles Belknap Henderson. When World War II ended in 1945, the future of the town was uncertain. With diminished demand for magnesium, most of the 14,000 employees of Basic Magnesium Incorporated moved away, leaving more than half of the houses in town vacant. In 1947, the War Asset Administration deemed that Henderson was a war surplus and put it up for sale.
In an attempt to save the city, Nevada legislators spent a weekend in Henderson to evaluate the possibility of buying it. Within days, they unanimously agreed to pass a bill to allow Colorado River Commission of Nevada to purchase the town. Henderson was incorporated as a city in 1953. With a population of 7,410 at that time, the city elected Dr. Jim French as its first mayor. In 1954, United States Census figures showed that Henderson was the fastest-growing city in the country.
Henderson continued to experience rapid growth over the following years. While it has been a manufacturing hub for most of its short history, the city's economy is much more diversified today. It's also home to the headquarters and large offices of many multinational corporations, including Levi Strauss & Company, Ford Credit, Ocean Spray, and Good Humor-Breyers. Besides attracting numerous entrepreneurs because of its highly favorable business climate, Henderson is also a preferred destination for tourists, retirees, and relocators. The modern “boom town” welcomes almost 6,000 new residents every month.
Geography of Henderson
Henderson covers a total area of 107.7 square miles. With the exception of washes such as Duck Creek and Pittman Wash, it's entirely made up of land. Its surrounding mountains mostly have gentle slopes, and they rise to an average elevation of about 3,800 feet. The nearest mountain range is McCullough Range, which is covered with black rocks from a volcanic eruption that occurred millions of years ago. The city is located close to many interesting geological features, including strange rock formations, prismatic geysers, and lava domes.
Situated in Mojave Desert, the area around Henderson has vegetation and wildlife typical of the desert. It features plant species such as the Beavertail cactus, Arizona firecracker, creosote bush, desert lily, white fir, and Joshua tree, as well as animal species such as coyote, cougar, black-tailed jackrabbit, desert tortoise, desert iguana, and kangaroo rat. Some of these species are endemic to the region.
Climate in Henderson
According to its Sperling's Comfort Index, Henderson has a highly comfortable year-round climate. Its score of 86 out of 100 is much higher than the national average of 54. The city experiences a warm desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. In the hot season, which lasts from early June to mid-September, the average daily high temperature is above 96 degrees. The cool season lasts from mid-November to late February and sees an average daily high temperature of below 67 degrees. The highest temperature in summer is around 103 degrees, while the lowest in winter is 39 degrees.
Over the course of a year, Henderson gets 297 sunny days, which is significantly more than the national average of 205 days. On average, it experiences precipitation 19 days per year. The city receives an average of six inches of rain per year and rarely snows. Taking clear, rainless days and perceived temperatures of 65 degrees to 80 degrees into consideration, the best time for outdoor activities in Henderson is from late April to mid-October.
Demography of Henderson
Currently, Henderson is home to about 302,000 residents. The following are distributions of the population by gender, age, race, and education.
- Male persons – 49.1 percent.
- Female persons – 50.9 percent.
- Under five years old – 5.1 percent.
- From six to 18 years old – 21.3 percent.
- From 19 to 64 years old – 55 percent.
- 65 years old and above – 18.6 percent.
- Caucasian Americans – 67 percent.
- Hispanic Americans – 15.6 percent.
- Asian Americans – 8 percent.
- African Americans – 5.4 percent.
- Native Americans – 0.4 percent.
- Pacific Islanders – 0.4 percent.
- Two or more other races – 4.3 percent.
- Persons 25 years and over with high school diploma or higher – 93.2 percent.
- Persons 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher – 31.7 percent.
Henderson has about 110,000 households, each of which contains an average of 2.56 members. Median household income in the city is $66,939, while per capita income is $35,985.
Economy of Henderson
Henderson has been experiencing tremendous economic growth in recent years, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. Over the past two decades, government agencies, businesses, and the local community have been working together to establish aggressive programs to attract modern industries and diversity the city's economy. Today, Henderson's economy employs 129,658 people in a wide range of industries. Its largest industries in terms of employment include:
- Retail trade (13.6 percent)
- Accommodation and food services (13.3 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation (9.7 percent)
- Health care and social assistance (9.6 percent)
- Educational services (8 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and technical services (6.4 percent)
- Construction (5.3 percent)
- Administrative, support, and waste management services (4.8 percent)
- Public administration (4.5 percent)
If you're planning to start a business in Henderson, you can take advantage of a wide array of city and state programs to grow your business. The city itself has programs that provide useful resources for expanding and relocating businesses, partial exemption from franchise fees and public utilities license, low-interest loans, grants, and other forms of assistance. You can also participate in Nevada's Sales Use and Tax Abatement Program to obtain tax breaks for eligible equipment purchases. In addition, the state offers many job training services for employers, employees, and job seekers.
Education in Henderson
Henderson is one of the best cities for education in Nevada. It belongs to Clark County School District, which is the fifth-largest school district in the United States. The city has numerous public and private institutions to meet the educational needs of residents and businesses. It designates almost $1.5 million of its revenue to be used exclusively for meeting classroom, student, and teacher needs.
Henderson's K-12 schools consistently outrank schools in other Nevadan towns and cities in terms of academic performance. In addition, its public schools surpass the national averages in math, reading, and graduation rates. The city has 29 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, and nine universities and colleges. It's also located close to University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a fully-accredited university that offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 27,000 students.
Transportation in Henderson
Due to its strategic location and excellent transportation infrastructure, Henderson is one of the most accessible cities in Nevada. It has four major highways running through it, including State Route 582, State Route 564 (Lake Mead Parkway), Interstate 215, and Interstate 515. State Route 582 is the main thoroughfare connecting the city with Las Vegas and Boulder City. Motorists traveling to and from Southern California often use the nearby State Route 146 (Saint Rose Parkway), which connects Interstate 215 with Interstate 15 in Green Valley.
Almost every household in Henderson has at least one car. In 2016, only 5 percent of households lacked a car, which was significantly lower than the national average of 8.7 percent. With about 83 percent of people driving to work alone in their vehicles, you can expect traffic congestion in some parts of the city. However, commuters in Henderson only take an average of 23 minutes to commute one way to work, which is three minutes shorter than the national average. If you prefer to travel by bus, take the RTC Transit buses that run throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
For air travel, you can either use Henderson Executive Airport or McCarran International Airport. Henderson Executive Airport is the primary reliever airport to the busy McCarran International Airport, which is the main airport serving Las Vegas. This business aviation facility is a convenient and economical alternative for travelers to and from Henderson.
Located about 12 miles northwest of Henderson, McCarran International Airport offers flights to all parts of the United States and many destinations around the world. As the eighth busiest airport in the country, it serves more than 48 million passengers every year.
Healthy Living in Henderson
Henderson is home to many state-of-the-art medical facilities that provide high-quality health care for its residents. Additionally, its average health care cost is lower than the national average. It also has many excellent assisted living facilities, which is one of the reasons why it's a popular destination for retirees.
Other than advanced health care facilities, Henderson offers an ideal environment for healthy living. About 82 percent of its adult residents are non-smokers, 74 percent have a healthy weight, and 78 percent do physical activities in their free time. The city has more public parks per capita than any other place in Nevada. Its 64 public parks feature unusual landscaping for a desert community, as well as miles of hiking and biking trails, sports facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Also, Henderson has been designated “Tree City USA” for more than 20 years.
Things to Do in Henderson
Whether you're interested in art, history, nature, or family activities, you can rest assured you'll never run out of things to do in Henderson. Besides offering an abundance of activities within its limits, it also provides easy access to world-famous attractions in Las Vegas and some of the most stunning natural wonders in the country.
Henderson has numerous nationally known shopping establishments and small mom-and-pop stores to suit the budgets and tastes of all kinds of shoppers. The following are the most popular shopping destinations around the city.
The Galleria at Sunset
Situated about 3.5 miles northwest of downtown Henderson, The Galleria at Sunset is one of the largest malls in Nevada. According to Frommer's, this one-million-square-foot indoor mall is the most aesthetically pleasing mall in Las Vegas Valley with its Southwestern décor. It has five anchor stores, 133 retail stores, and two full-service restaurants. Some of the famous brand names you'll find in this mall include Kiehl's, Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Gymboree, Kohl's, Skecher's, New York & Company, Motherhood Maternity, and Auntie Anne's.
The District at Green Valley Ranch
The District at Green Valley Ranch is part of the Green Valley Ranch resort that also includes a hotel, casino, and spa. This upscale shopping mall features a picturesque outdoor promenade and more than 50 retail stores. Its tenants include Whole Foods Market, Bath & Body Works, Chico's, Lululemon, Playtika, Francesca's Collections, Red Rock Running, and Ben & Jerry's.
Water Street District
Water Street District was the “Main Street” in Henderson during the 1940s. The city managed to maintain its historic character over the years and transformed it into a truly unique shopping area. Today, the district is home to a wide array of boutique stores, including gift shops, antique shops, art galleries, jewelry stores, flower shops, small casinos, cafes, and a bakery.
If you're looking for a major retailer, head down to Lake Mead Crossing, a 700,000-square-foot retail center that features well-known brands such as Target, Staples, Petsmart, Hallmark, and Radio Shack. Water Street District is also the place where the Henderson Farmers Market is held every Thursday.
Henderson is also known as a food haven. It offers an extensive variety of cuisines to suit every palate, from homemade American food to exotic Thai dishes. Some of the restaurants you should try include:
Todd's Unique Dining
Todd's Unique Dining provides a memorable dining experience with its neighborly atmosphere and exquisite gourmet dishes. On the menu, you'll find creative items such as Goats Cheese Wonton with raspberry basil sauce, Togarashi-Dusted Rare Ahi Tuna with wasabi mash and soy butter, and Breast of Duck with pomegranate red wine sauce and mashed sweet potatoes.
Penn's Thai House
Penn's Thai House makes everything from scratch. Some of its famous dishes include spice and rice-powder salads, larb made with ground meat, green curry with shrimp, and marinated Thai barbecued chicken.
Straight From Philly
This restaurant serves truly authentic cheesesteaks made with Philadelphia's Amoroso Italian rolls and Original Philly Cheesesteak meat. It has more than two dozen different types of cheesesteaks for you to choose from, as well as cheeseburgers, hoagies, gyros, and specialty fries.
Settebello Pizzeria makes authentic Neapolitan pizzas with traditional cooking methods and ingredients that are mostly imported from Italy. Its pizzas are soft, foldable, and “wet” by American standards, and the charred spots on them show that they have been perfectly cooked in a wood-fired oven. Try the signature Settebello pizza, Margherita, Quattro Formagi, or Pizza Carbonara.
Many locals in Henderson don't bother to make the short trip to Las Vegas to enjoy its world-renowned entertainment offerings. Apparently, the city has its fair share of casinos and entertainment venues to make life interesting for its residents. Whenever you feel bored in Henderson, pay a visit to these popular entertainment spots:
Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
Sunset Station Hotel & Casino is the preferred destination for people who want to enjoy casino games in a warm, relaxed environment. It has all the table games that are commonly available in Las Vegas' mega casinos, such as blackjack, baccarat, Texas hold'em poker, pai gow poker, roulette, and craps, as well as slots, video poker, keno, bingo, and sports book. Besides gaming, it also offers a wide range of dining options and family-friendly attractions such as live performances, movie theaters, swimming pool, bowling center, arcade, and a kids' play area.
Featuring a 40,000-square-foot canopy-style roof, Henderson Pavilion is the largest outdoor amphitheater in Nevada. It's home to the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, musicals, and movie screenings.
Firelight Barn Dinner Theater
If you want to have a memorable date with your special someone or fun time with your family, spend an evening at Firelight Barn Dinner Theater, Southern Nevada's premier opry. You'll get the opportunity to watch the famous Mama Wranglers in action while enjoying a delectable meal prepared by Smokehouse BBQ, a favorite in the Las Vegas Valley. Consisting of the Jackson Family Band and Cloggers, the Mama Wranglers sing in four-part harmonies, play a variety of instruments, and dance up a storm with amazing clogging skills.
With numerous public parks of its own and easy access to some of the most famous natural attractions in the country, Henderson offers endless options for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you just want to have a nice picnic, challenge yourself with a strenuous hike, or get your adrenaline pumping on an extreme outdoor adventure, you can find a place around the city that suits your fancy. Check out these popular outdoor destinations around Henderson:
If you just want to have a leisurely day out with your family, friends, or four-legged companion, head down to Cornerstone Park. This beautiful park features a 31-acre lake, nature trails, picnic areas, sports facilities, and a playground. It's also home to many animals and birds, making it a great place for nature bonding. Other public parks you should visit include Reunion Trails Park, Hidden Falls Park, Mission Hills Park, and Anthem Hills Park.
Clark County Wetlands Park
Located about 3 miles north of downtown Henderson, Clark County Wetlands Park encompasses an area of 2,900 acres, making it the largest park in Clark County's park system. This is a great place to experience the unique flora and fauna of Southern Nevada. As you explore the park's Nature Preserve Trail, you have a good chance of seeing native animal species such as the black-tailed jackrabbit, cinnamon teal, ruddy duck, American coot, and great blue heron.
River Mountains Loop Trail
If you enjoy hiking and biking, get on the River Mountains Loop Trail. This non-motorized 35-mile trail surrounds the River Mountains and connects Lake Mead National Recreational Area to Boulder City and Henderson. It offers stunning views of Las Vegas Valley and Lake Mead, giving you a taste of the desert environment in Nevada. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep.
Situated about 10 miles southeast of Henderson, Bootleg Canyon is another favorite haunt of outdoor enthusiasts. It offers more than 36 miles of trails with varying levels of difficulty to suit both beginner and experienced bikers and hikers. One of the main highlights of this place is the Flightlinez zip-line tour, which includes four zip lines that are up to half a mile long. You'll enjoy a spectacular aerial view of Mojave Desert, as well as an adrenaline rush of a lifetime.
If you're moving to Henderson with your family, you'll be glad to know that the city has plenty of family-friendly activities. Besides bringing your kids to shopping malls, parks, and amusement centers, you can also have fun with them at the following attractions:
Lion Habitat Ranch
Lion Habitat Ranch is an 8.5-acre animal sanctuary that's dedicated to housing African lions and other animals. It's home to almost 50 lions, many of which have been rescued from unhealthy living conditions. During your tour, a knowledgeable guide will provide little-known facts about lions and tell interesting stories about each animal. Other than lions, Lion Habitat Ranch also features exotic birds, giant tortoises, and Ozzie, the famous painting giraffe.
Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve
Even if you aren't an avid bird-watcher, you can have an unforgettable day out with your kids at Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. This 140-acre park is one of the best places to watch birds and dragonflies in Southern Nevada. It features many species of desert birds, as well as migrant songbirds, water birds, wading birds, and shore birds. It has well-maintained paths around its nine ponds to make it easier for visitors to view birds.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory
Ethel M Chocolate Factory is another popular attraction among families in Henderson. It offers self-guided factory tours that show how its famous chocolates are made. You and your kids will get free samples at the end of your tour. Besides factory tours, the facility also features a chocolate lounge, ice cream counter, coffee bar, gift shop, and a cactus garden with over 300 species of cacti and other succulent plants.
Annual Events in Henderson
To preserve its rich cultural heritage and provide entertainment and social opportunities for its residents, Henderson hosts a wide range of events throughout the year. Examples of these events include:
Front Porch Fest
Held in June, Front Porch Fest is a unique music celebration that takes place on the front porches of houses on Main Street. You can enjoy live performances by local musicians from a wide array of genres as you stroll from porch to porch.
Annual Art Hop
Annual Art Hop gives artists an excellent opportunity to showcase their works while raising public interest in art. Taking place in early November, it transforms downtown locations into pop-up galleries to celebrate the works of artists from the tri-state region and beyond.
Come December, Henderson dazzles with its popular Winterfest celebration. This event features a tree-lighting ceremony with the mayor of the city, a spectacular parade through Water Street District, a special appearance by Santa Claus, strolling carolers, and a craft and gift fair. Children can enjoy attractions such as a carousel, a Ferris wheel, train rides, and pony rides.
Neighborhoods of Henderson
Henderson is home to more than a dozen master-planned residential areas that provide excellent accessibility and amenities, as well as a variety of smaller neighborhoods offering a more intimate environment. Each neighborhood gives you a different experience of the city. The following are some of the best neighborhoods in Henderson.
Located about seven miles southwest of downtown Henderson, Anthem is an upscale neighborhood with a population of about 22,000. With a median income of $83,558, it's one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Nevada. It provides easy access to several golf courses, the activity-filled Anthem Reunion Park, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, and Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, & Casino.
Encompassing an area of 8,400 acres, Green Valley is the first and largest master-planned residential area in Henderson. It's an affluent neighborhood with a median income of $80,779. Situated about five miles west of downtown Henderson, it's close to shops, restaurants, and bars at The District at Green Valley Ranch, as well as The Legacy Golf Club, Cornerstone Park, and Arroyo Grande Sports Complex.
Lake Las Vegas
Lake Las Vegas is located about six miles northeast of downtown Henderson. This 3,592-acre neighborhood has a 320-acre lake that offers water activities such as boating, paddle-boarding, and kayaking. Its proximity to Clark County Wetlands Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area make it an appealing option for outdoor lovers. In addition, it has two golf courses, several casinos, and plenty of shopping and dining places.
Situated just west of Anthem, Seven Hills is one of the safest neighborhoods in Henderson. It has many gated residential areas, several of which feature luxury custom mansions. Set on elevated land, it provides stunning views of the bright lights of Las Vegas at night. It also gives you convenient access to a number of golf courses, The District at Green Valley Ranch, and Lion Habitat Ranch.
As the newest master-planned residential area in Henderson, Cadence offers the most advanced amenities to provide optimal convenience for its residents. Located at the eastern end of the city, it has the 50-acre Central Park that's perfect for picnicking, walking, and biking, and features free Wi-Fi to keep you connected. Additionally, it features an adventure park, splash pads, trails, dog park, and a free bike-sharing program. This neighborhood is within a short drive of The Galleria at Sunset, Chimera Golf Club, Clark County Wetlands Park, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Awards Won by Henderson
If you're thinking that Henderson is a great place to live, you aren't alone. The city has won many awards over the years, including:
- Best Places to Start a Business – WalletHub.
- America's Best Places to Live – Livability.
- Digital Cities Award Winner – Center for Digital Government.
- Top 10 Safest Cities – Law Street.
- Safest Cities to Live in America – Forbes.
- 2nd Safest City in Nevada – SafeWise.
- Winner of Safest Cities to Raise a Family in U.S.A. – LasVegasRealEstate.org.
Regardless of whether you're moving alone or with your family, Henderson is a good destination because of its comfortable climate, warm and friendly people, great amenities, and abundance of recreational opportunities. If you need help moving, don't hesitate to contact our customer service representatives.