When most people think of Las Vegas, the first images that come to mind are bright casino lights, glitzy shows and, of course, the thrill of clattering dice or a dramatically turned blackjack card.
While the casinos lining the famous Las Vegas Strip are rightly among the area’s most celebrated attractions, there’s much more to the Las Vegas Area than just gambling. Visitors and potential homebuyers are often surprised to discover the area’s stunning natural beauty, innovative restaurant scene, historical attractions, and vibrant 55+ communities.
History and Lifestyle
The city itself was incorporated just over a century ago and, helped by an enormous post-war population boom, has earned the distinction of being the fastest-growing American city of the 20th century. While the gambling industry certainly played a significant part in this growth, the city undertook efforts in the 1990s to diversify its appeal and shake off its “Sin City” image, helping it grow beyond its casino-oriented roots.
The Las Vegas restaurant scene began with the development of hotels and casinos and was largely based around grand buffets that, along with inexpensive drinks, were used to entice gamblers to stay longer and (eventually) leave with lighter pockets.
Casinos both large and small have continued the tradition of lavish buffets that are often an excellent value for diners. Wolfgang Puck’s Spago opened in 1992 and kicked off a fine-dining revolution in the city that now justifiably bills itself as one of the world’s top destinations for foodies.
In addition to the celebrity chef-driven restaurants on the Strip, there’s also a lively restaurant community geared towards locals that showcases some of the brightest up-and-coming talents in the country, often at a much more modest price than the tourist-oriented establishments.
Sitting in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert and surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges on all sides, Las Vegas’ natural beauty is often underrated. As one moves away from the low-lying city center, the increase in elevation has a moderating effect on the climate, bringing cooler days and refreshing breezes not found on the Strip. It’s often on the outskirts of the city that one finds the most desirable places to live and enjoy life.
Active Adult Communities
To the east of the city lies Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is very popular with hikers and cyclists of all abilities. The mountains offer spectacular views for residents of Del Webb’s luxurious Sun City Summerlin, which sits along this mountain range. Siena, Sun City Aliante, and Regency at Summerlin all offer resort-style amenities along the Red Rock Canyon. Trilogy at Summerlin by Shea Homes is the newest active adult community in the area and offers homebuyers a strikingly modern interpretation of what 55+ living can be. Henderson, Nevada is just beyond Las Vegas’ southern border.
Nearby Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is part of the McCullough Mountain Range and is often referred to as “the Sistine Chapel of Native American Rock Art” with hundreds of examples of wonderfully preserved pieces accessible to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. Sun City Anthem with its extravagant amenities and two 18-hole golf courses that sit at the foothills of the mountain range. Solera at Anthem and The Club at Madeira Canyon are other standout 55+ communities in the area.
Homebuyers and visitors aged 55 and better are often initially drawn to the city’s glitz, glamor, and gambling. What they end up falling in love with tends to be the permanence and natural beauty of the area, the adventure of discovering new local dining hotspots, and some of the best active adult communities anywhere in the country.