JoAnna Haugen
JoAnna Haugen

Las Vegas’ neighboring city, Henderson, Nev., was recently named a sexy spring break destination. It’s a surprising designation, but it, along with downtown Las Vegas, offers a different take on spring break in Sin City.

On March 9, relationship website published a list of the “19 Sexiest Spring Break Destinations in America.” On the list were a number of usual suspects, including Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Venice Beach, Calif.; and 10 cities in Florida. At No. 15 was Henderson; Las Vegas didn’t make the list.

According to Hayley Matthews, editor in chief of, the criteria for the list included nice weather, a variety of things for people to do, resorts to stay at, places to dine, romantic destinations, views and scenery, and information found on other online surveys. In addition to typical spring break destinations, she said the site wanted to “recognize some really great cities that don’t necessarily get the recognition they deserve.”

Fair enough, but is Henderson a sexy spring break destination?

“I don’t know how I’d describe Henderson, other than ‘the opposite of sexy,’” said Scott Roeben, the voice behind the blog

Eric Hartley of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was also surprised by the inclusion. “Nothing is sexier than suburban planned communities, good schools and low crime rates,” he wrote in the opening sentence of his article.

The site notes that among the sexy things to do in Henderson are visiting the Water Street District (the downtown business area), Ethel M Chocolates factory and cactus garden, and a golf course and country club. The sexy places to stay include three Station Casinos properties: Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station and Fiesta Henderson. It’s a far cry from the pool parties packed with bikini-clad college students, nightclubs pumped with the sounds of world-renowned DJs and flashy resort properties found in Las Vegas, but maybe that’s the point.

Matthews points out that Henderson is only a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip for those who want to make the trip, but there are other things about the city that aren’t as ostentatious as Las Vegas, which makes it appealing in its own right. “Henderson has beautiful mountains, nice restaurants and fun things to do,” she said. “These things are sexy, and sexy means different things in the different places you go.”

Roeben said it didn’t make sense to him why Henderson was included on the list but noted those looking for an alternative to the Las Vegas Strip spring break may want to consider their options elsewhere in town.

“My best advice for those on spring break would be to save some serious money and hit downtown,” he said. “A college student budget goes a long way in downtown Las Vegas, and that means more bang for the buck.”

He said the walkability of downtown and new bars in the Fremont East area make it particularly appealing. “If you’re a pool or nightclub person, there aren’t as many options as on the Strip,” Roeben said, “but if you’re a liquor person, hit downtown.”

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