An American Avocet stands motionless in the shallows, its rust-brown head perfectly doubled in the still water. Suddenly, the wide black-and-white wings open and it’s aloft, much larger that it had seemed, soaring in a wide arc over the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. It’s 6:20 on a Sunday morning, the temperature’s just hit 90, and the world is fresh and alive at these ponds, where pointy-headed eared grebes and red-brown ruddy ducks swim with their young in tow. This unlikeliest of attractions—it’s on the grounds of a water reclamation facility, after all—gives one an intoxicating glimpse of all the layers of Las Vegas: To the east, there’s the noble outline of Lava Butte and the red sandstone wrinkles of Rainbow Gardens; to the northwest, the riotous outlines of the Strip. And right here—a refuge. And not just for the birds.
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.