Las Vegas will always be remembered for its Golden Era - the time of the Rat Pack, scantily clad showgirls and bright neon lights. Just because those years have passed does not mean that the memory doesn’t live on. For those of you who refuse to let a good thing go, here are 5 must-see attractions for your Vegas next visit that will have you reveling in the good old days.
Get ready for a blast from the past with a trip to the Neon Museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard. Here you will find almost every well-known sign from Las Vegas’s old hotels and casinos, including all 180+ feet of the iconic Stardust sign. Take a picture next to the original Treasure Island pirate skull, or under the glare of a vintage wedding chapel bell. The space can be rented out for weddings or events, and many of the signs have been restored to light up during a night tour. A quick trip to the connected gift shop will have you digging through pages of books and postcards celebrating the city’s glittering past.
For those of you interested in learning about the history of the Mob, take a trip to the Mob Museum, located in old Downtown Vegas. The museum takes a look at the biggest names in Mob history, including Al Capone, Bugsy Siegal, Joe Bonanno and Bugs Moran, to name a few. Four floors of artifacts, videos, and interactive exhibits will give you plenty of do and will leave you feeling like a true law enforcement agent by the end of the tour. Make sure to stop by the basement floor to travel back in time to the Prohibition era, complete with a fully-stocked bar and distillery.
Fremont Street Experience
An evening must. Experience what was once the Glitter Gulch in all its glory with the Fremont Street Experience. This free light and sound show plays every hour from dusk to midnight, daily. The video screen spans over 1,400 feet up in the air, and is lined by Vegas’s iconic vintage hotels and casinos.
Before you depart, make a quick pit stop to Retro Vegas, an antique store located downtown. Pick up a true piece of vintage Vegas history to take home with you, like an old matchbook from a forgotten hotel, or a shot glass to commemorate the past. Retro Vegas carries original clothing, furniture and decor, as well as an entire hot pink kitchen setup straight out of the 1950s! Browse through old records, and take a picture with the hot pink flamingo statues perched right outside the front doors.
Atomic Testing Museum
The National Atomic Testing Museum is a nod to days past, when the power of nuclear energy was tested just outside of Las Vegas. The Smithsonian-run museum tells the story of America’s nuclear weapons, and provides exhibits and learning activities for all ages, including a simulated atmospheric bomb blast and a collection of over 12,000 unique artifacts. If you’re lucky enough, you could visit the original test site, but be aware that, while the museum does offer this guided trip, spots have been known to fill up as far as one year in advance!