Situated in an imposing stone structure on Stewart Avenue that looks nothing like the casinos and stucco houses that define Las Vegas, you’ll find the Mob Museum. This highly rated museum pays tribute to the city’s mob past and also touches on the greater history and present-day status of organized crime in America.
If you’re wondering why the Mob Museum looks like such an official building, it’s because it was once a federal courthouse where famous mobsters were on trial. Former mayor Oscar Goodman actually served as a lawyer during those days.
Laid out over three floors, the Mob Museum is located just steps from Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. It’s open every day from 9-9, and admission starts at $26.95 for visitors or $16.95 for Nevada residents. As there’s much to see, you’ll definitely want to plan on spending a few hours here. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect:
Get Your Picture Taken in a Lineup
The Mob Museum offers a photo-op that’s unlike any other. At the start of your tour, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your friends at a police lineup and get your photo taken. It makes for a great souvenir that’s sure to make people wonder just what kind of trouble you got into in Vegas.
Learn About the History of Mobsters
Longtime Las Vegas residents are fond of remarking on the mob’s influence in creating the city we know and love today. To learn what they’re talking about, head to the first floor and see the 100 Years of Made Men exhibit, which goes beyond the mob in Las Vegas and tells a far-reaching story of bootlegging, murder cover-ups and the men and women behind it all.
Learn About the State of Organized Crime Today
After learning about the history of the mob, stay on the first floor and learn about what organized crime looks like in today’s world. Notorious figures like Bugsy Siegel may be gone, but the stories of famed crime bosses like Whitey Bulger and El Chapo still resonate.
See a Wall From the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre happened in 1929 in Chicago. This bloody occasion is known as the day when seven members of Bugs Moran’s gang were shot by Al Capone’s gang. While the event occurred in a public place, the only witness was a dog named Highball. You can see the bullet-ridden brick wall that they were lined up against on the third floor of the museum.
Meet Former FBI Agents and See Classic Gangster Films
Every day is a good day to tour the Mob Museum, but if you have the opportunity to check out one of the museum’s special events, that’s even better. Ongoing events include deep dives into topics such as hunting serial killers and using technology to solve crimes from law enforcement, former FBI agents and authors, as well as screenings of gangster films from the 1930s. Most events are free with admission. Check the mob museum’s website for more info.
Have a Drink at a Speakeasy
Find the weekly password (hint: it’s announced via Instagram story) and the secret door to The Underground and explore a modern-day speakeasy, where you can view artifacts from the 1920s, see a working distillery, try moonshine and enjoy old-fashioned cocktails and occasional live jazz performances.