Where to See the Classic Neon in Las Vegas
When I think of Las Vegas I think of the Sinatra movies my parents watched when I was a kid. I think of Elvis Presley and of flashy neon signs. But when I met a couple of friends in Vegas in 2015, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, that’s a lie, I expected to find an adult’s version of Disney World. And that’s pretty much the impression the strip left on me. Of course, I enjoyed laying by the pool, cocktail in hand, catching up with friends; but I was more drawn to old downtown and the bright neon lights. Here are three places to see the best neon in Las Vegas.
It may seem a bit shabby compared to the enormous fake Paris and the chlorine tinted canals of Venice, but it’s where the city began. Fremont Street is lined with the neon signs that Las Vegas is famous for. It’s absolutely worth a visit to play the penny slots and get a $10 steak & lobster dinner.
The Neon Museum
We spent most of the weekend lounging by the pool and of that, I have zero complaints. But I had an extra day in the city after my friends had to fly out because of how my miles booking worked out. So I took advantage and booked a tour of the Neon Museum.
It does fill up so reserve your tour ahead of time here, and if it’s summer try to go early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the midday desert heat. Bring your camera; it’s an Instagrammers dream.
It was obvious that our tour guide loved her city and she gave us a full history of Las Vegas’ beginnings. Every sign had a story. From original signs from the Golden Nugget (one of the city’s original casinos) to neon from the Moulin Rouge (the hotel that played a major role in Las Vegas’ desegregation).
So, pull yourself away from the gargantuan resorts on the strip for a few hours. Go downtown, get a 9.99 steak and lobster dinner, and make your way on to the Neon Museum for a taste of history.
Welcome to Las Vegas
And finally, the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign at the beginning of the strip is a MUST see. Just take a taxi or a bus there, don’t be me and walk. It’s further than I expected it to be, and that desert heat is no joke.
Insert cliche “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” sign off here.