The Neon Museum | She & Him Adventures

Welcome to another She & Him Adventures! Today we are visiting The Neon Museum, where classic Las Vegas signs go to die! Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, history, arts and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum was one of our favorite places in Las Vegas. I'm so excited to share a few photographs and some knowledge of this incredible place. Let's begin!
The Neon Museum visitors’ center is located inside the historic La Concha Motel lobby. La Concha Motel shell shaped building was designed by Paul Revere Williams, one of the first prominent African American architects. Originally constructed in 1961 on the Las Vegas Boulevard, La Concha lobby was saved from demolition in 2005 and moved in 2006 to its current location to serve as the museum’s Visitors’ Center. How awesome is that?! I love when art and buildings are preserved.

You may view the Neon Museum collection through either an hour-long guided tour or a self-guided tour, which is what we did. The collection also includes nine restored signs that are installed throughout the city and can be viewed at all times, to see a map of the public art click here!
One of the first signs that immediately stands out when walking into the museum was this giant bright yellow duck, it’s head even sticks up over the gate as you drive by the museum. This duck was once used as a catchy advertisement for a used car dealership.
The Sahara hotel opened in 1952, making it the 6th casino built on the strip. The Sahara sign located at the Neon Museum is a smaller version from the back entrance of the hotel. We were so excited to see this sign. This sign was huge, I can only imagine how big the other Sahara sign was. Over on the left side, was the Frontier sign from the incredible Frontier hotel, where Elvis performed for the first time in Las Vegas in 1956. 
The Rivera opened on the northern end of the strip in 1955 as the first high-rise hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard. Over on the right you can also see the yellow Golden Nugget sign that  features the year 1905. The Golden Nugget opened in 1946, but 1905 celebrates the birth of Las Vegas.
At 188 feet, the Stardust sign was the tallest in the world in 1968. I must say this sign still looks gorgeous to this day!
This is the famous genie lamp from the Aladdin Hotel. Another fun fact, in 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in a guest room at the Aladdin Hotel.
This beautiful sign once read Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge was the first major integrated resort in Las Vegas when it opened in 1955. Its sign was designed by Betty Willis, who also created the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Let me just say, all these pastel colors were giving me life. I was in LOVE! Also, on the right side of this picture you can see a pink feather. These stunning feathers were created for the Flamingo hotel by the artist and parade float designer Raul Rodriguez in 1976. It was so surreal seeing one so close to me.
This pirate skull adorned the sign at Treasure Island from 1993-2003, during the family friend era in Las Vegas. At first glimpse we couldn't tell it was a skull until we walked around and saw the side profile of this giant skull. It's incredible! It's even more incredible to think this was once hanging on a sign. I wonder where the big knife went? Side note: I think Treasure Island downgraded their sign, I mean take a look for yourself, click here.
In 1958, 19-year-old Jim Duszynski moved to Las Vegas and bought a small wedding chapel for $5. The Mon Bel Ami Wedding Chapel sign is now a favorite photoshoot location for newlyweds. Side note: Ricky and I are not newlyweds but we thought it would be cute to take a picture in front of this sign.
The modest 56-room Desert Rose Motel operated on the Las Vegas strip from 1953 to 1995, and razed to make way for the Monte Carlo. I didn't even noticed how great my shirt went along with this sign until my sister in-law pointed it out. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of this day.
In the 1950s designers often pulled ideas from surrounding flora and fauna, as seen with the intricate Yucca Motel sign. I was in love with the Yucca Motel sign! What can I say I love plants, especially succulents.
The Sassy Sally's sign was one of the neon signs I was most excited to see, its a beauty! Seeing this in person was everything! The Sassy Sally's sign also contains subliminal messages (the $$), it encourages you to spend money and win big!
Right next to Sassy Sally's was the Binion's Horseshoe sign. This massive sign contained eight miles of neon tubing and 30,000 bulbs when it was first installed in 1961. These two signs are iconic classic Las Vegas signs.  
Finally the last sign you see before exiting is the old-fashioned Tropicana. The Tropicana was one of the most well known strip hotels and to this day this sign is still so iconic.
In short, I love this museum! Ricky and I had so much fun. It is so wonderful to see these old neon signs being restored for future generations to see and enjoy, and get a glimpse of the old Vegas! It literally felt like a time capsule walking into this museum. I recognized almost all of the signs from movies and photographs. Visiting this museum was a great side trip off the strip, well worth your time in my opinion.

If you stayed with me this entire post, you are amazing! If you are planning a trip to the Neon Museum, I suggest booking a night tour. It can get a bit too hot during the day. However, if you do visit during the daytime, wear sunblock, sunglasses and bring a water bottle! When walking around the museum I suggest grabbing one of their complimentary umbrellas, you will definitely need it. There is absolutely no shade while walking around and the heat can get brutal, especially with all of the metal. I hope this post helps you plan an wonderful trip. I would love to know what's your favorite classic Vegas sign! See you all next time, bye!

What's your opinion?

  1. A am living for these photos! So beautiful I would love to visit this museum if I ever go to Vegas. For their night tour do they light up the signs? Because that would be amazing. My favorite sign was probably the Moulin Rouge one and the Genie Lamp.

    xo
    Juliana | Ohhjuliana

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    1. Thank you Juliana! You definitely need to check this place out if you ever go to Vegas. And yes!!! They do light up at night. I told Ricky we need to go back to see them at night.

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  2. Omg! This place looks soo cool! I definitely need to visit when I go to Las Vegas next year! :)

    xo, Chloe // https://funinthecloset.com/bag-me-baby-funky-purse/

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    1. Hi Chloe!

      You must, it's incredible, full of history, and cute photo ops!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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