Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas Preserves A Rich History Of Iconic Night Life

On our last trip to Vegas, we made the trip to the edge of town to see The Neon Sign Museum. This has been on my must-visit list for a while and I am so glad I made the trip out to the museum on the first day of my arrival in Sin City.

The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum in Las Vegas is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Neon Museum includes an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard Main Collection. This area contains more than 250 unrestored neon signs as well as restored signs from the 1930’s to present day. At night, the signs are all illuminated with ground lighting, bringing them to life as they would have been when they were in use by local businesses. 

The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

There are currently twenty-four working signs in the Neon Boneyard. Seventeen are fully restored while two others were received in working condition. Sign restoration is a very costly and involved process, which is why only a limited number of signs are fully illuminated. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Neon Boneyard North Gallery houses additional rescued neon signs, and a Visitors’ Center located inside the historic former La Concha Motel lobby. A few of the most popular and recognizable signs in the collection are the Hard Rock Cafe Guitar, Binion’s Horseshoe, and The Moulin Rouge.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Unfortunately, professional photography equipment is not permitted inside the museum. You can check your camera and equipment in at the front desk if you still want to enjoy the museum. Photography on phones and tablets is permitted. If you’re more interested in a professional photography experience, check out the museum’s website for days and times where you can bring your professional equipment in. 

The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

General Admission is $20.00 and gets you access to the main collection. A Guided Tour is $28.00 and consists of an hour-long tour of the Main Collection with a tour guide. You’ll hear the background stories and history of many of the signs featured in the collection. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

If you want a more spectacular view of the neon signs, buy a ticket to the Brilliant! experience. Projectors, lights, and speakers reanimate 40 iconic vintage signs. It is the largest augmented reality experience of its kind. There is also a Combo ticket for $42.00 which gives you access to all the experiences listed above. 

The Neon Sign Museum In Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Neon Museum frequently sells out, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Their hours vary from 2 – midnight depending on the month and day, so make sure to check their website for official operating times. 

The best time to enjoy the city lights of this museum is at sunset or later. While the signs are on throughout the day, you can see them best, in all their glory, at night when they are fully illuminated and visible. The outdoor collection is relatively small and will take less than an hour to walk through if you take your time and take some opportunities for photos. 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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