The Las Vegas Neon Museum is a Must-See Time Machine

There are essential Vegas things and optional Vegas things. The Neon Museum is an absolute essential.

This blog loves it some Googie stars!

This blog loves it some Googie stars! Yes, Googie. It’s a style of art. Please keep up!

This incredible collection of vintage signs is a walk through the history of Las Vegas, and there’s a discovery around every corner.

Even the Neon Museum’s visitor center is remarkable. The visitor center is the relocated, and restored, former lobby of the La Concha Motel.

More Googie!

More Googie!

The Neon Museum was founded in 1996, but has now really come into its own, with more than 160 signs on display in its Neon Boneyard, spanning decades of sparkly Las Vegas history.

That's a lot of history, all in one place.

That’s a lot of history, all in one place.

Hour-long guided tours of the Neon Boneyard are available seven days a week, and are not to be missed. Parking is free, and tickets for day tours are $18 (general admission), $12 for Nevada residents, and kids six and younger get in free.

The Neon Museum recently began night tours, too. The signs are dramatically lit (see below), and ticket prices are $25 ($22 for Nevada residents).

The Stardust sign at night. It makes us a little weepy, and we don't care who knows it.

The Stardust sign at night. It makes us a little weepy, and we don’t care who knows it.

If you’d like to save a few bucks, check out the new $30 ticket combo for both the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum, also downtown. Your head will need a sidecar for all the Vegas goodness after that one-two punch.

Las Vegas was established in 1905, by the way.

Las Vegas was established in 1905, by the way.

Every sign at the Neon Museum tells a story, and it’s tough for the tour guides to choose which stories they’re going to share, but that’s a great excuse to visit again.

Here's the lay of the land at the Neon Museum complex.

Here’s the lay of the land at the Neon Museum complex.

Beyond the signs in the Neon Boneyard, there are a number of restored signs throughout downtown, so keep an eye out for them. They include signs for The Flame Restaurant, The Silver Slipper, Binion’s Horseshoe (see below) and others.

One of our favorite restored Las Vegas signs, back when the Horseshoe was a casino, not a "brand."

One of our favorite restored Las Vegas signs, back when the Horseshoe was a gambling joint, not a “brand.”

The Neon Boneyard is truly a magical place. It’s a chance to reconnect with places you may have visited or heard tales about.

They could've called it The Bulb Museum, but that would've been weird.

They could’ve called it The Bulb Museum, but that would’ve been weird.

Our favorites include the signs for the Stardust and Moulin Rouge Hotel, the first racially-integrated hotel-casino not just in Las Vegas, but in the U.S.

One of the original investors in the Moulin Rouge was boxing great Joe Louis.

One of the original investors in the Moulin Rouge was boxing great Joe Louis.

There’s also a giant skull from Treasure Island, before it became T.I.

Arrgh you glad we took so many photos?

Arrgh you glad we took so many photos?

The Neon Boneyard’s oldest sign is from the 1930s.

The sign for the Green Shack. It closed in 1999, after being one of the longest continuously open restaurants in Las Vegas.

This pragmatic sign adorned a restaurant called the Green Shack. It closed in 1999, after being one of the longest continuously-open restaurants in Las Vegas.

So, add a tour of the Neon Boneyard to your list of vital things to do in Las Vegas, right along with having a quickie wedding, taking a photo at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, rolling them “bones” and spending far, far too much in the Champagne Room.

Hop into the time machine and enjoy more pics from the Las Vegas Neon Museum.

Neon Museum Las Vegas

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