The Neon Museum

Brad and I went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago. It was our first trip since I was pregnant with Austin (a trip that I don't really count, because it was just to see Garth Brooks and I spent most of the trip in the hotel, in bed). We were lucky enough to get away for 4 nights, with my mom watching Austin. It was wonderful to have some time alone, to see all the changes in Las Vegas since 2010, and enjoy some warm weather.

I do have some general photos from the trip to share soon, but one thing I was very excited about from our trip was our visit to The Neon Museum.


The Neon Museum is an outdoor museum featuring hundreds of old signs from Las Vegas history. You take guided tours, and you can take photos for personal use. (You can also book a photo shoot but it costs extra). We chose to visit the museum during the day (night tours are available as well), and it was just an amazing experience. We had an awesome tour guide who really knew her Vegas history. I took a ton of photos, and wanted to share a selection of them here with you.



The Neon Museum has an old Lady Luck sign, which you might recognize. It was in the movie Vegas Vacation, when Audrey goes off with her cousin and they dance on top of the sign.




I loved just looking at the broken bulbs in the signs. There is something neat about seeing them in deteriorating condition. I think it's wonderful that they are slowly restoring the old signs, but seeing them looking this way makes it just a bit more interesting.


This sign made me chuckle. Color TV!



I took pictures of several individual letters that are our first initials. I thought it would be neat to print them individually and frame them.









One thing I was most excited for in the Neon Museum was the skull from the old Treasure Island sign. Before Treasure Island switched over to T.I. and the sirens theme, it was very heavy pirate themed. The sign was a skull with crossbones. (You can view it here on flickr). I'm so glad they preserved this.


This Stardust sign was huge! It was hard for me to get it all in the photo.







Something else that excited me was catching this Barbary Coast sign in the background as we were wrapping up the tour.  The first time I went to Vegas with Brad, when I was 21, we stayed a few nights at Barbary Coast. Right after this, the casino changed names and it's theme. Now it's changing again, to a luxury hotel. I was pleased to see this sign saved.


We bought Austin a t-shirt from the Neon Museum with this adorable duck sign. Turns out this isn't from a casino, it's actually from a former car dealership. But it's in great condition!


We really enjoyed this tour and are definitely planning to go back and do a night time tour at some point. If you're visiting Vegas and haven't already checked this out, add it to your trip. It's not far from the main strip (it's on the same road, a couple of miles up), and it's non-profit. They are trying hard to restore the old signs and display them around Vegas, so please show them some love. You won't be disappointed!

10 comments:

  1. WOW!!! I love this!! I remember taking SOOOOO many pics of the pirate Treasure Island sign, so glad they kept it! That's where we stayed the first time I came on my own to LV, so like you with Barbary Coast, holds some special memories. I also enjoyed seeing the Silver Slipper sign, my dad always talks about that place. I guess it was supposed to be swanky back in the 60s when they used to go several times a year. How fun!! :) Looking forward to seeing the rest of your trip! :)

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    1. That's cool! I don't have anyone who has old Vegas stories, just Brad from a few years before he started taking me with him. (I wasn't 21 yet when we started dating, haha). You'll have to go check out the museum!

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  2. Melissa, thank you very much for posting these photos on your blog! My husband and I went to Las Vegas last year to celebrating our twentieth anniversary. We had never gone to the Neon Museum before. What a treat. Seeing those old signs brought back so many memories of our visits to Las Vegas in our early years of dating. Did you know that the tv show Thrift Hunters has the the two stars of the show pushing shopping carts through the museum as their introduction to the show? I get a kick out of it every time we watch the show.

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    1. I haven't seen the show, I'll have to look for that! That's cool. We passed the Pawn Stars shop on the way back to the main strip-line around the corner to get in!

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  3. I've never been to Vegas, but this was interesting (love stuff that not the norm)........and just look how thin you are!! Congratulations, I know it was hard work. Would LOVE to see what this place looks like at night.

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    1. Oh gosh are you sweet. Thank you so much! :) i just can't wait until our weather is warmer-it's been hard to keep up with the gym as much in the winter, so I'm trying to watch how many calories I eat and get some exercise at home in the meantime. Thank you again.

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  4. These photos are incredible! It looks like a super cool place, but brilliantly captured by you! I love the photo of Brad in front of the sign, because you don't realize how big they are until you compare to a person! Crazy!
    Seriously though, you should sell these on Etsy as prints!

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    1. Thanks! But I can't - photos are only for personal use. They're very strict about one camera with one lens per person, no extra equipment or camera bags, etc. I think because they sell some of the photos themselves for money towards the museum (which, since it's non-profit, I can totally get behind!). :)

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    2. Ahhh that does make sense. Who knew!
      Still, they are awesome :)

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  5. soo sooo cool!!! This is DEFINITELY a priority for our next trip :)

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