Las Vegas is king among cities focused on entertainment in North America. Tourists flood in throughout the year to experience the glitz of the casinos, the glamor of the shows, and the spectacle of The Strip. Most will hit the city full throttle, hoping to take in its characteristic charm.
That might mean a wander through The Venetian Casino and Grand Canal, past the Bellagio’s expressive fountains, via New York-New York’s Big Apple rollercoaster and Caesar Palace’s Forum Shopping Mall, before a helicopter ride to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.
But Vegas has so much to offer. If you blink, you’ll miss its unique delights. So if you want to avoid the big tourist attractions, or you’ve already “been there, done that”, we check out an alternative to-do list with three fascinating ways to delve into Las Vegas’ past.
The Neon Boneyard
Get an eye-opening view inside a bygone era at The Neon Boneyard, a place that celebrates the city’s neon-lit heritage. With over 150 decommissioned signs, the three-acre site is filled with treasures recalling the city’s glittering past. For history buffs, it’s a must-see.
It’s especially exciting to see first hand the signage created by Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) which produced so much of the city’s neon spectacle during the days of the Rat Pack. There are some great guided tours and you can purchase combination tickets to see other fascinating attractions such as the Mob Museum.
Sigma Derby at The D
Las Vegas’ love of gambling sees new meet old at The D. It’s here where you’ll find the Sigma Derby, a mid-1980s alternative to traditional slot machines that sees quarters wagered on mechanical horses that compete on a miniature track and offer up to 200 times your bet if you’re lucky.
While online casino operators are enticing players with free spins and bonus offers on a vast array of themed video slots, which remain the most popular casino games both online and offline and about which you can click here for more info, certain land-based establishments have chosen alternative routes. Among them, The D has turned this completely on its head, requiring you to bring your quarters for an “old school” game still running on actual coins and mechanics.
Lonnie Hammargren’s House
This isn’t an all-year-round “attraction”, but if you’re in Las Vegas on Nevada Day there’s nothing quite like a trip to Lonnie Hammargren’s house. He’s an eccentric memorabilia collector who has spent over $10 million of his own cash on purchases, development, and maintenance of his museum home.
For one day only, guests are invited in for around $20 to see his collection which features an underground mine, a mini Taj Mahal, an animatronic tiger, and a T-rex replica. The collection is inspired by his central passions of science and education with a heavy nod to Las Vegas’ past.
The city’s delights don’t begin and end at the casinos. In fact, despite the modernity of The Strip’s huge hotel resorts, Las Vegas’ rich history is captured in many exciting ways if you know where to look for it. If you want a change from the tourist hotspots, these inspiring trips down memory lane will enliven any visit to Nevada’s Sin City.