Las Vegas

 

Sights

NV Las Vegas Vegas Vic

Vegas Vic
Since 1951, the 12-meter neon depiction of a cowboys adorns the the front of the Pioneer Club, a former casino at Fremont Street, originally opened in 1942. By now, the casino has closed and made room for a souvenir shop, but the cowboy that had quickly earned the Vegas Vic moniker, had by then become a hallmark of Las Vegas and thus it is greeting visitors to this day. Originally, the character didn’t only wave its greeting with its left arm, but it also had a speaking part (“Howdy, partner!”), however in the course of the years, both functionalities were lost. In 1998,  Vic was repaired and restored and that was he received his new, red-and-yellow checkered shirt instead of the solid yellow one he wore before. Vegas Vic today is located within the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown.


Downtown Arts District
Since 1998 an area has been set up in the former Gateway District, a part of Las Vegas Downtown, explicitly intended to attract artists and their works. In fact, a multitude of artist’s workshops, galleries and bars have set up tent here. Among those is the Arts Factory, a building in which photographers, designers, painters and others have found a home, among others. Visitors are attracted by a varying schedule of happenings and events. The most famous of these is the First Friday of each month, when all galleries have an open house for everyone, giving guests the opportunity to look behind the scenes in workshops. The event is accompanied by acrobats, bands and street performers providing entertainment. The “18b Arts District” is located between Las Vegas Boulevard, Hoover Avenue and Colorado Avenue.

Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park
In 1855, when a group of Mormon Church missionaries on their way from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles made a temporary stop in what is Las Vegas today and build a small fort, the then-uncharted territory was far away from becoming “Sin City”. The Mormons constructed a few fields around the fort and even set up an irrigation system, before they left the area again soon after. Today, a few walls in Adobe style remain as a reminder of the original building. The State Park comprises a reconstruction of the fort in its original size and a Visitors Center, which holds a small exhibition on the history of the region.
500 East Washington Avenue. Open Tuesday through Saturday 8 am-4:30 pm.


Pinball Hall of Fame
Dedicated to the history of the pinball machine, this exhibition of historic machines and accompanying material, maintained by a collector’s club, has its own home since 2009. There are some 200 pinball machines from many decades on display here and the best part is, visitors are even allowed to play them. Admission is free. However, visitors expecting a spectacular setting will be disappointed - the project is run out of pure idealism and what little the museum receives from donations is immediately forwarded to the Salvation Army. 
1610 East Tropicana Avenue. Open Sunday through Thursday 11 am-11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am-12 pm.

Las Vegas museums

 

Atomic Testing Museum

The wide, empty Nevada desert stretching over many miles, starting about 100 kilometers north of Las Vegas, has from 1951 though 1992 been the designated area for tests of the atomic weapons by the US army. The area itself is mostly off limits for visitors, but the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas teaches a lot about the tests and their effects and consequences. The museum is supported by the Smithsonian Institution. Apart from scientific exhibits, the museum  also shows artifacts from everyday culture on this topic as well as a few exhibits on the culture of the American natives.

755 East Flamingo Road. Open Monday through Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sundays 12 pm - 5 pm

 

Las Vegas Natural History Museum

The museum with a focus on interactive presentations is located in Downtown and has several permament exhibition sections on various topics. For example, there are exhibits on ancient Egypt history, on geology or a gallery titled “Wild Nevada”. The spectrum is completed by a large aquarium, in which various species are living, sharks being among them. 

900 North Las Vegas Boulevard. Open daily 9 am - 4 pm

 

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum

Located directly across from the Natural History Museum, the Discovery Museum primarily addresses youths and children. It was opened in 1990 and deals with many different topics, which it aims to present to its visitors in an entertaining and interactive way. Among others, sections of the exhibition deal with the issues of conservation, healthy food, technology and science. The program is completed with varying special exhibitions.

833 North Las Vegas Boulevard. Open Tuesday through Friday 9 am - 4 pm, Saturdays 10 am - 5 pm, Sundays 12 pm - 5 pm

 

Mob Museum

The Mob Museum, officially named the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, located in the former Courthouse in Downtown, deals with the correlations between the Mafia and police and security units, in particular with a look at the Las Vegas history, in which the Mob played a special role. The likes of J. Edgar Hoover, Al Capone and Howard Hughes also feature prominently in the museum. Visitors get to see the original blood-stained wall from the 1929 Chicago Valentine’s Day massacre, sit in an electric-chair replica and experience the atmosphere of a Mob courtroom.

300 Stewart Avenue. Open Sunday through Thursday 10 am - 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am - 8 pm

 


 

 

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