When most people think of Nevada, their mind goes straight to Vegas, but what if you don’t like casino and shows? I’m certainly not a fan of that sort of thing. Crowds, bright lights and noise leave me tired and drained ” which is why when I went to CES earlier this year, I decided that in my free day before I flew back home from the expo, I would take the time to explore somewhere off strip.
The Neon Museum is more commonly known as the “sign graveyard” it’s where decommissioned signs go, and it’s a great ‘art museum’ that gives you an insight into the history of Vegas. The old signs of the Golden Nugget, Caesars, Stardust and the Binion’s Horseshoe are all there “along with 200 others.
I’m a huge fan of things like Ocean’s 11, and while I’m not a gambler myself, I’m intrigued by the idea of the casinos and the history of the strip. It’s really eye-opening to look at the pieces from the 1930s, and more recently, and it’s nice to get out and, well, get some fresh air too.
The museum is located off-strip, on McWilliams Avenue. I’d rented a car so it was a nice, easy drive. I booked a tour on the website the night before (I got lucky, and there were plenty of morning spots available, but the afternoon was already sold out), and paid for the day tour experience. If I hadn’t been planning to fly back very early the next day, I’d probably have paid a little extra for the night tour “because the signs were stunning, and it would have been amazing to see the seven restored signs, and some of the un-restored ones, lit up at night.
The weather was great the day I visited. The guide told me that they do sometimes cancel for high winds, but that they’re rarely rained off. I visited by myself, and was in a mixed tour group of adults and older kids. The tour guides say that the boneyard isn’t really suitable for younger kids (under 10), because there is some broken glass and some damaged signs in the yard.
I enjoyed having a chance to get out and enjoy myself with other adults in an environment that wasn’t a casino or a show room. I’m not a big drinker, and I’m not really a ‘sit and watch’ person either, so it was a refreshing change to just get out and take in the sights, and play with my camera as well!
The tours are only an hour long, and it would have been nice to have a bit more time. They do actually have an area where they host weddings and parties ” I might, one day, go there with family and rent that out for a big blow-out party (perhaps for a big birthday?). I learned a lot from the tour though ” and it makes me feel like a Vegas Expert!