Vegas is a city steeped in history and teeming with stories from the past. While there are countless modern marvels to be enjoyed during a visit, the city’s nostalgic glamour makes it unique. Though many attractions of the past have been replaced and updated, there are a few spots to visit if you want to experience the Las Vegas of the past in the present.
1 – Bar Prohibition
Located in downtown Vegas, Bar Prohibition in the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is an escape to the past while also expressing the Las Vegas history. The original bar was the beloved hangout of thirsty pioneers of the last frontier, rebels of the roaring 20’s, and members of the Rat Pack like Frank, Sammy, and Dean. Since 1906, the bar (and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino) has served as a place to let loose and have fun. Transport yourself to the past as you’re immersed in a historic Vegas hangout.
2 – The Neon Museum
If you’re looking for an authentic, up-close view of the Vegas aesthetic through the years, The Neon Museum is your destination. The museum features various signage and other types of relics from Vegas’s flashy beginnings and knowledgeable tour guides have a plethora of stories and facts to go along with each piece. Visiting The Neon Museum is a great daytime activity that will give you a well-rounded perspective of Vegas.
3 – Jubilee
This show is a Vegas classic. Even with its new makeover, Jubilee embodies everything Old Las Vegas is known for. This display of glamorous showmanship will transport you back to the 80’s when the show opened. The captivating costumes and nostalgic choreography keep the spirit of the original show and the history of Las Vegas alive.
4 – Golden Steer Steakhouse
If you’re searching for an amazing steak and a Vegas historical experience, visit Golden Steer Steakhouse. Founded in 1958, this steakhouse was favorited by icons like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Though some updates have been made to the restaurant decor, the principles of fine dining at Golden Steer have never wavered. If fact, some of the staff has been here for over 30 years, adding to the historical charm of this classic spot.
5 – Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
Erected in 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has become an iconic symbol of the city. Seen in countless movies and in every souvenir shop, it’s safe to say the sign is one of the most recognizable landmarks. In 2008, the city added a small parking lot to accommodate the thousands of picture-taking visitors eager to snap their shot of the sign. It was added to the State Register of Historic Places in 2013 and has undergone minimal changes since its installation.
6 – Golden Gate Casino
Palpable nostalgia greets you as you walk through the doors of the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. The casino made its debut in 1906 and continues to facilitate classic Vegas fun. Modern updates adorn the expertly preserved space, making it easy to both appreciate the past and enjoy the present. While most original casinos and hotels have been replaced, Golden Gate’s authentic, classic feel helps maintain its status as a staple in the city’s downtown area.
7 – Battista’s Hole in the Wall
Sit down to a delicious Italian dinner just like the Rat Pack used to do. Nestled in a modest building near the LINQ Promenade, Battista’s Hole in the Wall serves up some of the best Italian food in the city. This place trades glamour for gourmet, as each dish is prepared traditionally and with expert care. The full dinner experience includes a soup or salad, bread, an entree, all you can drink wine, and a hot beverage for dessert. This historical place in Las Vegas has pretty much remained consistent with its offerings since it’s opening in 1970 – so much so that the same accordion player, affectionately known as Gordy, will serenade you as you eat. This place is a must-visit.
Today’s Entertainment Capital of the World as we know it is the result of a long, rich history. Las Vegas was born out of the appreciation of the good life and its unapologetic glamour made the city a hot spot for A-listers and music legends alike. People from all over the world flocked to experience the flashing lights and buzzing energy of the city for themselves. These days, Vegas continues to thrive and although advancements and developments keep the city state-of-the-art, the original magic is still very much alive. A visit to historic destinations like Bar Prohibition or Battista’s Hole in the Wall will take you right back to Vegas’s not-so-humble beginnings.