From old forts to a boneyard for neon signs, Vegas and the surrounding area have plenty of historic sites and landmarks to explore. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to have a unique Vegas experience, check out these famous landmarks in Nevada and historical sites in Las Vegas to see the city in a whole new way.
The High Roller Ferris wheel is the largest observation wheel in the world, topping out at an impressive 550 feet high. A single rotation takes 30 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to soak up the outstanding views over the Strip and surrounding area, especially at night.
Located on the Strip, Paris Las Vegas is one of the most easily recognized resorts in the city. Out front is a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, and down the way is a recreation of the Paris Opera House. Forty-six stories above the city streets, the Eiffel Tower Experience is an observation deck with incredible 360-degree views.
Known as the Fremont Street Experience, this is the heart of Downtown Las Vegas. All outdoors and connecting the Downtown hotels and casinos, it features an impressive overhead light show, live performers and bands, incredible bars and restaurants, and bits of Las Vegas history that make it a treat to explore.
Credit: Bellagio Las Vegas
In front of the Bellagio, along the Strip, the most impressive and famous feature is the fountain show. The dancing fountains perform a beautiful display of water set to music. From the sidewalk, visitors have a ringside view. This is often described as the best free attraction in Las Vegas.
Built as a public art exhibit by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the 30-foot fluorescent “totems” stand like brightly colored beacons lighting up the desert sky. Rondinone used locally sourced boulders, and chose this location because it’s “physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial.”
The Stratosphere Tower is an unmistakable sight on the Las Vegas skyline. The tower rises up 1,149 feet, and at the very top is the Skypod, where you’ll find a whole host of things to do. These include a variety of heart-pounding thrill rides, or for those looking for a little less drama, indoor and outdoor observation decks with great views over the city.
Opened in 1906, Hotel Nevada opened as the first hotel in Las Vegas at One Fremont Street. Today, the hotel still stands strong – now as the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. There are many historical sites in Las Vegas, and Golden Gate has seen it all. Stop by to see a true part of Vegas history – you can even book one of the original rooms in the hotel!
While the Strip made Las Vegas famous, Hoover Dam made the city sustainable. Constructed during the Great Depression, the engineering wonder provided desperately needed work to thousands of workers. Now, the dam is also extremely functional, providing power to Nevada, Arizona, and California through its arched structure.
The Mob Museum, or the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement as it is officially named, is a truly unique and standout museum in Nevada. The museum is housed in a 1933 Neoclassical building, formerly the US Post Office and Courthouse, that has its own history.
The Neon Museum is working hard to preserve some of the city’s history by purchasing, storing, and in some cases, refurbishing the historic neon signs that have gone by the wayside as businesses have faded or new signs have taken the place of older icons.
Las Vegas was once a small stop on a mail service trail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. In 1855, the Mormon Church settled in this area and built a permanent structure. The oldest non-Indian structures in Southern Nevada, these adobe buildings, such as the beige and red house portion, are also the oldest historic buildings standing here today.
This neon beacon has greeted visitors at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard since 1959, when commercial artist and prolific sign designer Betty Willis designed it as a gift to the city. Because Willis never trademarked her work, merchandising companies have been able to replicate it on t-shirts, mugs and other tchotchkes.
The next time you are in Las Vegas, add some of these exciting historical sites in Las Vegas and landmarks in Nevada to get a new take on the city outside of the usual casinos, bars, and shows. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to learn some new interesting facts, these locations are sure to be fun to visit. Book a room at Golden Gate Hotel to not only be near these sites and landmarks, but to also be right in the heart of where it all began in Vegas!