Standing in the lobby on a 96-degree day trying to take in as much water as possible before spending an hour in the desert sun. Not just any lobby though, absolutely not. This shell-shaped relic served as the La Concha lobby, a Strip motel that opened in 1961 just south of the Riviera. The motel was closed in 2004 and later met the wrecking ball. La Concha’s lobby, however, was disassembled and with the aid of $600,000 in donations, given a new lease on life as the Neon Museum’s first stop for visitors.
The tour hadn’t even started and my imagination was already running wild. Can you imagine what those walls had seen and heard over the years?
The Neon Museum is a nonprofit organization that salvages and restores as much vintage Vegas neon as they can. They offer day and night tours that are led by engaging and knowledgeable guides making the experience a special one.
If you’re anything like me, the layers of historic signage will leave you a combination of overwhelmed and elated. Especially for those that experienced Vegas of yesteryear, the display will leave you feeling plenty nostalgic. After the tour, you’ll be released into the gift shop which offers unique books and memorabilia that celebrates the history of Las Vegas.
Below are some frequently asked questions about the Neon Museum and boneyard in downtown Las Vegas.
Where Is The Neon Museum?
The Neon Museum is located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101, which is in close proximity to resorts on Fremont Street.
Can You Walk To The Neon Museum From Fremont Street?
Can you walk to the Neon Museum? Yes. Is it recommended? Not really, but it depends on the time of day and season. Although the walk is only 15-20 minutes, summer temperatures in Las Vegas can make it a painful experience.
Additionally, branching out from the main Fremont Street drag can feel a bit dicey to some due to the homeless/transient population, especially at night. If you decide to go for it, walk north on Las Vegas Boulevard (past Heart Attack Grill) and you’ll run right into on the right-hand side of the road.
I suggest paying up for a $10 (or less) Uber/Lyft.
Is There Free Parking At The Neon Museum?
Yep! Parking at the Neon Museum is free and can be found across the street off McWilliams Avenue which intersects with Las Vegas Boulevard.
Note that the parking lot at The Neon Museum is very small and fills quickly, however, there are overflow spaces available nearby. Just ask the security guard standing outside how to get there if a spot isn’t available.
Neon Museum Prices
There are three tiers of tickets for the Neon Museum:
- General Admission tickets allow you to explore the boneyard for up to an hour and cost $20 or $16 for locals with a Nevada ID. Kids under 6 years old are free.
- Guided Tours provides a 45-minute walking tour of the Neon Museum with a knowledgeable guide and costs $28 or $24 for locals. Again, kids under 6 years old are free. This is the Tour I opted for, and would highly recommend as a ton of historical facts are shared that enhance the experience.
- Brilliant! Jackpot shows are 45-minutes and cost $23 or $19 for locals. Kids under 6 years old are free.
Tickets for the Neon Museum can be purchased in advance here, directly with the attraction.
Neon Museum Ticket Discount Offers
In addition to the locals discount referenced above, people that receive food assistance or SNAP benefits can visit the museum for a mere $3 per person. This deal is offered as part of the Museums for All program. A valid photo ID and SNAP benefits card will be required at the time of ticket purchase.
Neon Museum Tips
- My hour-long tour wreaked havoc on my emerging bald spot, arms, legs, and uncovered feet. Bring sunblock, and nobody will judge you if you grab an umbrella.
- While beverages are available for purchase at the Neon Museum, guests are also welcome to bring their own bottled water. Especially on a hot day, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Check out my Brilliant! Jackpot review before booking. If it’s of interest, you can score a discount by buying a combo ticket that entitles you to a tour of their Main Boneyard, followed by Brilliant! Jackpot in their North Gallery. Here are a couple of pictures:
Is The Neon Museum Worth It?
The displays, even during the day, are incredible. Again, I recommend taking a guided tour, as the knowledge shared really enhanced my experience.
I wouldn’t have paid much attention to some of the more obscure signs without their insight which made the trip much more educational. For my money, the Neon Museum ranks among the best things to do in Vegas besides gambling.
The museum has also earned a rock-solid 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor after over 5,000 reviews.
If Las Vegas history is even of remote interest, or if you’re a traveler that has been coming to town for a long time and want to turn back the clock, the Neon Museum is a nostalgic must-see.
The crew at the boneyard does a fantastic job articulating the history of each piece as you make your way through the museum and it’s certainly worth the money and the time.
Ensure you book your Neon Museum tickets early as slots fill quickly!
Feature Image: ©americanspirit/123RF.COM
I’m a former software salesman turned Vegas aficionado. While the craps table is my preferred habitat, I pull myself away to explore new attractions, shows, restaurants, and outdoor activities around Las Vegas with the intent of sharing my experiences.
Ultimately, I just want to help folks plan a better trip and save a few bucks in the process.