BY SAMANTHA LEAL
Las Vegas is known as Sin City, but sin (in the form of all sorts of hedonism), isn’t the only thing it has to offer—it’s also a city of culture, history, and, yes, art. And while casinos, nightclubs, and buffets are big business in the bustling adult playground, you’d be amiss to miss out on some key Vegas sites that are a different sort of stimulation. Just ahead, discover the best places to visit in Las Vegas if you're looking for a culture fix.
Best Museums To Visit In Las Vegas
The Neon Museum
Museums in Las Vegas are just different. Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit that collects, preserves, and displays old and iconic Las Vegas signs. And it is truly a treasure. A tour through the “Neon Boneyard” can be done through self-guided general admission or get the full historical low-down with an hour-long guided group or private tour. There are both daytime and nighttime tours, so pick your (neon) poison.
The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum—or the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement—is a history museum centering around (you guessed it) the birth of organized crime in the U.S. and its impact on society. Interactive exhibits and artifacts can all be found in a restored former courthouse and post office from 1933, located just minutes from Fremont Street.
Myron’s Cabaret Jazz
Located at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Vegas, this 240-person venue features live jazz performances from musicians across the country. Eat, drink, and listen to performances filtered by genres like Broadway, Pop, and Vegas Favorites. Established in 2012, the venue is classy and perfect for an intimate night out.
The Arts Factory
Bustling with galleries and stores, The Arts Factory is one of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas, a can’t-miss building located in the historic Arts District. Make sure you head there at the tail-end of the afternoon or evening, because even though it’s technically open in the mornings, most artisans don’t make it there until a bit later. It’s also a hub for First Fridays, Vegas’ downtown art and community celebration held each Friday of the month in the Arts District and downtown.
The Hoover Dam
Is it technically in Vegas? No. Is it worth the 45-minute drive? Yes. Located 30 miles outside Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam attracts more than a million visitors each year, and was constructed between 1931 and 1936. Not into driving? You can also skip the highway and fly via helicopter over the Grand Canyon and near the Hoover Dam, all starting from the Vegas Strip, thanks to Canyon Tours.
Red Rock Canyon
Located just a few miles west of the strip, the Red Rocks Canyon is one of the best places to visit in Las Vegas. Worth it for the photo op alone, the beauty is a bit overwhelming, and perfect for an afternoon drive. Go hiking, take a bike tour, or even ride a hot-air balloon—there are plenty of activities to try.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
Who knew that one of the best galleries in Vegas would be located in a casino? (It’s Vegas, baby.) The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is an intimate art gallery that features rotating exhibitions in partnership with museums and foundations from all over the world. Currently, Yayoi Kusama’s work, including the Infinity Mirrored Room, is on display until June 30, 2019.
Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort Historic Park
A state park located in downtown (seriously), the Old Mormon Fort was the first structure built by non-native settlers in 1855 in what would become Las Vegas. In addition to the fort, there's a Visitor Center that contains exhibits and photos illustrating the history of the site. Looking for more? The park is located next to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum and other downtown attractions, including our very own MedMen store.
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