Credit: Black Raven Films / Circa Las Vegas
Credit: Black Raven Films / Circa Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas! A Retro Guide to Exploring This Famed City

Here’s How to Explore Las Vegas Like Elvis

Grandiose and glamorous, Las Vegas is a truly iconic destination. Its rich and glitzy history often goes unnoticed if you’re staying on the Strip, but the city offers a retro nostalgia that is 100% worth revisiting. From the fashion to the music, the new “Elvis” film starring Austin Butler serves up the ultimate dose of retro inspiration, encouraging all of us to travel back to groovier times. That said, explore a different side of Sin City and live like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself.  Retro Las Vegas Guide

 

Neon Museum

Credit: Lyle Hastie on Unsplash

Looking to snap some Elvis-worthy Instagram posts? Surround yourself with show-stopping neon signs at the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas. Founded in 1996, this legendary museum collects and restores vintage marquees and signs, resulting in an immersive “Neon Boneyard” that visitors can explore. There are more 250 signs in the Main Boneyard—walking through this illuminated collection is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The museum has a tendency to sell out and get pretty packed, so getting your tickets in advance is highly encouraged. Some of the most iconic neon signs that can be seen include The Silver Slipper, Binion’s Horseshoe and The Stardust.

Retro Las Vegas Guide

Mob Museum

Credit: Brian Jones / Las Vegas News Bureau

History buffs and “The Godfather” fanatics are sure to get a kick out of the legendary Mob Museum, formally known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Located inside a former federal courthouse, this one-of-a-kind museum gives visitors an inside look at the inner workings of the mob and the impact organized crime had on Sin City. Some notable names featured in exhibits include Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel. In addition to learning more about these famed gangsters, museum-goers will also have the chance to learn about prominent figures like former Las Vegas mayor and mob lawyer Oscar Goodman. 

 

Atomic Liquors

Credit: Heather Gill / Unsplash

While the Las Vegas Strip has an endless amount of bars, restaurants and activities to explore, Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is also home to iconic sights and spots like Atomic Liquors. Serving residents and visitors since 1952, Atomic Liquors is the oldest free-standing bar in Las Vegas. In fact, this legendary dive bar received the first-ever liquor license distributed in the city, and past patrons include icons such as Barbara Streisand, Clint Eastwood and the Rat Pack. If you’re looking to enjoy the desert sun, snag a spot on the laid-back patio and sip on one of the many rotating craft beers. 

Retro Las Vegas Guide

Circa Las Vegas

Credit: Ryan Gobuty

Looking to stay downtown rather than on the Strip? Circa Las Vegas is a glamorous and chic hotel with a timeless charm. The aesthetic at Circa Las Vegas puts a modern twist on “Old Vegas,” featuring a retro booth, floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views and the world’s largest sportsbook. As downtown’s newest casino resort, Circa evokes vintage hospitality while paying tribute to the colorful history of Las Vegas with luxe amenities like premium suites, the Stadium Swim pool and more than 10 on-site bars and eateries. Plus, Sunday Funday is way easier thanks to bottomless Rosé Sundays by the pool.

Little Church of the West

Credit: Wayne S. Grazio / Flickr

Everyone knows that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…sometimes. That said, if you’re looking to see a side of Sin City that is a bit more serious, head to the famous Little Church of the West. Since opening its doors in 1942 as the first chapel in the city, Little Church of the West has welcomed some of the most famous icons in history, including Elvis. In fact, to this day, it is the oldest existing structure on the Strip. The quaint and charming wooden chapel sets the scene for everything from wedding ceremonies to vow renewals, and even Judy Garland was married here in 1965. Retro Las Vegas Guide

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Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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