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Best Historic Spots in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a city where everything appears shiny and new; where old hotels regularly make way for mega resorts and implosions aren't out of the ordinary (the last one being the Riviera Hotel and Casino in 2016).

Believe it or not, this shimmering city does offer quite a bit of history as well as many classic landmarks. So pull out your maps! It’s time to go on an adventure through history. Here are the best historic spots in Las Vegas:

Floyd Lamb State Park

This oasis of grass, ponds, and cottonwood trees has been popular since prehistoric times. Home to Tule Springs Ranch, the springs were visited by mammals from the Pleistocene age. Fossils of extinct mammoths, bison, horses, camels, giant sloths, and more have been found here—not by Indiana Jones, but it’s still impressive. The springs later served as a watering hole for prospectors and then in 1916 became home to a blacksmith shop. In the '20s it was a self-supporting ranch and a retreat for prospective divorcees. As you can tell, this place has had more visitors than a hooker on Fremont. This is a whole lotta history, so take your family out for a picnic or barbecue and spot wild peacocks roaming the grounds while you take it all in.


Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort Historic Park

Las Vegas was once a dusty stop on a mail service trail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles and a series of natural springs refreshed travelers en route—sounds like our kind of party. 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. It might look like a pile of dirty old bricks, but that’s history, folks. They’re open to visitors interested in learning about Las Vegas’ past. It's just steps away from Cashman Center and located near other museums in the city's cultural corridor.


Springs Preserve

This is where the party started a few hundred years ago. Although it might not look like it, it was the birth place of the city. Spanning over 180 acres, this is where you can learn about the city’s past, present, and future. Don’t worry; you’re not walking into a fortune telling booth. They have art exhibits, hiking trails, and it wouldn’t be Vegas without a show. The preserve has become the home to the Nevada State Museum, so this sounds like a historical jackpot. Cha-ching! Time to cash in.


Golden Gate Casino

Welcome to the O.G. casino of all casinos. Golden Gate Casino was the first EVER to open its doors in 1906—that’s about the same time most of our great-grandparents were born…let that sink in. Although it was originally named Hotel Nevada, the casino still sticks to its roots and has never been imploded. This is one old geezer that has more stamina then most of its competition…ya, we’re looking at you, Aladdin.


Las Vegas High School

This is one high school reunion we’d love to go to. Las Vegas High School was the city’s first and only high school until the ‘50s. And because it was such an overachiever, it was placed on the National and Stat Register of Historic Places. If you haven’t caught on yet, this place is obvi historic. With more than 70 high schools in the valley today, this one still remains as the one true bae.


Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Dam Gina, that’s one big structure. Hoover Dam is our pride and joy of history spots near the beautiful city of Las Vegas. The dam was built ahead of schedule and under budget (which is hard to believe with the government nowadays). One of the top 10 construction achievements of the 20th century, it’s no wonder everyone wants to see it in their lifetime. And that’s why more than a million people visit the dam each year. We’re pretty cool, but we don’t have THAT many friends.


The Mob Museum

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Pull out your favorite mob accent and head for a museum that sums up Vegas in the early 1900s. The Mob Museum is located downtown at the first federal court house (that’s ironic). The interactive attraction will have your eyes popping out in disbelief and grateful that you weren’t whacked 100 years ago. No need to put on the pinstripes and pull out the tommy guns; they got you all covered. Get ready to jump in the time machine, because this is true vintage Vegas.


El Cortez

El Cortez

Speaking of mobsters, the El Cortez was owned by none other than Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel himself. It opened in 1941 and has seen more tourists than most of its brother and sisters. In 2013, it became part of history on the National Register of Historic Places. When you think about it, that’s basically the Oscar of history. Stroll through—this is pure Vegas.


Little Church of the West

Here comes the bride all dressed in…whatever you want. This is Vegas baby, rules don’t apply. Ask Elvis, he’s the expert. Built in 1942, Little Church of the West has become a celebrity hot spot. Zsa Zsa Gabor, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford – you name the celebrity and they’ve probably been married here. So if you’re obsessed with wedding pop culture, this is the wedding chapel to see.


Neon Museum

This is the coolest graveyard you’ll ever visit, and with two acres, there’s plenty to explore. The Neon Museum, or as we like to call it, the Neon Boneyard – is where you can feast your eyes on the city’s retired neon signs. You’ll tour past the Moulin Rouge Sign, the Treasure Island skull, and the “atomic” Stardust sign. Our advice? Go at night time to see them all lit up. Ooh, shiny.