Unique museums in Las Vegas are a dime a dozen, as you’d expect in a city famed for its kitsch, neon, and sin. Forget forking out for stuffy galleries and bland exhibitions – many museums in Las Vegas celebrate its wild and wacky side.

    Whether you’re looking to learn about regional history or would rather an insight into its criminal past, there’s a unique museum in Vegas for just about every taste. And we’ve rounded down the top options below so your next vacation in Vegas will differ from the norm.


    Mob Museum

    A glimpse into the underbelly of Las Vegas

    The Mob Museum in Las Vegas offers a compelling insight into the city’s criminal past, plus a plethora of info on global organised crime. Set in the former city courthouse, each floor of the building covers a distinct era. Exhibits adopt the perspective of either law enforcement or the outlaws for an entirely holistic approach.

    Of course, the Mafioso-style gangsters that ran Vegas’ infamous casino rackets feature heavily here – fedora-clad mobster guides roam the halls, and you can play the bad guy by blasting a bullet-free Tommy gun. But the star of this highly interactive institution is the Underground, a swanky speakeasy selling Prohibition-era booze.

    Read more

    Location: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 702-229-2734


    photo by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Neon Museum

    A dazzling collection of iconic neon signs

    • History

    The Neon Museum pays homage to the bright lights that made Las Vegas an infamous part of American folklore. Some 200 oversized signs lay littered throughout the two-acre Neon Boneyard – come at night to watch the dazzling display light up the sky.

    Passionate locals lovingly restored scores of old school signage, rescuing iconic relics that date back as far as the 1930s. Highlights include signs from the Sahara and Stardust casinos as well as the massive marquee that once adorned Mouline Rouge. It’s worth signing up for Brilliant!, a show that blends high-tech visual effects with classic Vegas tunes from stars like Dean Martin.

    Location: 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA

    Open: Daily from 3 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 702-387-6366


    Pinball Hall of Fame

    The greatest pinball machine collection in the world

    • Families
    • History

    The Pinball Hall of Fame is a great place for endless arcade action, especially if you like your gaming with a noisy vintage twist. Housing the world’s most extensive pinball collection, the hall features some 200 machines spread over a disorientating 10,000-sq-ft space. Here, you’ll find everything from early 1950s classics to modern iterations.

    Entry into the non-profit institution is free, but you’ll need a huge haul of quarters to play your way through these fun flashing machines. Past pop culture icons from KISS to Mario Bros. offer a substantial serving of nostalgia for the arcade gamers of yesteryear.

    Read more

    Location: 1610 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 702-597-2627


    photo by Bobak Ha'Eri (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    National Atomic Testing Museum

    A Smithsonian-sponsored collection of artefacts from the atomic era

    • Families
    • History

    The National Atomic Testing Museum tells the history of nuclear technology in Nevada – this patch of desert to the north served as a test site from 1951 to 1992. The Smithsonian affiliated institution houses scores of fascinating artefacts from the era. There’s also plenty of terrifying information on how radiation affects humans and the wider world.

    Fun interactive exhibits let you experience a simulated atomic blast or bunker bomb, sans the lethal heat and radiation, that is. Beeping Geiger counters, real blast test dummies, and “atomic” branded merchandise – think comics, cereal boxes, and candies – complete the curious collection. 

    Read more

    Location: 755 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

    Open: Thursday–Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 702-409-7366


    photo by Ypsilon (CC0 1.0) modified


    Nevada State Railroad Museum Boulder City

    Ride old locomotives around a scenic circuit

    • Families
    • History

    The Nevada State Railroad Museum is worth the drive to Boulder City for anyone with a passion for American railway history. The museum resides on the original tracks built to service Hoover Dam and boasts an impressive collection of locomotives dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.

    But the real reason trainspotters flock to the site is to embark on a joyride around the heritage railroad. Several charming old locomotives run the 7-mile (45-minute) route throughout the day – you can even ride up front in the cab if you please. Book in advance to experience ‘Engineer For An Hour,’ a premium program that puts you at the controls.

    Read more

    Location: 601 Yucca St, Boulder City, NV 89005, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 3.30 pm

    Phone: +1 702-486-5952


    photo by John Phelan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Nevada State Museum

    The go-to site for natural and regional history

    • History

    The Nevada State Museum is where you can discover the regional and natural history of the United State’s 36th state. The eclectic collection includes a range of informative artefacts, dioramas, and displays spread over 11,000 sq ft of permanent exhibition space.

    At 13 ft tall, the articulated mammoth skeleton is the highlight of the museum. Other exhibits tell the stories of Native Americans, ranchers, early pioneers, and local entrepreneurs. The 20th-century hall details the atomic era, the construction of Hoover Dam, and how Las Vegas became the casino capital of the world.

    Location: 309 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 702-486-5205


    Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum

    A monstrous ensemble of horror-themed icons

    • Families
    • History

    Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, 30 minutes east of the Vegas Strip, is an excellent pitstop on a road trip to the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. This “terrorific” attraction is packed full of gruesome figurines from your favourite horror hits – think Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm StreetGremlins (1984), The Wolfman (2010), and more.

    Founder Tom Devlin spent decades as a make-up artist, working on big Hollywood productions. His life-like creations have starred in over 100 feature films. Although undeniably kitsch, the grisly collection is a hoot for young and old. Take a piece of monstrous memorabilia home with you from the grisly in-house gift shop.

    Location: 1310 Boulder City Pkwy, Boulder City, NV 89005, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 702-294-1313


    Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park

    The first non-native building in the Las Vegas Valley

    • Families
    • History

    The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is a hit with history buffs for its reconstructed adobe fort. It's the first non-native settlement in the entire Las Vegas Valley. Mormon missionaries built it back in 1855 along the only free-flowing creek in the area, and the city slowly spread out from the site. Located less than 1 mile north of the Strip, it’s a curious juxtaposition of old and new.

    The visitor’s centre hosts an array of artefacts and informative displays; outside, old wooden wagons enhance the wild west feel. Enjoy a BYO lunch at the picnic tables to soak up the atmosphere.

    Read more

    Location: 500 E Washington Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 702-486-3511


    photo by kl91711 (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

    Las Vegas’ premier gallery and community arts centre

    • Families
    • History

    The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is a contemporary gallery and community arts space in Las Vegas. Located within the UNLV campus, the modern edifice was converted from a natural history museum. It now houses a small rotating collection of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.

    The museum hosts a lively schedule of lectures, workshops, and performances throughout the week, encompassing music, theatre, and art. Plenty of kid-friendly exhibits are on display, while air-conditioning provides much-needed relief from the scorching Nevada sun. Entry is free, though donations are always appreciated.

    Location: 4505 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

    Open: Monday–Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +1 702-895-3381


    Erotic Heritage Museum

    An offbeat ode to the American sexual revolution

    • History

    The sex-centric Erotic Heritage Museum isn’t a place to take the little ones – but neither is much of Las Vegas, for that matter. Within its sultry walls lie numerous zany X-rated exhibits, from burlesque stormtroopers to a coin-clad sculpture of a phallus.

    It’s not all wacky novelties, however, as the museum aims to educate the public on sexual and emotional well-being. Founder Harry Mohney continues the legacy of the sexual revolution in America to promote erotic pleasure-seeking as part of the human experience. If you’d like to take home a kinky souvenir, some of the erotic art on the 2nd floor is for sale.

    Location: 3275 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 702-794-4000

    Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Keep exploring

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

    Check restrictions for your trip.
    Back to top