Las Vegas has offerings to delight every type of vacationer: incredible dining, unique attractions, sumptuous spas, and the most fascinating museums you’ll find anywhere. These institutions are a must-see during your next getaway to the destination.
A veritable mecca of the lost arcade art, Pinball Hall of Fame’s (HOF) new home on the Las Vegas Strip houses more than 400 machines that ping and ding. Pop culture touch points such as Ghostbusters and Space Jam mingle with quirky offerings like Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray, drawing visitors of all ages looking for a radical dose of nostalgia. All the machines – some dating back to the 1950s – are owned by Tim Arnold, a former arcade operator and member of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club. For a handful of quarters, you’re promised a uniquely memorable gaming experience playing the world’s largest pinball collection.
Visitors can experience pieces of Vegas’ past up-close at this institution, as it houses the iconic signs of hotels and casinos like signs of the Stardust Resort & Casino, Fitzgerald’s Hotel & Casino, Riviera Hotel & Casino, and more. The colorful, two-acre attraction features more than 200 neon wonders originating as far back as the 1930s. The Downtown Las Vegas Museum offers guided tours, a visitors’ center in the historic La Concha Motel lobby, and an immersive audiovisual experience titled “Brilliant!”
A unique look at the life of the beloved “People’s Princess,” this expansive exhibit at The Shops at Crystals features over 700 artifacts. Many items have never been displayed, with the collection featuring the fashion icon’s gowns, personal letters written to others, and even a piece of the actual wedding cake served at her 1989 nuptials to the then Prince Charles. Visitors also have the option to add an audio guide to their experience, which tours them through the many rooms while explaining the significance behind the artifacts. It’s a must for fans of the royal family, fashion enthusiasts, history buffs and more.
You can fool your friends into thinking you had a Vegas celebrity run-in with a selfie next to one of the frighteningly lifelike doppelgängers at Madame Tussauds in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. Perfect for pop-culture enthusiasts, the attraction is studded with more than 100 wax renderings of stars including Lizzo, Miley Cyrus and DJ Steve Aoki. There’s also an entire room devoted to Vegas legends like Elvis and The Rat Pack.
Visitors can also immerse themselves in the superhero world of Thor, Black Panther and more by taking in the Marvel Universe 4D movie.
This expansive arts and entertainment complex can be explored for days, as it features several unique experiences. Visitors can go on an otherworldly adventure at Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, a grocery store art installation with secret portals and immersive storytelling. The venue also has virtual reality experiences like Illuminarium, an audio-visual light show at Museum Fiasco and Wink World, an infinity mirror maze designed by one of the founders of Blue Man Group.
Put on your sunglasses and enter the world of Bulger, Bugsy and Baby Face Nelson. Each floor of this four-story former post office and city courthouse, built in 1933, is dedicated to a different era of criminal history, with exhibits that tell the tales of both ruthless mafiosos and the unlucky souls who got caught in their crosshairs. A courtroom experience even allows visitors to witness the drama of the 1950’s Kefauver hearings through video reenactments and trial footage. Don’t miss The Underground exhibit, including a basement speakeasy, where you can sample moonshine distilled on site.
One of the newer “museums” in town is also the scariest: It’s half oddities collection, half haunted house, and 100% eerie. The museum is housed in a 1938 Tudor mansion, reportedly the site of dark and demonic happenings in the 1970s. Owner Zak Bagans, a paranormal investigator and host of the Discovery+ platform’s Ghost Adventures, has created a spine-tingling, sensory experience that showcases his incredible trove of macabre treasures. Tour guides clad in all black lead visitors through 30 rooms furnished with frights such as possessed dolls; the Dybbuk box (a wine cabinet reputed to be the most haunted object in the world); and the staircase from Bagans’ documentary, Demon House. The museum also features a Late-Night Flashlight Ghost Tour for visitors wishing to add to their haunted experiences.