Vegas Bright writer BSiegs returns with a new series, Vegas Unhinged: How to burn a day in Las Vegas when your gambling budget has bit the dust.
We’ve all been there. Hours, maybe even a full day, left on a Vegas trip that hasn’t quite gone to plan. The gambling budget is gone. An extra ATM stop has somehow disappeared. Suddenly, you are left with time to kill, a shaken psyche, and precious little money to spend. Something free is ideal. Something that requires minimal hard cash or that Mr. Visa can pay for will suffice.
Luckily, you are in Las Vegas. Between restaurants, bars, attractions, and world-class people watching, a true Vegas lover can still find just the thing to perk up their mood. This series is designed to tackle this exact problem. What to do when Vegas doesn’t go as you expected.
For me, the first installment of Vegas Unhinged is an easy one. If I had an afternoon to kill in Vegas and could experience anything for the first time again, what would it be?
The Neon Museum. Case closed.
Just stepping up to the Neon Museum is steeped in cool. The old La Concha Motel, with its beautiful seashell design, welcomes you to old school Vegas. You immediately realize what you are in for.
The lobby alone is a great place to kill an hour while you wait for the tour. There are a slew of great books, pictures, and tokens to look through. Sure, it will tempt you to spend a few extra dollars. But giving money to help restore and maintain Las Vegas history feels significantly better than lining the pockets of another casino mogul.
As for the tour itself, The Boneyard – as the outside space lined with old and restored signs is affectionately coined – is spectacular. Vegas relics from a wide array of eras. Plenty of time to snap that perfect picture. And if timed right, a way to enjoy some beautiful weather.
In fact, that is the one potential negative to the Neon Museum. Rain, extreme heat, or other bad weather would certainly put a damper on the tour and leave you scrambling for another way to burn some Vegas time. The Boneyard itself gets quite a bit hotter than the air temperature, so if they advise you take an umbrella to block the sun, I recommend you follow their advice.
Especially if you may be battling dehydration and/or had a few too many cocktails the night before. Not that you would. Of course not.
The only thing that comes close to matching the beautiful Vegas relics? The tour guides themselves. Knowledgeable, funny, welcoming, and exceedingly friendly. They genuinely add to the tour, teach you along the way, and keep the pace moving without feeling pushy. My experience was superb and frankly, I’ll be back before too long.
Now, I must mention that they do offer some evening tours. Reportedly, these are spectacular. The restored signs are fantastic to see when lit up. Maybe I’ll see them someday. But for now, that is still when I’m partying at max volume and creating the very problem that this article is meant to address.
So next time you find yourself with a broken gambling budget and a Vegas afternoon on your hands? Hit the Neon Museum. You won’t regret it.
[Photo Cred. BSiegs & LasVegasJunkie]