Light Up Your Life in Las Vegas

Photo Essays, USA Travel

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LIGHTS — neon, LED, and flood. Think of Las Vegas and you can’t help but think of the lights. They bring energy and life to nighttime. The International Space Station images show Las Vegas as the world’s brightest city. According to byutv.org, if you lined up all of the neon lights on the Strip it would make a trail 15,000 miles long. It all starts when you enter the Strip.

The "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" Sign
The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” flashes the iconic red, white, and blue sign as you enter Las Vegas via the South Strip. While working for the Western Neon Company, Betty Willis created the sign in 1959 and it cost about $4,000 to build and install. Now the sign is solar powered. The National Historic Register added the sign to their list in May 2009. There are 12 free parking spots in front of the sign to get out and take a picture. The leaving Las Vegas side of the sign says “Drive Carefully, Come Back Soon”.

The "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Harley-Davidson Nevada" Sign
The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Harley-Davidson Nevada” Sign

When you think of the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign, you think there is nothing quite like it. However, since there is no copyright on the sign, many versions of the sign exist, including one on the Harley-Davidson store across the boulevard from the original sign. The neon sign “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Harley-Davidson Nevada” has top billing over the “Harley-Davidson Motor Cycles” logo. 

Las Vegas Boulevard AKA The Strip
Las Vegas Boulevard AKA The Strip

Continue down Las Vegas Boulevard AKA the Strip.

The Las Vegas Strip

New York New York SignThe New York New York Sign

05-new-york-new-york
The New York Skyline

Travel the world via the Strip. Visit New York New York, Paris, Venice, or even Egypt as you follow the lights. White lights invite you to visit New York New York. View the New York City skyline, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, or Lady Liberty with her torch held high.

The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas

The Eiffel Tower in Las VegasThe Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas

Visit Paris and the golden lit Eiffel Tower. After dark, dine in the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the lighted Bellagio fountains.

The Venetian
The Venetian

Travel to Venice at the Venetian. Take a gondola ride.

The Luxor
The Luxor

The Luxor pyramid represents Egypt — outlined in lights, topped with a shining beacon that could be seen from outer space. A bearded sphynx guards the front of the building. Outside the beacon’s blue color reminds me of the inside show “Blue Man Group”.

The Excalibur
The Excalibur

Not the world traveler type? Enter the Excalibur time machine and travel back to medieval times. The “Tournament of Kings” is a dinner and show adapted from the stories of King Arthur.

The Bellagio
The Bellagio

The Monte CarloThe Monte Carlo

The Bellagio and Monte Carlo remind me of under stated elegance, beautifully lit, without the screaming neon.

The Flamingo
The Flamingo

It has been over 30 years since we had visited Vegas and stayed at the Flamingo Hilton. The neon signs remind me of the “old” Vegas.

Activities

The MGM Grand
The MGM Grand

The Lion GuardThe Golden Lion Guard

The sculpted golden lion stands proud at the entrance to The MGM Grand. Inside we became accredited Crime Scene Investigators at CSI: The Experience and gave our opinion on a new television show at Television City.

Harrahs
Harrah’s

A dazzling sign lights up Harrah’s entrance.

The Stratosphere
The Stratosphere

The Stratosphere is a 1,148 feet tall structure. Experience several different thrills. Look closely at the upper right portion the image. The Stratosphere has a five-prong star-shaped ride called “The Insanity” that spins you 64 feet over the Tower edge. You can stare straight down at the Strip during the ride, if you dare open your eyes.

Sky Jump 108-stories (829 feet) off the Tower to reach free fall speeds of over 40 miles per hour. A milder X-Scream ride catapults you 27 feet over the Tower’s edge. For the faint-of-heart, there is always the Observation Deck.

Go here to set up your Las Vegas open-top bus tour.

The High Roller
The High Roller

The High Roller Ferris Wheel peeks out from behind another building and shares the spotlight with the Swarovski Crystal sign.

The Veer Towers
The Veer Towers

The Veer Towers are twin 37-story leaning towers of luxury condominiums.

The Circus Circus Sign
The Circus Circus Sign

Circus Circus is a family-friendly hotel. Visit the Big Top and see a free 30-minute show.

The M & M's Store
The M & M’s Store

Got a sweet tooth? Make a stop at the M & M’s Store on the Strip. Print some M & M’s with your name. It might prevent others from eating them. After all, they are your M & M’s, aren’t they?

Gold and Silver Pawn Shop
Gold and Silver Pawn Shop

 If you enjoy history, make a stop at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop as seen on television. Inside you find art, antiques, coins, sports memorabilia, and jewelry. Every piece has a history.

The Praying Mantis
The Praying Mantis

The 40-foot long flaming Praying Mantis lives at the Container Park on the corner of Seventh Street and Fremont. Shout “wake up Mantis, wake up” and fire just may appear from his antennae. Admission to the Container Park is free. The insect formerly lived at the Burning Man Festival in northern Nevada.

Fremont Street in Las Vegas

Fremont Street at Night
Fremont Street at Night

Fremont Street at night is an experience in and of itself. Add the zip line down the length of Fremont Street on Slotzilla to experience a real thrill.

28-el-cortez
El Cortez

El Cortez is vintage Vegas. It is the only Las Vegas casino still using coins in their slot machines. The others have given way to dollar bills. This is how I remember Vegas 30 years ago. The noise of the coins clinging after the “big” win.

Binions
Binion’s

At Binion’s, if you are at least 21 years old, you can take a free photo with $1,000,000 stacked pyramid-style. Yes, convince your friends you won BIG! After all, seeing is believing.

The Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget

At the Golden Nugget, check out the free aquarium with sharks.

To see the same sights that I did at night, book your three-hour Las Vegas Open-Top Bus Tour here.

Pin this to you favorite travel board to read later!

Las Vegas Lights Pinterest Graphic

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    18 Comments

    1. Katy F

      There is something magical about all the neon in Las Vegas! I especially love Freemont Street

      Reply
      • Piper

        I have to agree!

        Reply
      • Piper

        Me too! I think it is about time for a return visit!

        Reply
    2. Chuck

      Did you ride the coaster at the top of the tower?

      Reply
      • Piper

        No, next time!

        Reply
    3. Alexandra

      I’m Freemont Street Bound! So fun!

      Reply
    4. Megan

      Always love learning new things – such as the fact that the “welCome” sign is on the national HISTORIC Register! Great photo article!

      Reply
      • Piper

        I’m glad you enjoyed it!

        Reply
    5. Sage Scott

      oNE OF MY ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN lAS VEGAS ALONG THE STRIP IS TO STOP IN AT THE BELLAGIO AND SEE THE SEASONAL DISPLAY IN THE GARDEN. iT’S ALWAYS OVER-THE-TOP GORGEOUS. PLUS THERE IS THE MAGNIFICENT CHIHUILY GLASS AND i LOVE THAT THE BELLAGIO NEVER HAS EVEN THE SLIGHTEST HINT OF STALE CIGARETTE SMELL!

      Reply
      • Piper

        I need to check out the Chihuily Glass display. I love it. They had one at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

        Reply
    6. Ada

      This was such a fun round up of all of Las Vegas’s lights. I’ve been twice but somehow have never actually seen the infamous Welcome SIGN! *face palm*

      Reply
      • Piper

        You’ll have to make a trip, just to see it.

        Reply
    7. Erin

      Having visited Vegas myself, I’m not surprised it is the brightest city in the world. The lights along the infamous Strip are quite mesmerizing, and you’ve captured so many of Vegas’s sparkling sights in this photo essay!

      Reply
    8. Michelle

      This is a great list! I especially like the idea of stopping at the m&M store to get some personalized treats!

      Reply
    9. Ivan

      I GUESS HOPPING ON the Vegas night bus tour definitely saves some dollars one would spend on Gambling otherwise. Or did you win on any Slot?

      Reply
      • Piper

        I didn’t gamble this time, but once I gambled all weekend on an initial investment of 50 cents. It was my first trip and beginners luck. 🙂

        Reply
    10. AW

      Vegas looks dizzy, bright, loud and super tacky…sounds awesome to me.

      Reply

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    Welcome to Follow the Piper! Discover interesting destinations, and practical planning tips for packing more travel into your everyday life.

    Our founder and author, Amy Piper, is a freelance travel writer, blogger, photographer, and author specializing in luxury and multi-generational travel. She is a native Michigander who travels through the lens of a food lover and has been to 41 countries and 45 states.

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