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Arts and Culture in Las Vegas

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Step aside from the rush of Las Vegas’ glamorous nightlife and explore this city’s underrated arts and culture. No, that's not actually a contradiction in terms: there's plenty of museums, art galleries, and sensational landmarks which prove there's more to Vegas than bright lights and whirring roulette wheels.

 

Art galleries

 

High art in Sin City may sound out of place, but the city boasts a proud selection of stellar galleries, from daring contemporary exhibits to fine art showrooms.

 

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

 

Situated in the regal Bellagio Hotel and Casino, this gallery sent shockwaves through the art world when it opened in 1998. The idea of displaying fine art on the Strip - in a hotel no less - was unprecedented. However, the gallery has been a huge success, having displayed work by masters from Monet to Warhol. Stroll through the airy, gold-washed corridors and be surprised.

 

Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Fwy, Las Vegas NV 89109. Tel:+1 702 693 7871

 

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art website
Museums

 

Whether you want to stay on the bustling Strip or explore further into the city, Las Vegas is speckled with captivating museums that showcase retro relics and exhibits on Nevada's heritage.

 

Neon Museum

 

Vegas is synonymous with neon, and this museum celebrates the long association, housing huge, vibrantly colored signs that once belonged to grand casinos, extravagant hotels, and oddball motels. See a giant-sized polka dot shoe, an immense magic lantern, and - in classic Vegas style - an enormous silver-studded sign that simply reads SIN.

 

770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89101. Tel:+1 702 387 6366

 

Neon Museum website

 

Nevada State Museum

 

Located beside the green-speckled grounds of Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Museum tells the story of Nevada’s prehistoric geology and wildlife, displaying rare crystals and authentic dinosaur fossils. It then takes you through Nevada’s booming railway industry, its intense involvement with the atomic bomb, and Las Vegas’ beginnings as the casino capital of the world.

 

309 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89107. Tel:+1 702 486 5205

 

Nevada State Museum website

 

Historic sights

 

Although Las Vegas as we know it is a relatively young city, that’s not to say it has a shortage of historic sights - whether it’s a turn-of-the-century casino or an old world fort.

 

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

 

This fort, set in a small state park of the same name in downtown Vegas, was built in 1855, and offers a rare glimpse into the lives of early European settlers. Perhaps more importantly, the fort represents the foundations of Las Vegas as we know it today. Amble around the copper-brown adobe fort, and learn about its history through gripping interactive displays.

 

500 E Washington Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Tel:+1 702 486 3511

 

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort website

 

Landmarks

 

Las Vegas is full of well-known landmarks, from the mini Eiffel Tower to Vegas Vic the neon cowboy - but here’s one you may not have heard of.

 

Springs Preserve

 

Feel like getting away from the mad rush of the Las Vegas Strip? Head to Springs Preserve, a historic, cultural, and natural habitat area spread over 180 acres just outside of Downtown. The preserve contains idyllic botanical gardens, a green-washed wetland habitat with walking trails, and dozens of interactive exhibits, displays, and galleries informing visitors about the desert’s ecology and history. The onsite amphitheater also hosts regular music events and cultural festivals - so be sure to check their calendar.

 

333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89107. Tel:+1 702 822 7700

 

Springs Preserve website