Take a Historical Vacation to Las Vegas #travel

Take a Historical Vacation to Las Vegas

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A historical Las Vegas vacation can be pure amazement.

Las Vegas is known for many things: parties, shows and gambling; however, it has a lot more to offer the adventurous visitor. Vegas has a rich historical background that highlights the people who built this popular city. Unfortunately, one of Las Vegas’s characteristics is its continual desire to reinvent itself. This means that hundreds of once-famous, and would-be historical, attractions have been demolished to make way for new commercial property.

Fortunately, many structures have remained in spite of this constant reinvention. Between century-old forts, culture-filled theaters and historical casinos, there is a wealth of history to absorb in this exciting city. Taking an historical holiday in Las Vegas will engender a deeper appreciation for Sin City beyond the nightlife and amusement parks.

Planning Travel and Lodging

Before you can start to enjoy the historical attractions located throughout the city, you must make your travel arrangements. Begin by searching flights for Las Vegas. Although the airport is actually an international airport, most flights to Vegas will land in Los Angeles before connecting to Las Vegas. Consider several different airlines and travel itineraries to determine the best price as well as travel time for your trip.

Las Vegas has hundreds of hotels to choose from; however, it is also an incredibly popular tourist destination. Browse hotels within your price range and book your accommodations months before your actual trip. This will ensure you do not have any unnecessary difficulties when you arrive. Additionally, do not limit yourself to Las Vegas’ hotels located on the Strip. Since the nature of your visit is to enjoy the historical landmarks, you will be well-suited to stay in any hotel in the Las Vegas area.

Enjoy Historical Attractions

Now that you have arranged your travel and lodging, it’s time to consider which historical landmarks you would like to visit. Below are some of the most significant historical landmarks Las Vegas has to offer:

  • Hoover DamLocated approximately 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, this dam was erected in 1936. It once held the record as the tallest dam in the world. It is presently the 11thtallest dam in the world and still provides an imposing view. A Discovery Tour is offered by the dam’s administration and takes tourists to various locations and provides them with interesting information about the dam’s functionality. Since it can quickly heat up during the summer months, morning trips are ideal during this time.
  • Old Mormon FortLocated on East Washington in downtown Las Vegas, this fort was built by Mormon missionaries and pilgrims to give refuge to travelers along the Salt-Lake-to-Los-Angeles trail. Built in 1855, it is Southern Nevada’s oldest historical site. After the gold rush, the fort was given to local Native Americans. In 1895, it was reclaimed and turned into a popular resort. Interestingly, the first pool in Las Vegas was built by damming the Las Vegas Creek. Presently, the fort contains half of the original bricks.
  • Fifth Street SchoolArt aficionados in Las Vegas often refer to this historical building as a cultural oasis. It was originally built in 1936 as a grammar school and was later refurbished and reopened in 2008. Currently, it is an ideal venue for amateur artists to showcase their skills and network with other artists in the area. The luxurious auditorium is an ideal venue for recitals, concerts and plays. This historical site is one of the oldest buildings in Las Vegas still in operation.

Enjoy the Historical Significance of This City

Although Las Vegas is best known for gambling and shows, a tourist should look beyond the appeal of the nightlife and spend their days exploring the historical landmarks that helped build this great city. Between a dam that still provides electricity to much of the Southwest, a fort that helped sustain the Gold Rush and a near century-old cultural haven, there is a treasure trove of history to observe and enjoy in Las Vegas. 

About the Author: Aseem Gibran is a contributing writer and history enthusiast. While studying at UCLA, he fell in love with Las Vegas on various weekend trips and found himself drawn to its unique history.

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If you’ve been to Las Vegas (or live there), what is your favorite thing to do? Tell me in the comments! 

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8 Comments

  1. You never really think about any historical aspect to Las Vegas, so this was an interesting post. I have visited the Hoover Dam and it is quite impressive!

    • Maria, I didn’t think much of the historical aspects…I’ve always thought neon lights, showgirls, and gambling.

  2. I’ve lived in Las Vegas for more than 20 years now. Things sure have changed in the past 20 years. Hotels have been imploded, built, refurbished and so many people have moved here.

    I think one of my favorite places to go is Red Rock Canyon though. There are Hieroglyphs on the rocks and in caves, if you know where to look and that’s so cool.

    • Mary, I’d love to explore Red Rock Canyon. I’d have to have you be my tour guide.

  3. So many fascinating historical sites around the Hoover Dam that don’t actually include the Dam itself! The Boulder Dam hotel (which is also said to be haunted) is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and also houses the Hoover Dam museum. The railroad tunnels above Lake Mead is a fascinating walk through history (my favorite place to go). I could go on and on, but those are two places you shouldn’t miss if you are going to the Dam.

    • Kelly, I knew you’d have some feedback on Vegas. I know you’ve done tons of research. I’ll have to check out The Boulder Dam hotel.

  4. Any Las Vegas visitor with an interest in history should check out the Mob Museum that opened in February 2012. Lots of cool exhibits on the history of organized crime as well as the history of Las Vegas, and it’s located in a historical building downtown. Also, the Boneyard, operated by the Neon Museum (and also found downtown), is a collection of discarded neon signs that date back as far as the 1930s.

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