When we decided that Vegas would be the destination for our next trip, I immediately began researching "vintage Vegas". This city has grown and changed since the days of dirt floored watering holes built to accommodate train workers & miners. In the 50's it became a popular hang out for the famous Rat Pack, and countless other now classic entertainers. Despite it's flashy and at times torrid history, evidence of vintage Vegas isn't as obvious as you might expect.
Vintage Vegas called Fremont Street home, but modern Vegas prefers the Strip. There you'll find colossal hotels, expansive shopping centers, dining of all kinds and swanky casinos. High rise hotels began development in the mid 50's in this area of town, starting with the Riviera in 1955. We stayed at this hotel, with some hope that we'd enjoy the vintage atmosphere. Well, beyond the posters picturing famous patrons of the past, a pretty psychedelic casino carpet, and some wrought iron in the pool area, we were out of luck. Just like almost everywhere else in Vegas, new + bigger + flashier = better. This resulted in a real mash up of eras as renovations compounded (especially evident in the Riviera - 80's renos - yuck). That's not to say that the modern additions are undesirable. The Wynn was very impressive and tasteful although opulent. I especially liked the architecture of the Venetian, a little visual reprieve for the bohemian in me.
I'm not fond of gambling. I'm just too thrifty for that kind of thing. We spent $21 and in that time managed to get 3 free drinks. But Vegas isn't just about that. In the time we spent walking the strip we took in the fountain show at the Bellagio, Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay, an acrobatic performance at Circus, Circus, and several street acts. I also saw a lady on the street with a dead cat in her lap, but Todd said it wasn't dead, and it was a dog. It's a real weird place, but I'm glad we tried it out. Never a boring moment.
My search for vintage Vegas wasn't entirely fruitless. You'll see evidence in the Vegas photo gallery - just click on the drop down travelogues menu to find it. It contains almost 40 of my favorite Vegas images. On the hunt for history, we also took in a tour of the Neon Boneyard Museum. That place deserves it's own post and photo set. I LOVED it! I bet you will too.
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