A Design Lover's Guide to Las Vegas

A Design Lover's Guide to Las Vegas

Kim Lucian
Jul 26, 2013

Best known for its gaudy skyscraper casinos and cameos in movies like "The Hangover," Sin City also has sweeping desert views, a serious foodie scene, beloved vintage landmarks, and unique architectural feats.


Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign: Signaling the beginning of any Vegas adventure, this iconic sign designed by Betty Willis has been standing since 1959.

Graceland Wedding Chapel: Get married by an Elvis impersonator for $200. Seriously. The chapel is a part of the original strip and has been performing their unique ceremonies for 50 years.

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health: Designed by Frank Gehry, this building is all business in the front, party in the back with clean, straight lines giving way to a twisted building that looks almost surreal.


La Concha Motel, Neon Museum Boneyard: The original La Concha Motel, designed in 1961 by Paul Revere Williams, is a relic of the brat pack days. This makes it a fitting visitors center for the Neon Museum boneyard,  a unique exhibit where neon signs from days past on the strip have been restored and are displayed. Available by tour only.

National Atomic Testing Museum: Just on the outskirts of town, this museum, now run by the Smithsonian, is based on the original desert testing site where people would pay for bleacher seats to atomic blasts.

Trifecta Gallery: For a taste of the local art scene, Trifecta hosts local and upcoming artists that you won’t find anywhere else.


Zombie Apocalypse Store: Yes, it’s a bit campy, but a store that boasts everything you need to survive a zombie apocalypse? Definitely worth checking out.

The Buffalo Exchange: Vintage shopping in Vegas is a unique experience — you’re just as likely to stumble across a cocktail waitress' uniform or an elaborate costume as you are designer castoffs. The staff hand selects the offerings, so you won’t have to try to hard to find something interesting.

Vosges Chocolates: In a city known for decadence, giving in to these "experimental" chocolates, with options such as beer or bacon, will probably be the least of your sins. 


Chin ChinFans of Dim Sum will love this Los Angeles transplant with freshly prepared food at a seriously reasonable price point.

Witchcraft: Specialty sandwiches created with artisanal meats and cheeses are the backbone of this aptly named restaurant.


Airstream Trailers at Vegas KOA at Circus Circus: For an alternative to the mega casinos on the strip, you can rent a vintage Airstream trailer at a campground walking distance from the strip.

Palms Casino ResortSurrounded by a virtual oasis of pools. Beautiful modern furnishings and sweeping views make this one a favorite

Air BNB: There is nothing like having a private reprieve away from the bustle of the strip, and Air BNB abounds with options to stay like a local.

Golden Gate Casino: One of the original Vegas casinos, the Golden Gate maintains its historic vibe with vintage one armed slot machines decorating the lobby.

Add your own recommendations in the comments below!

(Images: 1. Shutterstock, 2. Kirk E. Gittings, via Wikimedia Creative Commons, 3. Kristin Rose via Wikimedia Creative Commons, 4. Buffalo Exchange, 5. MGM, 6. Koa)

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