Simply put for first-timers in Las Vegas you haven’t actually been to Vegas unless you have posed for a selfie at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. Instagram is filled with pictures of happy couples, groups of friends and family all happily posing in front of the Sign. But where is the Las Vegas Sign? How do you get there and how best do you get that essential Vegas Memento Photo
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada – a Bit Of History
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has become a real Icon of the City. The Sign was Designed by Betty Willis in 1959 and was never copyrighted so the image has become a ubiquitous symbol of the City adorning a billion Souvenirs. Bottle openers, shot Glasses tee shirts and Mugs all can be purchased featuring the famous sign…and yes we own all of the above!
The Sign was the brainchild of Ted Rogich. He had just started a neon sign company and thought that since Vegas was filled with Neon Signs the Actual City should have one too. Betty was a Los Angeles Art Student who was working in the City and took the Commission to design the Sign, the whole thing cost only $4000 and was designed and erected in the same year. It is Still privately owned by the Young Electric Sign Company
It’s very clear the initial intention of the sign has been fully fulfilled and the sign is now very much part of Las Vegas History and Lore. It is now a right of passage for any New Comers to Las Vegas to head to the Sign and get yourself the obligatory Selfie
Where is the Sign
The Sign is Situated at the southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard, down past Mandalay Bay, near McCarran Airport. and is as large as you would imagine and smack bang in the middle of the road. So it’s not overly hard to find if you know where to look.
The problem is for a lot of people coming in by car, using Sat Nav, or from the Airport the routes taken often miss the actual sign. This means you miss one of the rights of passage of arriving in Vegas after passing the legendary sign. This means you are going to need to make a trip to the sign if you want to see it and bag a photo.
How to Get there?
Getting the sign is really no different to getting to any other location Vegas so check out our Getting around Las Vegas Guide for details on getting about in the City. But here are some specific ways to get to the sign
DO NOT WALK!
It doesn’t look far, but it is. And in all likelihood, its a long stomp in the burning sun, down a heatsink of a road with no shade at all. Even from the Mandalay Bay, it is nearly a mile each way, and from some of the more distant hotels, it can be over 4 miles each way in the burning sun. This will not lead to happy selfies at the sign! It also not really worth the time commitment either. It is after all only a sign, there are far more fun things to be getting on with.
The easiest way of getting to the sign is by hire car. There is now a free parking lot at the sign so you can pull off the boulevard, park up grab your selfie and head back to the action. There is also the Harly Davidson Store just across the road, should the lot be full, where you can park up and nip across to get your shot.
The Deuce runs right to the sigh with a stop right alongside the sign so you can easily jump on board and head down to the sign.
Taxi, Uber or Lyft
Any Taxi Driver will drop you off at the sign and might even wait for you as you are unlikely to be a long time. If you are a Uber/Lyft users then a few Dollars will get you to the sign and back in no time at all.
Getting that All-Important Selfie – Tips
As we have said the Las Vegas Sign is a very popular spot to get you “proof” that you have been to Vegas. Do not think you will have the sign to yourself. If you have ever tried to grab a shot at a popular tourist spot you can be aware of the bun fights that occur while people jockey for their turn at getting a shot. Such as the below Carnage at the Charging B
Fortunately, Las Vegas has it’s s@~t together here. And there is an official queue system in place with a City Representative there on busy days to ensure
There may be someone around offering to take your pictures for you so you can both be in the shot. There will be no charge for this but a tip will be expected. You can either tip them a few dollars or offer to “swap” camera duties with the people in front or behind you in the queue.
When your time comes don’t be rushed. Get the shots you want. You are unlikely to return, so get what you want. But don’t dally. Have your camera ready, and KNOW what shots you want. We like a Blank shot as well as Selfies and a Couple shot so the first one is to fire off a few before heading forward, then leave the main camera without photo swap buddies (or the official Photographer) and grab a quick selfie before posing for the couple shots. All in all, it takes about 30 secs and then we stick around to take the shots of the group we have promised to take for.
Don’t Skip the queue. We don’t mean Queue cutting or anything like that as that is likely to result in an altercation. But you can legitimately cut the queue out, by heading down the sides and getting a shot from a different angle. The problem here is it’s likely to have someone else in the shot as you are not playing fair no one is going to yield and give you a free shot at the sign. The queue is for the best angle and will yield the best results. You made the pilgrimage just wait your turn and get the best shot.
You will see plenty of people doing this. Don’t be one of them.
Drive Carefully, Come Back Soon
Make sure you get a snap of the backside of the sign. Meant as a goodbye for people leaving the City (although most people jump on the I-15 ASAP) It provides a slightly alternative view than the world-famous front view.
Have Your Say
Have you been to the sign? Let us know your thoughts? Maybe you have a tip to share about visiting? There really isn’t a