One of the best souvenirs from any trip is a great photo that says it all. Las Vegas is filled with great photo opportunities but my favorite location for that iconic photo is the “Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. It sits at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip and it is one of the first things you see coming into Sin City. Taking a photo there is a Las Vegas vacation tradition and those photos have been finding their way into vacation albums for more than half a century.
Located on the Las Vegas Strip just south of Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, this historic sign famously reads, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” on the front and “Drive Carefully” and “Come Back Soon” on the back. The sign was designed by Betty Willis while she worked for Western Neon Company. It cost $4,000 to build and install. Willis also designed the iconic signs for the Moulin Rouge hotel. She was a Las Vegas icon herself and in 2015 the whole town mourned her when she passed away at age 91.
To access the parking lot at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign you must be going south on Las Vegas Boulevard heading away from Mandalay Bay and toward the Las Vegas Outlet Center. If you’re driving into town, you will have to make a U-turn past the sign. Yes, a U-turn is legal in Las Vegas.
Here are 7 tips to help make taking those photos easier.
- Get there early – There always seems to be a line and the parking lot only holds so many cars. The lot can get completely overwhelmed by the number of visitors to the sign.
- Bring your selfie stick – It’s always a good idea to be careful who you’re handing your camera over to.
- Be patient – Everybody has to wait. If you’re in a hurry, you can jump out of line and have your photo snapped at an angle instead of from straight on.
- Say cheese – Be creative with your posing.
- Lend a helping hand – You may have a selfie stick, but that doesn’t mean everybody else does. Be kind and offer to take the picture for someone who doesn’t.
- Respect the sign – The sign is from 1959. Don’t try to carry away chunks like it’s the Berlin Wall.
- Don’t forget to tip – Chances are you’re going to run into Elvis, a couple of showgirls, or a few other impersonators at the sign. Slip them a couple dollars for taking your vacation pics to the next level.
A picture in front of this iconic sign will be the best souvenir you’ll have of your visit to “Fabulous Las Vegas.”