About JoAnna H
Lives in Las Vegas, Nevada
Since Sep 2009
I am a full-time freelance writer based in Las Vegas. When I'm not sleeping in hotels, eating out at restaurants and enjoying new attractions, you can often find me writing about them. Beyond Las Vegas, I travel and write frequently about destinations throughout the Southwest United States, especially those in Arizona, Southern California and Utah. I'm an outdoorsy person and enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking in the United States' national parks.
Speciality Museums, Science Museums, Children's Museums
Speciality Museums, History Museums
Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, State Parks
The Neon Museum is the final resting place for many of Las Vegas' former neon signs. This outdoor museum has dozens of discarded neon signs on display, which have been rescued by a non-profit organization to preserve an important and creative piece of the city's past. Volunteer guides provide context for the signs with organized tours of the museum.
Las Vegas has a rich past of Mob activity and organized crime. Instead of hiding from this sketchy part of its history, the Mob Museum provides context for how such activity helped shape the city as its known today. The museum houses collections of Las Vegas-specific memorabilia and information on organized crime throughout the world in general.
Southern Nevada used to serve as an area for nuclear testing, and this museum provides context and information about that period in history. Thousands of items on display offer insight into the development and testing of the atomic bomb, and rotating exhibits offer information on related topics such as Area 51. It is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art may consist of a single exhibit room, but the rotating exhibits are just as impressive as any visitors might find in a famous, free-standing art museum anywhere in the world. Partnerships with various prestigious art institutions have given visitors on the Las Vegas Strip an opportunity to view and appreciate work from artists ranging from Monet to Warhol.
The human body is a complex machine, and 'Bodies...The Exhibition' provides an inside look – literally – at how it works. This impressive gallery includes 13 full-body specimens on display and dozens of organs as well as detailed descriptions of what everything is and how it all functions together.
'Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition' preserves more than 250 items that were aboard the famous ship when it sunk to the bottom of the ocean on its maiden voyage at sea in 1912. Highlights of the gallery include pieces of luggage, floor tiles, gaming chips, passenger papers and a window frame as well as a piece of the Titanic's hull. There is also a recreation of the Grand Staircase that was on the ship. 'Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition' does a great job of tying these singular items together with the personal and emotional aspects of that fateful day at sea.
Las Vegas' children's museum recently moved into its current space, which has given it room to expand with nine themed exhibits. The museum is equal parts educational and fun, giving kids the opportunity to safely run off energy while providing interactive opportunities for learning. Among the popular exhibits are Patents Pending, which encourages curious exploration of science and invention; Young at Art, where kids can get in touch with their creative side; Fantasy Festival, which allows kids to get on stage and act out a role from the imagination; and Toddler Town, specifically designed with young kids in mind.
While walking the Las Vegas Strip with its mega resorts and flashy neon signs, it is easy to forget that the city is located in the desert. At the Nevada State Museum, visitors are invited to explore this desert environment with galleries providing information on the Silver State's mining history, native plants and animals, Nevada's foray into atomic technology and the rise of Las Vegas as we know it today.
Part museum, part old-school arcade, the Pinball Hall of Fame is a collection of hundreds of pinball machines run by a non-profit organization. Lined side-by-side in a 10,000-square-foot building, the pinball machines are from the 1950s up to the 1990s. The older machines have placards on them, which provide information about the historic context of the games. Visitors are encouraged to play the games at the Pinball Hall of Fame. Extra revenue is given to a local charity.
The first non-native people who tried to settle Las Vegas were Mormon missionaries, and the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort is a Nevada state park and the site of their attempted settlement. Part of the original fort still exists, and several displays throughout the site provide information about how and why the settlement was built yet failed.