So you want a picture of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign. Good idea. It’s a Sin City tradition that’s been making cameos in vacation photos for more than half a century. But there are a few things you should know before you get there. Here’s a list of our do’s and don’ts for our beloved sign.
Get there early
OK, this probably won’t happen because you’re on vacation and the last thing you want to do is get up early – especially after last night’s bender. If you get to the sign after 8 a.m., there will already be huge tour buses parked nearby because there are lots of people who will not be hung over (hard to believe, I know).
Get in line
There’s going to be a line, that’s pretty much a given unless the second moon is in seventh house and Jupiter has aligned with Mars. JK – there’s going to be a line. It sucks, but it can go by pretty quickly if you scroll through your newsfeeds or look to see if you’ve been super liked on Tinder.
Be patient…or bring a flask
Everybody has to wait, that doesn’t give you a right to be a super douche. You can have someone hold your place in line and walk around to get some cool shots of different angles or plot your artistic approach aka the mid-jump pose. If all else fails and you start to get grumpy, take a swig of that liquid gold you stashed in your bag. If you’re in a hurry, you can jump out of line and have your photo snapped at an angle. You don’t have to take it from straight on.
Lend a helping hand
You may have a selfie stick, but that doesn’t mean everybody else does. If the little old lady in front of you asks you to take her picture with the world famous sign, do it. Consider it good karma and hope the universe will bless you with a righteous upgrade in return for your good behavior. Truthfully, this may be the last “good” thing you do during your vacay in Sin City so you can probably use all the brownie points you can get.
Chances are, some nice fella who’s also waiting in line will take your picture. Say thanks and hustle up to your spot on the grassy knoll. Now, it’s time to get creative with your posing. Think Kama Sutra with your clothes on. The traditional arm around the shoulder is not going to cut it with these vacation photos, we expect more from you.
Respect the sign
Lots of people get a harebrained idea and try to take a souvenir lightbulb. Please don’t be that guy. The sign is from 1959 (that’s pretty friggin’ ancient in Vegas years) and was designed by local legend, Betty Willis. The entire city of Las Vegas mourned Miss Betty’s passing last year, at the ripe old age of 92. You’re on vacation, and we get that. Hell, we even encourage your right to exercise questionable judgment. But this sign is a part of who we are as a city, and we’re fiercely protective of it. We don’t mess with your sweet little grandma, so don’t mess with ours, capiche?
Come for special events
A few times a year, we’ll change the colors of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, just to really get in the spirit of things. Two of our favorite color swaps are during St. Patrick’s Day when the entire sign glows green, and the other is for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. The bulbs are changed out to bright pink to support the ongoing effort to save the boobies!
Don’t forget to tip
There’s a pretty good chance you’re going to run into Elvis, a couple of showgirls, Robert De Niro and a few other impersonators at the sign. They don’t work for free my friends, so slip them a couple bucks for taking your vacation pics to the next level. There’s probably going to be someone with an official-looking Las Vegas shirt offering to take your picture. Just so you know – they don’t work for the city. While they probably just want a couple bucks and nothing more, remember you’re handing your camera or phone to a perfect stranger and there are risks that come with that. Always be ready to karate chop someone in the throat if they try to jack your stuff.
If you drive
Don’t block parking spaces and watch where you’re going because it’s tight and there are people, including really small kids wandering around the area. The only access to enter the parking lot is going south on the Strip (the east side), and the exit requires a U-turn at the Maverick/private air terminal to get back to the Strip. Revel in the rule breaking,U-turns are actually legal here! #FTW
See other Vegas attractions.