Got an inkling for a tattoo in Vegas?

So you’re visiting Las Vegas? It’s summer and people aren’t wearing much in the way of clothes. Maybe you want to do something out of the ordinary…something to mark this memorable trip to Sin City? If you feel that “something” should be meaningful and long-lasting, then consider getting a tattoo.


A pin-up girl with tattoos (©2013, a division of Getty Images)

Many people toss the idea around for years before actually doing it. They want tattoos for many reasons – to express themselves, to decorate their bodies or just because a particular design looks really cool. A Vegas vacation is the perfect time to follow through with getting inked.

This weekend you can delve more into the world of tattooing by attending the inaugural Art N’ Ink Festival. It’s being held at the South Point on June 28 – 30. The event will complement Junefest, a celebration of old school rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly. Beasley Broadcasting and On the Edge Promotions have joined together to host the three-day party.

The South Point Arena will be transformed into a checkerboard of exhibits by the top tattoo artists from around the world. You can also enjoy a classic car show, burlesque performances, art displays, pin-up fashion and snacks from local food trucks. Plus, live music – by Lee Rocker, Slim Jim Phantom, KC & The Sunshine Band, Tommy Tutone, Bobby Kimball of Toto and more – will waft throughout the grounds.

The Art N’ Ink Festival and Junefest run Friday from 3 – 11 p.m., Saturday from 1 – 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 6 p.m. For more information, call (702) 797-8005 or visit their website.

If you’re  ready for a tattoo and don’t want to wait any longer, then it’s time to decide where to go. Fortunately, there are a number of reputable parlors with well-trained artists in Las Vegas that can bring your dream design to life. Here are 10 tattoo shops located on or near the Strip and in downtown that are known for their creativity and for ensuring safety.

On the Strip

3 Lions Tattoo cabana

3 Lions Tattoo cabana (photo courtesy of

3 Lions Tattoo at Riviera
This is not your run-of-the-mill tattoo parlor. Open 24 hours a day, 3 Lions Tattoo boasts award-winning custom artists. However, what really sets this studio apart is the private tattoo cabana situated near the resort’s pool. There’s a full tattoo station in this unique setting as well as a bar, a television, air conditioning, two couches and a private patio with two lounge chairs. You can even throw a party for your friends in the cabana. It holds up to 15 people, with five people able to be tattooed simultaneously.

Club Tattoo at Miracle Miles Shops inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
This is part of a chain of cutting-edge tattoo studios in the Southwest created by Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, and industry leaders Sean and Thora Dowdell. Their flagship store opened in Arizona in 1995, and the Las Vegas location of Club Tattoo was launched in 2009. It features 13 top-rate tattoo artists and body piercers. In fact, local artist Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton was selected to be on Spike TV’s reality series “Ink Master.” He’ll be vying for $100,000 while demonstrating his technical and creative skills when the third season kicks off on July 16. In addition to body art, Club Tattoo offers fashionable apparel and jewelry.

Starlight Tattoo at Mandalay Bay

Starlight Tattoo at Mandalay Bay (photo courtesy of

Starlight Tattoo at Mandalay Bay
Austrian-born Mario Barth, a tattoo artist and industry mastermind, owns several tattoo studios and has created his own ink brand. Starlight Tattoo, located next to the House of Blues, is the first parlor Barth opened in Las Vegas. It debuted in 2008. As is his practice, he selected and trained all of the artists here. In 2009, Barth hosted and produced The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth at Mandalay Bay with more than 1,000 artists and more than 43,000 attendees. This event set the Guinness World Record for the largest tattoo convention in history.

Starlight Tattoo at The Mirage
This second location of Starlight Tattoo was unveiled early this summer. It’s situated next to the Impulse shop within The Mirage’s retail promenade. There are three resident artists and two body piercers on hand. A variety of tattooing traditions can be explored here – including the tebori (hand-poking) style from Japan and the Suluape tatau (hand-tapping) style from Samoa.

Near the Strip

Count’s Tattoo Company at Rio Las Vegas
This tattoo shop is the brainchild of Danny Koker, who also owns Count’s Customs, a custom bike and car repair shop  in downtown. A state-of-the-art studio, it consists of four stations and a VIP room for privacy. Safety and hygiene standards are of the utmost importance. You can even watch as the artists prepare and take down their stations for each customer. In addition, Count’s Tattoo Company does piercings and sells body jewelry, after care products and other merchandise.

Hart and Huntington Tattoo Company

Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company (photo courtesy of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)

Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company is the result of freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart’s passion for tattoos. The studio fits in naturally with the resort’s 24-hour rockin’ atmosphere. Not only does this shop feature some of the best resident artists around, but it also plays host to renowned guest artists. A large retail area is stocked with Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company logo merchandise and Hart’s own line of tattoo-inspired clothing.

Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery at 6020 W. Flamingo Road
This family-owned tattoo parlor was founded in 2003. It gets rave reviews from customers time and time again. Charlie Spencer and his son Austin have years of tattooing experience to their names. In addition, there are five other professional artists who are dedicated to creating whatever you imagine and desire. Everyone here has a different style and strives to create custom tattoos befitting each customer’s personality. With impeccable sanitation standards, Studio 21 is one of the cleanest tattoo shops in town. You’ll also discover an art gallery and a small shop with items like T-shirts and hoodies on the premises.


Atomic City Tattoo & Body Piercing at 1506 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
This bright green tattoo studio is located about three blocks north of the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower (on the left-hand side). It’s been open for more than 10 years and has a loyal following – thanks to affordable pricing and the artistry of Johnny Vegas. Specializing in smaller designs, this is the perfect place to go for your first tattoo. Atomic City also provides a wide array of piercing services.

Downtown Tattoo Las Vegas

The front window at Downtown Tattoo Las Vegas (photo courtesy of

Downtown Tattoo Las Vegas at 624 E. Carson Ave.
Situated just a block from Fremont Street, this big, brightly lit shop features old school-style wooden cubicles. Opened in 2008, it’s home to three passionate and hugely talented staff artists: Buddy Holiday, Ross Henry and Joey Anderson. Downtown Tattoo regularly welcomes guest artists from around the country. Patrons can buy one of their stylish logo T-shirts or beer koozies as a souvenir.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of tattoo parlors in the Las Vegas vicinity.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.