The Neon Museum of Las Vegas - Take a break from the tables!


 The Neon Museum Las Vegas, know as"The Boneyard", is devoted to preserving the magical neon architecture of Las Vegas.  The non-profit organization offers guided by appointment where attendees can view the historic Las Vegas neon signs up close.


Walking with the tour guide in the outdoor three-acre Boneyard, visitors are treated to a verbal history on some of the most treasured and world-famous signs of Las Vegas.


The legendary signs from Caesars Palace, Binions Horseshoe, Golden Nugget, Silver Slipper and the Stardust are in their original, vintage condition—more like relics than shinning restored signs—which allows the guest to use their imagination to envision them lit up in past.


The dusty-desert feel of the Boneyard makes a magnificent location background for artists and their photography.  Wedding, engagement and commercial photos can combine contemporary with vintage bulbs and rusty metal.


Downtown Las Vegas at night, with its vintage neon lit up, is a nice compliment to a “neon theme day” in Vegas.  Many of the vintage casino and hotel signs have been promised to the museum when they are retired.


Our visit was in June 2009—during this summer, 2010, the museum is undertaking a restoration of the famous La Concha hotel to be the museum’s anchor building.  The mid-century modern architecture will be a perfect compliment to the neon memorabilia.


Before planning a visit to the Neon Museum Las Vegas, check the web site and make a reservation for a tour.  The museum is closed during the summer 2010 for restoration of the hotel lobby but will be open to the public for tours in early fall 2010.


Walt Disney Family Museum Visit & Photos

Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum, which opened in San Francisco's Presidio on October 1, 2009, showcases Mr. Walt Disney's life story. Ten galleries present the achievements of the man who created famous animation like Mickey Mouse, transformed the film industry with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and created the sense of wonder in his vision of theme parks. His contribution to popular culture in America and throughout the world is captured in this newly opened museum.

Walt Disney 1943

His daughter, Diane Disney Miller, a local in San Francisco, said, "My father has one of the most well-know names around the world, but as the Disney 'brand' has grown, the man has become lost". The "Family" museum successfully tells the story of the man through his own words and the words of others who know him so well. Gallery one begins with Walt's early years, born in Chicago in 1901, moved to a Missouri farm where he first learned to draw. The remaining galleries are rich with artifacts, interviews, over 200 video monitors, animation and state of the art exhibits. The final gallery concludes with a tribute to Walt Disney who died in 1966.

Walt Disney Family Museum

After you get your entry ticket, one is amazed at the showcases of awards on the first level. There is the original victorian furniture from Walt's Disneyland apartment along with his early history. You are then invited to enter an elevator, decorated in a historical train theme, which takes you up to more galleries. The first featuring his arrival in Hollywood. As you move into more recent periods the museums displays reflect that periods technology. You will be impressed with the great high definition video screens and multi media presentations.

Walt Disney Family Museum

The museum consist of walking through galleries, however, there are comfortable benches to rest on. In some exhibits, the audio is a bit hard to hear unless you get very close to a display. Sound from other nearby displays can be annoying. Many of the interactive stations are computerized and there is a ton of archival material to go through--plan on at least 3 to 4 hours to see everything if your a big Disney fan. Others will find 2 hours is enough. There is a large model of Walt's vision for Disneyland and many of the attractions are in the park today.

Walt Disney Family Museum
Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum is fascinating for anyone interested in Disney, movies, history, art, theater, Americana and so on. For small children under 6, I wouldn't recommend this museum. When I interview an 11 year old boy, he stated that he enjoyed the museum and his favorite part was learning how cartoons were made. The gift shop has many drawing/art products and I was told that in the future, the facility plans to offer basic sketching classes. The gift shop also has Disney items that are unique to this museum. A small cafe offers snacks the restaurant La Terrasse, is a short walk away. was invited to visit the museum, and was provided free entry. Top photo Copyright Bruce Murray. All other images provided by / Copyright Disney, they do not allow photography inside the museum. Located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area of the National Park Service, is home to the new museum. Housed in a former barrack, the building holds the main exhibit galleries, a cafe, museum store, learning center and 114-seat screening facility. Parking is ample if you choose to drive. The Walt Disney Museum is only a short walk away from the Parks Transit Center. Presidio Maps Admission is by timed-entry ticket which can be purchased up to 60 days in advance on line. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $12.50 for children 6 to 17. Museum Website

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Washington's Lincoln Cottage Refurbished

On hot muggy days during the 1860's President Abraham Lincoln headed 3 miles north of the White House to a hilltop Gothic Revival "cottage" retreat.  This 34 room cottage is now open to the public after a $15 million, 7 year long rehab.

Built in 1842 as a private home it was later used by several Presidents, it was last visited by President Lincoln the day before his assassination in 1865.  The cottage doesn't have an extensive furniture collection, this is not an major historic display, the nine rooms that have been open are a bit sparse.

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