By Steve Beauregard
It’s one of the most famous signs in the world, with an image that conjures up fun and excitement. With a unique design that is recognizable by people throughout the world, this iconic landmark has been welcoming visitors into Las Vegas since 1959.
It’s the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. If you haven’t seen in person, you’ve undoubtedly seen countless re-creations of its image on shirts and other souvenirs, as the sign has come to represent Las Vegas itself. In 2009, it was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the front of the sign, it reads, of course, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” while the back side offers a message for people leaving town: “Drive Carefully Come Back Soon.”
The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign is on the southern end of the Strip
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Location
Originally designed to welcome people driving in on the highway from southern California, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign was built in 1959, on what was then the outskirts of town. Today, that same location is considered to be the extreme southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, and less than a mile south of Mandalay Bay.
While the Las Vegas Strip does not have an official boundary, many people consider the Welcome to Las Vegas sign to be the unofficial southern boundary of the Las Vegas Strip.
(The red dot represents the exact location of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign)
Oddly enough, the sign isn’t even in Las Vegas! Like much of the Strip, the sign is actually located in the township of Paradise, Nevada. However I think we can agree that “Welcome to Fabulous Paradise, Nevada” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
The sign sits in the median of Las Vegas Boulevard. The beautiful Bali Hai golf course is to the west, with McCarran International Airport to the east, although you cannot easily walk from the airport to the sign.
Despite being smack dab in the median of one of the busiest streets in the United States, the area around the sign is now very pedestrian friendly, with stop walks having been installed in 2015.
The photo and parking area around the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
There is almost always at least a few people out in front of the sign, regardless of the time of day.
Typically people line up single-file to wait for their opportunity to have their photo taken in front of the sign. Unless you stop by at say, 4 in the morning, you’re almost certainly going to have someone there to use your phone or camera to take your photo. And this being Las Vegas, you’re often likely to see an Elvis impersonator, and/or a wedding party stopping at the sign.
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Parking
For most of its existence, there wasn’t any parking at the sign. In 2008, however, a small 10 space parking lot opened.
Due to overwhelming demand the lot was expanded in 2015. Now there are 33 parking spaces, not including parking areas for tour busses.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign Address
5100 S. Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV.
The large sign is right on Las Vegas Boulevard, so it’s impossible to miss when going south on the Strip.
When driving to the sign, you can only access the parking lot when going south – that, is when driving away from the Strip. There is no parking lot turnoff when going north towards the Strip.
If you are walking to the sign, there are sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks on both sides of the sign.
Can you Walk to the “Welcome to Las Vegas Sign” from the Strip?
Yes you can, however it would be a pretty long haul. From the MGM Grand and New York-New York, for example, it is 1.5 miles away.
Other distances from Las Vegas Strip Casinos to the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign:
(These are distances when walking on the Strip sidewalk to the sign, and do not factor in taking one of the free casino trams available, such as the tram from Aria to Monte Carlo or the tram from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, both of which would reduce the walking distance significantly.)
Aria: 2.1 miles
Bellagio: 2.2 miles.
Caesars Palace: 2.5 miles
Circus Circus: 4.1 miles
Cosmopolitan: 2.1 miles
Cromwell: 2.3 miles
Excalibur: 1.3 miles
Fremont Street (Downtown Las Vegas): 6.7 miles
Flamingo: 2.4 miles
Harrah’s: 2.7 miles
Hard Rock: 2.9 miles
Linq: 2.6 miles.
Luxor: 1 mile
Mirage: 2.9 miles
Monte Carlo: 1.7 miles
Palms: 3.7 miles
Paris/Ballys: 2.2 miles
Planet Hollywood: 2 miles
Rio: 3.4 miles
SLS Las Vegas: 4.5 miles
Treasure Island: 3.1 miles
Venetian/Palazzo: 2.9 miles
Westgate: 4.6 miles
Wynn/Encore: 3.4 miles.
There are 33 parking spaces at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
Other Welcome to Las Vegas Signs
There are two other smaller, cheesier road-fronting replicas of the sign around Las Vegas. One is on the Boulder Highway, far east of the Strip, close to the Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino.
The other is a smaller version of the sign you can see when driving towards the casinos and hotels on Fremont Street. It reads, “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas.” This sign is located at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and 4th Street. It does not have parking, nor is it pedestrian-friendly.
For many, a photo of themselves in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” is a must-have reminder of their trip to Sin City. Best of all, unlike almost everything else in Las Vegas, it’s free!
(Photos courtesy of Joao Carlos Medau, brownpau, and Ray Bouknight via Flickr).