The Nevada State Museum houses a collection of Las Vegas history that goes back much farther than the days of mobsters and the Rat Pack. Visitors can see artifacts dating back millions of years, and the artfully designed space at the Springs showcases the museum's collection in a 70,000 square foot building with a spacious design–elements that were missing in its former location at Lorenzi Park.
Nevada State Museum at the Springs Preserve — Photo courtesy of Nevada State MuseumDo you know what an ichthyosaur is? If not, you'll learn about Nevada's state fossil at the museum, starting with the fact that this is one big prehistoric fish. The ichthyosaur fossil on display will surprise you with its size. You can also experience a stalactite cave (stalactites are the limestone deposits that grow down from the top of a cave, while stalagmites grow up from the floor). Hear a hologram tell the story of Nevada's miners, see an atomic blast, and learn about railroads and pioneers.
You can travel throughout all of Nevada's history at the museum. History buffs and families will appreciate the interactive and interesting presentation of subjects that might otherwise be relegated to the schoolroom. The geology that shaped Nevada is explained here, a tale of forces that shaped the seventh largest state. Nevada is a big place, and its geologic history covers a great deal of time. If you ever thought that Las Vegas history started with legalized gambling in 1931, the Nevada State Museum will teach you differently.