Get Up Close and Personal with the Mob

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall, Photograph Courtesy of The Mob Museum

As you can imagine, Las Vegas is full of stories, particularly gangster stories. Enter, The Mob Museum. The Mafia has a long, winding, and tumultuous history in Sin City. Full of characters and crime, the stories are many and varied. The Mob Museum is located in a restored 1933 former courthouse and post office building a few minutes drive from the Strip. It also has an underground speakeasy and distillery called, appropriately, The Underground. Not only will you enjoy cocktails from the past there, but you’ll also get an interactive history lesson in prohibition. Organized crime has its day in the spotlight at this gem of a museum that has mastered the art of storytelling through thoughtful curation.

The Titanic

Arguably one of the best known stories in history, the Titanic’s inspiring potential and tragic end still pulls at the heartstrings of all travelers. The sparkling ship was built in Belfast, Ireland and was only 400 miles from its destination of New York City when it hit an iceberg and sank into 28-degree water over the course of two hours and fourty minutes, taking with it 1,503 souls.

The Luxor in Las Vegas provides what can only be described as an interactive theatrical experience of what it was like to be aboard the Titanic. To begin Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, all guests are given a ticket that details a real-life passenger aboard the Titanic. (At the end of the exhibit, you’re able to see if your person survived or perished.) You walk through replicas of the ship including the first, second, and third class cabins, and the grand staircase, and you also experience what it was like to be on deck during the night of the iceberg collision, complete with sound and chilling temperatures. Along the way, you’ll find numerous artifacts that have been recovered by shipwreck divers over the 26 years since the ship was discovered at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Guests understand with painful detail just how the sinking of the Titanic really was a one-in-a-million chance disaster that only happened because of a mysterious mixture of events and circumstances that no one ever predicted could all coalesce.

The exhibit concludes with a dark and somber room that contains The Big Piece, a section of the Titanic’s starboard side hull that weighs 15 tons and measures 26 feet by 12 feet. It was recovered in 1998 after extensive efforts and trials over the course of two years, and then meticulously preserved by conservationists. Visitors are able to walk around it and observe the extensive rivet work and artistry that went into its construction. It’s an astounding experience that’s not to be missed!