While there are many reasons to visit Las Vegas these days, there was an era when Atomic Tourism was a big draw. There would be watch parties from Fremont Street (this was long before the FSE canopy went up) to view the tests and mushroom clouds. There was even a Miss Atomic Bomb.
The Atomic Testing Museum lets you experience the nostalgia as well as the reality of that era. They have displays following a detailed timeline of nuclear testing progress and treaties as well as toys and atomic themed marketing. While much of the museum and many of the exhibits focus on the Nevada Test Site and the Las Vegas area, there is also coverage of underwater testing in the Pacific. They even have a special section at the end of the tour, detailing the impact of testing on the tribes and tribal lands.
You can experience a simulated atomic bomb test is their Ground Zero Theater. It is a full sensory experience where you can feel the earth shake just like it would have if you were in a bunker during a test.
The Atomic Testing Museum is located a mile and a half from the Strip at 755 E. Flamingo Rd. If you are using Lyft or Uber, I highly recommend typing in the actual address. Lyft had an incomplete address for the museum and ended up taking us miles past it before we realized the problem.
The Atomic Testing Museum is associated with The Smithsonian Institution, but there is an admission fee. General Admission is $22 for adults. Student, senior, military and Nevada resident discounts are available. Children 6 and under are free. You may be able to get a discount if you buy your tickets at the ticket counter and let them know you took public transportation (bus, cab, Lyft).
Atomic Testing Museum website:
Monday – Saturday: 10am-5pm