Las Vegas’ National Atomic Testing Museum explores the history and pop culture surrounding the Cold War, nuclear weapons, and Nevada Test Site. You’ll learn about the nation’s atomic testing program through interactive exhibits and see 12,000 photographs, videos, artifacts, and scientific reports that recount 70 years of nuclear testing.
The museum offers an in-depth look at the development and testing of the atomic bomb and the creation of the Nevada Test Site. Highlights include a Ground Zero Theater simulation of an above-ground test, a replica of the Control Point where countdowns were conducted, and an exhibit on atomic culture. Visitors can also see Geiger counters, a replica of a 9-megaton nuclear bomb, and the reactor that spawned the nuclear rocket and the first air-to-air missile.
Visit the museum independently or as part of a Las Vegas sightseeing tour. Prebooked skip-the-line admission tickets are available with a discounted multi-attraction pass.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Expect to spend at least two hours exploring the exhibits.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible and provides restrooms and parking.
- No cellphone usage or food and drinks are permitted inside the museum.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach the National Atomic Testing Museum, located just minutes from the Strip. Most visitors arrive as part of a Las Vegas sightseeing tour or by public transport—the Route 202 bus stops in front of the museum. If you’re driving, head eastbound on Flamingo Road and continue straight through the intersection with Paradise Road.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily to visitors, and there isn’t really a bad time to visit. If you want to avoid the crowds, arrive in the morning and allow at least two hours for the exhibits. The museum is closed during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Nevada Test Site
The museum recounts the history of the Nevada Test Site, a nuclear weapons test site located in the Nevada desert, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Las Vegas. Nuclear testing at the site began in 1951 and more than 1,000 nuclear tests were conducted here, both above-ground and underground. Atomic explosions continued at the site until 1992.