We’re almost halfway through August, so if you haven’t taken a summer vacation yet, now’s the time to hit the road. There are some great vacation spots to visit that include scenic vistas, white-sand beaches and bright city lights, but why not make your vacations even better and hit a destination that has great signs, too?
The world’s most visited destination with over 39 million tourists every year, Time Square has lots of great signs to see. Look for Coca-Cola, Walgreens, NASDAQ, Disney and more. For something a little less glitzy, check out the historic Paramount building. The Paramount Theater marquee was returned to the square in 2001 where it still invokes the heyday of the 1930’s – 1950s theater when the likes of Gary Cooper, Mae West and Bing Crosby graced New York with their presence.
Vegas, baby! It’s not just a destination for adults anymore (though if you’re just looking for gambling, drinking and shows, you’ll certainly find plenty of all three). Now you can bring the kids and ride a rooftop roller coaster, see animal shows and watch the timed fountain show in front of the Bellagio. Vegas has always been well-known for being a beacon of neon lights in the middle of the desert. It still is! Check out all the great signs on the strip, including the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign, which has been installed just south of Mandalay Bay since 1959.
Also, visit the Neon Museum, where you can see nine neon signs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s that were salvaged and restored. Visit the Neon Boneyard and peruse a collection of over 150 donated signs that document the history of Las Vegas as they sit, rusting on two acres (you’ll need to call in advance for a tour of the boneyard, but it’s well worth it).
Nothing makes a kid’s heart sing like the sight of that Walt Disney World arch – the gateway to an entire day of dizzying rides, sticky treats and life-sized cartoon characters. Even adults become kids at Disney World. The arch says, “Where Dreams Come True,” and if your dream is to hang out at an amusement park all day without getting lost, then you’re in the right place. Disney is well-known for fabulous wayfinding signage in all their parks. The park, which is larger than the city of San Francisco, has more than 1,000 signs. They’re all brightly colored and feature large black-and-white arrows that point you in the right direction.
The Hollywood sign is touted as the most famous sign in the world that still has its original appearance. It’s an icon of Americana around the world and symbolizes not only the magical world of cinema, but American glamour and success, as well.
The sign was originally created in 1923. The letters were 30 feet wide and 43 feet tall and were perched on a steep hill. 4,000 bulbs lit the sign for the entire valley to see.
While you can see the Hollywood sign from many spots in the Los Angeles valley, it’s illegal to hike up to it and security cameras, gates and park rangers are all installed to keep you out. Instead, check out the official Hollywood Sign website, which will direct you to one of many places to get a great photo of the sign: http://www.hollywoodsign.org/seeing-the-sign/
America’s first national park also features one of the most iconic entrances. The Roosevelt Arch, built in 1903 was designed to be an impressive gateway to the Northern Entrance. President Theodore Roosevelt himself laid the cornerstone of the arch, which features a quote from the Organic Act of 1872 (which created Yellowstone), “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” As you drive into the park, you’ll also find plenty of wayfinding signage, along with signs warning you not to feed the bears, and to stay away from the bison.