Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street was and/or still is home to Las Vegas’ classic casinos and hotels such as Golden Gate Hotel, Binion’s Horseshoe, Golden Nugget, The Pioneer Club, and Eldorado Club. The street itself dates back to 1905 when the city itself was founded and has been showcase in countless pop culture from movies like Elvis’ Viva La Vegas and James Bond’s Diamonds Are Forever and music videos like The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” and U2’s "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.”
The city has revamped the area into an unique entertainment district called The Fremont Street Experience. Buskers such as street performers, dancers, impersonators, and artists can be found along the street, while the Slotzilla zipline shoots people overhead. This area is renown for more affordable Sin City entertainment and is generally less crowded than the Strip, but I love the history behind it’s long-term tenants.
Visit The Oldest Casino In Vegas & Drink Where Sinatra Drank
@goldengatevegas | Address: 1 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
The city’s original casino—yes, the first casino in Las Vegas—established in 1906 has seen it all. The birth of Vegas as we know it, prohibition, crooners, and more! The Golden Gate Casino established shrimp cocktail as a Vegas tradition for pete’s sake! They’ve been around. It was the original hangout of the Rat Pack in the 1960s who reportedly frequented the wooden bar (still there today with a plaque dedicated to the threesome—Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. So order Jack on the rocks and toast to The Chairman of the Board at the oldest bar in the city.
When the sunsets the lights on the ceiling of the Fremont Street Experience come on. Viva Vision takes over the sky and showcases one of the world’s biggest musical acts on the the world’s biggest video screen (It’s 1,500 feet long and 90 feet wide!) Check the schedule for showtimes during your visit.
Check the calendar for showtimes, but sets typically include a Dj and a live band. Free of course.
This superman-style zipline launches guests from the world’s largest slot machine past classic hotels and casinos, and above the pedestrians below. I’ve never personally done it (for no reason other than I have done ziplines before) but it seems to be pretty popular as there are always people zooming overhead.
Fun & Free (Albeit Slight Cheesy) Activities
If you’re here for the Fremont Street Experience, you’ve got to get the entire Fremont Street Experience, am I right? So don’t forget these unique (and FREE) attractions.
Get Up Close With One Million Dollars Cash
Ever wonder what $1,000,000 looks like? Well wonder no more. Stop by Binion’s to see their million dollars cash pyramid and get your photo taken with it. It was cool to see though I found it underwhelming so if I ever won a million dollars I would ask for it in $1 bills…bigger pyramid ya no?
Marvel A Golden Nugget At The Golden Nugget
Now this isn’t any old golden nugget, it’s the Hand of Faith, the biggest golden nuggets in existence, and it’s on display in the lobby of the aptly-named Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. It was discovered in 1980 in Australia and weighs more than 61 pounds!
See Some ‘Jaw’esome Sharks
On your way to see the Hand of Faith nugget, walk by the 200,000-galloon shark tank aquarium in the center of the Golden Nugget’s pool—complete with five different species of sharks and several species of fish! Non-hotel guest can swim at the pool (and use the slide through the tank) for a small day fee. Guided tank tours are also offered on Wednesdays and Sundays. Check the website for the most up-to-date pricing and time information.
Play The World’s Largest Keno Board
You can’t miss it! It’s on the side of The D Las Vegas. The board shows live Keno games in real time as they happen in the casino’s Keno Lounge.
Get A Photo Of Vegas Vic
Continuously manning his post outside The Pioneer Club casino since 1951, Vegas Vic remains the world’s largest mechanical neon sign standing at 40 feet tall! Despite the mechanical parts no longer functioning (his arm and cigarette), his a Fremont Street icon and pretty good lookin’ for a 67-year-old if you ask me.
Enjoy Antiques & Curiosities at Main Street Station
Address: 200 N Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Grab a map from the front desk and take a self-guided tou r through the hotel’s collection of antiques and oddities from around the world. Main Street Station’s collection includes bronze doors from The Royal Bank of Kuwait, Chandeliers from the Figaro Opera House in Paris, Louisa May Alcott’s Pullman car, and even a portion of the Berlin Wall which is located inside the men’s restroom (women can asked to escorted to see it)!
RELATED: Classic Vegas is…well…classic. For the Strip experience as we know it today head to south to Las Vegas Boulevard. My Las Vegas Strip Travel Guide is coming SOON!
The Neon Museum
@theneonmuseumlasvegas | Address: 770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Located less than one mile from Fremont Street is one of the most unique tours / most Instagrammable places in Vegas, the Neon Museum is a non-profit “dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, history, arts and cultural enrichment.” Hour-long guided tours by local guides take you through the history of neon trends and sign design and its effect on the city of Las Vegas, with collection pieces dating from the 1930s till today. Book in advance, though walk-in are accepted pending availability.
Downtown Container Park
@containerpark | Address: 707 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Comprised of up-cycled colorful shipping containers, the park “contains” restaurants, bars, a cafe, boutiques, salons, and even a treehouse-inspired jungle gym for kids. Their stage hosts fun local events each month including Karaoke In the Park so check their website for events during your stay.
Pinball Hall of Fame
Address: 1610 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Another place to escape the heat off the beaten path is the Pinball Hall of Fame, which is exactly what it sounds like, a museum dedicated to restoring, preserving, and sharing old school entertainment. There is an impressive amount of machines in the space with 25 and 50 cent options. It’s a lovely dose of nostalgia, plus entry is free.
@themobmuseum | Address: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101
The history of Sin City is closely tied to organized crime and The Mob Museum explores this history with real story accounts and authentic artifacts. The museum also explores organized crime around the world that still exists today. NOTE: It’s a bit graphic so just use your discretion if visiting with young children.
First Friday Las Vegas Art Walk
@firstfridaylv | Address: 1025 First Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101
This free monthly cultural and arts festival hosts more than 100 local artisans, food trucks, live bands, and more. Occurring on the first Friday of each month (hence the name) from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Life is Beautiful Festival
@lifeisbeautiful | Address: Downtown Las Vegas If you’re around mid-September, you may have the opportunity to attend the annual three day celebration of love music, art, food and ideas. 2018’s lineup including The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Odesza, Arcade Fire, and several more household name acts.
@vegenation | Address: 616 Carson Ave #120, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or allergy-free, you’ll love VegeNation! Their dishes are packed with flavorful, fresh, and wholesome ingredients, and they serve a wide range of options so there is something for everyone from tacos to pizza to pub favorites. No one will leave disappointed!
What to Order: Their menu is seasonal, but if available get the Chicken Pot Pie Gnocchi, Hot Tamale, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, and the Brownie Sundae! I’m drooling just talking about these.
Their slogan is “Never a dry chip” as in your nachos will be smothered with all the goodness of cheese, sour cream, guac and other toppings! Win-win! Plus they offer fajitas, burritos, bowls, tacos and other Mexican favorites. AND They’ve got a vegan menu! They’ve got a vegan menu! We’re talking vegan queso, chik’n, and more! Sorry for all the exclamation points, but everything was so good we ate there two days in a row on our last visit.
What to Order: Lobster & Crab Nacho, Flaming Shrimp, Grilled Corn Off The Cobb, and Vegan Loaded Nachos
Hash House A Go Go
Website | @hashhouseagogo
Plaza Address: 1 South Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101 | LINQ Address: 3535 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 | Rio Address: 3700 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103 | West Shara Address: 6800 West Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Hash House A Go Go serves brunch all day, do I really need to say more? I don’t have to but I will because we love Hash House! Their portions are generous and by generous I mean HUGE. Presentation is amazing. Menu selection is amazing. Food is fresh and scrumptious. You really can’t go wrong here.
Note: The LINQ location is by far the busiest so expect lines during prime times, but a short ride to another location will have you eating Hash House before your name would have been called on the Strip.
What to Order: Fried Chicken Egg Benedict, Chicken & Waffles, Big O’ Chicken Pot Pie, and Johnny’s Famous B.L.T. Mary (Yup, that’s a B.L.T.-inspired Bloody Mary)
Address: 707 E Carson Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101
EAT has a bit of rustic yet cozy vibe, with plenty of light and a refreshing dose of greenery. Some folks stop in for a quick refueling, but most diners seemed to be lingering over breakfast and brunch while catching up with friends, family, and coworkers. Priding itself on fresh and sustainable ingredients, this is a lovely alternative to the many casino buffets.
What to Order: Golden-Brown Pancakes + Two Eggs Any Style (their potatoes are yum!)
Website | @peppermillvegas | Address: 2985 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
While not technically in Downtown Vegas or the Strip, The Peppermill has been a staple of the city since 1972. From its old school diner vibes to neon lit Fireside Lounge, the staff is there to serve up your favorites 24-hours a day. Huge portions, reasonable prices, and friendly faces. The perfect place to soak up some of that confidence juice wink wink at the end of the night.
@velveteenrabbitlv | Address: 1218 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Located in the Arts District, this cozy spot features a seasonally rotating unique cocktail menu. Vintage decor and a welcoming atmosphere make this a pleasant alternative to the Strip.
Makers & Finders Coffee
@makerslv | Address: 1120 S Main St, #110, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Trendy, local coffee shop in the Arts District for morning or afternoon pick me up. There was a decent amount of seating inside and outside. It was still buzzing mid-afternoon when we visited.
I’ve never eaten at Makers & Finders Coffee, but their menu has latin flair and it smelled pretty good. Someone near us had arepas.
@commonwealthlv | Address: 525 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
A cool pub and local watering hole in Downtown Vegas where you can pretend not to be a tourist. Enjoy its eclectic decor, funky vibe, cool cocktails, and bistro-strung rooftop. Why are there not more rooftop bars in Vegas?
When we went there was a DJ playing old school jams. It’s definitely more chill than pubs on the Strip. Plus they have more than 100 beers!
Flock & Fowl
Website | @flockandfowl | Address: 150 Las Vegas Blvd N Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Cozy yet sleek kitchen and bar specializing in Hainanese chicken and rice, a simple and flavorful Asian comfort food. The cocktails at the chic bar were well priced and delicious, and the lounge-vibe dining room had a compact menu of Chinese delights. BONUS—they’re able to make most items vegan friendly!!!
What to Order: Kaya Toast, Classic Flock & Fowl Hainan Chicken, and Chicken Wings