Downtown Vegas is Where It’s At

Downtown Vegas is Where It's At

Downtown Vegas is Where It’s At

Did you know that downtown Vegas is where it’s at?

It seems like Downtown Las Vegas is giving the strip a run for the money –  attracting locals and visitors; showing that Downtown Vegas is where it’s at! What is spurring on this interest in reviving the downtown area? There’s a combination of events including redevelopment and employment that are creatively bringing back the nostalgia and the cool to the Downtown Vegas scene. It’s working!

With a huge infusion of support from local business groups and funding from private and public enterprise, over 1.55 billion has been invested in development projects throughout downtown Las Vegas. A large part of the downtown district has been revitalized and new civic projects have opened including the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and one of a kind museums like the Mob and Neon museums. Even mega apparel giant Zappos (Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is a big fan) has donated over $350 million to downtown revitalization projects. He even moved his company’s headquarters downtown.  Zappos employees often visit many eateries and attractions close by along with hipsters, creative types, and the younger generation looking for something new and fun to claim as their own. The development has spurred popular new hangouts and attractions to the area and bringing in locals and tourists.

 

Below are some of the cool, new venues and attractions in Downtown Vegas:

 

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

 

Fremont Street ExperienceOf course, the main feature and draw to downtown Las Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience, a cool covered promenade with light shows beaming overhead into the largest ever video walkway. Now you can walk any time rain or shine under a stream of larger than life animation and video. At night the energy kicks up a few notches with live street performances, main stage singers, go-go dancers and the dazzling neon lights from old school casinos turned hip. The entire Fremont Street experience is a fully charged and unique experience that only happens in Downtown Vegas.

 

 

East Fremont Street at night time

East Fremont Street at night time

 

East Fremont Streetjust on the other side of the covered promenade and Las Vegas Boulevard, is the uber hip East Fremont Street. an area of old tacky casinos that have been revitalized into cool hangout spots for locals and tourists. Now the area is populated with swanky bars, delicious eateries and night clubs with a variety of evolving performances from indy bands to open mic nights.  Start by visiting some of the trendy retro lounges like the Park on Fremont with its quirky outdoor patio or the upstairs rooftop lounge at the Commonwealth bar.

 

The electric chair at the Mob Museum

The electric chair at the Mob Museum

 

 

The Mob Museum300 E Stewart AveLocated in a large, historic neoclassic style building that used to be the courthouse, and post office. It is now filled with educational and interactive displays about organized crime, law enforcement, and the Mafia’s involvement developing Las Vegas. Inside are fascinating artifacts, photographs, dioramas and items used or collected by the mob to control its vast international empire. Fascinating stories, artifacts and interactive displays bring the mafia and their undertaking to life, showing how law enforcement dealt with connected crime syndicates from around the United States.  To find out more about the museum and their guided tours, you can check out their website here.

 

Downtown Las Vegas Container Park

Downtown Las Vegas Container Park

Photo credit: Emily Wilson/Downtown Project  

 

Container Park707 Fremont Street is a new reclaimed area next to East Fremont street filled with actual shipping cargo containers that have been refashioned into shops, eateries and galleries.  Most nights the amphitheater in the park offers free live performances including music performances, children’s programming, movie nights and variety shows. To find out more about the park and for a calendar of events, you can check out their website here.

 

 

Neon Museum at night time

Neon Museum at night time

 

 

The Neon Museum – 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Just beyond the freeway and Las Vegas Blvd North is the Neon Museum, a sprawling outdoor complex lovingly called the ‘Boneyard’. The park has many of the iconic vintage neon signs (over 150 of them) with four still working signs which are restored. Day tours are done on a reservation and there are special night tours to see the neon lights that are still working. To find out more details about the Neon Museum and hours, check out their main website here.

 

Antique district in Downtown Vegas

Antique district in Downtown Vegas

 

 

Antique districtWithin walking distance from the art district is a string of antique stores mostly centered around S Main Street and East Charleston Blvd. Funky and cool shops like Retro Vegas, Vintage Vegas and Medusa’s antiques are the place to go for Vintage Las Vegas swag, kooky collectibles and other kitsch finds. Just look for the giant ape sitting on the sidewalk, colorful buildings and giant dice on the roof and you know that you are in the right location to start finding some antiques and treasures.

 

Arts District in Downtown Vegas

Arts District in Downtown Vegas

 

 

Art district 18B –  In the downtown district is an area of smaller galleries and shops known as the 18b, just south of the Downtown business district and consisting of 18 blocks of galleries, one of a kind shops, eateries and mixed cultural buildings including the Arts Factory, Arts Square and the Emergency Arts building. Inside you will find emerging artists, fashion designers and other media artists offering a variety of services, art and products from local artists.  First Friday of every month is the popular Las Vegas Art experience with live bands, food trucks and art exhibits featuring local talent in a variety of art media and shows for local audiences and occasional tourists that happen to be in Vegas on First Fridays. For more details about the Downtown Art district, programs and calendar, check out their web site here. 

 

Premium outlet: photo credited to: Ryan Reason

Premium outlet: photo credited to: Ryan Reason

 

 

Las Vegas Premium Outlet, North –  875 S Grand Central Pkwy.  The North premium outlets contain over 150 discount stores with many popular name brands including: Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, Armani Exchange, Coach, Cole Haan along with many other impressive brands offering great discounts from everyday prices. It is a very popular tourist destination spot and popular with locals in the area. Brands offered include a variety of high-end, middle to mass market brands. There is bus service to the outlets coming from downtown, the strip and the regional bus center. To find out more details about the premium outlets, check out their  website here.

 

Reynolds Hall, Las Vegas Performing Arts Center

Reynolds Hall, Las Vegas Performing Arts Center – Photo credit Smith Performing Arts

 

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts – 361 Symphony Park Ave – Located downtown is the new world-class performing arts center with three theaters in two buildings. The art deco inspired center features international performing artists including dance companies, touring musical performances and symphony orchestras. The center also hosts local art performance companies including the Las Vegas Ballet theater and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. The center includes the new Discovery Children’s Museum. A unique feature of the center includes a 17 story bell tower with over 47 bells carillon that ring out in four octaves and creates a new focal point in the downtown landscape. For more information about the center and events happening in the various theaters, check out their main website here.

As you can see there’s a lot more going on downtown than old casinos and gambling, the downtown scene is hot again and a very popular draw for tourists and locals to enjoy a different vibe than the Las Vegas strip. To find out more details about activities and current events happening in Downtown Las Vegas, check out their  website here.

 

For more articles on Las Vegas, check these out:

Las Vegas night scenes

Night tour of the Neon Museum

Outdoors activities at a ski resort in Las Vegas

A stay at the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas

A Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post, if so please do share it with any of the social media buttons below.

Disclaimer: Thank you Downtown Las Vegas Tourism for hosting me on some of the popular venues to visit downtown, all opinions and comments were my own and I had a fantastic time in downtown Vegas.

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13 Responses to Downtown Vegas is Where It’s At

  1. Rick Zullo September 3, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Wow, Noel, amazing photography! And as far as Vegas, I agree, I’ve always felt that Downtown has more “soul” than the strip. Great post…looking forward to meeting you soon.

  2. Sand In My Suitcase August 28, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Awesome photos, as usual! Can you believe it? We’ve never been to Las Vegas. We know, we know. We should visit at least once. The revival of the downtown area is likely to entice us more than the casinos (though we know we could skip the casinos and go for the fab shows).

  3. Muza-chan August 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Interesting…

  4. anna parker August 27, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    It’s great to see different photos from Vegas – all I’ve ever seen is the same ones of the Eiffel Tower and that sort of stuff. Good to see there is more to the city!

  5. Rachel@safari254 August 27, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Great photos as usual, nice to see the place charged with new energy

  6. Marilyn Armstrong August 26, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    I have always liked real downtown areas better than “resort centers.” A real city has roots and a sense of history. Grit and real dirt. Like the difference between Broadway and Disney World.

  7. santafetraveler August 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Interesting area to know about if you want to get off the Strip. Great photos as usual!

    • Noel August 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Yes there is plenty of attractions and activity in the downtown Las Vegas district, thanks for visiting.

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