The New Downtown Vegas - It's Not What You Were Expecting

downtown las vegas fremont street


Vegas isn’t just about the Strip anymore. Downtown Las Vegas has undergone a major resurgence in recent years, giving visitors an exciting new way to “do” sin city.

We’re not saying it’s better than the Strip. But it’s definitely worth a look. Here are five reasons why:

1.         Feels like the Very First Time

Remember the very first time you came to Vegas? The anticipation, the excitement, thrill of discovery? You can never quite get that feeling back when you return to the Strip again and again. Staying Downtown, assuming you’ve never done it before, gives you a chance to discover a whole new Las Vegas.

Sure, it’s still the same town, but it just feels a little different. Maybe it has something to do with...

2.         The Vibe

Downtown Las Vegas feels like a big street party. Whereas most of your partying on the Strip will most likely take place indoors, when you’re Downtown you can move freely in and out of casinos and all kinds of fun events going on outside in what we call the Fremont Street Experience.

This consists of a five-block stretch of closed-off street, much of which is covered by a 90-foot-high canopy. Underneath this canopy you’ll find all manner of Vegas hijinks, including ongoing live concerts, a massive video screen, and zip lines flying overhead.

Perhaps the best part of all though is the crowd itself. Whereas the Strip may tend towards the touristy at times, we think the Downtown crowd is a bit more colorful, a little more eccentric and, dare we say, maybe even a little more fun?

Either way, the Downtown vibe might best be described as Las Vegas meets New Orleans meets Venice Beach. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree with our assessment. 

3.         Walkability

The Fremont Street Experience is essentially a pedestrian mall. This means that you can walk the length of it and explore as you go. While you might do your share of walking on the Strip, you’re more likely to be doing so inside a casino. Downtown lets you get outside, get some fresh air, and really explore in a much less controlled environment.

4.         Great Restaurants

While there’s no shortage of top notch dining on the Strip, a lot of it falls under the “trendy” designation. Those in the know realize that some of the best dining in Las Vegas, if not the best, lies Downtown. Vic & Anthony’s at the Golden Nugget might just be the best classic steakhouse in the city. Equally good in the “Italian Steakhouse” category is Andiamo at The D Hotel. And then there’s Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens, another old favorite.

The Strip definitely wins out in terms of the sheer number of quality restaurant offerings, but if you’re looking for one great night of dining in Las Vegas, you can’t do any better than the three choices mentioned above.

5.         Life is Beautiful

Here’s the really interesting thing...Downtown Las Vegas actually has a bit of an urban feel (in a good way) with, dare we say, a dose of culture mixed in. Did we say culture? In Las Vegas?

That’s correct.

The emergence of arts and culture in the city is epitomized by the Life is Beautiful Festival, held once a year, featuring major live music acts as well as a range of art installations, interesting performances and features of all kinds.

2016 was another great success for Life is Beautiful. The festival will be back on September 22-24, 2017.