When most people think of living it up in Las Vegas, they imagine elaborate Cirque shows, pricey drinks, and throngs of tourists. And you can certainly find that in Sin City. But there’s another part of town that might be a little lesser-known but is comparable in experience: downtown Las Vegas. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for a few days, we’ve got a few spots you won’t want to miss. Plan accordingly, because you’ve got a lot of action to pack in.
5 Must-See Spots in Downtown Las Vegas
1. Fremont Street Experience
That really is the only way to describe it: an experience.
If you’re looking for nonstop entertainment and activity, Fremont Street Experience is the place to be. It’s considered the “old” side of the Strip, although don’t expect it to look anything like the newer end. The vibe and atmosphere are completely different. With live music, interesting characters and impersonators, and plenty of shopping opportunities, Fremont will prove to be a source of hours of fun.
And while you’re there, be sure to look up and witness the Viva Vision light show. The giant video screen is 1,500 feet long and 90 feet wide, built out of 49.3 million energy-efficient LED lamps. You can catch the show nightly, every hour, starting at dusk. It lasts for about six minutes. You’ve never seen anything like this. Immerse yourself in a vibrant display of lights, colors, and music.
Even locals will tell you that Viva Vision never gets old.
Side note: If your visit happens to fall on First Friday, you’re in luck. You’re about to experience some of the best art and culture that Vegas locals can offer.
While the next downtown Las Vegas spot is part of Fremont Street, we had to give it its own shout-out.
2. SlotZilla Zip Line
We bet you didn’t come to Vegas expecting to soar through the air, but you can. If you’re looking for something to satisfy the daredevil in you, you’ve found it. The SlotZilla Zip Line is a one-of-a-kind experience. Thrilling. Exhilarating. And just a tad bit scary. It gives you a literal birdseye view of everything happening below.
They actually offer two versions of the zip line, depending on how daring you’re feeling. One is seven stories high, you fly in a seated position, and it goes for two blocks. The second option is 11 stories high, you fly “superhero style,” and it goes for five blocks.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why they call it “SlotZilla,” it’s because the zip line is also the world’s biggest slot machine. Go big or go home, right? (Just don’t eat a big meal right beforehand.)
3. Container Park
Container Park is an open-air shopping center packed with restaurants, boutiques, and live entertainment. It’s also home to some of the best vegan food in the city. (We’re looking at you, Simply Pure.) So, whether you’re craving a good glass of vino, a hearty meal, or you want to spend a little cash on something nice, you’re in the right place.
What’s so cool about Container Park is that there’s something for everyone. Kids love the interactive playground (let’s be real — adults love it too), and there are plenty of free concerts and movies for the grown-ups to enjoy. You can have hours of fun without ever leaving the park.
They really kick things off with a bang, too. At the entrance, you’ll be greeted by a giant replica of a female praying mantis. When the mantis is fully extended, it reaches 40 feet in height and 30 feet in width. It’s not just its stature that’s impressive, though. It shoots flames up to six stories high, burning around 50 gallons of liquid propane each and every day.
Only in Vegas.
4. Neon Museum
If you want something perhaps a little quieter but equally impressive, head to the Neon Museum. The nonprofit is dedicated to iconic Las Vegas signs — collecting, preserving, and studying them, as well as offering them as an educational experience for all.
It’s a real slice of Sin City, offering a fascinating look into our history and culture. Be sure to hit up all three sections. The Neon Boneyard is an outdoor exhibition. Then, there’s a visitors’ center that you can find inside what used to be La Concha Motel. Lastly, the Neon Boneyard North Gallery has even more signs on display and is additionally open for special events like weddings.
Neon Museum combines the best of every world. It’s equal parts exciting, interesting, and inescapably Vegas. Perfect for date night, Sunday Funday with the family, or just a quiet weekday afternoon. Jazz up your Instagram feed with a picture in front of an authentic Vegas neon sign. (Do note that hours may vary, and tickets are normally released one month ahead of time.)
5. Mob Museum
For an interactive, jaw-dropping experience, stop by the Mob Museum, mere steps from Fremont Street.
Starting with the birth of the mob all the way up to present-day stories that steal headlines, the Mob Museum shows a side of American history that you perhaps haven’t seen before. Fair warning: You might not like what you learn!
Comprised of four floors packed full of exhibits, the museum shares the many intricate facets of organized crime as well as law enforcement. Go on a journey through the Prohibition era. Make your way through a crime lab. Examine organized crime today. And take part in a firearm training simulator.
Your history classes in school might’ve felt like a total bore, but we promise that the Mob Museum is anything but.
This is just barely scratching the surface when it comes to all of the things you can experience in Sin City. Downtown Las Vegas certainly doesn’t disappoint. Long-term locals along with those of you just passing through, be sure to head downtown for a visit you won’t forget.
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