Ready, Set, Explore! 21 Amazing Things to Do in Downtown Las Vegas

Ready, Set, Explore! 21 Amazing Things to Do in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas offers a vibrant and diverse array of attractions, entertainment, and dining options that promise endless fun for tourists and locals alike. From thrilling zipline experiences to mesmerizing light shows, intriguing museums and unique culinary experiences – this bustling city center has emerged as a must visit location on your next Las Vegas experience.

Insider tip: Be sure to venture away from the Casino District of Fremont Street! There are so many interesting stores, restaurants and things to do in Downtown Las Vegas that don’t involve this part of Fremont Street.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Downtown Las Vegas both on and off Fremont Street that will make your visit truly unforgettable while also providing you with tips on how to make the most out of your trip.

Key Takeaways

  • Downtown Las Vegas offers a vibrant and diverse array of attractions, entertainment, and dining options that promise endless fun for tourists and locals alike.
  • Top attractions in downtown Las Vegas include the Fremont Street Experience, SlotZilla ZipLine, The Mob Museum, Container Park, and Neon Museum.
  • Unique dining destinations to visit in downtown Las Vegas include Carson Kitchen, Esther’s Kitchen, Velveteen Rabbit bar with boutique spirits and local artists creating one-of-a-kind drinks and Pizza Rock.
  • To make the most of your trip to downtown Las Vegas remember to wear comfortable shoes for walking tours exploring off-the-beaten-path locations like The Arts District or The Ferguson Motel.

Top Things To Do In Downtown Las Vegas

One of the amazing things about Downtown Las Vegas is that everytime I visit, there is always something new that blows me away. It could be a new mural, a rooftop bar or a back alley secret concert behind a pizza joint. It’s just a cool place to visit!

If it’s your first time visiting, be sure to experience the excitement of the Fremont Street Experience with its famous Viva Vision Light Shows or take a thrilling ride on the SlotZilla ZipLine. Learn about the city’s history at The Mob Museum or snap some unique photos and explore vintage neon signs at the Neon Museum.

Fremont Street Experience

One of the must-see attractions in downtown Las Vegas is undoubtedly the Fremont Street Experience. This incredible, pedestrian-friendly area occupies five street blocks on which you’ll find a variety of entertainment options and unique sights to explore.

Fremont Street offers something for everyone – from adrenaline-pumping ziplines at SlotZilla to delectable dining options found nearby. Besides these heart-stopping activities, prepare yourself as you take a trip back in time by witnessing the iconic Golden Nugget Casino with its mind-blowing 200,000-gallon shark aquarium!

If you get tired of the crowds and the street performers, venture over to Fremont East where you will find a more relaxed atmosphere along with local favorite bars and restaurants such as Park on Fremont, The Griffin and the Downtown Cocktail Room. Head a bit further and snap a photo with the 30ft fire breathing praying mantis at the Container Park.

SlotZilla ZipLine

You adventurous types will want to take a ride on the SlotZilla ZipLine. Situated at the heart of Fremont Street Experience, this 11-story high zipline offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure like no other.

SlotZilla has two take-off levels to choose from – the 77-foot high Zipline and the more thrilling, 114-foot high Zoomline. As you soar through the air on this one-of-a-kind thrill ride, be prepared for an exhilarating experience as you whiz past neon signs and cheering crowds below.

Not only will this make your trip to downtown Las Vegas more memorable, but it’s also a fantastic non-gambling activity for visitors looking for excitement beyond casinos.

The Mob Museum

Any history buffs looking for things to do in downtown Las Vegas, you won’t want to miss the Mob Museum. Located right in the heart of this vibrant area, the museum dives into the captivating history of organized crime and law enforcement through an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits.

The Mob Museum offers a unique experience that combines entertainment with education – it’s not just about mobsters but also delves into their ongoing power struggle against law enforcement.

With interactive displays, video presentations, slide shows, and even recreations of infamous moments like Kefauver Hearings, you’ll be immersed in this fascinating world while learning valuable historical lessons.

Container Park

If you’re looking for a unique and eco-friendly shopping experience in downtown Las Vegas, the Container Park is the place to be. This open-air shopping center was built using 43 repurposed shipping containers and 41 locally manufactured modules, making it an environmentally-responsible attraction that’s perfect for families with children.

Guarded by a 30ft fire breathing praying mantis, the park features plenty of boutiques selling handmade jewelry, art pieces, craft beer among other things. Some interesting dining options such as Bin 702’s gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and Pork & Beans’ meat-centric dishes.

Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment at the stage or take a Segway tour around the area. Plus, there’s even a playground for kids to play on while parents shop or relax with a drink from one of the many bars in the park.

The Neon Museum

One attraction that should be on every traveler’s list when visiting Downtown Las Vegas is the Neon Museum. This non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving the iconic neon signs that have made Las Vegas famous over the years.

With over 200 retired signs from casinos and businesses throughout town, visitors are in for a unique trip down memory lane. The picturesque museum offers day and night tours to explore these pieces of history, providing insight into how they came to be and their importance in shaping Las Vegas’s culture.

Unique Dining And Drinking Destinations In Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas is one of the hottest dining destinations in Las Vegas! Here you find a wide variety of food options such as an array of small plates with unique twists, like crispy chicken skins and bacon jam at Carson Kitchen, while the popular Esther’s Kitchen serves up homemade pasta in a stylish setting. Here are just a few of my favorite dining destinations you won’t want to miss.

Carson Kitchen

Carson Kitchen is a dining destination that should not be missed when visiting Downtown Las Vegas. As the last restaurant opened by legendary Las Vegas chef Kerry Simon, it offers a unique and thoughtful culinary experience.

The ambiance at Carson Kitchen is charming and relaxing, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or family. Their creative American cuisine features dishes like their famous bacon jam, crispy chicken skins, and the oh-so amazing butter burger that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Esther’s Kitchen

One of my favorite places to eat in downtown Las Vegas is Esther’s Kitchen, an Italian restaurant that offers a modern twist on traditional dishes. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with exposed brick walls and rustic wooden features.

But what really sets Esther’s Kitchen apart is its commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients to create delicious farm-to-table cuisine. The menu changes regularly depending on which fresh produce is available, but some popular items include handmade pastas like squid ink linguine with clams or the ricotta gnocchi with mushroom ragu.

Esther’s Kitchen isn’t just renowned for its outstanding food, it’s also known as one of the most hip dining spots in all of Las Vegas. As part of Downtown Art District’s vibrant food scene, you’ll find plenty of other unique and funky restaurants nearby (like Carson Kitchen or Pizza Rock) that offer something different than your typical chain establishment fare.

Velveteen Rabbit

If you’re looking for a unique drinking spot in downtown Las Vegas, Velveteen Rabbit should be at the top of your list. Located in the Arts District, this artsy craft cocktail bar features boutique spirits and local artists creating one-of-a-kind drinks.

On their pink patio or among vintage furniture inside, social drinking is encouraged, making this spot perfect for those who want to enjoy a fun night out with friends. They serve local beers, wines, and unique cocktails that are always so tasty and made with care by expert mixologists.

The Downtown Cocktail Room

Another of my favorite spots in downtown Las Vegas is The Downtown Cocktail Room, a cozy and intimate cocktail lounge that offers unique craft cocktails made with fresh juices, herbs, and other interesting ingredients.

This spot has a dark and minimalist decore that sets the perfect ambiance for enjoying their amazing drinks which are both delicious and visually stunning.

Another reason why I love this spot is that they often have live music playing in the background which adds to the overall experience. The crowd here tends to be more laid back and less rowdy than some of the other bars in Vegas making it a great place to enjoy some good company over well-crafted cocktails.

Pizza Rock

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in downtown Las Vegas, be sure to check out Pizza Rock. Located inside the Downtown Grand hotel, this hotspot offers delicious gourmet pizzas, salads, and appetizers that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

But what really sets Pizza Rock apart is its funky vibe and fun atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a long day of exploring all that downtown Las Vegas has to offer.

Whether you’re in the mood for classic margherita pizza or something more unconventional like the “Guilty Pleasure” (topped with bacon, potato chips, and ranch dressing), Pizza Rock has something for everyone.

Hugo’s Cellar

As someone who loves fine dining, Hugo’s Cellar is one of my top picks for a unique dining experience in downtown Las Vegas. Located inside the Four Queens Resort & Casino, this historic restaurant has been awarded Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” since 1993 and is known for its romantic atmosphere and exceptional service.

Known for their 21 day aged steaks, you can also find Australian Lobster, Beef Wellington and Rack of Lamb on the menu. While the options might be on the pricier side, you will be treated to the classic old school Vegas dining experience.

Donut Bar

For a unique and tasty breakfast experience in Downtown Las Vegas, then swing by the Donut Bar. This artisanal donut shop is renowned for its creative and fanciful twists on the classic treat, making it one of the best places to grab a freshly made donut and coffee in town.

When I visited the Donut Bar during my last visit downtown, I was blown away by their deliciously decadent creations – from maple bacon bars to crème brûlée donuts. The shop’s fun and quirky atmosphere only enhanced the overall experience, making it a must-visit destination when exploring all that Downtown Las Vegas has to offer.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Things To Do In Downtown Las Vegas

Insider tip: Be sure to venture away from the Casino District of Fremont Street! There are so many interesting stores, restaurants and things to do in Downtown Las Vegas that don’t involve this part of Fremont Street.

The Arts District

One of my favorite hidden gems in downtown Las Vegas is the Arts District. This vibrant area just south of Fremont Street covers more than 18 city blocks and is home to numerous art galleries, antique shops, unique restaurants, and lounges.

The district is filled with colorful murals, street art, sculptures, and outdoor events that are sure to leave you inspired. If you’re a foodie like me, don’t miss out on some of the incredible culinary experiences available in this area. From craft beers at Hop Nuts Brewing Co., mouth watering Mexican at Letty’s or some of the best BBQ in Vegas at SoulBelly you won’t walk away hungry.

Be sure to check out our complete Guide to the Las Vegas Arts District.

The Smith Center For The Performing Arts

As someone who loves the arts, I highly recommend visiting The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas. This cultural center hosts a variety of music, theater, and dance performances that are sure to impress.

Located in Symphony Park, The Smith Center covers five acres and is an impressive addition to Southern Nevada’s artistic scene. In addition to its theaters, The Smith Center offers public tours and art exhibits for visitors to enjoy. After taking in a show or exhibit, be sure to dine at one of the many nearby restaurants.

The center is surrounded by various dining options that offer unique menu items and experiences.

The Ferguson Downtown

For another unique experience when exploring downtown Las Vegas, The Ferguson Downtown is definitely worth visiting. This renovated motel has been transformed into a hub of local shops, music events, and even a great coffee stop.

The reimagined downtown Ferguson’s Motel aims to keep creative people and businesses in Las Vegas – away from the usual touristy spots on the Strip. With its mix of independent retailers, unique art and quirky event spaces, it feels like a vibrant slice of urban life.

The Writer’s Block Bookstore

If you’re a book lover like me, then The Writer’s Block bookstore in downtown Las Vegas is not to be missed. It’s an independent bookstore that focuses on selling new books, Author readings and creative writing classes and is the first of its kind in Las Vegas.

As soon as I walked in, I was immediately struck by the cozy atmosphere and friendly staff. Apart from being a place to buy books, The Writer’s Block serves coffee too – perfect for those who want to spend hours poring through their latest purchase while sipping on a cup of joe.

The Tank Pool At The Golden Nugget

If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience in Downtown Las Vegas, be sure to check out the pool at the Golden Nugget. The Tank Pool at the Golden Nugget features a 200,000-gallon aquarium that is home to more than 300 exotic fish, including sharks, stingrays, and colorful tropical fish. You can swim right next to them, or slide through them in a thrilling three-story waterslide. You can also enjoy a 360-degree view of the aquarium from the H2O Bar, which serves refreshing cocktails and snacks.

If you prefer a more relaxing experience, you can lounge in one of the private cabanas, which come with comfortable furniture, flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and personal service. You can also soak in one of the two heated infinity pools, or relax in the hot tub. The Pool at the Golden Nugget also offers live entertainment, special events, and poolside gaming.

Downtown Las Vegas Tours

Did you know that many famous Reality TV shows are filmed in Downtown Las Vegas or that there are many haunted locations located here as well? Explore Downtown Las Vegas with a variety of tours, including the Reality TV, Walking, Segway, Foodie and Ghost tours. Let the professional guides show you the best of Downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Reality Show VIP Tour

If you are a fan of reality TV shows set in Las Vegas, you will love this guided tour that takes you to the filming locations of some of the most popular ones. You will get to see where the stars of Pawn Stars, American Restoration, Counting Cars, Toy Shack and Ultimate Sports Cards and Memorabilia work and play.

Enjoy skip-the-line VIP access and insider information at each stop. You will also have a chance to upgrade your experience to include a meet-and-greet with one of the cast members of Pawn Stars, such as Rick Harrison, Corey “Big Hoss” or Chumlee.

Walking Tours

I highly recommend taking a walking tour to explore downtown Las Vegas. These tours are perfect for those who want to take in the sights and sounds of this bustling city on foot.

There are self-guided options available, or you can join a guided tour if you prefer a more organized experience.

One popular stop on the walking tour map is the Neon Museum where visitors can see some of Las Vegas’ most iconic neon signs up close and personal. Another must-see destination is Fremont Street Experience which offers live music shows from talented artists every night as well as games and other attractions – making it an ideal starting point for many walking tours in downtown Las Vegas.

Segway Tours

If you’re looking for a unique and fun way to explore downtown Las Vegas, consider taking a Segway tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you on a ride full of information, little-known facts, and tons of sights.

From the iconic Fremont Street Experience to Las Vegas’ famous wedding chapels, you’ll get a chance to experience the city’s most popular attractions in an exciting new way.

One great option is the 2-hour guided Segway tour offered by Segway Las Vegas that includes stops at Fremont Street Experience as well as several other notable locations throughout downtown.

Additionally, websites like Vegas4Locals offer discounted rates for these tours making it even easier to see all that downtown Las Vegas has to offer from this unique perspective.

Foodie Tours

One of the best ways to experience the unique culinary scene in Downtown Las Vegas is through a food tour. There are several companies offering guided tours, including the popular Vintage Vegas Downtown Food Tour and Las Vegas Foodie Tours.

These tours give you an opportunity to try out local eateries that even many locals may not know about, allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine of this vibrant city.

The three-hour Vintage Vegas Downtown Food Tour takes you on a private culinary journey through casual local restaurants while providing generous tastings at each stop.

Ghost Tours

If you’re a fan of the paranormal, then you’ll want to check out one of the many ghost tours available in downtown Las Vegas. One popular option is the Vegas Ghost Walk, which takes visitors on an after-dark walking tour through haunted locations in the city’s historic district.

Along the way, participants will hear spine-tingling stories about ghosts and spirits that still haunt these buildings today. Another option is booking a Room + Ghost Tour package at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino, where guests can learn about gambling legends, gangsters and their dark pasts while exploring some spooky hotspots around town.

Tips For Exploring Downtown Las Vegas

Before you visit Downtown Las Vegas there are some things you should know in advance. Abide by the following tips and you will fully enjoy your trip to Downtown Las Vegas.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

If you have never visited Las Vegas, I will fill you in on a big secret. You will do a lot of walking! Everything is way more spread out than it looks and Downtown Las Vegas encompasses a large area.

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes that can handle all the walking. Flip flops and high heels are not going to cut it!

Bring Cash For Street Performers And Food Vendors

I highly recommend bringing cash when exploring Downtown Las Vegas. Not only will you see a lot of talented street performers and artists showcasing their skills along the bustling streets, but there are also plenty of food vendors selling delicious snacks and meals.

Most street performers rely on tips to make a living, so it’s always polite to have some cash on hand if you enjoy their performance.

In fact, one of my favorite experiences in Downtown Las Vegas was stumbling upon a group of break dancers performing acrobatic stunts right in the middle of Fremont Street. They were incredibly talented and entertaining, and I happily dropped some cash in their tip jar as a way to show my appreciation for their hard work.

Avoid Peak Tourist Times

When planning a trip to downtown Las Vegas, it’s important to keep in mind that certain times of the year can be busier than others. Between March and May and September through November, crowds are at their peak, making for long lines and high prices.

But if you’re looking to beat the crowds, June, July, and August are considered off-peak tourist times. Also consider visiting during weekdays rather than weekends. You’ll likely find shorter wait times at popular attractions like the SlotZilla or The Mob Museum.

Conclusion: Things to Do in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas has so much to offer, from top attractions like the Fremont Street Experience and The Mob Museum to unique dining destinations like Carson Kitchen and Velveteen Rabbit.

And don’t forget to explore off-the-beaten-path locations like The Arts District and The Ferguson Motel. With a variety of tours available, including walking, Segway, food, and ghost tours, there’s something for everyone in downtown Las Vegas.

Just remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring cash for street performers and vendors, and be respectful of the local culture.