Las Vegas is so much more than the strip.
Downtown Las Vegas combines old-Vegas charm and glitz with a modern, quirky energy to create a totally unique experience.
There’s a 40 foot, flaming praying mantis.
When you’re planning your Las Vegas vacation, remember to squeeze at least a few downtown days into your itinerary.
Or, better yet, stay at one of the downtown Vegas hotels.
Whether you’re staying downtown or just visiting, here are some of the best things to do in downtown Las Vegas.
5 Hidden Gems in Downtown Las Vegas
The pool at the Golden Nugget
Golden Nugget is an iconic hotel and casino located along the Fremont Street Experience, which you’ll read more about later in this post.
Golden Nugget’s pool is an award-winning, multi tiered spectacle that offers private cabanas, a luxury, adults-only infinity pool called The Hideout, and the H2O poolside bar.
The real hero, though, is The Tank.
Situated right in the middle of the pool, The Tank houses five species of shark and an abundance of exotic fish.
You can swim with the sharks – thankfully, with a thick pane of glass in between – or you can slide down the 3-story Shark Chute, a clear-walled waterslide that rockets you through the shark tank and into the heated pool.
*Note – at the time of this writing, Golden Nugget is listing the Shark Chute as closed for maintenance, but you can still watch the sharks from the pool.
Fremont Street Experience
For many Las Vegas enthusiasts, downtown means Fremont Street Experience.
A stroll down FSE under their Viva Vision light show is uniquely Vegas. No matter where you turn your head, there’s something to see.
Enjoy free concerts on one of their three stages, including such attractions as Dancing DJs, local musical talent, classic rock legends, and international music superstars.
Slotzilla, though, tops everything.
Slotzilla Zipline and Zoomline let you soar over Fremont, launching you from a gigantic slot machine.
The Zipline is lower, shorter, and seats you in a harness as you glide towards the platform. If you aren’t feeling particularly bold, this is the level for you.
For the thrillseeker, board the Zoomline. Starting 10 stories above the ground, it rockets you the entire length of Fremont Street Experience, a whopping 1,750 feet! You fly superhero style, facing the street, and you can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
Are you bold enough to zoom?
Andiamo Steakhouse at The D
Fine dining is a Vegas tradition.
Gigantic, juicy steaks are the tradition at Andiamo.
Andiamo Steakhouse inside The D is one of the best rated restaurants in Las Vegas, and was recognized as both the 2016 Best Las Vegas Romantic Restaurant, and the 2016 Best Las Vegas Steakhouse.
Their menu blends great American beef with Italian flavors and traditions.
To really do Vegas right, order the Andiamo Tomahawk – it’s a bone-in, 32 ounce rib-eye steak served with one of three signature sauces, and it just might ruin you for all other steaks.
Reservations are probably a good idea.
Downtown Container Park
Located on Fremont East, Downtown Container Park is home to that praying mantis you saw earlier in this post.
During the day, Container Park is a family friendly destination to shop, dine, and play.
After 9PM, the park is only open to adults 21 and older.
Aside from the giant bug, here’s the cool thing about Downtown Container Park:
Everything, from the playground to the stores and restaurants, is built from shipping containers.
The 3-story complex houses a wedding chapel, boutique stores, trendy dining options, and cool things to discover around every corner.
Peeking out from the Container Park sign is a cool photo opp, too.
Curiosities at Main Street Station Hotel and Casino
When you walk into Main Street Station Hotel and Casino, you feel like you’re walking into a different time.
Feast your eyes on stained glass windows from the Lillian Russell Mansion, chandeliers from the Coca-Cola Building in Austin, TX and the Figaro Opera House in Paris, and gorgeous bronze doors and building facade from the Royal Bank of Kuwait.
Architectural enthusiasts must see the casino interior. It’s jaw-dropping.
However, this might be the only place in the world in which the grand showpiece is located inside the men’s restroom.
Backing the bathroom fixtures in Main Street Station’s men’s room is a giant slab of the Berlin Wall.
As in, it’s a piece of the wall that divided East and West Berlin.
Women can request to be escorted into the bathroom by security if they’d like to see a piece of history.
Ask for it at the front desk, and the concierge can give you a list of antiques and curiosities around the hotel.
Do you normally stay and play in downtown Las Vegas? What’s your favorite hidden gem?