Kitsch & more, off the Strip
While the Strip is technically located in Downtown Las Vegas, that commotion is actually a small portion of what the area has to offer. Discovering non-cheesy alternatives to Vegas is fairly easy, if you dare hop in a car and explore them.
To get your adrenaline rush, you don’t want to miss Adventuredome Theme Park, a dome that houses roller-coasters, sling shots, inversions, bumper cars, and more. Finally, we recommend stopping by Gold Spike after for some grub—just don’t fill up your stomach beforehand.
Since you’re off the Strip, you can get closer to Elvis and get married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. If you’re really looking to put a ring on it, the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop from the TV show Pawn Stars is nearby. It looks like they’ve really thought of everything.
But traveling local offers more than meets the tourist eye. 18b, Las Vegas Arts District, is not too far from the casino and hotel area, yet seems miles away. This 18 block zone, dubbed 18b, was zoned to encourage arts and the artist community in 1998.
Downtown Container Park is a new addition to the local flare that’s seen a warm welcome from locals and tourists alike. Promoting small businesses and offering green shopping options, this is a new look to an ever-changing city.
The D Hotel
You can find The D Hotel at the end of the Fremont Street Experience, a sprawling 24-hour mall. The property has illustrious history in the ever-changing face of this city–it was previously Sundance Hotel, then Fitzgerald Hotel & Casino, and it didn’t become what it is today until a 22 million dollar renovation refreshed it. Today, this hotel has kept its vintage casino theme, but has updated all rooms and luxury suites. It’s a perfect mix of the old with the new. They also have great dining options and regular standup comedy shows, if that’s your sorta thing.
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
With the slogan “Where Locals Come To Play”, this proper Downtown Las Vegas gem is at the top of our list. El Cortez stands out from the rest, like an older cousin who’s unimpressed with your new flashy sneakers. It’s no surprise that this is one of the oldest casino-hotel properties off the Strip, operating since 1941. It’s worth noting that they have fully remodeled their interiors, and now boast bold, clean, and modern design. For the full experience, check out their designer suites.
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Downtown Grand has recently remodeled all their rooms and amenities, giving this Vegas staple a much needed facelift. This is not your typical Vegas experience hotel. Guests can expect all the accommodations–including wifi, swimming pool, and proximity to the Fremont Street Experience and nearby attractions–for a fraction of the price of other hotels. While some guests have found it noisy, others say requesting a quiet room suffices.
Golden Gate Casino & Hote
The oldest and most intimate of the Fremont Street hotels, Golden Gate opened in 1906 and has 106 rooms. The hotel was massively renovated in 2012 to give it a much-needed modern approach in the casino, lobby, and rooms. Fun fact: at their restaurant you can order a Vegas cliché, the “Original Shrimp Cocktail,” except it’s actually original here. It cost only fifty cents when the hotel first opened. Expect tons of kitschy Vegas things–like girls in bikinis for no reason, and a lot of mobster references.