Hello everyone! I’m back at it with another Vegas guide. That is all the great things to do at Fremont Street Experience.
For those who aren’t familiar with this site, I cover adventures from around the world including my hometown, Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, I wanted to cover a small but super popular attraction in town and that’s the Fremont Street Experience, or as many visitors would call it, “Old Vegas”. However, this is not entirely accurate.
To clear a few misconceptions, the Fremont Street Experience makes up only a fragment of the said Old Vegas. It used to be the local’s secret escape from The Strip crowds, but the secret it out. Year after year more visitors (over 20 million to be exact) find pleasure in hanging around this area enjoying shopping, dining, musical performances, lower table buy-ins and more. The history too. This is a historical part of town and cherished by the born and raised. I mean it when I say it’s a great spot. One I find myself at often.
So if you’re interested in learning about fun things to do at the Fremont Street Experience (aka the part of Fremont Street that’s under the canopy), then keep reading. If you prefer visual learning, then watch the video above. It covers many spots on this list.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Fremont Street Experience?
- 2 #1 Soar Above on Slotzilla
- 3 #2 Shop, Drink and Play at the Neonopolis
- 4 #3 Attend a Free Concert
- 5 #4 Interact with the Street Performers and Characters
- 6 #5 Hangout at the D Bar
- 7 #6 Find Your Fortune in a Wagon
- 8 #7 Eat at Nacho Daddy
- 9 #8 Swoon over Chippendales
- 10 #9 Make Room for Pizza
- 11 #10 Shark Tank Hoo Ha Ha
- 12 #11 Watch the Viva Vision Lightshow
- 13 Sadly, You’re Too Late For This One
- 14 Bonus Spots at Fremont Street Experience
- 15 Favorite Hotels Near Fremont Street Experience
What is the Fremont Street Experience?
The Fremont Street Experience is a 9-block strip of entertainment from casinos and shopping to zip lining and the world-famous Viva Vision show. Fremont Street is historic in that is was the first paved street in town. However, in 1994 the city turned what is known as the Fremont Street Experience into a pedestrian-only area. One year later they debuted the light show, Viva Vision followed by a grand New Years bash. To this day, Fremont Street Experience remains one of the best spots in town to ring in the new year.
Needless to say, it was a success and continues to be a popular spot for locals and tourists year after year. Here are my top #11 things to do here.
#1 Soar Above on Slotzilla
Slotzilla is a new addition to the Fremont Street Experience in recent years. Super fun and not too expensive compared to other ziplines. Costing between $20-40 USD you can soar above the crowd from one side to the other either seated or superman style. It’s so much fun to see and hear the action from above. I recommend booking your flight at night when all the casino lights come on for added sparkle.
I also suggest bringing a GoPro with you to catch the action in the first person. Always fun to look back on immediately following (guilty) or in years to come.
#2 Shop, Drink and Play at the Neonopolis
The Neonopolis has had a serious identity crisis over the years. It was once a movie theater (and more) before being abandoned during the recession. Maybe it was the lack of foot traffic at the time or maybe the fact that prior to Zappos headquarters moving in downtown there was no nice place to live, therefore no demand for a mall and lifestyle area. The area was heavily populated by the homeless until today.
The Neonopolis found hope again with residents including Bad Beat Brewery, Don’t Tell Mama karaoke bar, Nerd Bar, a wedding chapel, toy store, go-karts, the famous Heart Attack Grill and more. So be sure to stroll through the Neonopolis and not just pass it by.
#3 Attend a Free Concert
Did you read my One Day in Las Vegas guide? I mention enjoying a free concert on Fremont Street as a must. There’s no better way to enjoy Vegas for less than at a free concert. The best kind of nights are ones that involve frozen football margaritas in your hand while singing along to songs by artists such as Nelly, Papa Roach, Sugarland, Good Charlotte and more. All have given free concerts down here. Check the entertainment schedule and see what’s good.
#4 Interact with the Street Performers and Characters
The real charm of Fremont Street Experience is all the crazy street performers and wacky characters that populate the area. This number has quadrupled over the years as more and more tourists come here. More people, more money, more maniacs. Yet, many of them are talented and worth your time (and tip).
I personally love the dancers, showgirls, and drummer that jams out to sticks on a paint bucket. Sure, there are the occasional characters that choose to earn your attention and money with utter stupidity. I still have to give it to them. Takes a lot of confidence to do that. Plus, I hear they pull in a few hundred dollars a night. Not a bad gig.
#5 Hangout at the D Bar
The D bar located in the center of all the action. Come for tasty libations mixed up and served to you from flair bartenders and overall good vibes. Since it’s located next to a stage, you are sure to catch some performances, as well as plenty of opportunities to mingle. Of all the bars outside on the street, this is the best one.
#6 Find Your Fortune in a Wagon
You may notice the red wagon parked in the center. There is a fortune teller/palm reader in there waiting to chat with you. Whether you have some burning questions or are simply curious as to what the future holds, I recommend stopping in for a session. Who knows. Maybe your fortune is winning tons of money at the blackjack table!! Winner, winner free fortune readings for everyone!
#7 Eat at Nacho Daddy
Known for their gourmet nachos and award-winning margaritas, Nacho Daddy is the perfect spot to satisfy your hunger. Though technically located right out from under the canopy, however, the food is so good I’ll let this one slide. Make sure to watch the video to see exactly what we ate including the scorpion shot! Would you dare?
#8 Swoon over Chippendales
The Chippendales Men may be there for the sole purple of flirting with women (and men hopefully) but I don’t mind a few compliments here and there from an attractive man. Oh, hello chiseled abs. You can purchase a printed photo with these cuties, but I personally have never done that. Instead, I prefer to accept their free beads while blushing in the process. “Yes, my cheeks are always this rosy Mr. Chippendale Man”.
#9 Make Room for Pizza
Should you find yourself at Fremont Street Experience late at night and hungry, stop at 322 Pizza Bar for a cheesy slice of pizza. For the cheap price of a few bucks, you can grab yourself a massive slice while people watching the street performers end their shift and the not so glamorous drunks make their wabbled walk down to who knows where? And if that doesn’t interest you, no worries. You can still enjoy the same goodness that is their pizza any time of the day.
#10 Shark Tank Hoo Ha Ha
Take a slide through the shark tank at Golden Nugget pool. This famed pool is what attracts many visitors to this part of town and for good’ish reason. I don’t think this pool is entirely overhyped. True, it’s unlike any other hotel pool in town with the aquarium attached, however, it is small and the sharks are tiny. Aside from the pool, everything else at the Golden Nugget is underwhelming, so don’t make the trip just for the pool. Instead, do everything else on this list! Psst…bonus spots below.
#11 Watch the Viva Vision Lightshow
Of course, the highlight of Fremont Street Experience is the Viva Vision light show. Happening every hour on the hour from 6pm-1am is a spectacular light show performance on the world’s largest video screen. This state of the art screen runs 1,500 feet long and 90 feet wide with over 12.5 million LED lamps. They change up the show ever so often with my favorite being Bohemian Rhapsody. When the lits dim and the screen comes on, it’s a party all around. People dancing, singing along to the show above. This is what truly makes Fremont Street unique compared to other party rows like Bourbon Street or Gas Lamp District. What do you think?
Sadly, You’re Too Late For This One
Sadly parts of downtown are going away and being replaced with modern infrastructure. Can we have a moment of silence for Mermaids which has sadly been torn down? Mermaids was the definition of hole-in-the-wall casino, but their showgirls out front were fabulous and always giving out beads. Inside was fried food bliss with fried Twinkies and Oreos on the menu. My favorite part, however, where their chocolate-dipped frozen bananas.
I always started or ended my night here indulging with beads around my neck and the faint sounds of slot machines in the background. Total Vegas moment. RIP Mermaids. This spot is now a construction zone. Rumor has it another casino is set to be built. Modern and new but never the same old Vegas charm. I’ll try to keep an open mind though and report back once finished.
Bonus Spots at Fremont Street Experience
Still looking for more things to do at Fremont Street Experience? Here are some bonus spots to add:
Stare face to face with a million dollars. Located inside Binions is a fat stack of Benjamins. A million to be exact. Daily from 10am-11pm, you can get your picture in from of this money and it’s totally free. Some people get super excited for their photo opportunity with a million dollars. What would you do with all that money? I would fly all my readers out to Vegas heyyy!
Vegas Vic famous neon cowboy sign is easily one of the most recognizable signs in town and still proudly waving. Way to outlast them all Vic. *applause* He was once the neon sign outside of the Pioneer Club way back in 1951, but that closed down. Today, Vic has been restored and now stands over a souvenir shop – waving and smoking his rolled cig.
Favorite Hotels Near Fremont Street Experience
If you’re loving this post so much and want to stay close to the action then check out these hotels:
The D Las Vegas was once the Fitzgerald before being completely gutted and renovated into the modern hotel it is today. You will find the same resort amenities to those on The Strip only for less. Plus, the D is located in the center of Fremont Street Experience.
The Golden Gate is the oldest hotel down here but renovated a few years back. It’s the only boutique hotel on Fremont Street. While there are not many offerings at this hotel, you are a short step away from the Plaza hotel which has restaurants, as well as, a nearby bus stop. Fun fact: I used to work here during college as a go-go dancer. Late hours followed by early morning class. I sure don’t miss that schedule, but it was fun.
Golden Nugget is rather bland but a large hotel with plenty of rooms. Not to mention its primo location and iconic front as seen in many films and Instagram photos.
After every Las Vegas post I complete, I am reminded of how awesome my city is. I am so lucky to live somewhere that people from around the world dream of visiting and many do. This post like so many others was a blast to write. I hope you found it helpful and visit soon.
Psst. . . Looking for more Vegas fun? Check out these Las Vegas guides:
Is the Fremont Street Experience on your Las Vegas bucket list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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