Starry-eyed newbies rarely make it this far north of the Strip along Las Vegas Boulevard. That’s quite all right with the blue-haired granny slot jockeys, cowboy poker players, hard-core bikers and college kids who all like to find cheap ways to amuse themselves along Fremont Street.
Glitter Gulch is Las Vegas’ original gambling quarter, where sawdust gambling halls and brothels shacked up right next to the railroad tracks. Today, the Fremont Street Experience sound-and-light canopy and its zip-line arch over the drunken party scene, bookended by the Plaza casino hotel and the Neonopolis. Keep an eye out for the landmark Golden Nugget and Binion’s casinos and the towering, larger-than-life neon signs nicknamed Vegas Vic and Vegas Vicky.
Just east of Las Vegas Boulevard, the neon-lit Fremont East Entertainment District is one long block of coffeehouses, art galleries, cool bars, clubs cocktail lounges, and more. This is where you’ll find local hanging out, especially now that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and his millennial employees have breathed new life into downtown.
Deuce and SDX Express buses connect downtown with the Strip 24 hours a day. Self-parking at most casinos is discounted for the first few hours, as long as you remember to validate your ticket at the casino cashier’s cage (no gambling or purchase required). Most casino valet parking stands are found just north or south of the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall, stretching from Main Street east to Las Vegas Boulevard.