From museums to reality TV shows, downtown Las Vegas offers a wide variety of attractions, shopping venues and fun.
Located just north of downtown is a cultural hub that includes the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort and State Historic Park, the Neon Museum and Boneyard, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the Las Vegas Library and Cashman Center. For further information, visit culturalcorridorvegas.org.
The Neon Museum’s Boneyard features rescued architectural landmarks from some of the city’s most celebrated properties, dating from the 1930s to the present day. The two-acre facility includes more than 200 mostly unrestored vintage neon signs, as well as a public park. The restored neon signs located along Las Vegas Boulevard (portions of which have been designated a Federal Scenic Byway) are also part of the museum’s collection. Reservations for docent-guided tours are highly recommended and can be made in advance via neonmuseum.org.
Hours: Start times vary by season. Please call or visit the website for current tour times. Admission: Day Tours: $18 Night Tours: $25
Discounts available for Nevada residents, active military, veterans, students and seniors; free for children under 6.
(National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement) 300 Stewart Ave. 702.229.2734 themobmuseum.org
From organized crime’s birth to today’s headlines, this award-winning, nonprofit destination brings to life the events of and characters in the continuing battle between the Mob and law enforcement. Attractions include multisensory exhibits, hundreds of artifacts and immersive storytelling. Guided and self-guided tours available.
Hours & Admission: Hours of operation and ticket prices are subject to change. Check the website, themobmuseum.org, for the most up-to-date information.
The first permanent non-native settlers in the Las Vegas Valley were a group of Mormon missionaries who built an adobe fort in 1855. Today, this site includes a remnant of the original fort, as well as a visitor center with interpretive displays. This historical state park is located at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m; closed Sunday and Monday Admission: $1 for adults (ages 13 & up); free for children under 12
DISCOVERY Children’s Museum at the Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center in Symphony Park™ addresses science and nature, art and culture and early childhood development with 26,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits. The three-story museum is complete with nine interactive galleries featuring traveling exhibitions, daily programs, demonstrations and activities, special events and collaborative cultural programming for all occasions.
The name 18b arises from the original 18 blocks designated as the Las Vegas Arts District. Since that time the area has expanded and continues to grow, offering an urban mix of cultural, commercial and residential uses. These include eclectic galleries and studios, shops, eateries and bars.
Las Vegas City Hall 495 S. Main St. 702.229.1012 or 702.229.6511
There are two public art galleries located at Las Vegas City Hall. The Grand Gallery, located in City Hall’s lobby area, features sculptures by local artists. (This exhibit space will be closed as a fine art sculpture gallery from mid-July 2015 through March 2016.) The Chamber Gallery, located on the second floor to the right and above the main lobby, showcases local artists’ two-dimensional work. The exhibits feature diverse cultural, social and local themes. There is additional artwork, both on-loan and part of a small permanent collection, located throughout City Hall. For those visiting the exhibits, the city’s Cultural Affairs office can provide validation for two hours of free parking in the city’s garage across the street at 500 S. Main St.
Open to all ages, this monthly culture and arts festival is held in downtown Las Vegas on the first Friday of each month. It is located in the heart of 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District and extends into the Fremont East Entertainment District. Festivities include local artists displaying and selling their work, a variety of live music for all tastes, special art installations, food trucks galore and more.
Hours: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Admission: Free
Fremont East Entertainment District
Located adjacent to the popular Fremont Street Experience, Fremont East is an entertainment district offering an eclectic mixture of bars, clubs and restaurants in downtown Las Vegas. In 2007, the city of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency and area property owners invested in renovating a portion of the district, which included pedestrian-friendly street redesign, landscaping and retro-looking neon signs.
Fremont Street Experience is a five-block entertainment district located in downtown Las Vegas. It offers Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen suspended above an urban pedestrian mall. Nightly, Viva Vision offers hourly light and sound shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience also features free concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to 10 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience annually attracts millions of visitors. One of Fremont Street Experience’s more popular attractions is SlotZilla, a zip line allowing riders to “fly” under the five-block Viva Vision canopy and above thousands of people. Riders can zip along in a seated position or have the option of flying horizontally Superman-style.
Hours: Viva Vision shows run at the top of each hour from dusk through midnight. Fremont Street Experience is open 24/7. Admission: Free
The Historic Fifth Street School was built during the Great Depression immediately off Las Vegas Boulevard (what was formerly called Fifth Street). It was constructed in the Spanish-mission style. The school was renovated and revitalized, opening in the fall of 2008 as a downtown “cultural oasis” housing local arts and architectural organizations. Its common areas are available for public and private rentals. Part of the historical school complex is the Centennial Plaza, containing a replica of the Liberty Bell and a Monumentto the Simulacrum sculpture that sits atop a time capsule. Free tours of the Historic Fifth Street School and its gallery exhibits are available upon request, provided they are arranged in advance by calling 702.229.6469. Adjacent to the historic school complex is a “Poets Bridge,” featuring select works of poetry embedded in concrete.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances – from dance and music, to first-run attractions and Broadway shows. This five-acre, multivenue campus boasts an array of shows at affordable prices.
Hours: Varies according to performance schedule Admission: Tickets start at $24
Rotunda Gallery At Clark County Government Center
500 S. Grand Central Parkway
Organized through Clark County Cultural Outreach, this center features exhibits of local, contemporary artists.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame pays tribute to the spicy hybrid of music, comedy, theatre and dance known as burlesque. It showcases a collection of costumes, stage props, scrapbooks, personal effects and publicity photos representing legendary burlesque performers from around the world. (Beginning in April 2016, check the museum’s website for their new location, hours and admission prices.)
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Admission: $5 suggested donation for adults; $3 suggested for seniors and students.
Container Park houses approximately 40 small, locally owned and operated businesses in an open-air retail complex comprised of repurposed shipping containers and locally manufactured Xtreme cubes. This complex includes art shops, boutiques and restaurants. It is one of many urban renewal efforts designed to promote budding entrepreneurs backed by a privately run entity called Downtown Project.
Las Vegas North Premium Outlets underwent an expansion, completed in spring 2015, which brought the number of designer and name-brand outlet stores offering savings of 25 – 65 percent every day to 175. Stores include Armani Outlet, Burberry, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tory Burch. New to this shopping complex are Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth and Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, along with 23 others. Center amenities include two parking garages, a food court, ATMs, foreign currency exchange and a full-service restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Open Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. See website for details and seasonal hours.
Indulge your love of the past, as well as your enjoyment of fine and fun objects, while browsing the shops in downtown Las Vegas offering antiques, vintage clothing, mid-20th century furniture/ furnishings and more. For a list of shops in the area see more.
Gold and Silver Pawn Shop 713 Las Vegas Blvd. South 702.530.4959 pawnstars.com
Pawn Stars, a History Channel favorite and the top-rated show, features wheeling and dealing for unusual, intriguing and historical items at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, a family-owned business in downtown Las Vegas. Join the enthusiastic crowds you’ll find at this shop on Las Vegas Boulevard.
American Restoration is a History Channel series filmed in downtown Las Vegas. The stars of this show take old, dilapidated items and restore them to their original glory. Tours of the facility are available during their regular operating hours. Visit their website for more information on their new location.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission: Adults: $5 person. (Receive two free tickets when you buy a T-shirt.) Veterans, local residents and children under 12 attend free.
Big Bus Tours
Tour downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip via Big Bus Tours, which offers open-top, double-deck buses. These tours are narrated and have guides. Hop on and off at your leisure at 20 different stops, which include numerous locations on The Strip and downtown (including Fremont Street, Pawn Stars and Las Vegas North Premium Outlets).
Tickets can be purchased on the bus, from the concierge at many hotels or online at bigbustours.com.
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Buses come by every 30 minutes. Admission: One Day: Adults – $39, children (4-12) – $29 Two Day: Adults – $49, children (4-12) – $39
Two Big Bus Nighttime Tours
Two nighttime tours are also available seven days a week. These guided tours last up to three hours and include an hour to explore downtown’s lively Fremont Street. For more information and to obtain tickets, either ask your concierge or visit bigbustours.com.
Tour Times: Daily at 7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Admission: Adults $29, children (4 -12) $19
Get to know Las Vegas’ revitalized downtown with a 2.5-hour walking adventure that takes patrons on and around Fremont Street for a personalized, multiple-stop tour of the area’s drink and dining establishments. (702-289-4796 or visit vegasfoodietour.com.)
Must be at least 21 years of age to participate.
Admission: $125 per person (includes cost of guide, food & gratuities)
Experience Las Vegas as an outdoor museum of American popular culture in an original and spirited 90-minute walking tour of downtown. Stroll along 10 blocks with one of the city’s top tour guides – from the classic casino corridor to the new entrepreneurial Fremont East – all showcasing the city’s larger-than-life personality and its unique place in pop culture. For information, tour schedules and booking, visit lasvegaspopculturetours.com.
Two-hour guided walking tours explore downtown Las Vegas from past to present as stories, facts and photos peel back layers of neon, exposing the rich history underneath. Choose from three different tours. Voted #2 of 181 tours by “Best of Las Vegas” in 2015. For more information and to book online visit lasvegaswalkingtours.net.
The Zappos Tour Experience offers a 90-minute glimpse into the fun world of this well-known online retailer. (Zappos.com headquarters now occupy the building that formerly housed Las Vegas City Hall. For further information, and to sign up for a tour, visit: tours.zappos.com
Admission: $10 per person
Trikke Las Vegas Container Park 707 E. Fremont St. (by appointment) 702.421.2288 trikkelasvegas.com
Get an up-close look at downtown Las Vegas on on a three-wheel Trikke, Guided tours, client rentals and customized tour packages are offered. Reservations are required. For more information, please call or visit http://www.trikkelasvegas.com.