On my budget trip to Las Vegas last year, I decided to (mostly) stay away from the strip. Instead of spending time in the chaotic center of Vegas, I stayed in Downtown Las Vegas.
Downtown Vegas will change the way you see the city. While there’s still a lot of focus on nightlife, entertainment, and partying, it’s not quite as wild as it is on the strip. You’ll find a lot of local businesses and cool little places to hang out. There’s also a lot of art and creative energy going on downtown.
This quick guide to Downtown Las Vegas will show you some of my favorite places. It’s a simple itinerary for a day spent downtown. I recommend staying downtown on your trip to Vegas, but you can also just hop on the bus from the strip to try out some of this stuff.
Late Breakfast at Rachel’s Kitchen
If you’re in Vegas, there’s a good chance you’re going to be sleeping in a bit. Once you roll out of bed, head to Rachel’s Kitchen for a late breakfast (or early lunch if you’re not feeling breakfast food). I stopped by every day, either for a big bowl of oatmeal and fruit, or a green juice.
Street Art Walking Tour
After breakfast, take a walk around Downtown Vegas. Use this as an opportunity to check out all of the cool street art and murals. You don’t need a guide or map, just stick to the Fremont East District and you’ll see plenty of art.
See More: Las Vegas Street Art
Downtown Container Park
Next, head to the Downtown Container Park. This outdoor entertainment area is made out of repurposed shipping containers and features mostly local businesses. There are a lot of restaurants here if you’re hungry and some fun shops to browse. Grab a coffee and head upstairs for a good view of the downtown area.
Read More: Downtown Container Park
Take a Tour at the Neon Museum
The best attraction in Downtown Las Vegas is the Neon Museum. It’s an easy walk from Fremont East, but you can also drive if you have a car. This is home to “the boneyard”, a collection of old neon signs from the early days of Vegas (and other places too). You must take a guided tour to see the signs, so reserve a spot in advance.
Read More: The Neon Museum
Dinner at VegeNation
I was really happy to find that there are a lot of vegetarian/vegan options around Downtown Las Vegas. I tried VegeNation my first night in town and it was SO good. The entire menu is vegetarian and it all sounds delicious. It’s a casual spot perfect for lunch or dinner.
Fremont Street Experience
Vegas is all about the nightlife and that’s no different in Downtown Las Vegas. The Fremont Street Experience can be enjoyed during the day, but it’s way more fun at night. There’s a lot of people, a lot of performers, a lot of drinking (which you can do out on the “street”), and a lot of fun to be had. Look up, there’s a cool light show going on and people ziplining above your head.
Stay at the Cabana Suites
There are a lot of affordable places to stay downtown. You can choose between motels, boutique hotels, and a hostel. There are also a lot of affordable AirBnB rentals in Las Vegas. I stayed in the Cabana Suites at the El Cortez and I was happy with my experience (and very happy with the price). It’s an easy walk from here to all the places in this guide.
Read More: Cabana Suites at the El Cortez
Other Places to Check Out
The Market: Grab some groceries or snacks
Inspire News Café: Get a coffee, hang out, & read some magazines
Emergency Arts: Meet local artists & see what they’re creating
Gold Spike: A really fun place to hang out day or night
PublicUs: The coolest coffee shop in Downtown Vegas
Have you ever explored Downtown Las Vegas? Or do you prefer The Strip?
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