Five Things to Do Off-Strip in Vegas
To experience the heart and soul of old Las Vegas, you’ll need to leave the Strip behind for an evening and check out Downtown. Here you’ll discover Fremont St, where the original Sin City action began back in the days before the Strip stole the scene. Today it is home to a myriad of attractions that includes casinos, zip lines and the millions of neon lights. Here are five things to do Off Strip in Downtown Las Vegas.
Re-creating Victorian opulence with its detailed handiwork and old-fashioned glamour, Main Street Station is the most charming Off Strip Downtown casino. But what’s really unique about this casino is its extensive collection of antiques, architectural artifacts and other collectibles. Throughout the 28,000-sq-ft casino you’ll discover objets d’histoire from multiple eras including a graffiti-covered chunk of the Berlin Wall above the urinals in the men’s room and Buffalo Bill Cody’s private rail car, which he traveled with he used for travel around America with his Wild West Show in the early 1900s. Also look up above the casino’s central pit, where you’ll find three bronze chandeliers that were originally inside Coca Cola’s headquarters in Austin, Texas in the 1890s. Don’t skip a meal in the gorgeous Pullman Grille dining room. It was built around an ornate carved oak fireplace and wine storage cabinets taken from Preswick Castle in Scotland (the sideboard niche also includes panels that depict the characters and morals of Aesop’s Fables). For the full scoop on Main Street Station’s historic treasures, ask for a free artifact guide at the registration.
The four-block section of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Blvd is a pedestrian mall known as the Fremont Street Experience. The entire section is topped by an arched steel canopy filled with computer-controlled lights, which really sets it apart from other urban pedestrian malls. The canopy explodes in a light-and sound show enhanced by 550,000 watts of wraparound sound and 12.5 million synchronized LEDs on what is billed as the world’s largest video screen multiple times each night.
For an adrenaline rush Off Strip, check out the Slotzilla Zip Line. You’ll depart from the world’s largest slot machine, which reaches up 12-storys then fly along one of two zip lines that take you right under the Fremont Street Experience’s Viva Vision canopy. The upper line, known as the Zoomline, takes off from 10 stories and has you riding prone or “superhero-style” for a bird’s eye view of below. The lower Zipline starts off at 77-ft and is also cheaper at $25 per ride versus $45 for the Zoomline.
One of the coolest museums in Las Vegas is The Mob Museum, which gives visitors a glimpse into the world of organized crime and the law enforcement tasked with stopping it. There are hundreds of mob related artifacts on display that bring real stories from the annals of organized crime to life, including a huge piece of the brick wall transported from the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre site in Chicago.
The al fresco Neon Museum is devoted to telling the story of Las Vegas history as well as preserving the vintage neon signs that made the city first dazzle back in the Rat Pack glory days. From sparkling genie lamps to glowing martini glasses and 1940s motel marquees, plaques tell the story of each sign in what’s referred to as the Neon Boneyard, or you can join a guided tour.