You May Have Seen the Fremont St. Experience, But Have You Really Experienced Fremont St.?

You haven’t seen Vegas until Cowboy Vic is greeting you on Fremont St. Like in any town, downtown Vegas is the real heart of the city. This is where the people who live here hang, and those of us who want to hang with real people. It’s bright, and loud and slightly off key, but it’s not pretentious and it certainly has a unique charm that you don’t find on the strip.

Take Hogs & Heifers for example. This is a bad ass biker bar that looks and feels like it should be a dive, but it’s not. Every night is a party vibe as gorgeous biker babes flitter about behind the massive bar mixing drinks, pulling drafts and jumping on top for a dance when the biker spirit moves them. Don’t be intimidated by the line of hogs lining up out front. It may be a biker bar, but the booze stained carpet gets rolled out for everyone.

Of course, you are still in Vegas, and maybe want to get your gamble on. Do it at The Golden Nugget, one of the largest downtown and one of the oldest in the city. The Golden Nugget does a great job of keeping its games modern but still has that old Vegas feel that you don’t get on the other side of town. Make it stop, play a few hands of Blackjack and down a couple of free drinks before meandering back out onto the craziest street in Vegas.

Outside on Fremont St. is a party in itself, with street performers and live acts going on nightly. But when you feel the need to belt out a tune dip into Don’t Tell Mama. This is a piano bar of sorts, but the piano does not steal the show. The whole crew, from the busboy to the guy on the bench got’s talent, and are likely to belt into song at any moment. So will you, as the mood is contagious.

As you do walk along Fremont St. you won’t help but notice a rather large screen directly over your head. This is the experience, set to entertain with music and light shows 24/7. Cool right? Even cooler is flying below it from the Zoomline. Just make your way to the end of the canopy and look for the 12 story high slot machine. Slotzilla is the starting point of the ride that takes you 114 feet up into the sky and then flies you down 1,750 feet to the other end of the street, dropping you off in front of the Golden Gate Casino. 

Step inside the oldest casino in town and have a bite of the best tail in town. Besides it being originally built in 1906, the Golden Gate is known around the world for its famous $3.99 shrimp cocktail. It is also the former playground for the rat pack and houses more Vegas secrets in its walls then the whole strip combined.

The glamorous hotels, jazzy nightclubs and sexy dayclubs may get most of the attention, it’s still a bit impersonal. If you want to feel like you’re in a place where everyone should know your name (even though they don’t) take that walk to the other side, and learn why the locals never leave Vegas.