Above your head is a video screen the length of five football fields. Flashing lights, live music, and laughter overload your senses. Casinos line the street and exotic showgirls stroll in and out of crowds. You happen to be walking down Freemont Street, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The majority of “firsts” in Las Vegas started here. The first telephone, paved street and gaming casino all began on Freemont Street. All of the early films about Las Vegas show the sparkling lights on the west end of this street and it earned the name, “Glitter Gulch”. Famous celebrities flocked to the area and it’s known that “The Rat Pack” even cruised down the street on numerous occasions.
Now, Freemont Street is considered downtown Las Vegas. Described as “vintage style”, it offers classic gambling, free entertainment, and first class amenities. It is definitely a more intimate Vegas experience, everything in walking distance and at your fingertips.
I prefer Freemont Street to the strip when I’m in the mood for a Las Vegas trip. The casinos like The Plaza, Golden Nugget and Four Queens provide all the necessities needed for an amazing trip. Old fashioned gambling tables, superb dining and a laid back feel are quite the difference for the high speed Vegas strip.
When it comes to hotels, I am partial to the Golden Nugget. Their accommodations are quite impressive with remodelled rooms and a swimming area that is unrivalled. Just as an example, the pool has a waterslide that goes through a shark tank. A shark tank! Of course the slide is enclosed for safety but it is still as thrilling as ever.
Up and down the entire street you can find free entertainment. Live bands, street performers and the world famous Viva Vision are just to name a few. If you haven’t heard of Viva Vision, it is a feast for the eyes! This gigantic LED screen is in the form of a canopy that covers the entire street of Freemont. Synchronized pictures, lights and sounds give a stunning show to the onlookers below.
State of the art dining is another reason to visit this Vegas downtown area. Gourmet dishes and fine dining are put forth at Hugo’s Cellar. Binion’s Steakhouse has a stunning view overlooking the city with delectable entrée’s. Chicago Brewing Company, my favourite, prepares pub style food and has a wide variety of tap beers.
Usually a trip to Vegas includes a large amount of alcohol consumption. Of course, it is not necessary but if you choose to partake, you have many options. Some of the top spots for libations are the Brass Lounge, Beauty Bar and Hogs & Heifers Saloon. I quite enjoy the saloon for it’s rock n’ roll style and I always have a great time in a dive bar.
Sometimes you need to step away from the slot machines and get out into the open air. This is your chance to experience FlightLinez. Zip-lining over the entire Freemont Street, FlightLinez is an exhilarating wild ride. At the low cost of $15-$20, you can fly above thousands of tourists with the wind blowing in your face. Zipping at night is the best, as the blinking lights and VivaVision make your ride a visually stimulating treat.
Being a frequent traveller, I also find it important to save money where I can. That’s another reason I choose downtown over the pricey strip. It’s more likely you’ll find loose slots and cheap eats in this part of Sin City. Street vendors sell quick bites to eat for low prices and a visit to Mermaids casino treats you to bargain cocktails.
If you want to see vintage Vegas, Freemont Street is the place to be. With the free entertainment on every corner and the lovely sound of slot machines hitting a jackpot, you can’t lose when you book a trip to this destination.
What do you think of Freemont Street? Do you have a favourite gambling spot you like to visit?