Fremont Street may not get the publicity or number of tourists as the Strip farther south down Las Vegas Boulevard, but this downtown hub of "Sin City" offers many of the same amenities and gambling games as the more famous casino row. Lodging rates are cheaper here, and many of the games of chance offer better odds.
Get to downtown Las Vegas by taking the interstate around the Strip, or cruise about six miles down Las Vegas Boulevard from the airport until you hit the intersection with Fremont Street. Most hotels downtown are contained within a four-block section of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard that city leaders transformed into a pedestrian walkway in the 1990s. This is also the site of the Fremont Street Experience, a light show projected onto the canopy above the street hourly after dark.
You can find rates in downtown much cheaper than a comparable room on the Strip -- although you have fewer choices here. Golden Nugget comes highly recommended by such travel guides as Fodor's and Frommer's, with its spacious rooms and marble-covered bathrooms. This resort also offers many fine dining options such as Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, and the pool surrounds a shark tank. Another top choice here is Main Street Station, a casino hotel one block off of Fremont Street built in front of the railroad tracks. Travel guides rate the accommodations highly yet the rates are generally low.
Rates for just about any other hotel downtown can easily be found for less than $40 on weekdays in 2010 prices, and deeper discounts are common if you look often. Other choices include El Cortez, a downtown stalwart two blocks south of the Fremont Street Experience. Also consider Four Queens, which renovated its rooms with plasma televisions and more modern decor in 2008. The rooms are relatively small, however, and the bathrooms show their age.
If you come to Las Vegas to focus on gambling or dining, it's hard to beat downtown, since you can walk between nearly a dozen casinos in a matter of minutes -- and buffet prices are much lower here than similar all-you-can-eat options on the Strip. If you want to head to the Strip, hop on a city bus by the Neonopolis to go south on Las Vegas Boulevard. Fares are nominal, and you can purchase multi-day tickets for a discounted rate. If you rent a car, you can park for free at most locations if you stay there.
- "Fodor's Las Vegas 2010"; Collins et al; 2009
- "Frommer's Las Vegas 2009"; Mary Herczog; 2008
- gambling neon sign image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com