Everything Fun and Weird You Can Do on Fremont Street

For Las Vegas tourists who want to get off the beaten track, Fremont Street offers plenty of quirky options.

There are two kinds of Vegas tourists: the kind that are here for bottle service and dayclubs, and the kind that are here to get weird. The first group rarely leaves the Strip, but the second group—those are Fremont folk. Fremont Street is “old Vegas,” or at least what people think of when they think of “old Vegas.” It’s historic but also kinda seedy, and that’s precisely its appeal. Even locals love Fremont for what it is—a no-frills neighborhood teeming with entertainment and dining options, bathed in blinking neon and the steady color-shifting glow of the world’s largest LED screen. Where the Strip can be an unrelenting, merciless shake-down, Fremont is just fun. Bookmark this list for the next time you’re looking to get weird on or around Fremont Street. For more fun stuff to do anywhere in Vegas, check out our spring guide.

Fremont St. Experience
Photo courtesy of Fremont St. Experience

Look up (and all around)

The most well-known part of downtown is the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian walkway closed to traffic and covered by an overhead LED canopy called Viva Vision, the world's largest video screen with 49.3 million LED lights stretching 90-feet-wide and 1,375-feet-long. Still relatively fresh off a $32 million upgrade in 2019, Viva Vision boasts 3D graphics and a 550,000-watt concert-quality sound system that booms across three blocks, and is now bright enough to be seen 24/7 for the first time in its history. Programming runs 24 hours a day, and featured shows run nightly on the hour from 6 pm to 2 am, with music and images paying tribute to acts like The Killers and Imagine Dragons (Vegas-born favorites), The Chainsmokers, and Steve Aoki.

Circa Las Vegas
Circa Las Vegas

See ALL the record-setting things at Circa Resort & Casino

Most of the casino resorts on Fremont Street are pretty old and pretty dated, and while some have gone through extensive remodeling recently (here’s looking at you, El Cortez and Plaza), only one was built from the ground up in the last 40 years. And that is Circa, Fremont’s newest, flashiest, swankiest resort; a larger-than-life spectacle that could just as easily have been on the Strip but is very much at home on Fremont.

This 1.25-million-square-foot resort is home to the world's largest sportsbook, which stands three stories tall. The 78-million-pixel screen is also the largest screen in sportsbook history. In fact, prepare to have some serious screen envy at Circa: the rooftop Stadium Swim is a multi-tiered pool amphitheater with six heated pools and a 143-foot, 14-million-pixel screen bright enough for sports viewing in broad daylight, and the whole thing’s open 365 days a year.

Circa’s also the first-ever adults-only (21+) casino in Las Vegas history; the tallest hotel north of the Strip (at 35 stories); and is home to the longest indoor bar in Nevada (the MEGA BAR, 165-feet-long), which is all about the flair bartending. The iconic "Vegas Vickie" neon sign has been fully restored and is essentially the centerpiece and de facto mascot of the resort, which is also home to Barry’s Prime, one of the best steakhouses in town, and Legacy Club, one of the best cocktail bars and rooftop views in Vegas. There is a LOT to see here, so maybe splurge for a stay in one of their 777 rooms.

Fremont Downtown Rocks!
@dtlv

Catch a concert or attend a citywide festival

They might not be state-of-the-art 5,000-seat theaters, but downtown Las Vegas has plenty of fun live music venues, many of which are on (or near) Fremont. If you want to keep things down and dirty, divey venues full of character(s) like Backstage Bar & Billiards and Fremont Country Club (two venues, one building) bring in all kinds of entertainment, from death metal to reggae. The Usual Place is a relatively new spot located on Maryland just south of Fremont in the same building as PublicUs; they host a wide variety of esoteric acts and events, like a monthly melodic doom metal stoner dance party.

Just a few blocks south of Fremont, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center has become the premiere Las Vegas venue for EDM mini-festivals, outdoor concerts by major headlining acts, and watch parties for local sports and playoff games (entry is free but bottle service is available because this is still Vegas).

You can always catch a free concert on one of the three stages that are part of the Fremont Street Experience any night of the week, but the shows that are part of their Downtown Rocks! concert series are known for bringing in the big-name headliners of days past. The 2022 season will bring in the likes of Sebastian Bach, Soul Asylum, Slaughter, and Stone Temple Pilots.

Newly added to the roster of live music venues downtown, the famous Sand Dollar Lounge, a storied blues bar in Chinatown where some of the greatest blues legends of all time have played (think Muddy Waters, B.B. King, even Mick Jagger), has now opened a second location at the Plaza Hotel, and it’s so new you can still smell the fresh paint. Expect more of the same rock and blues that make the original Sand Dollar location one of the best places in Vegas to see live music (and more of the craft cocktails that also make it one of the best bars in town).

And don’t forget Life is Beautiful, the downtown Las Vegas music, art, and food festival that takes over a big chunk of the downtown area (including a good stretch of Fremont) with seven stages and 18 blocks of gallery space. This year’s music headliners are Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, and Calvin Harris. The artist lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but the festival is known for bringing in the biggest names in street art and the most-buzzed-about art collectives from all over the world to create new permanent murals and temporary installations all throughout the festival’s footprint, reshaping the look of DTLV with every passing year.

Slotzilla Zip Line Las Vegas
Slotzilla Zip Line Las Vegas

The best way to check out the size and scope of the Fremont Street Experience is quite possibly from above. SlotZilla is the world’s largest slot machine at 77 feet tall, naturally—that shoots out two levels of zip lines, including one where participants fly superhero-style. This is an extremely Vegas thing to do, and you absolutely should.

700 Fremont
@dtlv

Drink, dance, get weird

Not all Fremont bars were created equal. First, start (and/or end) your night at the Griffin, where there’s several cozy stone fireplaces in the front half for your crew to gather around (it gets cold here at night!), live music or DJs in the back half on weekends (could be anything from house and trap to ‘80s on wax and disco goth), and the drinks are always strong. Commonwealth is another great place for a few cocktails, whether in the stunning main room, the lively rooftop, or the super-secret cocktail hideaway called the Laundry Room. There’s usually a DJ spinning anything from classic hip-hop to EDM but consider yourself warned: this place gets PACKED on weekends.

Another favorite spot on Fremont is Corduroy, where they have mules on tap and the walls are covered with ‘70s & ‘80s rock album art and psychedelic blacklight LotR-tripping-balls murals. It’s a vibe—complete with a Lightbox room and other areas designed specifically for Instagram moments. It’s a little bit vintage rock, a little bit hipster, and a little bit influencer. If tequila and mezcal are more your poison, hit up Lucky Day where they have something going on almost every night of the week, whether it’s an EDM night, Latin night, or trivia night. (The décor alone is worth checking out.)

If all you wanna do is dance, head over to Discopussy where it’s all house, techno, and bass all the time and you can catch big names like Claude VonStroke and Chromeo in a venue that feels very Detroit-abandoned-warehouse-rave. (There’s also a “Disco Octopus” on the ceiling; take THAT, Omnia.)

A slew of brand-new nightclub-entertainment complexes also JUST opened in the spring of ‘22: We All Scream is a “candy-colored clubland”—think mural-covered selfie museum meets DTLV EDM nightclub with a killer rooftop. 700 Fremont is a new hotspot for “party animals”—there’s a rooftop bar and nightclub called “Zoo” (fittingly) and a first-floor bar and kitchen called Fremont Food Truck with a faux food truck façade housing multiple different street food concepts. Cheapshot is a new 99-seat showroom that’s all about classic Vegas camp. Miss Behave (whose “Gameshow” was previously at Bally’s) has found a new home here with her variety showcase of comedy, burlesque, circus, singing, and more. Come for the show, stay for the dirty disco afterwards.

The Underground at The Mob Museum
The Underground at The Mob Museum

Drink like it’s still illegal

Not that you weren’t already going to, but regardless, there are several cocktail bars on (and just off) Fremont that pay homage to the days of Prohibition and mob rule…and if you know nothing else about Las Vegas culture, know that we’re kind of obsessed with stories about the days of mob rule here. And so it is that Vegas is the most obvious home for the Mob Museum, which literally exists to document the history of mob rule in America. The museum’s basement is both a working moonshine distillery and brewing exhibit and a Prohibition-themed cocktail bar called The Underground, which has its own dedicated entrance (so you don’t have to go to the museum itself to have a drink at the bar). Order the Bathtub Fizz or Underground Old Fashioned and enjoy the clever cocktail presentation.

The Downtown Cocktail Room doesn’t quite date back to the days of Prohibition, but it does pre-date the widespread craft cocktail renaissance of the 2010s by a few years, having opened in Downtown Las Vegas in 2007, when the cocktail revolution was still primarily confined to the coasts. Located on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Fremont, the entrance to the bar is now located exclusively in the dT-alley, a T-shaped mural-covered “art alley” that runs alongside the building. Mike Morey’s Sip’n’Tip is a cozier, quieter bar hidden in the back.

And then there is the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, which has been around for more than a century and is full of random historic bric-a-brac. They’ve tried their hand at a speakeasy-style craft cocktail bar of their own called Bar Prohibition!, but buyer beware….you need to seriously temper your expectations here. This place is more about the old-timey novelty of being at a bar that dates to 1906 than it is about an elevated craft cocktail experience.

Downtown Container Park
Downtown Container Park

Spend a day shopping in a shipping container park

Downtown Container Park in the Fremont East District is exactly what it sounds like: a park made from shipping containers. One of the first and largest developments of its kind in the US, Container Park consists of nearly 40 repurposed shipping containers stacked two to three floors high. Inside you’ll find dozens of locally owned and independent bars, restaurants, specialty food businesses, art studios, toy stores, gift stores, clothing stores, and more. There’s a giant play area featuring “The Treehouse” with a 33-foot-tall spiraling slide, a lawn area where you might find a band playing onstage or locals doing yoga, and weekly community events that include live art demonstrations, wine walks, and holiday activities. And let’s not forget the 40-foot-tall metal praying mantis sculpture that shoots flames up to six stories high and has its own 4,000-watt surround sound system that stands guard outside the entrance to Container Park.

Inside, Downtown Terrace is an excellent spot to grab a bite and some bottomless mimosas (served seven days a week open to close), while Bin 702’s Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Grilled Cheese and house Bloody Mary (with a Flamin’ Hot’ Cheeto mini-grilled cheese and FHC-encrusted pickle speared atop it) are the stuff of local foodie legend. Oak & Ivy is also an excellent place for whiskey flights, barrel-aged cocktails, and classic and seasonal cocktails, with a great patio for people-watching.

Fergusons Downtown
Fergusons Downtown

See what else is poppin’ down East Fremont

Keep going further down East Fremont beyond the Fremont East District and you’ll hit another block o’ Fremont fun, where you’ll find some of the most exciting things currently happening downtown. Atomic Liquors, the (in)famous dive bar known for having one of the best beer selections in Vegas (also known for people watching atomic bomb tests from its roof in the 1950s), has been holding down this side of Fremont for decades, and in 2017 it opened a shiny new sister concept called Kitchen at Atomic with a full kitchen serving upscale bar food and a creative seasonal cocktail menu.

Fergusons Downtown, a fully renovated and repurposed historic motel, has also brought a whole new energy to East Fremont, even with the pandemic hiccup that happened just after its grand opening in December 2019. Fergusons is now operating as the vibrant community gathering space it always strove to be, with a variety of independent boutiques and specialty retailers and services, regular market events showcasing local vendors (and the larger Market in the Alley across the street), live music and comedy nights, yoga classes on the lawn, and so much more. Mothership Coffee is a popular WiFi and chill spot, the recently opened F the Bar keeps the party going as coffee transitions to cocktails, and the Latin-inspired desert-glam Peyote serves excellent food and cocktails on what is easily one of the patios in all of Las Vegas (you can’t beat the backdrop of the Big Rig Jig). Also check out Vegas Test Kitchen, a restaurant incubator space with a constantly rotating roster of food concepts and guest chefs with a full bar.

Peyote
Peyote

Brunch. Because…brunch.

Do you really need a reason? DTLV is full of extremely worthwhile brunch spots, and some of the best are located right on Fremont. If you’re looking for a party brunch without the Strip prices, head to Therapy, where decadent items like the Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Red Velvet Waffle Sliders will cure your hangover woes while a DJ spins and bottomless mimosas flow. (Unlimited sangria and well drinks are also options.) At Eureka!, the menu of hearty bar snacks, burgers, and fried chicken works just as well for savory brunch as for lunch or dinner, with the added benefit of $6 Bloody Marys and mimosas all weekend. Park on Fremont is a low-key oasis amid the Fremont madness with a lush “secret” back patio hideaway; brunch is served here Friday through Sunday. Order one of their giant shareable cocktails for the ‘gram.

Downtown Terrace can’t be beat with its bottomless mimosas served seven days a week from open to close with purchase of an entrée, and their second-floor patio is a great perch for watching the crowd at Container Park. Peyote at Fergusons is another favorite downtown spot with a killer patio, killer cocktails, and killer food – the Challah French Toast on their brunch menu (available Friday through Sunday) is a must. And furthest to the east, PublicUs is an outstanding neighborhood café that roasts their own coffee, bakes all their own breads and pastries, and serves breakfast and lunch items with a ninth island flair. Literally everything here is fantastic: the Brioche French Toast, the bento boxes, the Biscuits & Gravy, the Shakshuka…you get it. And do NOT miss out on their pastries, like the Blueberry Cream Cheese Scone or their special Bread Pudding, made from a mix of their day-old pastries. They have a full coffee bar with some fun specials (like the Espresso Old Fashioned), and they also serve beer and wine.

Banger Brewing
Banger Brewing

Go on a Fremont beer crawl

Fremont Street doesn’t boast quite the same bounty of breweries as Brewery Row in the neighboring 18b Arts District, but dedicated beer enthusiasts can still find plenty to quench their thirst. Four Queens Casino is home to a second location of the Chicago Brewing Company brewpub, which is, despite its name, a local Las Vegas microbrewery (and a very popular and award-winning one at that). Main Street Station also has a brewery of its own called Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery, another low-key and excellent Vegas microbrewery that’s been racking up awards for more than 25 years. But the best bang for your beer-loving buck is Banger Brewing in the front entry of Neonopolis. Its portfolio of beers easily puts it among the best breweries in Las Vegas: try one of their unique staples like El Heffe, a jalapeño-infused hefeweizen, or Morning Joe, a kolsch dry-hopped with coffee beans.

Get real weird in Neonopolis

A 250,000-square-foot, $100 million development hidden in plain sight just off Fremont (it’s kind of the Las Vegas version of Diagon Alley, if you want), Neonopolis is home to the popular piano bar Don’t Tell Mama (relocated from Fremont Street proper), the “best karaoke bar in the world” Cat’s Meow (you be the judge), and the Nerd Bar, “where cosplay meets cocktails” and where you can also ride a giant mechanical dick (which they claim is the “world’s largest penis,” and, sure). The Nerd also has bowling lanes, hosts all kinds of grappling sports and fandom watch parties as well as live wrestling matches, has its own Iron Throne and a “hentai hideaway” (don’t look that up on your work computer), and its Instagram feed looks like a mix of everyday nerd stuff and OnlyFans accounts. It’s…a lot of things.

Pizza Rock Las Vegas
Pizza Rock Las Vegas

Visit the Shenanigans of pizza

Vegas has plenty of great pizza joints, but Pizza Rock, located just a block north of Fremont on Third and Ogden, is consistently among the best. Proprietor Tony Gemignani, a 13-time World Pizza Champion and TV personality, knows his way around some dough, and pretty much every style is covered here, from the different iterations of New York and Chicago styles to the lesser-known (and *ahem* superior) Detroit-style deep dish square. The interior caters to a crowd looking for some over-the-top Vegas ridiculousness; for example, there is a full semi truck cab with flame decals in the front of the restaurant…for some reason? But hey – this is Fremont. This is what you came for. You also probably came to this place specifically for some late-night drunk food, and they have you covered with a walk-up to-go counter and a variety of by-the-slice options.

the D Las Vegas
the D Las Vegas

Take a picture of a peeing statue and/or take a piss on the Berlin Wall

What can we say, the fine establishments of Fremont Street know their audience. The D Las Vegas has always favored festive fun over subtle elegance and happily embraced a dash of the dirty D for which it’s named, and that was never clearer than when the casino unveiled its own replica of Manneken Pis, the famous 17th-century bronze statue of a little boy taking a leak in a fountain in Brussels. (It means "Little Pee Man" in Dutch.) The D’s statue was recently the victim of vandalization but was gloriously re-revealed last December donning leather chaps for the NFR (although he’s more often seen wearing a Golden Knights or Raiders jersey).

If you prefer to take a more active role in historically symbolic micturition, then be sure to make a pitstop at Main Street Station, where the men’s bathroom actually has urinals mounted to a chunk of the Berlin Wall so you can literally piss on it.

Head to the Golden Nugget's pool area and check out The Tank, a 200,000-gallon aquarium in which five different shark species manage to get along surprisingly well with the stingrays and other exotic fish. The cool part is the waterslide that passes directly through the center of the tank, an immersive experience that's both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Shepard Fairey’s Corporate Welfare
Photo by Nicole Rupersburg

Go on a bike tour of Fremont’s famous murals

Hop on one of the RTC’s bikes for just $5 per day with 24-hour access at one of three stations conveniently located right on Fremont Street (or any one of the 21 stations located downtown). This bike share program has become a huge hit since the pandemic struck, and now you’ll frequently see locals and tourists alike tooling around downtown on their signature blue bikes. This is a fantastic way to explore DTLV and see all the sites, including the many murals by world-famous street artists located all along Fremont and surrounding areas. Don’t miss pieces by Mantra (SW corner of Fremont and 10th), D*Face (SW corner of Fremont and 9th), Shepard Fairey (south side of Fremont between 8th and 9th and NW corner of Fremont and 6th), Tristan Eaton (SW corner of Fremont and 7th), and so many more.

Oscar's Steakhouse
Photo courtesy of Oscar's Steakhouse

Enjoy mob stories and a dry martini with the best view of Fremont

Attend one of the Oscar's Steakhouse Dinner Series events at the Plaza to hear mob tales via Oscar Goodman, former mayor of Las Vegas and also former mob lawyer, sharing stories about his days defending some of the biggest organized crime leaders in the country. And yes, he was elected Mayor of the City of Las Vegas by the fine citizens of Sin City after that, even as his involvement with the mob was very well-known. He’s the kind of old-timer who enjoys rhapsodizing over a juicy slab of beef and a dry martini, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at his namesake steakhouse. And there’s a hell of a view!

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Nicole Rupersburg is a freelance food & travel writer who lives in Downtown Las Vegas, if that wasn’t obvious.