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This VegasChatter writer loves the Las Vegas Strip. It’s high profile, glamorous, ever-evolving and over-the-top, just like her. Going to Downtown Vegas after partying on The Strip is like downgrading from a high-end department store to a swap meet. Sure, you’ll find similar things, but they won’t be as nice or expensive and it smells. But, if you can get past that, and all the homeless people, you’ll end up having a good time in a much less pretentious atmosphere!
Here are 10 reasons why even the prissiest of girls should visit Downtown Vegas:
1. Casual Atmosphere
This VegasChatter'er loves her stilettos and sparkly dresses, but for those nights when you feel more like flats and (cringe) wearing leggings as pants, there’s always downtown. No judgment or heel rats, just fun.
This is one of the places that made Downtown worth the trip. Recommended by one of our hipster BFFs (read: bike-riding, PBR-drinking writer), the nearly hidden spot is dark, plush and serves artfully crafted cocktails with ingredients we’ve never heard before.
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Perhaps the embodiment of all the aspirations and stylistic ambitions of the Downtown Las Vegas bar scene, Downtown Cocktail Room is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, but you feel transported miles ways.
Owner Michael Cornthwaite is a passionate advocate for the branding and building of this area of Las Vegas and yet has created a very un-Sin City place. He labeled this zone of fellow businesses, Fremont East, asserting an invisible Maginot Line that differentiates itself from the perceived Fremont Street experience, although it sits just steps from the zipline and the Heart Attack Grill. Walk down the pedestrian section of Fremont with your back to the Plaza Hotel. Once that ends at Las Vegas Blvd look right for the neon Downtown sign across the street.
D.C.R., as they abbreviate, describes itself as a lounge meets speakeasy. But, it's not really hard to find. No secret knocks are necessary and the neon will guide you. It is a little hard to enter, as you may end up pushing at the glass that deceptively stands next to the metal door, that doesn't appear to be an actual door.
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This guide is sooo 2011. Check out the VegasChatter's 2013 Downtown Vegas Guide
Mention Las Vegas to someone and they usually immediately picture The Strip. TV Shows, awards shows, and sports broadcasts all love to show aerial shots of Las Vegas Boulevard. And why shouldn't they? The Strip looks amazing from above with its reaching architecture, exploding volcanoes, and high flying fountains.
But when the camera needs that neon shot where do they go? Vegas may be known for Neon but most Strip marquees these days are down with the LED. For the best clusters of lit neon, one needs to head to Downtown Vegas.
Downtown Vegas. Old Vegas. Walkable Vegas. Cheap gambling. Cheap booze. Home of Vegas Vic and the Girls of Glitter Gulch. Original home to the World Series of Poker. Now home to the Fremont Street Experience.
Different folks have different images of downtown. Others have never strayed from the Strip. Possibly due to lack of interest or lack of knowledge about what downtown has to offer. Downtown is certainly a different experience than the Strip. But different doesn't have to mean worse if you know what to do, where to stay, and what not to miss.
In an effort to spread the Downtown love, we present VegasChatter's Guide to Downtown Vegas. Where to Stay, Where to Drink, Where to Eat, Where To Have Fun, and What Not To Miss. Each category won't be an exhaustive list but rather a few of our top picks. Note that we've kept the scope of downtown to Fremont Street and the immediate surrounding areas. Therefore spots worth visiting like Frankie's Tiki Room, Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, and cool antique stores won't make the guide. Some categories were harder to narrow than others but let's go to the tape.
WHERE TO STAY: Downtown doesn't need to be a cab ride from the Strip. With rates that are usually reasonable and rooms that are getting makeovers, downtown's worth sleeping over for.
WHERE TO DRINK: Downtown has plenty of casino bars, restaurant bars, street bars, and just bar bars. We've listed a few that you shouldn't miss when your thirst hits.
WHERE TO EAT: Celebrity chefs might not be flocking to Fremont, but there are several great meals to be had if you know where to look.
WHERE TO HAVE FUN: We love walking and wondering around downtown without an agenda. But if you need to plan fun, here's where to go.
WHAT NOT TO MISS: Quite a few hidden gems are located downtown and we don't want you to miss them.
What would you pick when it comes to featuring Downtown's best? Find out if they mesh with our recommendations when VegasChatter's Guide to Downtown Vegas continues after the galleries.
Luxor's Noir Bar: Perfect for when it's cold outside.
Fall is in the air, which means it’s time for some autumn-inspired cocktails at some of the swankier lounges and nightclubs around Las Vegas.
Perhaps the best options are at the Downtown Cocktail Room at 111 Las Vegas Blvd., S., where punch (that’s right, folks, punch) has made a comeback just in time for football. A new fall menu debuted last week featuring three different punches.
This blogger’s personal favorite: the Downtown Milk Punch, a variation on that mentioned in Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, which calls for brandy, green tea, milk, pineapple and baking spices. All orders come in glass bowls, of course, each of which yields 32 four-ounce pours. The price: $75.