Downtown Las Vegas - The Fremont Street Experience
Put Fremont Street on your list of things to do after dark in Las Vegas. The Fremont Street Experience is a must. This spectacular light show is one the biggest - big-screens in the world. This arched canopy screen is covered with over 12.5 million lights and is 4 ½ football fields long. Every hour or so; the neon lighting above every business on Fremont Street dims and the light show begins. The music is wonderful and loud! There isn't a bad view, so when the show begins, just look up. The show changes every hour so stick around and enjoy two or three.
Several blocks of Fremont Street are permanently blocked off and have been covered over with a cobblestone effect. Lining the street are many touristy souvenir shops that are open until midnight. These shops sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, body art and Native American art.
The street vendors come in two flavors. The little wagons of gold charms and temporary tattoos, similar to vendors in major malls, are scattered about. Also, you will find many artists selling their wares, such as… spray can art, caricatures and finger painting with oils.
Some of the old casinos still line this street. The Golden Nugget has the most spectacular lights.We stopped in for a Starbucks at the Golden Nugget, since it was a chilly evening.
The Plaza is at the top of the street and you will also find Binion's, Pioneer and the Four Queens. These are casinos without themes and all are worn on the edges. If you want to see how casinos were in the "Glitter Gulch", Freemont Street will give you a new appreciation of downtown Vegas as it was. If you want to see topless girls, you will find the Girls of Glitter Gulch.
Watch for musicians on the street. We found a wonderful group of sax players and spent some time enjoying great jazz. Be sure to catch Ryan Ahern playing the red piano on his custom one-of-a-kind semi-truck.
Take a cab to the area if you are going at night. Tim Dressen of “fivehundybymidnight.com podcast”’ recommends taking a cab to the Golden Nugget and picking up a cocktail on the way through to Fremont Street. We drove to the area and parked in the city workers lot located under Neonopolis. But it cost us about ½ of what a cab ride would have to park and security was not obvious. Free parking in other lots is available, but we would advise a cab as the side streets are questionable at night. Never walk anywhere you don't feel comfortable.
You will find some cheap and strange food in this area. Check out Mermaids Casino and their fried Twinkies and Oreos. The Plaza buffet has extended its hours now, which makes it Las Vegas' only 24-hour buffet. It's a deal at $7 for the late-night crowd.
To get a feel of the area, listen to Tim Dressen Las Vegas podcast number 15. One of the great things about these podcasts, are the on the street audio adventures. This edition has an audio walking tour during the Freemont light show and also while they are trying out the fried Twinkies. Be warned these podcasts are not for children or for the easily offended.
Fremont Street is fun and free, so take advantage of an entertaining people watching adventure.
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