Drawing more than 17 million visitors a year, Fremont Street Experience may be downtown Las Vegas’ most popular attraction. But there’s so much more to the revitalized area than just the popular five-block entertainment district.
In fact, just a five-minute walk from Fremont Street Experience, visitors will find one of Las Vegas’ coolest attractions, Downtown Container Park (downtowncontainerpark.com). Built out of repurposed and locally manufactured containers, the unique open-air shopping center is home to approximately 35 boutiques and restaurants, as well as a playground and a massive praying mantis sculpture that shoots fire every 10 to 15 minutes beginning at sundown.
Downtown Las Vegas is also home to one of the city’s premier entertainment venues, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts (thesmithcenter.com). Part of the 61-acre urban development known as Symphony Park, the world-class performing arts center boasts four performance spaces, including the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall. Other venues include the 258-seat Cabaret Jazz club, the 240-seat Troesh Studio Theater and the 1.7-acre Donald W. Reynolds Symphony Park for outdoor concerts.
Though the renaissance downtown Las Vegas has been experiencing in recent years is exciting, two of its most notable attractions actually take a look at the city’s past. At the Mob Museum (themobmuseum.org) guests will learn about the mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its imprint across America and the world through interactive exhibits, high-tech theater presentations and nearly 1,000 authentic artifacts.
The three-story museum also boasts a growing collection of items from movies and TV shows portraying organized crime, like the new “Breaking Bad” exhibit. Meanwhile, over at the Neon Museum (neonmuseum.org) guests can book a guided tour of its Boneyard to see more than 150 historic, non-restored signs, including such downtown treasures as the old Sassy Sally’s and Fitzgeralds signs.
— By Heather Turk, LA Times Content Solutions