Skip the fancy fountains at the Bellagio or the trendy shops at Caesar’s Palace. TripAtlas.com is taking you to experience vintage Las Vegas—the Vegas of bright neon lights, glitz, glamor, showgirls, the Rat Pack, and Vegas Vic.
To experience classic Las Vegas, you have to start in downtown Las Vegas’s Fremont Street. After gambling was legalized in Nevada during the 1930’s, Fremont Street quickly became the place to be. It was named the “Glitter Gulch” from all of the flashy neon signs that were visible from miles away. It was during the 1950s that many of today’s oldest casinos like Binion’s Horseshoe and the Golden Nugget were built, not to mention other casinos that served as a front of mob activity.
Today, you can stroll through memory lane by staying at the Golden Gate Casino and Hotel at 1 Fremont Street, arguably the first hotel on the Fremont strip. When you visit today, don’t miss out on their famous shrimp cocktails for $1.99—it is, after all, “the best tail in town.”
If you’re looking the best hidden gem hotel in Fremont today, then check out the new El Cortez Cabana Suites. Opened in 2009, the suites offer a chic boutique hotel experience with clean, well-styled rooms and personalized service from $55/night. Located nearby downtown Las Vegas’ growing artist district, it’s a great spot for those looking for low-key accommodations away from the Las Vegas Strip.
For a truly unique and fun vintage Vegas attraction, check out the Neon Sign Boneyard (soon to be the Neon Sign Museum). Here, you can step back in Las Vegas history with a walk through this junkyard housing hundreds of old neon signs from casinos that have closed down or replaced their signs. For another equally offbeat tour, check out the Liberace Museum for a look at the “King of Bling” and his ridiculous and extravagantly designed pianos, cars and feathery capes.
A night out on the town in old Vegas begins with dinner at The Golden Steer (308 West Sahara Ave.), known as the oldest restaurant in Las Vegas. Opened in 1958, it boasts red and black upholstered booths, classic chopped salads and filet mignons 5with peppercorn sauce on the side. The Golden Steer was home to the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin—not to mention Elvis, John Wayne and Gene Kelly. When you book a table, ask for the Elvis Presley booth—the best table in the house. Just don’t be fooled by its location an an old, run-down strip mall.
To end your evening in old Las Vegas, be sure to check out the Jubilee! show at Bally’s Las Vegas for some classic Vegas showgirl entertainment. In its 28th year of production, all the stops get pulled out: topless dancers, long-legged ladies, hundreds of crystal-studded outfits, feathers, headpieces, extensive stage sets, and the like.
Photo courtesy of TripAtlas.com
Originally published on TripAtlas.com
Updated on April 16, 2011