Downtown Walking Tour (Self Guided), Las Vegas

Las Vegas has no shortage of exciting tourist attractions, such as museums, art galleries, cultural centers, notable landmarks and other amazing sights worth exploring. Take this walking tour to see the most interesting tourist hot-spots in downtown Las Vegas.
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Downtown Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Downtown Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Las Vegas (See other walking tours in Las Vegas)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts
  • Don't Tell Mama
  • Fremont Street Experience
  • The Mob Museum
  • Neon Museum
  • Cashman Center
  • Las Vegas Natural History Museum
  • The Old Mormon Fort
Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts

1) Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts

The Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts was opened in 1931 and is one of the most prestigious art schools in the USA. It is also a very beautiful Art Deco style structure and is definitely worth a look. The Las Vegas Academy is a magnet high school located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Students are accepted through an audition process and claim a "major" pertaining to performing arts, visual arts, or foreign languages. The Las Vegas Academy's campus is located on the site of the first high school in Las Vegas. The school uses two of the buildings which were constructed in 1930 and opened in the fall of 1931. Las Vegas High School was the first high school in Las Vegas but caused controversy at the time for its location being too far from where people lived (which has changed as the city grew around the school). The school originally had three buildings: the tri-level Main building on the corner of 7th St. and Bridger Ave., the Gymnasium, and a third building that was torn down in 1950. The two remaining buildings are listed as the Las Vegas High School Academic Building and Gymnasium on the National Register of Historic Places, representing the best of the art-deco architecture of the 1930s. The school's outer appearance has been maintained but the interior has been changed since its original construction. In 1992, plans for a magnet school for the arts were announced, and on August 23, 1993, Las Vegas High School was re-opened as the Las Vegas Academy for International Studies and Performing Arts (Visual Arts was added the following year) by founding principal Bob Gerye. Starting with only 735 students, the student body has since grown to an excess of 1700 students attending the school pursuing majors in the performing and visual arts, and international studies. Las Vegas Academy has been honored by the U.S. Department of Education as both a New American High School and a Blue Ribbon School. Beside their majors, students participate in comprehensive activities that include instruction in music, dance and theater.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Don't Tell Mama

2) Don't Tell Mama

Don't Tell Mama is a gathering spot where you can enjoy live piano music and even sing yourself to an open microphone every night from 7 pm. The bar is not big, but has a lot of sitting places. No food or gaming is available; just the full bar and the piano. The musicians have a big repertoire of songs.
Fremont Street Experience

3) Fremont Street Experience (must see)

If you want to see something more of Las Vegas than the famous Strip, head for Downtown Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience – you won’t regret it.

This is one huge pedestrian mall with a barrel-vault canopy 90 feet (27 meters) high and 1,500 feet (460 meters) long. This amazing cover is held up by 16 columns, has 12 million LED lights and 220 speakers. It is a light and sound experience you’ll never forget. There are sound stages that host live concerts, souvenir kiosks where you can buy t-shirts, costume jewelry and hats, artists making cartoon sketches and spray-paint artists. A lot of people hang around dressed up as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe or other stars and celebrities and you can have your picture taken with them for a tip. Gambling halls and casinos line the Street, along with various bars and grills. However, top picks are the extremely entertaining fear attraction, Viva Vision, and the SlotZilla.

Why You Should Visit:
Fremont Street is the pedestrian street of downtown Las Vegas, still hosting some of the original casinos.
The SlotZilla Zip Line, where you will fly over the mall, is a not-to-miss experience.

Try to find the free slot machines.
Although it is lively day and night, it gets more fun after dark.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Mob Museum

4) The Mob Museum

The Mob Museum, officially the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a history museum located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Opened on February 14th, 2012, the Mob Museum is dedicated to featuring the artifacts, stories, and history of organized crime in the United States, as well as the actions and initiatives by law enforcement to prevent such crimes. The Museum is housed in the former Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse, which was built in 1933 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Neon Museum

5) Neon Museum

The main thing that characterizes Las Vegas is its multitude of signs. Nowadays they are almost all lit by LED or LCD bulbs, so if you want to see the old signs, make an appointment to visit the Neon Museum.

Here you will find neon signs that date back to the nineteen thirties when the craze began. Once they graced the facades of casinos and shops. There is a huge variety of them in the 2 acre outdoor Young Electric Sign Company Boneyard, where they wait to be restored in the museum and set up in various areas of the city. There are over 150 signs waiting to be given a new lease of life.

You can see some of them without visiting the museum, as they have been set up in and around Fremont Street Experience. You can see the Hacienda Horse and Rider which graced the Hacienda Hotel in 1967, the Aladdin’s Lamp from the Aladdin Hotel in 1966, the 1961 sign from the Flame Restaurant, the Nevada Hotel sign that was first lit up in 1950 and Dot’s Flowers from a 1949 florist shop.

These signs are more than just pretty street decorations, they tell the history of changing times and tastes in Las Vegas.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cashman Center

6) Cashman Center

The Cashman Center or the Cashman Field Center is a 483,000 sq ft (44,900 m2) complex on a 55 acres (22 ha) site in Las Vegas, Nevada. Operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority it includes Cashman Field and a 98,100 sq ft (9,110 m2) convention center. Cashman Center is a fabulous structure, a complex that includes two exhibition spaces, an outstanding theater, a baseball stadium and a restaurant. The Cashman Center plays host to a lot of performances, exhibitions, cultural events, concerts, festivals, as well as private events and meetings.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Las Vegas Natural History Museum

7) Las Vegas Natural History Museum (must see)

You will find the Las Vegas Natural History Museum on the “Cultural Corridor” in Downtown Vegas. This wonderful museum is well worth a lengthy visit and will delight adults and children alike.

The museum is separated into distinct areas with permanent exhibitions and seasonal summer exhibitions. In the Las Vegas Founder’s African Savanna Gallery you can see a magnificent recreation of the Serengeti with model animals at a watering hole and lions attacking their prey, an African Rainforest with animal and plant life. The International Wildlife Gallery has models of antelopes, bears, wild dogs, deer, and big cats, along with details about how they lived and adapted to their environment.

“Treasures of Egypt” features a recreation of Tutankhamun's tomb and documentaries giving details about his life. There are replicas of the Golden Shrine and the Golden Throne. An interactive area allows you to “scan” a mummy and you can see the results of a real mummy scan.

The Marine Life Gallery has replicas of sharks and other big fish hanging from the ceiling. There is a 3,000-gallon aquarium with live sharks and stingrays in it, as well as other, smaller aquariums full of exotic fish and marine plant-life. In this section, you will also find spiders, snakes, lizards, and scorpions.

The kids will love the Prehistoric Life Gallery with its animated T-Rex and other dinosaurs. There is an ichthyosaur, a marine creature that swam in the waters that covered Nevada. More ancient beasts that used to inhabit the territories where today Las Vegas is located, such as saber-tooth cats, mammoths, camels and other can be explored in the Prehistoric Mammals Gallery. The Wild Nevada Gallery has a recreation of the Mojave Desert with animals and plants that live there.

In the Cox Charities Young Scientist Center there is an interactive exhibition where the kids can play the part of a paleontologist and “dig” for fossils or explore the ocean in the role of a marine biologist. The Geology Gallery is a wonder of fossils, minerals, and semi-precious stones.

Why You Should Visit:
Fun and educational experience for kids and adults alike and a great opportunity to spend some quality time in the Sin City.

Check their official website before visiting. You might find offers.
Call in advance to check the days when the baby sharks are fed. They are cute!
As a participant of the Bank of America 1st Weekend Museum Program, they will let you get in for free on the first weekend of the month if you present them your ATM card.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4pm
New Year’s Day and Easter 11am-4pm
Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Old Mormon Fort

8) The Old Mormon Fort

If you are a history buff you will surely want to learn about the Las Vegas area and the best place to do this is at the Old Mormon Fort that stands in the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park.

The fort was built by Mormon missionaries in 1855 and was the first European building in the area. The Mormons settled here only for a short period and the fort was the mid-point between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. It was built on the banks of one of the creeks branching off from the Las Vegas Springs and the settlers built irrigation ditches to water their crops.

Although the 46 square meter adobe building was called a fort, it wasn’t used for military purposes, but rather as a refuge from Indian attacks. The Mormons left the area in 1857 and for a short time the US Army sent troops there to defend the settlers. Over the years the fort was owned by miners, ranchers and in 1929 it was used as an office during the construction of the Hoover Dam.

Today only part of the building is standing, but in the Visitors Centre you can see artifacts left by the previous inhabitants, including a spinning wheel, bullet mold, butter churner and a pump organ. There is a replica of the first American flag to fly over Las Vegas; it has 19 stars and 13 stripes. There is also a recreation of army living quarters with a narrow bed, table, chairs, lanterns and ammunition.

Although the creek has long since dried up, an irrigation system leads to the “Garden in the Desert” where there is a picnic area and you can see the types of crops that the first settlers planted. There is also a very good gift shop where you can find interesting details about the fort.

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