The Fremont Street Experience draws millions of visitors a year, with its LED canopy and classic Las Vegas casinos. But beyond this attraction’s Las Vegas Boulevard border lies a whole other area worthy of exploration. It’s around 11 a.m., the sun is shining, and crowds haven’t flooded the streets yet. Another beautiful Las Vegas day awaits you.
Park on Fremont
Across the boulevard from The Fremont Street Experience, on the corner, is Park on Fremont, a bar/restaurant. The charming brick-and-wood exterior calls to you, but which seating area will you choose? The front patio offers people-watching opportunities, the back patio is a secluded hideaway with eclectic touches, and the interior is hipster-gothic at its best. There’s no wrong choice. After perusing the drink menu, chock-full of rare beers, specialty cocktails, mules and marys, you settle on the Tuxedo Bloody Mary. The hint of heat, along with cucumber and basil, is invigorating. Once your drink is gone, you’re ready to move on.
It’s noon, and you need some sustenance. Parallel to Fremont is Carson Avenue, where unique dining options reside. You’re looking for relatable, yet incredible, food. You’re looking for Eat. This breakfast and brunch spot serves up delicious dishes like Truffled Egg Sandwich or Huevos Motulenos alongside classic sandwiches such as Reuben or Roast Beef. But the sauerkraut in the Reuben is house-made and the Roast Beef features wild mushrooms and pickled red onions. Eat is dependable, yes, but not at all predictable. You enjoy the simple elements of the restaurant’s décor: the exposed bulbs, exposed brick and bright orange chairs. The meal is complemented by an aromatic cup of coffee from local favorite, Mothership Coffee Roasters.
Life is Beautiful Murals
You’ve drunk and eaten your fill; it’s time to walk it off. What better way than by finding and appreciating the varied murals commissioned by Life is Beautiful? A music/food/art festival, Life is Beautiful takes over Downtown Vegas once a year. Unlike other festivals, it leaves more than empty beer bottles and paper debris in its wake. World famous muralists like D*Face, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) and Tristan Eaton have decorated the area. You spot their magnificent work, along with many others’, as you walk on 7th Street to Stewart Avenue.
Zappos HQ Tour
Your soul has been nurtured by the murals and now you’re going to expand your mind. You’ve booked a three o’clock tour of Zappos Headquarters. Getting to know the history of the company on the cutting edge of corporate culture gives you unexpected insights. Their offices are surprising and fun. You walk through their campus picturing your workplace adding a ball pit or nap room – maybe you’ll bring it up at the next meeting. Better yet, maybe you’ll find a way to embrace Zappos’ “delivering WOW” approach in your personal life.
Feeling inspired, and wanting to continue your mental expansion, you head over to Writers Block. The independent bookstore welcomes you with soft, cheery music and a varied collection of books, knick-knacks and keepsakes. You take your time and look through the shelves. You talk to one of the shop’s owners, and he makes recommendations based on what the two of you discuss. The recommendations are spot-on, and you can’t wait to read them. You tell him about one of your friends and he finds the perfect gift for them. He says “Thank you” as you leave the store with a bag on your arm, and you know he means it.
Downtown Cocktail Room
It’s been a full day, so you’ve earned a cocktail. Or two, or three. Below a small, red neon sign is the door to your mixed drink dreams. You make it in time for the Downtown Cocktail Room’s “Halfy Hour.” The menu is seasonal, the bartenders knowledgeable and the atmosphere comfortable. It prompts you to try something different, something new: the ‘Put a Beard on It’ cocktail, which combines Mezcal, Aperol, fennel and saffron. This is the perfect place to reflect on today’s adventures and devise tomorrow’s exploits.