If you’re anything like us, you spend the majority of your time in Las Vegas on the Strip, or Downtown, dining, drinking, and gambling. While Vegas is, and always will be a gambling town, a whopping 86% of visitors in 2019 listed their primary reason for visiting as something other than gambling according to an LVCVA visitor profile survey.
For those looking to escape “typical Vegas” and the constant dinging of slot machines, the Arts District could be an appealing option. There, you’ll find numerous opportunities to shop, dine, and drink.
Located just south of Fremont Street, the Las Vegas Arts District is a diamond in the rough frequently overlooked by visitors. Below, we’ll dive into how to get to the Arts District and what types of activities are available.
How to get to the Las Vegas Arts District From Fremont Street or The Strip
The Arts District is about a mile south of the Fremont Street Experience and is walkable in favorable weather conditions, although you would want to plan for a 20-30 minute stroll. We wouldn’t recommend walking to the Arts District from the Las Vegas Strip.
Rideshare options like Uber/Lyft will run about $10 – $15 from center Strip properties and $8 – $13 from Fremont Street.
If on Fremont Street already, the best, and cheapest way, to get to the Arts District is the FREE Downtown Loop shuttle. Running from Sunday – Thursday from 11 am – 6 pm and Friday – Saturday from 3 pm – 10 pm, the Downtown loop picks up at Circa, the Mob Museum, Fremont Street Experience, and Fremont East and drops you off in the Arts District. When we say free, we mean it. The driver couldn’t even accept our attempted tip.
What is there to do in the Las Vegas Arts District?
Enjoy a Craft Brew: The Las Vegas Arts District is home to a vibrant craft beer scene. Breweries like Hop Nuts, CraftHaus, HUDL Brewing, and Able Baker Brewing. In addition to craft beer options, the Arts District is home to numerous other worthwhile bars.
In addition to alcoholic options, the Arts District is also home to high-quality coffee joints like Vesta Coffee Roasters, and Makers & Finders Coffee. Grab a cup, sit outdoors, and enjoy the day.
Grab a Great Meal: Whether you are craving Mexican, Cajun, or Thai, the Las Vegas Arts District is chalked full of unique restaurant options. Vegas history enthusiasts will enjoy Esther’s Kitchen as they use flatware and utensils from the Dunes. Check out some top picks from Eater Vegas. You’re destined to find something that fits your tastes.
Also offered is an “Arts District Lip Smacking Foodie Tour” which takes groups to Esther’s Kitchen, Jammyland, and the Cornish Pasty Co.. Tickets are $125 per person and there is an optional beverage package that is $50. Learn more here.
Shop for Something Unique: Oddly, while I’m not a big shopper, exploring the shops is among my favorite things to do in the Arts District. Packed with shopping options to include antiques, crafts, and art galleries, the Arts District WILL have a shopping option you find of interest.
For those into Vegas history, there is an entire section at the Antique Alley Mall dedicated to historic Las Vegas casino artifacts. Available for purchase were Video Poker machine pay table inserts, casino chips, slot buckets, ashtrays, and matchbooks from long gone properties like Maxim, Desert Inn, Marina, and Holiday Casino, among others.
We also stumbled across a shop dedicated to items to perfect a “man cave”. All in all, this is stuff you can’t find for sale in any other tourist hotspot in Vegas.
Preview Thursday / First Friday: The first Friday of every month, the Las Vegas Arts District hosts a popular block party in which artists, food vendors, and musicians line the streets to display and sell their products. The event has become so popular that it typically draws upwards of 15,000 people. Get more info on upcoming events here.
If you want a less stressful environment to check out and purchase art, stop by the Arts District the night before First Friday for Preview Thursday which serves as an opportunity for buyers to shop while avoiding the crowds.
Peruse the Murals: As you stroll through the restaurants, bars, and shops that comprise the neighborhood, it’s impossible to miss the numerous murals and artistic displays on the buildings. We added some of our favorite murals in the Las Vegas Arts District below!
Is the Las Vegas Arts District Worth a Visit?
While we’ve never previously prioritized visiting the Arts District, the area provides a nice contrast to the Strip and Fremont Street. Not a casino in sight, with what we would describe as a more “neighborhood” or “commercial” vibe. Our recommendation would be to stop by late afternoon to shop, grab a couple of drinks, and dinner before heading back to a tourist center to get your gamble on. Simply put, we were impressed by the abundance of things to do in the Arts District.
For those that have grown tired of the dinging of slot machines, cigarette smoke, or just need a break from gambling, the Arts District could be the perfect thing to do!