Recently I was able to take a quick “vacation” with my best friend. I use quotations because our destination was Las Vegas, and Las Vegas hardly qualifies as a vacation. Anyone who has ever been to Las Vegas knows that it truly is the city that doesn’t sleep. The drive there took a few hours and we were soon pulling up to the pearly MGM Signature gates. Being a Vegas veteran, I was craving a different experience than your typical party/club scene. I text my good friend Kat and we were soon en route to Downtown Las Vegas.
I didn’t know much about Downtown Las Vegas except that it was where the old people went. I was wrong. Murals began to line the streets of Downtown, and despite the rain it was full of life. We didn’t get to explore as much of Downtown Las Vegas as I’d hoped due to the rain, but it was definitely one of the highlights out of all of my Vegas trips.
Our first stop was a quaint little gastropub called Park On Fremont. From the exterior this place doesn’t look like much, but that’s what makes it so great. The interior is filled with bold prints and the area behind the inside bar is home to various taxidermy animals in odd positions. The back patio is just as whimsical as the interior with its mismatched furniture and cozy fireplace. If you look hard enough you might even find the entrance into a hidden area with a seesaw. Yes, I rode it in the rain. I ordered one of their specialty cocktails called Pillow Talk, which was delicious. Prices were reasonable and most definitely cheaper than any bar on the strip. Their brunch menu looked delicious and I will definitely be back next time I find myself in sin-city.
Park on Fremont
506 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV
The second place we went to was Gold Spike. I immediately started screeching on sight upon entry. There was a lounge area with literal giant silk beds in lieu of chairs and tables (typical Vegas). There was also a good size bar area inside, but Kat led us to the back patio. I have to say, this back patio, or backyard as they call it, was a literal adult playground. Supersize all of your favorite childhood games and add alcohol and you end up with the Gold Spike backyard. There was a fenced in area with beer pong tables, giant Jenga, giant chess, and trash pong. The place was relatively empty when we went, but we still enjoyed a round of trash pong in the rain with a bridal party from some irrelevant midwest state. They have live music on weekends on their badass little vintage trailer stage and Gold Spike is also home to The Real World 31. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Downtown Las Vegas.
217 N Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
Before we left we stopped by Container Park and explored until the rain had us running back to the car. Container Park is a cute little area with an adult-friendly jungle gym, chalk wall, shops, bars, and restaurants. They also have a stage which features local acts and musicians. Container Park is also home to the praying mantis pictured below. It was originally created for Burning Man by an aerospace engineer and artist. And if it weren’t already badass, it also shoots 65 ft flames at night.
I wish it hadn’t been raining so much because I would have loved to explore Downtown Las Vegas some more. The strip gets old and tiring, and Downtown Las Vegas is the perfect solution for this. As for the rest of my trip well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.