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Viva Lesser-Known Vegas

Stepping off The Strip in a tourist haven



The Fremont Street Experience bustles, buzzes and glows with activity.

 

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – mostly your money. The Strip is all glitz and glamour, with great shows and great chefs … at top-dollar prices. So my husband and I decided we would do Las Vegas differently. We would eschew the new and embrace the old.

 

From the city’s earliest days, Fremont Street has been the main drag of downtown Las Vegas. By the ’60s, the action had moved south with big, new casinos and hotels adding amenities such as floor shows with big names and endless buffets to the gambling enterprises. Downtown dwindled.
    
It’s back. It’s nothing like the neighborhood in south Las Vegas, but it’s got a lot to offer: neon, glitz and gambling, for sure, but now five blocks of Fremont are devoted to non-stop activity. A four-block-long canopy covers most of the area and serves as a screen for light and sound productions. With 12.5 million LEDs and a 550,000-watt sound system, there’s plenty of both.

Zip-liners zoom overhead, while on the pedestrian mall, shoppers mingle with buskers and costumed entrepreneurs willing to pose for a price. Between the casinos are souvenir shops, tattoo parlors and Heart Attack Grill, “The World’s Unhealthiest Restaurant,” which says it “proudly serve(s) The World’s Highest Calorie Burger” – Guinness-certified at 9,982 calories. Live bands play music from two stages at night. You can’t beat the people-watching or the price: free. If the State Fair married Bourbon Street, they’d have the Fremont Experience!

 

In the past, Las Vegas shows were rooted in the burlesque variety style of the ’20s and ’40s – noted for gorgeous showgirls and elaborate costumes – and filled long-gone venues such as The Dunes and The Silver Slipper. The sexual revolution and explicit TV shows and movies pretty much put an end to the art form’s popularity.

The tiny Burlesque Hall of Fame is currently tucked into two small rooms, but graphics, photos and a few artifacts give a good history of the era. The museum will eventually move into a much larger space in the Arts District, where much more of that glitz and elegance will be on display.

Sunset at the Neon Museum


Another institution paying tribute to Old Las Vegas is the Neon Museum. Spread over two acres, its outdoor collection is the world’s largest. Reinvention seems to be a way of life in Las Vegas, as casinos and hotels change hands, get demolished or are re-branded with regularity. This is where some of the most iconic signs have come to roost: the giant lamp from the original Aladdin, where Elvis and Priscilla were married, sits near a huge pirate skull that once graced Treasure Island. Tours are guided, and the knowledgeable docents will give you lots of history about Las Vegas and the neon itself.

For a more serious, yet fascinating, look at Las Vegas, visit the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement – popularly known as The Mob Museum. From the beginnings of La Cosa Nostra through mob influence in Las Vegas to contemporary crime, this museum’s multiple videos and hands-on opportunities take hours to see properly.

 

One of the coolest downtown areas is Container Park, a few blocks east of the Fremont Experience. Shops and eateries built out of shipping containers surround large playgrounds – including one area with an elaborate tree house. Outside the park is a giant metal praying mantis that periodically spews fire into the night sky. At night, except for family movie night, it’s adults only after 9 p.m.

We found a great little restaurant there: The Perch, whose Peña Berry Margarita is a neat combination of jalapeño heat contrasted with the icy alcohol and fruit mixture.

The Heart Attack Grill’s Quadruple Bypass Burger


Actually, eating wasn’t big on our itinerary, but we did find a couple of treasures, particularly for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast in Du-Par’s Restaurant and Bakery in the Golden Gate Hotel – pancakes that have their own press agent – was great, and the freshly squeezed o.j. delicious. Eat (that’s the name) on Carson Street was another treat, featuring a killer aged-cheddar grilled cheese sammy on sourdough bread, served with kick-ass tomato soup with a little Parmesan on top.

 

While many people do get married in Vegas, the weddings aren’t usually the traditional white-gown, six-bridesmaid affairs. Everyone here wants in on the act, though, and the Denny’s on Fremont is no exception. Yep, you can get married at Denny’s – complete with silk bouquet, boutonnière and wedding pictures made in their photo booth – all for $99.

 



Best bet: The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2016 by Bob Sehlinger – easier to use than the official website and more informative.

 

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Calendar

February 2018

The Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center presents its 9th annual Whole Person Indoor Triathlon. This Super Sprint Triathlon is perfect for first time Triathletes while still being challenging for...

Cost: $25, $35, $45

Where:
Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918.495.6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center
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Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

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Join us for the Sunday matinee of the world premiere run of The Vaudevillian, a new opera by Thomas Pasatieri! The backstage backstory dramatizes the rise and fall of American...

Cost: $14/20/28

Where:
Oklahoma City University's Kirkpatrick Auditorium
2501 N Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
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Sponsor: Oklahoma City University's Wanda L. Bass School of Music
Telephone: 405.208.5227
Contact Name: Abigail Litjens
Website »

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OU University Theatre and Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre present Nice Work If You Can Get It. Music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin; Book by Joe DiPietro Lyn Cramer, Director;...

Cost: $10-40

Where:
Elsie C. Brackett Theatre
563 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: OU University Theatre
Telephone: 405.325.4101
Contact Name: OU Fine Arts Box Office
Website »

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The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

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Local professional singers of Opera on Tap present "It's Never Too Late for French (toast)," a late night of brunch, burgers, and French music. Love brunch? Love live music? For...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: NOIR Bistro & Bar
Telephone: 405.208.4233
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Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish Lenten Mission with Fr. Joe Creedon Monday, February 19:  Examine your vision, and what you are willing to do to develop that vision into...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
900 S Boulevard
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.0691
Contact Name: Stephanie Graham
Website »

More information

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Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

USAO's Meet the Candidates series, sponsored by the Nita R. Giles Public Policy Program, continues on March 6 with Republican and Oklahoma Lt. Governor, Todd Lamb. Lamb will give a short...

Cost: Free

Where:
USAO Ballroom
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1216
Contact Name: Dr. Kevin Crow
Website »

More information

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish Lenten Mission with Fr. Joe Creedon Monday, February 19:  Examine your vision, and what you are willing to do to develop that vision into...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
900 S Boulevard
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.0691
Contact Name: Stephanie Graham
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
Ok, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

ORU takes on Omaha, and the Mabee Center Box Office will be open at 10 a.m.  All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18...

Cost: $9

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.7ORU
Website »

More information

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish Lenten Mission with Fr. Joe Creedon Monday, February 19:  Examine your vision, and what you are willing to do to develop that vision into...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
900 S Boulevard
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.0691
Contact Name: Stephanie Graham
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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The Oklahoma Farmers Market & Agritourism Conference seeks to increase the availability of local food in Oklahoma communities, strengthen existing farmers markets and Agritourism sites and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Tower Hotel
3233 Northwest Expy
Oklahoma City , OK  73112
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Sponsor: ONIE Project
Contact Name: Maria Andrade
Website »

More information

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
Ok, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

Since 1993, this amazing group has been combining music, theater and acrobatics to create moving performances filled with magic and emotion. Based on the multidisciplinary talents of its artists,...

Cost: $39

Where:
OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center
7777 S May Ave
OKC, OK  73159
View map »


Telephone: 405.682.7579
Website »

More information

A world premiere theatre piece hits Oklahoma with an inter-dimensional art show: “The Cowboy Who Fell From The Sky” - an immersive, post-apocalyptic, pop-up folk concert....

Cost: $20

Where:
OK Shakespeare In The Park On Paseo
2920 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Contact Name: Michael Todd
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
Ok, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

The Roadshow is coming to Tulsa! This year's tour features Christian music favorites For King & Country, Matthew West, Natalie Grant, Bethel Music, Zach Williams, and Social Club Misfits....

Cost: $10

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Website »

More information

A world premiere theatre piece hits Oklahoma with an inter-dimensional art show: “The Cowboy Who Fell From The Sky” - an immersive, post-apocalyptic, pop-up folk concert....

Cost: $20

Where:
OK Shakespeare In The Park On Paseo
2920 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Contact Name: Michael Todd
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
Ok, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

A world premiere theatre piece hits Oklahoma with an inter-dimensional art show: “The Cowboy Who Fell From The Sky” - an immersive, post-apocalyptic, pop-up folk concert....

Cost: $20

Where:
OK Shakespeare In The Park On Paseo
2920 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Contact Name: Michael Todd
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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