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Downtown Las Vegas, Las Vegas

Henderson, Nevada, United States, North America: Bright Lights, Big City: The Fremont Street Experience downtown
Las Vegas , Nevada's insider take:

There is a funkier, less hyped (and less expensive) version of Las Vegas on the Strip's less-developed north end, within the cluster of buildings known as downtown. We don't recommend staying there, but it's worth an afternoon of gambling at lower minimums (25-cent roulette, $1 blackjack, penny slots) and the opportunity to experience a bit of an early-Vegas, Casino vibe. Grab a drink at the sexy $20 million pool (with shark tank) at the Golden Nugget, and stick around for the hourly ten-minute light shows at the Fremont Street Experience. Twelve million bulbs create a massive oblong LED screen on the canopy hanging over the street, and the nightly shows (6 p.m. to midnight) are surprisingly entertaining. End the day with a cocktail in the emerging bar scene at Fremont and Las Vegas Boulevard. The Downtown Cocktail Room honors the fine art of mixology, and the Beauty Bar throws in a free manicure with your martini on Friday nights after 9 pm. Otherwise, cab it to Frankie's Tiki Room—Vegas's only authentic tiki bar—where guests slurp up classics like the Bearded Clam in real tiki mugs and prices are refreshingly in line with your average bar back home.—updated by David Tyda

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