Old Las Vegas Strip: The Fremont Street Experience

Last week, I shared photos of The Strip taken during the day, and it took me by surprise to learn that many of you haven’t seen that much photos of Las Vegas in the daytime, so I’m glad to have given you a glimpse of the Sin City in broad daylight. Your comments made me all the happier because I wasn’t sure if those photos were even worth sharing, especially when I shot most of them from a not-so-favorable situation (while moving or stopped in traffic), so thank you for the warm reception!😬

I know all-things-Vegas dominate my blog and Instagram page these days, but I hope you’re not sick of them just yet because I’m here to talk one more thing about The Strip that you may or may not have already heard (I swear this is the last time). Did you know that The Strip we know today isn’t the original mecca of high-rolling gamblers? If you did, then good for you! I, for sure, didn’t know this until Roan told me in passing that a certain Old Las Vegas Strip exists. Wait, what? Let’s go back a bit in history, shall we?

Old Town Las Vegas / Downtown Las Vegas

Since the dawn of time, prophets and warriors have gone to the desert in search of visions. There is ancient magic in the arid isolation that seems to make the most outrageous visions come to life—enter Las Vegas.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas Nevada
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is a luxury hotel and casino, the largest in the downtown area with a total of 2,419 deluxe guest rooms and suites.

Viva Vegas Sign at The Fremont Street Experience

Millions and millions of people visit every year for a taste of its intoxicating blend of high-stakes, pop culture, and big entertainment. Las Vegas is the world’s largest amusement park, a glittering celebration of America’s pioneering personality and the reckless pleasure of putting all your hopes and dreams on one roll of a dice, taking that tumbling ride wherever it leads.

It all began in Old Town Las Vegas, also Downtown Las Vegas, which is now more commonly known as The Fremont Street Experience, just less than 10 miles north of the present-day Strip.

Related Posts: Travel Diary: Valley of Fire State Park / Travel Diary: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Fremont East District Sign

Fremont Street

The railroad actually created Las Vegas. Las Vegas was important as a stop on a transportation route because it had water and because it was strategically located between Salt Lake and the Pacific Coast. In the summer of 1905, the railroad held an auction right at the head of present-day Fremont Street and laid out a very small town-side of just 40 square blocks. This was supposed to be a sober, industrious working-class community to support the railroad, very different from the present image of Las Vegas obviously.

Golden Gate Casino Hotel at The Fremont Street Experience

Trader Bills at The Fremont Street Experience
Are you a thrill-seeker? Try SlotZilla’s Zip Line right at the heart of The Fremont Street Experience
Street Artist/Performer at The Fremont Street Experience
One of the many street artists/performers spotted at The Fremont Street Experience

The Fremont Street Experience Crosswalk

What they did was limit the sale of alcoholic beverages to just one to two blocks in town, but there was an escape clause that a hotel could also sell intoxicating beverages, so every little saloon along Fremont Street, which was the main thoroughfare then added a couple of rooms in the back or upstairs. From that point, Fremont Street developed as the saloon district. Gambling became legal in 1931, but nobody really paid a whole lot of attention to it because construction of what was then called Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam). That was what first caused the population to explode in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

There you have it—a brief history of how the fabulous Las Vegas came about. We visited Fremont Street during the day, but it absolutely looks even more spectacular with all the neon lights at night. There are free concert stages on either side of the strip for on-lookers to enjoy. Who said you have to gamble while in Vegas?


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  • I have to admit, the first thing that came into my head with this post? The Nevada scenes in Godfather 2, haha! The second thing? Raisa XD; But those aside, I found this post to be interesting. I would like to visit Las Vegas one day, so the inner history buff is loving the history about the place 🙂 Thanks for sharing and your photos are awesome as always!

    • Teh-ruh! It’s been a while! How have you been? I hope you’ve been doing great! I haven’t seen the Godfather (1 and 2), but I do remember that Raisa’s from Las Vegas! I wonder how she’s been these days! Thank you so much, and I hope you get a chance to visit someday! 🙂

  • Now that I come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen a photo of Las Vegas in the daytime haha! Thanks for sharing your photos, they’re always so great to look at! You captured them well, so please keep sharing (on your blog and Instagram – your gram is awesome!)

    Vegas’ history sounds interesting! What a beautiful city and a fresh perspective from you! 😀

    • Hehehe thank you, Pauline! It’s probably how I post-processed them to bring out their underlying character. Aww, you’re so sweet! Thank you so much! I think the only upside to Instagram’s new algorithm is that it won’t matter if I post 283749 photos from the same set consecutively since they won’t appear in chronological order.‍♀️

  • It’s totally fine to share pictures of Vegas during the daytime! Haha, I know I would prefer taking daytime pictures if I was there! I’ve only been to Vegas once but didn’t have the chance to check this part of town out! Old Town Las Vegas looks so cool! Oh man, hotels and casinos are everywhere! Pretty cool to learn all of these fun facts. Thanks for sharing :).


    • Hahaha thank you, Nancy! Have you seen the set I took during nighttime? I almost didn’t share it here because I didn’t know if they will turn out how I envisioned them to be. Definitely took a lot more time post-processing them, but I was satisfied with the results! Oh, and you’re welcome!

  • I love these photos. They make me feel like I’m there. I’ve been to Vegas once in my lifetime and it was for work so I didn’t have any time to explore this beautiful city. I hope one day I’ll be able to visit again, there is so much to see and do!

    • Thank you so much, Heather! Oh, what a bummer! I hope you get a chance to go back for leisure/pleasure! There’s definitely so much more than The Strip! 😉

  • Too cool. I love all this Vegas history! I think I knew there was a “downtown” or old Vegas, but I didn’t realize it was the original hub of all the alcohol and gambling! And the railroad history/dam history is super interesting! Such a unique and dramatic city!!

  • “Sober, industrious working-class community” 😀 Have they ever met railroad workers of the early 20th century?! This is pretty cool – I’ve never heard of the Fremont experience but it sounds like I would enjoy it!

    • Hahaha! Guess that wasn’t the case back then! It’s fascinating to me how gambling started in the city plus that helped the state in general. 🙂

  • My husband has family that live in Las Vegas and he always talks about his trips there growing up saying there’s so much more to the city than just gambling! I love the views that you shared & the backstories!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    • Coming to Las Vegas made me realize that, too! There’s so much more than gambling while in the city, and I find The Fremont Street Experience more inviting than The Strip. 🙂