If Las Vegas is mentioned, and you’re not too familiar with Las Vegas, then you’re probably like the rest of the people out there who just think of the Las Vegas strip as being the place to go to gamble and have a good time.
If you watch an old movie that features a casino in Las Vegas, then chances are that what was featured in the movie was not actually the Las Vegas strip. What you saw was more than likely Fremont Street, which is actually the oldest part of the Las Vegas nightlife scene.
I want to mention some of the cooler attractions and facts about the original Las Vegas strip—Fremont Street—before I go into some of the best hotels to stay at there. Fremont Street is covered by a barrel vault canopy that’s mounted 90 feet in the air over the street and runs down the street for 1,500 feet.
The canopy also features an LED display that shows different animations and graphics that make for a fun night time light show experience. There are 3 different stages along the street where you can see free shows that often feature local and upcoming artists. These stages also host the annual New Year’s Eve party.
Along with a canopy running down the street, there’s also a zipline, where tourists or locals can fly above the street at high speeds. That one might not be for everyone, but if action and adventure and adrenaline are your thing, this is the place to go!
Now that the strip exists, Fremont Street comes in second as the most popular street in Las Vegas. The very first movie theater to appear in Las Vegas opened on Fremont Street, known as El Portal. El Portal was actually the first building in Las Vegas that had air conditioning.
This is just a tiny taste of everything that Fremont Street has to offer, making it a hot place for tourists seeking a taste of traditional Las Vegas. Not everyone is just interested in seeing the highest-quality, highest-class hotels in the world (which you can definitely find on The Strip).
For some people, the history behind gambling and behind how the hotels and casinos were built and first came to Las Vegas is equally interesting and worth investigating. If you’re a history buff and in love with the idea of the Wild West and the history of Nevada, you’ll definitely want to check out Fremont Street.
With all of the history here, it’s inevitable that there are going to be some pretty great options for hotels.
Here are some of the best hotels you can stay at on Fremont Street.
1- Golden Gate Hotel
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is located at One Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada. A part of the Fremont Street Experience and a historical attraction not to be missed, it’s the oldest and smallest hotel (106 rooms) on the Fremont Street Experience.
One of the coolest things about staying in this area is getting to stay inside part of the Fremont Street Experience. FSE is a touristy mall and attraction located on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. The westernmost five blocks of Fremont Street are occupied by FSE. This includes a popular area known as “Glitter Gulch.”
A 90 ft canopy runs along this part of Fremont Street. The New Year’s Eve party held at the Fremont Street Experience is one of the most sought after New Year’s Eve parties in the United States. All sorts of concerts and shows are held underneath the canopy each year. Another cool piece of FSE is a very popular tourist attraction called the Slot Zilla, a zipline that runs high across all of Fremont Street.
There are a lot of different cool reasons to stay at the Golden Gate Hotel. Before the Golden Gate Hotel was called the Golden Gate Hotel, it was originally called the Miller Hotel. Back in 1905, John F. Miller opened a tent hotel that was only intended to be a tent temporarily. The tent stood as the Miller Hotel while Miller was making plans for the permanent hotel that would stand in its place.
Fast Forward to 1955, after a lot of different changes, the hotel was renamed The Golden Gate. By 1974, the whole property would finally be named Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. This hotel has stood the test of time since 1906 and is known as Las Vegas’ “Most Historic Hotel.” The hotel has kept to its cozy and vintage vibe as the street and city evolved around it.
Not a lot has changed with the hotel over the years other than becoming more modern, which is what you should expect everywhere in Las Vegas to be honest. Quickly evolving technology and the expectations of high-end guests has led the hotel to make several improvements that will make your stay a lot more comfortable and modern-feeling while still preserving the look and feel of the era when the hotel was built.
This is far from the biggest property on Fremont Street, standing modestly with just 106 rooms. Regardless of the vintage vibe, the hotel’s rooms are keeping up with the times, featuring apple appliances as well as flat screen TVs. If you’re looking for one of the most traditional Las Vegas experiences that you could possibly have in Las Vegas, The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino is probably going to be one of your best bets!
2- The Golden Nugget Las Vegas
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is another popular hotel on Fremont Street, Las Vegas. It’s one of the oldest hotel casinos in Las Vegas and has that same feeling of a bygone era that you’ll find in The Golden Gate Hotel.
This hotel also has an interesting history behind it—there is believed to be mob activity that was involved in the casino’s beginnings.
Back in 1946, Guy McAfee invested $1 million to build the best and biggest gambling house that had ever been built in Las Vegas. Most historians would say that McAfee was deeply involved with the Los Angeles mob, and after the local law enforcement began to really crack down on mob crime, he made his move to Las Vegas and be one of the city’s key players.
He got to Las Vegas in 1938, and after building a few small clubs, he took the leap in 1945 to build his fantasy casino. Guy went all out when designing the hotel and casino, importing Italian marble, Victorian carved wood, and a powerful air conditioning unit.
His biggest influence in designing the casino was Gold-Rush-era San Francisco. After the 20,000 guests experienced the grand opening in 1946, the awe struck guests would go on to call the Golden Nugget the “brightest nightspot in the world.” That feeling of awe and splendor is still to be found in this landmark of the Las Vegas area and is certainly worth a stay, especially if you love feeling like you’re a part of history.
Today, the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino features the largest casino in Las Vegas and is part of the popular tourist destination—Fremont Street Experience. The Golden Nugget has received hundreds of millions of dollars of renovations since 2005. The stylish decor that a guest would find inside the Golden Nugget’s guest rooms gives you a taste of classic, vintage Las Vegas.
Although a lot of the interior is vintage, you’ll still find huge flat screen TVs, large bathrooms, in-room coffee and tea, and large closets inside the hotel rooms, so don’t worry about having to actually live in that era! A lot of the rooms inside the hotel have amazing views of Las Vegas.
A lot of popular hollywood films feature the Golden Nugget throughout the years. The classic film, Viva Las Vegas with Elvis Presley features a lot of classic shots of the Golden Nugget. Diamonds are Forever, Vegas Vacation, and Smokin’ Aces are some more famous films that feature the hotel.
I can guarantee that you will not be let down if you choose this classic Las Vegas hotel and casino as your hotel of choice.
If you are interested in finding out about more downtown Las Vegas hotels, check out two more here. Do you have more hotels on Fremont Street that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments!