This post has been sponsored by TravelNevada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
At the end of last month, I embarked on a journey to Las Vegas in partnership with TravelNevada with my friends (and newlyweds!) Anna and James. Although we have all traveled to Las Vegas before, we had never explored the downtown Las Vegas area and arts district. And boy… were we missing out. Little did we know, it would be a trip we remember for a lifetime.
Las Vegas is known for the bustling “Strip” district, but did you know that it has an extremely vibrant arts district with ALL the cute cafes; vintage shops; and delicious, unique restaurants just beyond the Strip? I’ve put together a list of the best places to see, eat, and play in the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas… It’s worth the extra drive away from the Strip to see the local artisans and immerse yourself in a culture you would have never guessed existed outside of what we think of as traditional Las Vegas. Looking to plan your own getaway and explore Nevada’s rich art and culture? Sign-up for TravelNevada’s e-newsletter, or download one of their travel guides here!
Retro Vegas – If you love all things VINTAGE, then this shop is for you. When you walk into this store, you feel like you are transported into a different world. Retro Vegas has almost everything you could ever want – it’s like a 1950’s chic, vintage warehouse full of goodies.
After perusing high quality, colorful furniture, Anna and I headed to the records section to select a couple to bring home with us from the trip. Such an amazing selection of oldies… I’m such an old soul and love playing tunes on my record player.
We then went up the stairs to try on some clothing – quite possibly my favorite part of the entire trip. We dressed up in colorful, unique outfits and snapped a few photos. Then we brought some lovely vintage scarves home with us.
The owners were SUCH kind souls and Retro Vegas offered inspiration to last us the entire trip!!
Makers + Finders – This was our very first stop the first day in Vegas. Makers + Finders is a cute cafe with AMAZING coffee and Latin-inspired food. I’ll be honest, the coffee really stole the show. I ordered a turmeric coconut latte and James ordered a hazelnut latte… Both of which came with the cutest latte art!
Esther’s Kitchen – Hands down the best restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas. Esther’s Kitchen serves brunch and dinner, and everything was incredible. It’s honestly one of the best places I’ve ever eaten not just in Vegas-on or off the strip-but in my whole life. That’s saying A LOT. They offer classic dishes in a trendy environment, but all the classic dishes have a spin. For example, we ordered sourdough bread but it came with burrata, pesto and the freshest olive oil. We ordered the spaghetti, but it was made out of handmade pasta al dente that made your mouth drool… If you head to downtown Las Vegas, you MUST go to Esther’s Kitchen.
ReBar – After dinner at Esther’s Kitchen, we headed to the hottest bar in town: ReBar. This place is super cool with antiques and old vintage finds from the owner scattered around the bar, and “everything” in the bar is for sale! We popped in for a drink then headed next door to check out the sister restaurant, Nevada Taste Site, which offers a variety of yummy local beers.
Art Square – Art Square – We perused Art Square after we went to Retro Vegas, since it was just a walking distance away. Art Square is home to a small wedding chapel, theatre, and a couple restaurants in the area. The most interesting part of Art Square was actually the local artist’s studios that we were able to see. The artists in Las Vegas have such an amazing vibe – they all are a little different but all inspired by the vibrant scene of Las Vegas. Talking to the local artists, we really got a perspective of what it’s like to live and “paint the town” in the Las Vegas’ arts district.
Graffiti Art Gallery Alley – There are art galleries and alleyways scattered throughout the Downtown Las Vegas scene. We stumbled upon some near the hotel we stayed at, the El Cortez on Main Street. We also stumbled upon some in downtown! They are all over the place, and you don’t even have to look!
Overall, our trip to downtown Las Vegas was incredible. We didn’t feel like we needed to explore the glitz and glam of the Strip because we were enriched with the culture and art of downtown. The art and culture of downtown was impactful, and fed our minds, bellies, and souls during this trip.
We will definitely be back!!
*Photos + Video by James Bonanno