Las Vegas has always been a city that revels in modern developments. Every year, another old casino gets demolished or renovated to make way for a mega resort. In spite of this, evidence of Las Vegas’s classic era still remains. If you look hard enough, you can still find the kinds of joints that Frank, Dino, Sammy, and the rest of the Rat Pack might enjoy if they were still performing. Want to know where you can find some of the best vintage spots in all of Sin City? We’ve rounded up a few of the highlights for you!
1.) Enjoy an Original Shrimp Cocktail at the Golden Gate
Originally opened in 1906, the Golden Gate has the honor of being the oldest hotel in Downtown Las Vegas. Located near the western end of the Fremont Street Experience, this small, San Francisco-themed establishment has evolved into a casino with a party atmosphere. However, its most celebrated amenity, the Original Shrimp Cocktail, has remained unchanged for over 50 years. Served in a sundae glass and topped with cocktail sauce, this signature dish attracts both tourists and locals.
2.) Browse Some Antique Shops in the Las Vegas Arts District
About 2 miles north of the Strip, visitors will find an 18-block section of Downtown Las Vegas that’s designated specifically for the cultivation of local artists, boutique shops, and restaurants. While the galleries in the Las Vegas Arts District often get the most attention, the area’s antique stores are the real find. Browsers will find an array of interesting remnants of Sin City’s bygone era at shops like Retro Vegas, Swag Antiques, and Vintage Vegas Antiques. Whether you’re interested in purchasing or just like to look, these stores are sure to intrigue.
3.) Try a Classic Slot Machine at the El Cortez
Once upon a time, Vegas visitors who got lucky at the slots were treated to hundreds of quarters. Instead of getting a printed ticket, you got to fill up a small bucket with your jackpot. Well, at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino, guests can relive those days by trying their luck on one of the property’s several retro coin-operated slot machines. Are these machines any luckier? That depends on your definition of luck and whether you hear the sound of your slot tray filling up with coins.
4.) See the Signs of Vegas Past at the Neon Museum
The iconic look of Las Vegas has always been framed by neon lights and innovative casino signage. As the city developed and new resorts replaced older hotels, however, many of those iconic signs were permanently removed. Thankfully, the Neon Museum has set about rescuing as many of these classic signs as possible. Visitors who are interested in seeing remains of the old Sahara, Stardust, and Binion’s Horseshoe, can take a guided tour through the museum’s outdoor Neon Boneyard exhibition space. Many of the still-functional signs are illuminated at night.
5.) Sip Some Cocktails at the Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge
There’s no better way to end a day of exploring classic Vegas than by enjoying a night cap at a truly vintage lounge. Opened in 1972, the Peppermill stands out on the ultra-modern Las Vegas Strip as a fascinating reminder of the city’s past. While the restaurant is great, the Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a Whiskey Sour or Bloody Mary. The lounge is decked out with pink neon lights, plenty of mirrors, and a water-pit fireplace.
Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! You can hit up as many of these vintage wonders—but no one ever has to know! Which of these retro hot spots are you most interested in? Did we miss any Sin City classics? Let us know in the comments!