Bindlestiff Tours

Reinventing the Heart of Las Vegas

Reinventing the Heart of Las Vegas Departs Wednesday, Departs Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 9:30am ($59 per person)

Reinventing the Heart of Las Vegas

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Departs Wednesday, Departs Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 9:30am
book now ($59 per person)

Duration: 2.5 hours

Highlights:

Las Vegas -entertainment mecca that is part fantasy with a sprinkling of true grit. Larger than life but hard to get your arms around.  Our downtown walking tour takes you on a fun and historical journey in search of the heart and soul of the city –a walk through three local downtown Sin City neighborhoods where you’ll see how imagination, art, and commerce intersect. This is where locals are re-creating downtown neighborhoods, and a place that you’ll want to see and experience for yourself to really understand the history of Fabulous Las Vegas!

Itinerary 

This downtown arts and history tour is a journey to discover the historic heart of Las Vegas. You’ll get an intriguing look at the city’s classic past and explore an exciting resurgence in three neighborhoods where the arts, imagination, and hard work are taking center stage. This is a story of people, place, entrepreneurs, and culture!

Your tour starts in the oldest arts neighborhood in Las Vegas, called the Cultural Corridor, just a few blocks from the downtown core. The neighborhood is home to a community of cultural facilities including the legendary Neon Museum Boneyard, a two-acre outdoor site with over 500 historic neon signs. We’ll meet in front of the Neon Museum entrance, step into its historic lobby and then proceed to an adjoining neighborhood park for a morning refreshment. Here your local guide will introduce the tour while giving you a short narrative about the Boneyard collection, with personal insights into the history of the museum. (Note that we do not go into the museum on this tour; however, your guide can give you tips should you want to return later.)

We’ll then take a walk down the hill to the Natural History Museum, where the geologic past is on display along with a collection of exotic animal specimens — but what we’ve really come for is the famous “showgirl” feathered dinosaur, an unusual Vegas type of cultural spectacle.

Next, we’ll arrive at the historic 19th-century Stewart Ranch, a place that is the true heart of Las Vegas.  Here was once the 1,800-acre rancho where Las Vegas started, now authentically recreated with an adobe fort, demonstration gardens, a remnant of the original Las Vegas Creek, and a new interpretive center —all part of a 5-acre state park. It’s a quiet place that few tourists know about but it is the enduring heart of the metropolis.

We’ll then turn back towards downtown, crossing a neon-inspired artist-designed bridge, over to the Downtown Library, one of the city’s most iconic civic buildings. It sits near the once-flowing Las Vegas Creek, and, thanks to a little-known architectural feature, you can place your ear to a stone wall and might, on a good day, hear the murmurings of what is still an underground stream. Heading south, we’ll note a new artist-run center, The 705 Hub, the first of its type in the neighborhood, and which will feature a resident theater company and art gallery. We may on occasion meet up with the entrepreneurs developing the project. Next, we’ll pass by a small historic residential area, the Biltmore Bungalows Neighborhood, from the 1940s with charming cottages and even a community garden in progress, whose master gardener is often on-site.

Every tour booked for a Friday brings a bonus to the experience of downtown Las Vegas: visiting the weekly one-day-a-week Farmers’ Market. Here is an unexpected and welcome encounter in urban Las Vegas: an organic market where you can savor the many homegrown tastes of local produce and tasty baked goods. We may meet the innovative entrepreneur behind the effort, the “Produce Whisperer” as she is called, and we’ll have a chance to talk to many of the local producers, from the honey guy to the organic baker.

Next, we encounter the city’s other famous pop culture museum: The Mob Museum that opened in 2012, in a classic 1930s building that was once the stately courthouse of the Hoover Dam era. Here, on the steps, you’ll get a brief history from the guide about the museum and the just-announced plans to open a speakeasy and new forensics attraction for amateur sleuthing (we won’t go inside, but feel free to return later for a self-guided tour of the museum!).

We then arrive at our second downtown neighborhood, and one of the most famous sites in Las Vegas. The historic Fremont Street became the social and commercial heart of the city when it was founded in 1905 in a railroad land auction. The city became a boom town with the building of Hoover Dam – and then was reinvented with new purpose with legalized gambling in 1931. You’ll hear about our iconic casinos back then and the larger-than-life figures who ran them, and see for yourselves how neon became the visual landscape of Las Vegas. Today, Fremont is a pedestrian street dominated by the world’s largest video screen – featuring electronic shows playing nightly on the hour. It’s a street in constant performance, and we’re sure to encounter the bevy of carnival-like buskers who represent a unique brand of entrepreneurial performers.

We’ll trek several blocks to Fremont East, the third and final neighborhood on your arts and history tour. Along the way, we cross Las Vegas Boulevard at the iconic Horse & Rider, the flagship sign of the Neon Museum installed about 20 years ago. Now it’s part of a neon trail linking the world-famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign to the Neon Museum — a 7-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that has been designated the only nighttime scenic byway in America.

On arriving in the heart of the new entrepreneurial Fremont East neighborhood, we’ll see how the urban landscape comes down to pedestrian level. This new entertainment district encompasses about 30 blocks, with cozy restaurants and popular local bars – mostly all driven by The Downtown Project of Zappos fame. Here is a new arts neighborhood of festivals, public art, and a range of creative entrepreneurs, a few who we may encounter on the walk. We’ll check out some fantastic murals in the Ogden neighborhood produced by some of the most noted mural artists in the world.

Finally, we come to the end of our walking tour, at Fremont Street and 7th Street — an intersection that brings together classic old-school Vegas, the El Cortez Hotel, together with the new model of urban downtown, the Container Park. It’s a pairing that tells the constant theme of reinvention. On one corner is the historic hotel of Bugsy Siegel fame with great architecture, iconic neon, local Vegas charm, and maybe even a ghost or two.  The Container Park (as in shipping containers), is the flagship effort of the Downtown Project and features 40 shops and studios of local entrepreneurs.

We’ll end the tour at the El Cortez historic Parlor Bar for a complimentary cocktail/beverage and offer a locals’ list of where to catch lunch. We’ll also provide you with a limited edition map of downtown, and send you off with a spirited toast for more urban adventures!

Guests must be over 21 years of age with valid ID to join this tour.

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Testimonials

  • There were total 12 of us in this tour. It was an interesting international combination and we fitted in the van perfectly as we are all in average size. Our tour guide Michael is knowledgeable, friendly and always tried to accommodate our request.

    Do not miss out the Antelope Canyon (optional item) , Its one the best spots in this tour.

    The tour was the best as we had good tour guide and a group of good people! all the places are worth-seeing and itinerary is well arranged. Thanks mike and Bindlestiff Tours!

    5star

     

     

     

     

    A 3-day national park tour that you CANNOT miss!
  • Bindlestiff Tours was the highlight of our trip to the USA. We took a national parks tour to Zion, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. High quality tour with fabulous hotels- And I found all the hot tubs!
    We never went away hungry from the food choices Khriss made which included the surprise “Home made pie”, the chocolate cookies he provided for us during the long drives were very much appreciated.

    Indeed, our group, to a person, said unsolicited that Khriss was the BEST driver/guide they had ever had and valued his shared knowledge, his expertise, his professional, punctual service, his books, and his patience. They especially remembered his contagious smile, Southern wit, love of John Wayne and the West, and his amazing ability to have all our luggage [those big bags our girls always take] in place at the agreed departure time! Yes, we had a great time and are so appreciative of Khriss, who went above and beyond to see to the needs of everyone in our group. I speak for the group in thanking you all for a wonderful and unique SW experience! THANK YOU!

    5star

    Our small group had a very best trip to the SW US!
  • I recently came back from USA and I felt I had to share my experience with everyone.
    After a lot of research in internet about which Company to use to travel from Vegas and see the Grand Canyon and the highlights around there, I am so happy I finally chose Bindlestiff tours.
    My highlight of the trip was of course the helicopter flight over Grand Canyon, which was breathtaking. I would advise anyone to book the 55 mins flight in advance to avoid disappointment, for a bit more money than the 20 mins flight, you will be able to explore the Canyon best.
    Our guide, Mike, was very knowledgeable , funny but professional and made the whole group bond. We started as 12 strangers and ended the tour as friends .The fact of being a small group made the interaction with each other very easy .
    I felt this trip met my expectations if not exceeded them. This is a great choice if you don’t have a lot of time to drive freely and you want to see the National Parks highlights around Vegas.
    If you are looking and looking and you are not sure which Company you should go for, don’t think anymore. Choose Bindlestiff tours and it won’t disappoint !

    5star

    I cannot recommend this trip and Company enough
  • I spent 3 of my best days in the US on that tour. Perfectly organized and guided by JD Boyle, it gives the opportunity to visit legendary places and really feel the desert. To see the moon rise and the night fall over Monument Valley and the first sun rays above the same rocks the next morning was a dream come true. Thanks JD, thank you Bindlestiff! I hope to travel again with you some day:)

    5star

    National Parks Mini Explorer
  • Last summer I booked a 3 day trip covering Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Horseshoe bend, Grand Canyon, departing and end at Vegas. After one year, I still think this is the best trip I ever booked from a tour company. I was extremely lucky to have Vern as our guide & lead (also driver), a guy with great personality, also so experienced and professional in organizing everything. We were able to be quite flexible in deciding how long we wanted to stay in each place, which hiking trek to take, etc. I enjoyed every hiking route Vern recommended! I was travelling solo and was a bit concerned if I would be totally comfortable in joining a group tour, but it proved my concern was nonsense. The others in the group were very easy going and we got along well.

    Every park has its own uniqueness and amazing views. I loved every place really. The highlight for me is Monument Valley, apart from the sunrise (we had a great camping spot for watching sunrise!) and the safari tour, the whole place just felt so spiritual (my very personal feeling).

    I never felt rushed or bored during the 3 days. Most of the time I even forgot I was travelling with a tour company, I felt I was just travelling with a group of friends. Arizona and Utah not only have unique nature landscapes but also interesting social and culture characters.

    I would love to highly recommend Bindlestiff to everyone. If I have the chance, I will do another trip with Bindlestiff.

    5star

    Best tour ever, an unforgettable journey