Last Updated on June 29, 2022
The Art District Las Vegas is nothing short of a cultural explosion. It’s an area that’s filled with displays of artistic talent of all types, along with many cultural experiences for you to enjoy as you wander around, taking it all in. From art installations to theater, shopping, eating, drinking, and more, the Arts District offers something for everyone.
About the Arts District Las Vegas
Since 1998, the Las Vegas Arts District has existed as a way to foster and support the arts culture in Sin City. The Arts District was originally developed as an 18-block area dedicated to encouraging local artists and art lovers to explore and take part in a very important part of Vegas culture. You might also hear the Arts District referred to as 18b, which is in reference to the original 18-block area.
Today, the Arts District, which is located about a mile from Downtown Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience, has expanded beyond those original 18 blocks and encompasses a variety of artistic displays, performances, museums, galleries, restaurants, bars, and coffee houses, and more.
- About the Arts District Las Vegas
- Art Square
- Art Galleries & Shops in the Arts District Las Vegas
- Shops & Antiquing
- Museums in the Arts District
- Restaurants & Bars in the Arts District
- Coffee Shops in the Las Vegas Arts District
- Cannabis In the Arts District
- Getting There & Parking
- Discover and Enjoy the Arts District in Vegas
The Las Vegas Arts District is centered mostly around Main Street and Charleston but has begun sprawling out more past the main cluster. If you were to look at a street map of Las Vegas, NV, you’d find the majority of the Arts District to be nestled in the area outlined by Commerce Street, Colorado Ave, Fourth Street, and Hoover Avenue.
If visiting the Las Vegas Arts District is on your list of things to do and see while in Sin City, it’s best to plan on spending the entire day there if you really want to experience all that the area has to offer. There’s so much to do and see, and it’s easy to just sort of lose yourself and become totally immersed in the vibrant, eclectic culture of the area.
Some say that just showing up and letting your free spirit guide you is the best way to experience the Arts District. However, if you’re a planner or just want to know what to expect, we’ve put together this complete guide of everything there is to do, see, and experience in 18b.
Art Square, located in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District, is where there always seems to be something going on that perfectly embodies the vibrancy and culture of the arts in Vegas.
Art Square is located just behind the Arts Factory, with the property featuring three buildings that were built in the 1950s and then later remodeled. While there’s often something to do or see outside, these three buildings house much of the talent found at Art Square.
Art Square is home to the Cockroach Theatre and the Vegas Theater Company. For those who want to stray away from the big stages on the Vegas Strip, it’s easy to find theatrical performances that check off the boxes of artistic, passionate, and even quirky at one of the theaters at Art Square.
Art Square also offers studio space for the creation and selling of artistic works. It’s always fun to visit the studios and galleries while appreciating the eclectic works and talents of local artists.
If you don’t mind the crowds, one of the most popular events at Art Square is the First Friday events.
First Friday Event
The First Friday event is well known among locals in Vegas, but tourists and frequent visitors will also enjoy spending a Friday afternoon exploring all that the First Friday event has to offer. The monthly First Friday event is your chance to view the works of and engage with more than one hundred showcased local artists, watch and listen to live music performances, enjoy some eats from more than fifty local food trucks and food vendors, and more.
The First Friday Foundation puts on this monthly event in the Las Vegas Arts District and is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to supporting the local culture of arts and promoting education in the arts. Through the First Friday Foundation’s outreach, they’ve been able to provide local adults and children with artistic opportunities that might have otherwise been out of their reach.
By visiting the First Friday Event, you’re supporting the local artists, vendors, and the First Friday Foundation, while enjoying one of Sin City’s favorite monthly events. It’s a win-win for all.
If the First Friday Event sounds a little too hectic and crowded for you, there’s also the Preview Thursday event, which takes place the day before First Friday. This is a much more low-key experience, but it is just a preview, so you might miss out on some artists, performances, and food vendors that haven’t shown up yet.
The First Friday Event typically takes place on the First Friday of the month from 11 AM – 5 PM. If you’re not quite ready to call it a day at 5 PM, there’s lots of other stuff happening in the Arts District on First Fridays, as this is often a day that local businesses depend on.
Preview Thursdays are less formal in regard to time, and you can typically start previewing new artist displays starting at about 2 PM, with opportunities to get sneak previews lasting up until about midnight.
Art Galleries & Shops in the Arts District Las Vegas
Those who manage to wander through the Art District without pursuing all of the unique galleries and shops are sort of missing the entire point of the experience. The Las Vegas Arts District is the city’s epicenter of some of the best galleries and one-of-a-kind shopping for unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Arts Factory is hands-down one of the most popular and iconic gallery experiences in the Las Vegas Arts District.
The Arts Factory, located on Charleston Boulevard, is considered the creative center of the Arts District. The Arts Factory showcases artists with a wonderful range of artistic styles. Whether your artistic preferences lean towards modern and contemporary, digital, or classical, there’s something for all art lovers to enjoy at the Arts Factory.
The Arts Factory also offers space for other community events, including yoga, poetry readings, educational opportunities, theatrical performances, and more throughout the year in Las Vegas.
If you find yourself in the mood for a cocktail or a nibble, the Arts Factory is home to the 18Bin Bar & Restaurant and also a really cool art vending machine where you grab something fun to take home with you.
It only makes sense that someplace known as the Art District is filled with wonderful art galleries. Many of the galleries are located right on Main Street or Charleston Boulevard, so you can easily pop in while you’re strolling along with the main areas of the Arts District. However, there are also many great galleries tucked in along other areas of 18b that are definitely worth a short walk off to visit.
Some galleries are still listed as temporarily closed since the pandemic, while there are others that have popped up. This list of which galleries are open and which have closed is one that seems to still be in flux. Here’s a list of some of the galleries that are confirmed as being open at the time of this writing, but it’s best to consider this list as your starting point since there are surely some other wonderful galleries not on this list that will be open during your visit.
- Conrad West Gallery on West Colorado Avenue
- Gallery 54 on Main Street
- AW Gallery on Charleston Blvd
- RM Photo Gallery on 1st Street in Art Square
- Pricilla Fowler Fine Art on Commerce Street
- Bex Nikols on East Charleston Blvd
- Perfect Darkness Fine Art Studio on Charleston Blvd
- Recycled Propaganda on Main Street
- Jaikowski Studios on Charleston Blvd
Shops & Antiquing
Antique shops are sort of like art venues on their own. You’ll find a fun collection of unique and funky antique shops for anyone if you love antiquing. The Las Vegas Arts District also offers a great selection of unique and boutique-style shopping experiences that are refreshingly different from many of the retailers that you’ll find on the Vegas Strip.
Antique Alley is a staple, located in the heart of the Arts District on Main Street. They offer more than 12,000 sq feet of space dedicated to nothing but the best and most eclectic collection of antiques and vintage goods around. Antique Alley is home to at least 65 antique vendors, so you’re sure to find something there that catches your eye or sparks your interest.
Not your typical antique store, Vintage Vegas says they specialize in “Dead People’s Junk and Cool Crap,” plus they also claim to have pieces of history from every vintage casino in Las Vegas. This stop should definitely be on the list of every collector of vintage goods that veers away from the mainstream.
Located on Main Street in the Arts District, Modern Mantiques has been voted the best antique store in Las Vegas. The name gives you a bit of a clue as to what you’ll find inside. Here’s a hint – you’re not going to find vintage lace gloves or silk floral arrangements. Instead, this is the spot for antique goods such as sports memorabilia, military memorabilia, antique toys, antique scientific and medical tools and instruments, maps, nautical items, slot machines, and antique automotive memorabilia.
Main Street Mercantile
Main Street Mercantile offers an eclectic collection of antiques and memorabilia. You’ll find everything from the tame to the funky under this roof. In addition to collectibles, housewares, and unique finds, Main Street Mercantile is also a great spot to find retro fashions from just about every era in modern history.
More Antique & Retro Shopping in the Arts District
- Glam Factory Vintage – Find all sorts of retro kitsch, from glamorous to just really cool.
- The Red Kat Vintage – Curated collection of vintage clothing and accessories
- Buffalo Exchange – Clean out your closet and score someone else’s discarded treasures.
- Party Fowl Antiques – A wide, eclectic collection of unique antiques and collectibles.
- Main Street Peddlers Antique Mall – Not your typical cluttered, haphazardly arranged antique mall. This is an antique mall with a clean, retro-modern feel.
Gifts, Clothing, and Boutique Shopping
- Rockin Betty – Fun, retro pinup, and rockabilly vintage clothing for women.
- For The Love, LV – A boutique collection of mostly women’s clothing and accessories, with some menswear sprinkled throughout.
- The Good Wolf Lifestyle Company – Men’s and Women’s clothing, accessories, and home goods.
- Local Oasis – Find all the cute, colorful, and uplifting gifts and accessories that your heart desires.
- Hotflash Designs – Retro-inspired fabrics, patterns, and more for your retro-inspired fashion creations.
- Rainbow Feathers – Yes, this really is an entire store devoted to feathers of every type and every color.
- Waves Las Vegas – Designer and vintage-inspired clothing and shoes with a modern, edgy vibe.
- Burnt BB Customs – Cool, uniquely designed upcycled clothing with each design being completely original.
- Alt Rebel – The source in the Las Vegas Arts District for cool, trendy buy-sell-trade attire for men and women.
- Nightmare Toys – The name says it all. Find toys for the lover of all the iconic horror movies, including Chucky Dolls, REDRUM lunch boxes, Walking Dead masks, and more. This is definitely more of a toy store for adults and older teens than it is for the little kiddos!
- Legendarys Art Supply – Get your graffiti on with all the art supplies you could ever dream of. A small selection of themed clothing is also available.
Museums in the Arts District
The Las Vegas Arts District and Downtown area are great spots in the city to find some of the best Las Vegas oddities. There are some museums that aren’t exactly in the heart of the Arts District but just outside of it in the Downtown area, so they’re definitely worth considering adding to your itinerary when you’re in the area.
- Mob Museum
- Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum
- Burlesque Hall of Fame
Restaurants & Bars in the Arts District
When it comes to restaurants & bars in Downtown Las Vegas, many believe that Fremont Street is the place to be. While we can’t argue that Fremont Street offers some great culinary and boozy experiences, the Arts District has some treasures of its own.
Some favorite restaurants and eateries in the Arts District include 18bin, which offers a great casual dining experience with lunch, dinner, and brunch menus that will satisfy any craving. They offer a nice selection of vegan options, along with a cocktail menu that could easily be described as dangerous.
More favorite spots to grab a bite include Taverna Costera, The Cornish Pastry Co., Main Street Provisions, Good Pie Pizza, and the Arts District Kitchen, just to name a few.
There’s also a great selection of local breweries where you can quench your thirst with premium craft beers. We love Hop Nuts Brewing and Able Baker Brewing. CraftHaus and HUDL Brewing are also close by and are considered part of the Las Vegas Brewery Row.
For a more traditional Las Vegas bar scene with an artsy vibe, check out ReBar + Davy’s, Artifice, The Velveteen Rabbit, Berlin Bar, or Ninja Karaoke.
Coffee Shops in the Las Vegas Arts District
It’s easy to spend an entire day (or night) exploring everything that’s going on in the Arts District. Maybe you’re not always ready for a meal or cocktails, but a little fuel in the form of a caffeinated beverage never hurts. If you’re tank is running low, there are some great coffee shops throughout 18b, each with its own unique cultural vibe.
- Makers & Finders
- Vesta Coffee Roasters
- Dragon’s Alley Coffee Co.
- Golden Fog Coffee
- Bungalow Coffee Company
Cannabis In the Arts District
Recreational marijuana is legal in Las Vegas for anyone who is 21 years or older. You’ll find a decent handful of dispensaries and provisioning centers scattered around Las Vegas and the Downtown Area. MedMen is the main provisioning center within the Arts District. The staff is super helpful and friendly and is there to help guide you through their expansive inventory.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for at MedMen, there are several other provisioning centers that aren’t too far from the Arts District, although they’re technically not within the boundaries of 18b. Thrive Cannabis Marketplace is the next closest and gets rave customer reviews.
One thing to remember is that while Las Vegas is seen as an anything-goes kind of city, they are pretty strict about their marijuana laws. Smoking marijuana is only allowed on private property, and it is illegal to smoke in public spaces. Most hotels also prohibit marijuana use of any type on their property.
Getting There & Parking
The Las Vegas Arts District is located about a mile south of Fremont Street. The most convenient point of entry into the Arts District is the Charleston Main Street intersection. When you look at a street map of Las Vegas, it seems like everything is crammed together and totally walkable from one point to the next. In reality, you’re going to want to figure out transportation, even if you’re only coming from a mile away on Fremont Street.
Fortunately, there are ride share options, and there’s free public transportation called the Downtown Loop Shuttle that will take you from Downtown Las Vegas, through the Arts District, and also to some of the nearby attractions in the area. This free shuttle also makes stops at the Strat Hotel and City Hall, which offers a free parking garage nearby.
If you drive your own car, there is metered parking along the streets within the Arts District, and there are several parking lots located throughout the Arts District. Keep in mind that the area can get crowded, and during peak times, parking can be a bit of a bear. It’s best to at least bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes, just in case.
Discover and Enjoy the Arts District in Vegas
Who says the casinos and entertainment on the Strip are the only things that Vegas has going for it? There’s an entire world of arts and culture that’s just waiting to be explored in Sin City, and the Arts District is the epicenter of it all. Make sure to plan some time to spend exploring the Arts District and the Downtown area during your next visit to Las Vegas, NV.