The South Strip: Las Vegas Blvd for the Next Generation
As Las Vegas continues to expand, locals and tourists alike seek out the next place to visit, play, or even live. The rapid expansion of Las Vegas has often been a running joke among some who say that the official bird of the city is the crane: the construction crane. Locals and frequent visitors will attest to how quickly acres of dry dirt can become a collection of houses, restaurants, commercial buildings, or hotels. Indeed, the city continues to prove it’s a miracle in the desert. But where will the next boom take place, and where should you go to check out the scene for yourself? The South Strip.
Everyone knows about Downtown Las Vegas: the classic casinos, the Fremont Street Experience, and the Arts District. And what some might refer to as The Strip-Central or Midtown is extremely well known: a collection of world-renowned hotels and restaurants showcasing the tourist and leisure experiences. However, the South Strip has been growing for well over a decade and continues to come into its own (with some of the most exciting changes ahead).
How can you designate the South Strip? Particularly anything South of the 215/15 freeway interchange suitably fits into this location. And even though the brand new Allegiant Stadium is technically in the Strip-Central region, its southern placement close to this interchange will undoubtedly be one of the next catalysts for the continual transformation of the South Strip in the immediate years to come.
Presently, the South Strip serves as a reminder of what the Las Vegas landscape continues to attempt to balance: housing and residential meets tourism and hospitality. If you drive south down Las Vegas Blvd just beyond the freeway interchange, you will notice an amalgamation of motels, hotels, timeshares, and private residences (some of which are the oldest in the city sitting on an acre or so of property). However, if you are not just out for a drive south down Las Vegas Blvd, here are some go-to stops as you discover more about the South Strip (geographically organized from north to south).
Town Square: If you really want to take a few hours to shop and dine, you must check out Town Square. This retail and restaurant complex has continued to grow substantially over the last several years. Including a movie theater and one of the best known country-themed bars, Stoney’s, Town Square is worth the visit for morning, noon, or night time play.
Las Vegas South Premium Outlets: This mega-shopping center has been a mainstay on Las Vegas Blvd for many, many years. However, even in 2020, it continues to be a frequent stop for visitors and residents alike. Though the future of in-person retail is uncertain around the country, outlet shopping here proves resilient and appeals to all ages.
Bootlegger Italian Bistro: No trip down the South Strip is complete without a visit to this iconic Italian restaurant. Beloved by locals, tourists of the city will know that they are in the right spot when there is a wait just to sit down around the bar. It has represented the classic Vegas experience for over 70-years!
Bass Pro Shop: For any avid outdoors person, particularly those who enjoy some fishing, Bass Pro Shop is the biggest name in the industry. The Las Vegas location is not right on Las Vegas Blvd but just one block away using Blue Diamond Road. The enormous facility is family-friendly and provides hands-on activities for little ones to enjoy.
Antique Mall of America: Las Vegas has become better known in recent years for its antique and pawn shops (in part thanks to recent television shows). Yet, one antique store that can go overlooked– but arguably the most impressive in scope and space – is this one. Called a “mall” for a reason, plan to take a few hours to browse through the classic collections.
Don Vito’s: Once you’ve made it this far down the strip, you have reached the South Point Hotel and Casino, and it’s here that you find this fantastic Italian restaurant. It has gone under the radar for years as some vie for the more well-known spots on the Strip-Central. However, the friendly service and superb array of Italian options will keep you coming back.
Silverado Ranch Park: Just a block away from the South Point is this spacious, green park. A gem for locals and visitors to the South Strip, the park includes two huge dog parks, baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, and even one of Las Vegas’ largest outdoor skateparks. This is an ideal space for all in this social-distance era.
After the intersection of Silverado Ranch Blvd and Las Vegas Blvd, the Strip continues south with a collection of smaller locals’ bars and some new freeway exits, which have been it more accessible for visitors to experience the South Strip as they come into Vegas. The M Resort, right now, is the last significant location currently placed at the “end” of Las Vegas Blvd. However, between the South Pointe and the M Resort, there is still so much space to be developed, whether it be new homes, new small businesses, or perhaps new casinos to come?
One of the most exciting changes for the South Strip is the ever-closer reality of the high-speed rail, which is planned to be housed on the South Strip. As reported by various media outlets over the summer, the proposed Xpress West Line would be a bullet train connecting Apple Valley in California to Las Vegas (with the central train station located on a portion of land on Las Vegas Blvd and Warm Springs Road (presently near the aforementioned South Premium Outlets). Work on this line could begin next year and be completed before the middle of the decade. This would revolutionize life and leisure on the South Strip.
So, go visit the South Strip now. And perhaps, the best is yet to come as the South Strip may represent the next generation of Las Vegas Blvd.