While the casino at the California Hotel is not my favorite, it is nice for a variety of reasons, mainly because of its location a block off of Fremont St. and in an area that is considerably quieter, which is extremely nice, especially at night during the light show. Since I’ve seen the “Fremont St. Experience” many times, I try my best to avoid it the best I can , since the decibel level between the light show sounds and all of the “music” from the stage bands is deafening. TIP: Unless you’re into unbear-ably loud “music” (and I use the term loosely), steer clear of Fremont St. on the hour at night unless you have some very good ear plugs.
The California, which opened in 1975, is definitely not one of the
typical Las Vegas luxury casinos, (which is another reason that I
like it) but rather one with a certain old world charm from days
gone by. Since the downtown Boyd properties, which also in-
cludes the Fremont and Main Street Station, caters to a large
extent to Hawaiian and Pacific Islander tourists, it is no wonder
that they have adopted a Hawaiian theme. I was told that up to
90% of the visitors that stay at one of the Boyd properties are
from this group, with the largest majority over the age of 50.
Let’s just say that you won’t get the California mixed-up with the
The California has more than 1,000 video and reel slot and video
poker machines on two floors, some 28 table games, as well as a
sports book. They have several dining areas from the fancy
(Redwood Bar and Grill) to the casual (Market Street Café, which
is open 24 hours), as well as three bars. Unlike many of the other
Vegas hotel/casinos though, they do not have a buffet. You must
take a short walk across the enclosed walkway to their sister
casino at Main Street Station where you can get one of the best
meals in Vegas (in my opinion) at a very reasonable price at the
Garden Court Buffet.
In summary: the California is pretty much midstream. It doesn’t
have the glitz and glamour as the Wynn or Bellagio, but nor is it
on the redneck level as Ellis Island (which is really more of my
kind of place). For me, my preferred casino of choice is based
primarily on atmosphere and comfort level. So, as I’ve stated,
while the California is not my favorite, it is comfortable, casual,
and laidback which has me returning on each trip to Vegas
A free shuttle service to the Las Vegas Strip is available for guests at the hotel and casino. Rooms feature cable TV with pay-per-view options. Fremont Street Experience is 5 minutes’ walk away.A work desk is available in all guest rooms at the California Hotel and Casino. Free toiletries are also provided in the en suite bathroom. The roof top pool is available for guest relaxation.