Las Vegas has always been best known for its famous casinos and over-the-top hotels. Add to this a world class dining scene, a desert climate and proximity to the USA’s greatest natural wonders, and it’s little wonder Sin City is one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations.
What’s less well known is that Vegas is also a shopping destination to rival New York, with everything from luxury brands and mammoth department stores to bargain-filled factory outlets and quirky one-off boutiques, all in or within moments of the city centre. Here’s our guide to the best on and off-Strip locations.
On the Strip
With six department stores and more than 200 speciality shops and boutiques, Fashion Show is the largest shopping destination on the Las Vegas Strip – in fact, it’s one of the largest malls in the USA, and is top of nearly every shopper’s hitlist. Not only does it contain Sin City’s only Neiman Marcus and Nordstom but there’s a flagship Macy’s and Dillards too, along with UK favourites Topshop and Topman. Not sure what’s on trend? Live weekend afternoon runway shows on the hour should give you all the inspiration you need.
Spanning the Palazzo and Venetian hotels, the Grand Canal Shoppes house a collection of 80 luxury boutiques and restaurants clustered around a twee reproduction of Venice’s Grand Canal, which weaves its way past streetside cafes and stores – you can even float along it on a replica Italian gondola. Famous names like Harley Davidson, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo all call The Shoppes home.
The super-stylish (and the super-rich) flock to Via Bellagio for the ultimate in retail therapy. The exclusive shops, which include Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Valentino wind their way alongside Lake Bellagio in an arcade-style setting designed to replicate a Milanese galleria.
Another long-established mall with the Italian touch is The Forum Shops at Caesars, with Neopolitan street scenes and fountain shows entertaining the crowds. Still an upmarket destination, the Forum Shops mall does at least contain plenty of stores with less stratospheric prices, such as Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and H&M.
The futuristic The Shops at Crystals is the 500,000 square foot entertainment and retail space at the heart of what was formerly known as the CityCenter project, the largest private construction project in the USA when it opened back in 2009. It includes 2,400 private residences, and the Vdara, Aria and Mandarin Oriental hotels. The dramatic crystalline and metal-clad structure is home to yet more luxury brands like Cartier, Stella McCartney and Tom Ford but even if you’re strapped for cash it’s worth a wander inside for the architecture alone.
Off the Strip
Las Vegas Premium Outlets have a location to the north of the city, and another on the southern end of the strip past the airport. Both are a bargain hunter’s dream come true, with heavily reduced fashion from the likes of Burberry, Ted Baker and Juicy Couture alongside some great deals on old-school designer footwear brands like Vans, Converse and Puma.
Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas lies about 40 miles outside of Vegas in the tiny town of Primm on the California/Nevada border. Head here, and you’ll be able to make substantial savings of up to 75% off designer fashions and other goods, at factory outlets from Coach, Gap, Hollister, Levi’s Outlet and Skechers USA, among others. If you don’t have access to car, never fear – there are regular shuttle services from the city.
On a smaller scale and with a more eclectic range of stores, the Downtown Container Park on Fremont Street is an open-air destination formed of ex-shipping containers and modular cubes. In addition to the mix of galleries, bars, restaurants and shops – which include vintage boutiques, tattoo parlours, a cigar specialist and a gambler’s general store – there’s also a wedding chapel and a 4k geodesic dome for ultra-HD, 360 degree visual entertainment.
Virgin Atlantic operates flights to Las Vegas from London Gatwick and Manchester.