Take A Gambol

One Las Vegas insider shows her hand — get your credit cards ready for a shopping trip on the Strip.

From the tony Tiffany & Co. at the Via Bellagio shops to the outlet malls that bookend the Strip, Las Vegas holds something for every shopper. You can spend days in the malls along the Strip and still feel you’ve only scratched the surface of all there is to see, do and buy. But that’s what makes it Vegas — there’s always something bigger, better and brighter being added to the list. Whether you just won big or you’re looking for bargains, here are the stops you don’t want to miss.

Fashion Show Mall
The Fashion Show’s recent $1 billion expansion wasn’t just about adding big name players such as Bloomingdale’s Home. The suits also added a multimillion-dollar runway that stretches down the center of the mall’s west wing and holds regular fashion shows. You’re also apt to see a bowling tournament or a press conference involving retired mob lawyer Mayor Oscar B. Goodman flanked by feathered showgirls.

In addition to Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, shoppers can hit specialty shops such as Betsey Johnson and an oversized Victoria’s Secret. The tables at the Capital Grille and the outside dining at Ra Sushi offer fabulous views of the Strip and Wynn Resort, plus some of the Strip’s best people watching.

The Fashion Show is the only real “mall” on the Strip that also caters to the locals, with easy parking and off-Strip access to get in and out quickly sans Las Vegas Boulevard traffic.

The Forum Shops
If you only have time to visit one shopping mall in Vegas, the Forum Shops at Caesars is it. In October 2004, the Forum Shops was expanded all the way to Las Vegas Boulevard. Inside, you’ll find 160 shops and restaurants. From Donald J. Pliner (whose fans include Jessica Simpson, Cameron Diaz and Paula Abdul) to an airy Estée Lauder shop, this mall could take days to conquer.

Stuart Weitzman is a hot shoe store that usually has seasonal sales, especially around the holidays. Each pair of Stuart Wietzman’s shoes takes six to seven weeks to produce, and up to 80 craftsmen handle them before they reach the showroom floor.

The Grand Canal Shoppes
Just down the street is The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, a truly elegant experience with touches of Italian art and décor. There are more than 80 restaurants and retailers, including Ann Taylor, Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic, St. John and Venetzia.

Actors in crisp gondolier outfits take guests on rides through a quarter-mile replica of the Grand Canal in Venice.
Celebrities such as Cher and Madonna have taken gondola excursions during their shopping sprees here.

The Outlets
A 10-minute drive north of the Strip, Las Vegas Premium Outlets is a distinctively upscale collection of 120 designer and name-brand outlet stores gathered into an open-air mall. Check out White House/Black Market, Calvin Klein, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, A/X Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor, Elie Tahari, Guess, Lacoste, St. John, Theory and more.

If you have time, an excursion to Primm, home of the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas, is always fun. It’s 30 minutes south of Vegas, but includes Versace, Anne Klein, Banana Republic, Burberry, Coach, Vogue Italia, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Old Navy and more. Ride the Shoppers’ Shuttle from either the MGM Grand or Desert Passage.

The Local Faves
An added bonus of Vegas shopping is the amazing second-hand selection at consignment shops. Connected locals buy luxury items but can only wear them once to restaurant openings or
casino unveilings. It’s Paradise Boutique owner Sandy Blumen, who was once married to a local hotelier, is one such fashion maven. While cleaning out her closets, she realized she had enough once-worn dresses to open her own shop. So she did. It’s Paradise Boutique features designs by Prada, Gucci, Versace and Chanel.

Thriller Clothing Co. is a draw for many Las Vegas entertainers, who purchase items for their performances. It’s also a favorite for locals and tourists who want to find outfits for nighttime clubbing. Owner Marrie Hill designs many of the outfits.

Antiques (Really!)
If you’re afflicted with the collector’s bug, you’ll find everything you need in Las Vegas’ steady antiques market. Decorators from Hollywood often come here to scout for old Las Vegas signs, matchbooks, ashtrays, glasses and other kitsch. The shop owners are a tight-knit bunch who work together and can recommend where to find a specific item if they don’t have it.

Looking over vintage slot models at Showcase Slots & Antiquities is like taking a journey through the history of gaming, from the old spring-driven models to the electromagnetic hardware of the ’70s. Any slot machine you purchase can be shipped directly to your front door.

Antique Mall of America is huge — 43,000 square feet — and packed with antique art, furniture, home décor, china and Vegas collectibles.
In the heart of old downtown, Main Street Antiques, Art & Collectibles is a charming way to spend an afternoon combing for collectibles, rare finds, Elvis memorabilia, cool casino antiques, tiki trinkets, ’50s decor and more. The independent stall owners are willing to haggle, but make sure they write the price on the piece before you take it to the main cashier for a quick checkout.

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