Frommer's EasyGuide to Las Vegas 2017 (Easy Guides) (2016)

7

SHOPPING

Las Vegas is one of the top shopping destinations in the world, and many visitors list the malls, stores, outlets, and boutiques as one of their primary reasons for coming to the city. Several top-grossing retail outlets are in Las Vegas, including the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, which makes more money per square foot than any other mall in the United States. But in between the big malls and high-end luxury stores are lots of fun and offbeat boutiques that help to make Vegas a shopper’s paradise, no matter your taste or budget.

Because they are as much tourist attractions as shopping destinations, the malls, stores, and boutiques on the Strip are open longer than you may expect, generally from 10am until 11pm on weekdays, and until midnight on weekends. Once you get off the Strip, things become more normal, with typical operating hours between 9am and 6 or 7pm. Some of the smaller independent stores are closed on Sundays.

Generally speaking, the further away you get from the Strip, the cheaper the prices. This applies to just about all categories of merchandise, even at name-brand chain stores where they will bump up prices by a few bucks just because they can. So if you’re planning on getting a pair of shoes or jeans at a familiar chain store, check to see if they have an outlet elsewhere in the city and you can often save yourself some dough.

This also holds true for sundry items like toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant. If you buy these at the hotel gift shops, expect to pay significantly more than you would if you go off the Strip to a regular retailer like Target or Wal-Mart.

Las Vegas Shopping

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SOUTH STRIP

Crystals Red-Star1_redstar1    The jagged, sparkly facade that is front and center on Las Vegas boulevard is a dramatic come hither for the high end shops within: Fendi, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co. The Shops at Crystals has often been called the jewel (see what they did there?) of Las Vegas retail for the one percent. There’s not only the largest Louis Vuitton in North America and the biggest Prada in the United States, but also the 10,000-square-foot Tiffany & Co. All that ultra-modern design of the exterior is offset by high ceilings and plenty of white space inside. If there weren’t stores lining the walls, you might think this was an art gallery, with plenty of art installations inside the shops themselves as well. Louis Vuitton has a permanent installation by light and space artist James Turrell, which you can see by appointment only, while a 7,000 Swarovski-crystal horse chandelier dazzles inside Stella McCartney. Have a nosh at Wolfgang Puck’s pizzeria, or relax with one of many craft beers at Todd English P.U.B. (p. 104). The two-story wooden structure that stands in the middle is called The Treehouse and houses tony seafood restaurant Mastro’s Ocean Club on the second floor, as well as concierge shopping services on the first. And yes, it does look like a bong. The mall is open Sunday through Thursday 10am until 11pm, and Friday and Saturday 10am to midnight, but individual store and restaurant hours may vary. 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at CityCenter). www.simon.com/mall/the-shops-at-crystals. Red-Phone_redphone 702/590-9299.

Hershey’s Chocolate World Red-Star2_redstar2    Heaven forbid that when the apocalypse happens, this and M&M’s World across the street lose power at the same time, resulting in Wonka-proportion rivers of chocolate spilling onto Las Vegas Boulevard. A fantasy, for sure, but one that’s welcome at the new flagship at New York–New York. A scaled down, no-ride version of the original theme park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, inside the lures include an 800-pound chocolate Statue of Liberty, the ability to customize your own candy bar wrapper, and a bakery serving cookies, cupcakes, and plenty of other chocolate-infused goodies. Unlike its neighbor, this store is dedicated to more than just the iconic Hershey’s chocolate, including interactive displays about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Jolly Ranchers. It’s open Sunday through Thursday 9am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday 9am to midnight. In New York–New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.hersheyschocolateworldlasvegas.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/437-7439.

M&M’s World Red-Star2_redstar2    The four stories dedicated solely to the chocolate that melts in your mouth, but not in your hand, is a great place to get the kids all hepped up on sugar before passing out from the crash. Part of a bright, frenetic facade for the Showcase Mall (that includes a giant Coca-Cola bottle and a frenetic Gameworks sign), this shop draws kids like flies to honey. But where else would you go to pay for overpriced M&Ms in a rainbow of colors you’ve never seen before? There’s a 3-D movie that tracks the famed Red and Yellow M&Ms as they search for the monogram they apparently lost in Vegas. It’s cute, and the good teen employees who introduce the film are seemingly more excited about their jobs than one would expect. If you’ve ever wanted your M&Ms to read something other than their original imprint, you can print a personal message—it’ll be short and sweet because of the surface area, but that’s kind of the point of M&Ms. M&M’s World is open daily from 9am until midnight. In the Showcase Mall, 3785 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (just north of the MGM Grand Hotel). www.mmsworld.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/740-2504.

MID-STRIP

The Cosmopolitan Red-Star3_redstar3    There are few real boutique shopping options on the Strip, but most of them can be found on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan. Local kicks shop CRSVR is a destination for sneaker-heads, and you can complete your hipster look with threads from AllSaints. The art-driven resort also features re-purposed cigarette machines that dispense tiny works by local artists for about $5 a pop. Finally, you don’t necessarily have to buy goods here to be on the cutting edge of fashion while in town. Rent the Runway lets you don a designer dress just for a night, while sartorial-minded gents can dress up their suits from Stitched. The majority of the shops are open daily from 10am to 11pm. 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/698-7000.

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Red-Star3_redstar3    A shopping spree at the Forum Shops is one of those events you’d see in the movies, after the hero has beat the house and wants to spend his casino winnings. He steps off the carpeted casino floor through the 48-foot Roman archway and onto the bright, cold, marble floor, surrounded by enormous columns and stone carvings, a painted blue sky on the domed ceiling. A statue of the goddess Fortuna smiles down at our hero, welcoming him and his money. Cue the montage of luxury brand storefronts: John Varvatos, Gucci, Louboutin, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Ferragamo.

For those of us who haven’t hit the Megamillions progressive, it’s still easy to appreciate the glory of the Forum Shops, the 675,000 square feet of retail space that set the tone for the Vegas shopping experience when it opened in 1992. It’s not just high-end stores, but also an elaborate maze with fantastic details. Many just walk through to see the sights.

And those sights are pretty swell. The three-story annex with an entrance directly on Las Vegas Boulevard features arched, cathedral ceilings with frescos painted on them, acres of marble columns, and one of the few spiral escalators in the world. Look for the silly but fun “Fall of Atlantis,” a fountain display in the Roman Great Hall with animatronic statues of gods that spring to life for 11 minutes every hour, on the hour. The show got an upgrade in 2013, so gone are Bacchus, Apollo and Venus, replaced with more lifelike (sort of) statues than the previous ones and an updated story that pits the children of Atlas, Gadrius and Alia, against each other. The multi-sensory experience is completed with 14 LED screens playing video elements relevant to the story, pyrotechnics, and 40 speakers in a surround sound system so powerful it reverberates in your chest as you feel the gods’ wrath.

Even if you don’t have Ferragamo money, there are still plenty of middle-of-the road retail options to enact your own shopping spree, like the largest H&M in the United States, Banana Republic, All Saints, and Diesel.

If all this window-shopping makes you peckish, you have the choice of Vegas-classic Spago, old-school steak house The Palm, or modern sushi from Sushi Roku.

The majority of the shops are open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10am to midnight. In Caesars Palace, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.forumshops.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/893-4800.

Grand Bazaar Shops Red-Star2_redstar2    Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard is one of the busiest intersections on the Las Vegas Strip, with millions of pedestrians strolling past it on a daily basis. The Grand Bazaar Shops seeks to corral these people, hoping they’ll spend their casino winnings (cough!) at this Moroccan-inspired shopping mecca. The Grand Bazaar Shops are, most definitely, a colorful place to shop: a flagship Swarovski outlet anchors the a colorful place to shop, anchored by a Swarovski outlet that has a 14-foot sphere composed of 911 custom-cut Swarovski crystals and more than 1,800 points of light. Nightly, from 9pm to midnight, the Swarovski Starburst coordinates its lights with music and those multi-colored mosaic panels on the roofs of the shops for a dazzling show. Under the canopies, you’ll find mainstream, but eclectic stores such as Superdry and Swatch, plus essentials like Lush, Havaianas and Hammitt. Snack-wise, the Grand Bazaar Shops houses one of the largest Starbucks stores in the country, complete with grandstand seating. Wahlburgers—the burger joint from the reality show of the same name, has been “coming soon” for quite some time, but we’re not holding our breath while there are plenty of other spots to eat close by. The shops are open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 11pm. 3635 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (in front of Bally’s). www.grandbazaarshops.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/736-4988.

The Grand Canal Shoppes Red-Star2_redstar2    The 160 shops and restaurants of this meandering mall are divided between the Venetian and Palazzo, though one side is definitely more ornate than the other. Wander through the Venetian part and you’ll see that the meticulous attention to detail given to the hotel’s recreation of an Italian village is carried through here, including a ceiling that’s cunningly painted like a cloud-dappled sky. Canals flow through the mall, complete with gondoliers who will take you (for a fee, of course) on a slow float on the water. An extra tip will ensure that your captain serenades you as well, from classic opera arias to vintage Rat Pack tunes. Pick up the gondolas near St. Mark’s Square, entertainment central with wandering minstrels, living statues, and more opera singers. The Venetian stores include such affordable choices as Kenneth Cole, Ann Taylor, and Victoria’s Secret. For food, we recommend Mario Batali’s pizza and wine bar, Otto. There’s “outdoor” seating on the faux patio, so order some antipasti and a glass of wine and watch the world go by, like you’d do in Italy.

The Shoppes at Palazzo aren’t as exciting, partially because their setting is elegant but bland, and partially because the Palazzo houses crazy-expensive retailers like Barney’s New York, Jimmy Choo, and Cartier, along with Bauman Rare Books (possibly the only bookstore on the Strip). Navigating from one mall to the other isn’t exactly intuitive, so you may have to ask for directions if you have a specific destination in mind. The shops are open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to midnight. In The Venetian/Palazzo, 3327-3377 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.grandcanalshoppes.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/414-4500.

The LINQ Promenade Red-Star2_redstar2    The ongoing trend in Las Vegas has been to capture the visitors while they’re walking elsewhere. You turn into this unexpected gap between the Flamingo and the LINQ and boom, you’re no longer on the Strip. Suddenly, you’re on a long, narrow urban thoroughfare, complete with palm trees lining either side of the street, along with stores and restaurants. The latest addition to the Las Vegas skyline, the High Roller, is the anchor of this block. You’ll pass Brooklyn Bowl (p. 113), a spot with great fried chicken that also happens to be a concert venue featuring indie acts), a Goorin Brothers hat shop, and sneaker spot 12amrun (where you can buy limited-edition kicks). Need a cupcake to go? You can purchase one, 24 hours, at the cupcake ATM on the side of Sprinkles, a Los Angeles-based bakery, now on this block. This little stretch has a Miami-vibe to it, which all dissipates once you board one of the pods of the world’s tallest observation wheel to see what surrounds you. That’s okay, you didn’t come to Vegas for that SoFlo feel anyway. Hours vary by store. 3454 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (btw The LINQ and The Flamingo). www.thelinq.com. Red-Phone_redphone 800/CAESARS.

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Red-Star1_redstar1    The retail outlets here are just prettier, Vegas-ier versions of the stores at the nice mall in your hometown, like White House Black Market, Lucky Brand, Guess, H&M, and a giant Urban Outfitters that looms over the Strip. But there are some one-off boutiques, as well, such as Fredrick’s of Hollywood, an Original Penguin, and an importer of products made with alpaca wool, one of the last holdouts from when this shopping mall was known as Desert Passage (when the attached hotel was Aladdin). The AXIS Theatre has become the home for major pop residencies, where Britney Spears showcases her Piece of Me, Jennifer Lopez wants to give you All I Have and Lionel Richie plays All The Hits. One thing to note about this mall: it’s not the easiest to navigate. It’s essentially one big circle, so if the shop you want is on one side and you don’t realize you’ve gone the wrong way from the entrance, you might end up taking an entire lap of the mall to get to your destination. The shops are open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to midnight. In Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.miraclemileshopslv.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/866-0704.

Via Bellagio Red-Star2_redstar2    There are only about a dozen boutiques in this well-lit corridor of the Bellagio, and like most everything else at this hotel, they’ll cost you a pretty penny. On the clothing side, that means Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Armani; sparkly, pretty things are on sale from Tiffany & Co. and a timeless timepiece from 18th century watchmaker Breguet is also available here. It’s worth a stroll, even if you’re there just to window shop. That’s still free. Hours vary by store. In Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S. www.bellagio.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/693-7111.

NORTH STRIP

Bonanza Gift and Souvenir Shop Red-Star2_redstar2    Even though it says it’s the “World’s Largest Gift Shop” outside, it isn’t, and we don’t care! It’s 40,000 square feet of pure Vegas-oriented kitsch, from T-shirts to tchotchkes, Native American crafts and jewelry, casino accoutrement like retired dice and decks of playing cards, Elvis stuff, Rat Pack stuff, atomic age stuff—the Vegas things that run from tacky to tasteful—all for really good prices. Besides, no one really wants that plastic yard you drank warm daiquiri from all day when you stumbled down the Strip. It’s open daily from 8am until midnight. 2440 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at Sahara Ave.). www.worldslargestgiftshop.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/385-7359.

Fashion Show Red-Star2_redstar2    That saucer-looking thing hovering over the exterior may make you wonder when it will return to the mothership, but it’s actually the front for probably the best mall on the Strip. The 250 stores here are comprehensive, covering the basics of a mall you’re already familiar with (Gap, Banana Republic, The Limited), some higher-end, cooler options (Superdry, Diesel), all anchored by department stores like Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, and the Silver State’s only Nordstrom. On select weekends, the place lives up to its name and has actual fashion shows within the mall itself. A hydraulic runway lifts out of the floor, sometimes with fog, and models march down. It’s all very dramatic, which is what you’d expect from a mall front and center on the Strip. Fashion Show is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday from 11am to 7pm. 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at the corner of Spring Mountain Rd.). www.thefashionshow.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/369-8382.

DOWNTOWN

Downtown Container Park Red-Star3_redstar3    In an attempt to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas into an urban counterpart to the Strip, it wasn’t enough to add loft apartments, trendy restaurants and mixology bars. The area needed a playground; a communal space for locals and visitors to gather, and Downtown Container Park has filled that role. You’re greeted by the 40-foot Praying Mantis, straight from Burning Man, which breathes fire at night. No matter how many times I’ve passed it, I’m always startled when it happens. The retail side of the venture is housed in an assortment of stacked shipping containers and pre-fabricated cubes that contain independent fashion and art boutiques, jewelers, confectioners, bars, and restaurants. The 20,000-square-foot structure features a courtyard in the middle with a treehouse, complete with a 33-foot slide. Kids are welcome during the day, but after 9pm the whole complex is 21 and over. Live entertainment and outdoor movie nights (when it’s not blazing hot) make this a nice neighborhood oasis for getting away from the real Vegas. The center is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 1am, although store hours vary. 707 Fremont St. (at 7th St.). www.downtowncontainerpark.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/637-4244.

Emergency Arts Red-Star2_redstar2    Right at the heart of the Fremont East Entertainment District, this repurposed medical clinic has been given new life as a multi-purpose gallery, studio, boutique, and cafe space. It’s a collective of local artistsand artisans who produce cool, funky, one-of-a-kind pieces, so the odds of finding something very Vegas, yet completely unique, are good. The Beat Coffeehouse on the first floor is a popular meeting and brainstorming spot for locals, while the Burlesque Hall of Fame is a cute, fun look at the history of showgirls from Vegas and beyond. Gallery and boutique hours vary, but are generally 10am until 6pm. 520 E. Fremont St. www.emergencyartslv.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/409-5663.

Gamblers General Store/Gambler’s Book Club Red-Star1_redstar1    If you can’t bear to leave the gambling in Las Vegas, this is your ultimate resource. Everything you need to furnish your own casino at home is here, and not just dice and decks of cards. We’re talking full-size blackjack and craps tables, slot machines, and roulette wheels too. Need an extra edge on your game? More than 3,000 titles are available with tips and tricks of the trade. As the house is almost always guaranteed to win, we question the veracity of the tips in some of these books, but they’re not bad guides to learning every game inside and out. Want to have casino chips or cards customized for your own habits? They’ll do that, too. The only thing that would make this place better is if there was a Gamblers Anonymous meeting being held in the basement. Just kidding; Las Vegas doesn’t have basements. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. 800 S. Main St. (Downtown). www.gamblersgeneralstore.com. Red-Phone_redphone 800/522-1777 or 702/382-9903.

Las Vegas Premium Outlets North Red-Star1_redstar1    The good news: this shopping emporium is situated between the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, so it’s more convenient to get to than its counterpart, Outlets South (see below). The bad news: it’s outdoors. So on summer days, despite the water misters and misguided attempts at shade, shopping here is unbearable. But if the weather is ok, you’ll get to navigate some decent outlet shopping which includes brands like Diesel, AllSaints, Diane von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana, True Religion and Calvin Klein. The mall is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 9pm, and Sunday from 9am to 8pm. 875 S. Grand Central Pkwy. (at I-15). www.premiumoutlets.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/474-7500.

Retro Vegas Red-Star2_redstar2    Though it’s got Vegas in its name, this little boutique has so much more than vintage Vegas design in its selection. There’s a good chunk of beautiful Danish and midcentury modern furniture that many collectors would love to get their hands on. And for those who want to take home a bit of Sin City history, there’s all kinds of items that evoke the best of Vegas vices, including old school, sturdy, colored glass ashtrays from casinos of Vegas past, and delicate, ornate cocktail glasses from the Mad Men era. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. 1131 S. Main St. (at Charleston Ave.). www.retro-vegas.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/384-2700.

The Toy Shack Red-Star3_redstar3    Probably the only reason to visit Neonopolis (besides parking), The Toy Shack is where Jimmy Jiminez, a toy expert who makes frequent appearance on the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, actually works. The story carries everything from pristine collectibles to new-fangled toys, dolls, and action figures. Comic book nerds (and the people who love them) use the goods here for superhero cosplay parties; the country’s biggest collection of Hot Wheels is a big draw for those sorts of aficionados. Who says you can’t play with toys when you’re an adult? The Toy Shack is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11am until 10pm. In Neonopolis, 450 E. Fremont St. www.worldfamoustoyshack.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/538-8600.

SHOPPING GETS REAL

The proliferation of reality TV shows has turned an island’s worth of Average Joes, from ice road truck drivers and overly tanned Jersey boys, into pop-culture stars. Although you can’t go trawling on a fishing boat with your favorite demi-celebrities, in Las Vegas you can visit the shopkeepers-turned-stars who appear on some of the most popular History Channel show.

Pawn Stars is set at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, 713 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (www.gspawn.com; Black-Phone_bphone 702/385-7912). Operated by the colorful Harrison family, the store is heavy on hocked jewelry—but there are lots of other odds and ends worth a quick browse. The bad news is that the Harrisons themselves are rarely on-site anymore, which can be a disappointment to the hordes of people waiting in line (seriously!) at all times of the day to get inside. But there is a life-sized cut-out of Chumlee, Rick, Corey, and Richard to pose in front of (because if you don’t get a selfie, well, the visit never really happened, right?). The store is open daily from 9am until 9pm.

You’ll have a much better chance of seeing people you’ve seen on TV at Rick’s Restorations, 1112 S. Commerce St. (www.ricksrestorations.com; Black-Phone_bphone 702/366-7030), where American Restoration is filmed. Owner Rick Dale, his wife Kelly, and a crew of lovable oddballs restore classic Americana (soda machines, gas pumps, bicycles, slot machines, and more) in a rambling facility that offers tours, a showroom, a gift shop, and more. Big windows in the public areas give visitors a glimpse into the working facility, and people from the show, including Rick, will often pop out to say hi and sign autographs. The restorations themselves are stunning accomplishments, but you’re going to need a high credit limit to afford any of it. Recently offered gas pumps, for instance, started at around $7,000 and went up from there. The store is open Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm.

JUST OFF THE STRIP

The Boulevard Red-Star1_redstar1    Las Vegans off the Strip; they’re just like you! They need large appliances and new backpacks for the kids for school and sensible shoes, and they get them at malls just like this one, like you would at home. The selection of stores here are of the everyday kind: Foot Locker, Lane Bryant, JCPenney. They come in handy when you need to a pair of shoes that aren’t wrecking your feet, or if you forgot to pack khakis for your conference, at prices that are probably a little more reasonable than at boutiques on the Strip. It’s close enough that it won’t cost you too much in cab fare, and it’s a nice little taste to see what real life is like in Sin City. The mall is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday from 11am to 7pm. 3528 S. Maryland Pkwy. (btw. Twain Ave. and Desert Inn Rd.). www.boulevardmall.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/735-8268.

Zia Record Exchange Red-Star2_redstar2    Record stores? They still have these? Yes, and this is actually a very good one. Okay, so there are more CDs than vinyl on the shelves (but still way more vinyl than we’ve seen in quite some time), and the selection is vast. Hunting through the crates you might find anything from Mumford and Sons and Tech N9ne to Rolling Stones’ classic Sticky Fingers and Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s Django and Jimmie—it’s an eclectic collection. Vegas bands, obviously, get a lot of love, with a bin dedicated exclusively to local up-and-comers, who sometimes even do in-store performances and signings. Both locations are open daily from 10am to midnight. 4503 W. Sahara Ave. www.ziarecords.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/233-4942. 4225 S. Eastern Ave., Ste. 17. Red-Phone_redphone 702/735-4942.

Zombie Apocalypse Store Red-Star2_redstar2    There’s been some speculation that should the zombie apocalypse (or insert your favorite doomsday scenario) happen, Las Vegas would hold on for quite awhile before the complete collapse of civilization. Electricity is harnessed from Hoover Dam rather than fossil fuels, the city is surrounded by mountains (and zombies aren’t the greatest climbers), and Sin City is already excellent at water conservation, not to mention the Southern Nevada Health District’s website has a handy primer on zombie prevention (it’s really about the flu). All of that, plus this store, which embraces both the zombie fantasy as well as real doomsday preparation (a big deal in Las Vegas). Aside from zombie survival guides, medical quarantine signs and souvenir T-shirts that say “This is my zombie killing T-shirt,” the store offers survival gear like bug out bags, stun guns, knives, and military-style meals-ready-to-eat. There are worse places to be when the world ends. The store is usually open every day 10am to 7pm (though hours vary seasonally). 3420 Spring Mountain Rd. (at Polaris Ave.). www.zombieapocalypsestore.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/320-0703.

SOUTH & EAST OF THE STRIP

Las Vegas Premium Outlets South Red-Star1_redstar1    The sister location at the north end of the Strip might have fancier brands, but this one has the real bargains. There are a few shared names between the two outposts, like the BCBGMaxAzria, DKNY and Calvin Klein. For the most part the rest on the south side are old familiar faces like Dressbarn, Levi’s, and Tommy Hilfiger, and it seems like these stores often have better deals than the ones up north. It’s also a straight shot down Las Vegas Boulevard to get here, in the event you’re driving. But the real reason this one wins out? The added bonus of being indoors and air-conditioned. The mall is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 9pm and Sunday from 9am to 8pm. 7400 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at Warm Springs Rd.). www.premiumoutlets.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/896-5599.

Town Square Red-Star1_redstar1    This is the closest shopping center to the Strip where you’ll see actual Las Vegans spending time, thanks to its town-like design. The 150-or-so stores and restaurants are along tree-lined streets that are set up in a grid like city blocks. You can even park in front of the stores themselves if there’s a spot open; if not, there’s also a couple of massive parking lots and covered garages. Stroll past quaint storefronts of an Apple store, Armani Exchange, Paper Source, and Tommy Bahama. Catch a blockbuster at the 18-screen movie theater, chill out with a pint or three at Yardhouse, or grab a bite at one of the dozen (mostly chain) restaurants, like Brio Tuscan Grille or Bonefish Grill. For kids, there’s even a park in the center to play in, and a giant Gameworks, complete with a bowling alley, arcade, and laser tag. Baobab Stage is a live theater venue where performers from Strip productions spend their night off doing cabaret shows. It’s pretty much all the stuff you’d do at this type of mall in your hometown, this one just happens to have a Las Vegas Boulevard address. Hours vary by store. 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at I-215). www.mytownsquarelasvegas.com. Red-Phone_redphone 702/269-5000.