Out in Las Vegas: Shopping

Author: , April 30th, 2014

LinQ

There are so many “malls” in Las Vegas, especially if you count all the ones at the casinos. For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to discount most of those, as they tend to have the same stores (Prada, Tiffany, Michel Kors, etc), most of which offer really expensive fashion at really high prices.

Here are our favorite shopping spots along the strip, several of them new.

crystals-04CRYSTALS
http://www.crystalsatcitycenter.com

Crystal is the small mall that is sandwiched between the Cosmopolitan and the Aria casinos in City Center, the last really big development along the strip. We like Crystal mostly for the art:

crystals-01

First and foremost, the “Treehouse” (below) – an amazing three-story wooden structure that houses about half of the Mastro restaurant on the second floor. Stretching from the ground level, it’s kind of a tree-mushroom-hookah pipe structure, but none of those descriptions really do it justice. Suffice it to say you will be wowed when you first see it. More on Mastro in our Vegas dining post later.

Crystals Treehouse

Glacia” – sort of a fountains-as-popsicles art. These columns are cooled to minus 6 degrees, and then water flows over to freeze them into giant white, well, pop sickles. Then they melt, and the whole thing repeats. You’ll be forgiven if you think they are giant styrofoam columns the first time you see them.

Crystals Halo“Halo” – think of this as whirlpool art. A number of clear plastic columns house whirlpools of varying strengths and sizes that ebb and flow before your eyes.

Starbucks – the giant nest sculptures that surround this open-air Starbucks in the middle of the center make this one of the coolest Starbucks we’ve ever seen.

Light Trees – these trees on the second level put us in mind of the giant tree of life from Avatar. You’ll want to reach up and entwine your arm with the glowing light strands.

The shops here are fairly standard, but this mall, with its great art and interesting open spaces is well worth a visit.

LinQTHE LINQ
http://www.thelinq.com

Sandwiched between the new Quad Casino (formerly the Imperial) and the Flamingo, this center is one long pedestrian boulevard. It’s filled with some great little boutique shops like Koto and the overpriced but fabulous Kitson, where you can find some cool knick-knacks – Koto in particular had some really cool cords for your iPad or iPhone.

Linq - KotoSome of this stuff can be very expensive. We found a grey zip-up sweatshirt with rainbow bands at Kitson that we really liked – then we checked the price tag – $165. For a sweatshirt. Yikes.

There are also a number of restaurants and bars along this new shopping avenue – we’ll talk about Flour and Barley, the pizza place we tried on our last night, later in our restaurants post.

linq-02The LinQ also has its own concierge, and they will help you with just about anything, for free. They made us reservations at a restaurant in a different part of the strip and got us set up with a Total Rewards card – which came with free passes to see Diva, Frank Marino’s drag show at the Quad. Which we had just bought tickets for ten minutes before. Sigh.

The LinQ is also where you’ll find one of Vegas’s most amazing new attractions, the High Roller, billed as the highest observation wheel in the world. More on that in our Things to Do post.

There’s a gorgeous fountain in the heart of the LinQ center that is the perfect place to meet friends or just hang out. We loved the LinQ – it had great shopping, a relaxed atmosphere and some fantastic dining and views.

fashion-showFASHION SHOW
http://www.thefashionshow.com

if you’re looking for a selection of “regular” stores, check out the Fashion Show mall, at the north end of the strip across from the Wynn Hotel. Unlike most of the shopping malls in the casinos, this mall is filled with stores that sell everyday things – close stores, apartment store Macy’s, Apple Store, and ABC store for Hawaiian treats, and many other things.

We get tired of walking through some of the malls of the casinos, beautiful as they are, because they’re all the same things – Donna Karan, Tiffany, and Michael Kors – all things clothing, fashion, and, most of all, expensive.

Fashion Show also boasts not one, but two Starbucks, perfect for a little refreshment on a hot day. And are some great restaurants here that won’t break your budget. If you left something at home – a piece of clothing, cosmetics, toiletries, or whatever, you can probably find it here, for a lot less than you’ll pay on the strip.

Miracle Mile ShopsMIRACLE MILE SHOPS – PLANET HOLLYWOOD
http://www.miraclemileshopslv.com

Formerly the Aladdin, the mall here still has a few of its moroccan touches – you can see them in the “building roofs” that line the tops of several sections of the mall.

Miracle Mile ShopsBut otherwise it’s all new. This is one of the few places in the heart of the strip where you can also find everyday stores – there’s even a Walgreens at the front corner of the casino.

Plus there’s a fairly cool rainfall feature in the mall – check out the regular thunderstorms that rumble through.

RETRO VEGAS

Although we didn’t make it into downtown this trip, the Center folks told us about a great furniture and retro store that’s also gay-owned. It’s called Retro Vegas and it’s on Main Street. Stop by of you have the chance.

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