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Las Vegas has always been best known for its famous casinos and ridiculously over-the-top hotels. Add to this a desert climate, proximity to some of the USA's greatest natural wonders, pulsating nightlife and a well-respected dining scene, and it's little wonder Sin City is one of the world's foremost tourist destinations.
What many people don't realise is that Las Vegas is also a shopping destination to rival New York, with everything from luxury brands and mammoth department stores to bargain-filled factory outlets, 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 seven 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, Nordstom and Saks Fifth Avenue but there's a flagship Macy's and Dillards too, and it has also recently welcomed UK favourites Topshop and Topman into the fold.
The Shoppes at The Palazzo's main prize is Barney's New York, a decidedly upscale fashion emporium which is always home to the hottest and most cutting-edge design houses, from Balenciago to Carven and Timo Weiland. The high-end mall is also home to some of the world's premier luxury brands including Chloe, Ralph Lauren and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as Mario Batali's Carnevino restaurant.
Connected to The Shoppes at the Palazzo by a pedestrian walkway, the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian house a collection of 80 luxury boutiques and first-class restaurants clustered around a whimsical reproduction of Venice's Grand Canal, weaving its way through the centre's walkways and streetside cafes. Famous names like Swarovski, Kenneth Cole and Herve Leger all call The Shoppes home.
The super-stylish (and the super-rich) flock to Via Bellagio for the ultimate in extravagant retail therapy. The exclusive shops, which include Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Prada and Chanel 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 Caesar's Palace, with Neopolitan street scenes and fountain shows entertaining the crowds. Still an upmarket destination, the Forum Shops does at least contain plenty of stores with slightly less stratospheric prices, such as Nike Town, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and The Disney Store.
The futuristic Crystals at CityCenter is the 500,000 square foot entertainment and retail space which lies at the heart of the MGM Mirage CityCenter project. 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, Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo and Tom Ford but even if you're strapped for cash it's worth a wander inside for the amazing architecture alone.
Off the Strip
Las Vegas Premium Outlets have a location to the north of the city, and another down 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 amazing deals on old-school designer footwear brands such as Vans, Converse and Puma. We definitely advise wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a bottle of water!
If you just want something approaching a regular mall (albeit an enormous one) The Boulevard, about five miles east of the Strip, is a local's favourite. Within the whopping one million square feet of retail space you'll find more than 170 shops, department stores and eateries, a few nail and hair salons, and a massive food court. Home to familiar names like Sears, JCPenney, Foot Locker and Forever 21.
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, Bally, DKNY and Nine West, among others. If you don't have access to car, never fear - there are regular shuttle services from the city.
Virgin Atlantic operates daily flights to Las Vegas from London Gatwick.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.