With a painted fresco overhead, spacious walkways and a gondola-laden canal, the Venetian provides the perfect ambience for shopping. Using the canal as a guide, patrons sweep along twists and turns, with plenty to browse along the journey. The strolling juggler and the opera trio, dressed in regal opulence, keep all entertained. And the human statue stationed in St. Mark's Square and the Oculus provides plenty of amusement.

You almost can hear the birds chirping (or is it the violinists?) as you walk among the detailed façades and street lamps, popping in and out of shops. The walkways converge in the simulated open-air St. Mark's square, where vendors offer Venetian glass figurines, trinket boxes and other souvenirs on their carts. Mosey around the spacious marketplace in search of treasures -- modest glass-blown figurines can be found for approximately $20. Masks, pens and other baubles also are abundant. And, of course, there's plenty of Venetian-logo merchandise for those who want to take home a more direct reminder.

This is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll -- even if you just want to window-shop, no one will bother you. Shopkeepers are attentive and courteous but don't hover over your shoulder. The specialty stores are what make the Grand Canal Shoppes special. The Venetian glass found here is exquisite; don't miss Ripa de Monti for the best selection of hand-blown fish, dolphins and other aquatic life. Next door, at Il Prato, you'll find masks, marionettes and fine papers, as well as ornate frames, mirrors and delicate accoutrements for creating a personalized wax seal. This is one selection you'll want to buy out. The Regis Galerie boasts fine bronze pieces and Faberge eggs. But look behind you before you turn!

Make sure to stop by Peter Lik gallery, where'll you'll witness some of the most beautiful digitally-enhanced nature photographs in the world. For something fun and quirky, make sure to stop by Jack Gallery. Jack Gallery features colorful interpretations of Snoopy, Tinkerbell, a cat rendition of Mona Lisa and a handful of funny pop culture paintings as well.

Women can browse through the mall's huge Bebe store as well as the cosmetic wonderland, Sephora. Looking for the perfect gift? Make sure not to miss David and Goliath, which carries some of the funniest and wittiest T-shirt sayings you'll ever see. David and Goliath also features baby clothes, pajamas and a wide selection of comfortable apparel.

The merchandise at the Grand Canal Shoppes is top-notch, and entertainment options abound for those who want to amplify their shopping experience. The Gondola Ride , the Venetian's most popular attraction, is located in St. Mark's Square. Modeled after Venetian gondolas, the ride takes passengers on a half-mile journey through the heart of the shopping center or outside the resort, giving them a chance to see the sights. And Madame Tussauds Las Vegas (a wax museum) is always a good bet. The sultry Tao nightclub is also located inside the Grand Canal Shoppes.

The layout of the shopping area allows patrons to navigate with ease. Beginning at the parking structure, enter the shops at Level 3, at the food court. Take a right and follow the canal to St. Mark's Square, cross to the other side, and you'll arrive at the Great Hall. From here, you can return to the garage and catch the stores you missed, take the escalators down to the casino, or exit to the Strip. Those coming from the Strip should enter at the Grand Canal Shoppes, adjacent to Madame Tussauds, walk to the right, cross over at St. Mark's Square and then return on the left.

If you want to continue your shopping experience, The Shoppes at Palazzo is right next door.

-- Staff Report

Las Vegas Outlet Center Details

  • Hours of operation: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
  • Valet parking: No.
  • Restaurants and food inside the mall: Great American Cookie, Steak & Spud, Sbarro's Pizza, Burger King, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Pretzel Zone, Chao Praya, Rocky's Philly Cheesesteaks, Umbertos, Dreyers and Subs 'n Such.
  • Floor plan: Complete map and list of the shops .
  • Special features: A full-size carousel inside the mall for children and adults to ride.

Las Vegas Outlet Center Review

From home décor and shoes to girly boutiques and sportswear, the Las Vegas Factory Outlet Center offers a variety of popular brands at affordable prices.

From party wear and casual weekend tees to fashionable work suits and heels, young women can find the latest trends (without burning a hole in their pocketbook) at Charlotte Russe. For those into the beachy look, the mall features stores like Pac Sun, Aeropostale, Hurley and much more. Shoppers can complete their summer look by stopping by Sunglass Club, which offers several rows of the season's hottest shades.

If it's bargains on shoes that you're looking for, Las Vegas Outlet Center is where you'll find them. The clearance racks are a gold mine at Naturalizer. Vans Shoes, Converse, Adidas and Skechers also have a great sneaker selection. And don't miss Reebok's deals on apparel, accessories, jackets and, of course, tennis shoes.

Make sure you get over to the shopping annex located at the south end of the outlet center, near Reebok, for the Nine West outlet, which offers the latest styles (many long before you see them in other stores) at great prices. Look through the clearance racks for steals at up to 60 percent off the lowest marked price. Off 5th, the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet, also is located in the shopping annex and has a great selection of housewares, shoes and clothing. Check out the clothing clearance at the back of the store for additional savings.

The easiest entry point is at Warm Springs Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. Although you should hit the shopping annex on the other side first, Warm Springs has a traffic light, which makes it easier to turn in. You don't want to miss the stores in the annex (Off 5th, Nine West), so stop there first; you'll be too tired for the mall if you save it for last. Enter the mall at the Reebok entrance, closest to the annex.

The mall is easy to navigate, if you can make it all the way through, and the two food courts at either end offer sustenance to weary shoppers. Near the green food court, shoppers can stop and grab a donut and a coffee at the Dunkin' Donuts stand. The carousel located near the blue food court gives patrons a chance to get off their feet for a moment. In addition to the carousel, there are also several kiddie rides throughout the mall. Just make sure to some quarters!

The only drawback to the mall is its layout. Trudging back to the entrance with all your packages may seem a chore, but think of all the money you're saving! Be sure, however, to wear -- or buy -- a comfortable pair of shoes.

The Forum Shops has the best selection of shops in Vegas. Here you'll find everything from famous designers such as Versace, Ann Taylor and Boss Hugo Boss to popular favorites Diesel, Guess and Banana Republic.

What sets the Forum Shops apart, however, is its specialty shops. Lalique offers gorgeous crystal bowls, vases and platters. Although expensive, the pieces are stunning. The rhinestone-studded shoes at Stuart Weitzman, with handbags to match, are the perfect complement to the most elegant evening wear. Estee Lauder's gold compacts, porcelain boxes and trinkets are relatively inexpensive and make nice gift items. And be sure to check out Brighton Collectibles and Louis Vuitton.

For kids (as well as the kid in all of us), shoppers will enjoy a trip to toy heaven, FAO Schwarz. The first floor includes several larger-than-life stuffed animals, including dinosaurs, elephants, polar bears, pandas and giraffes, to name a few. On the second floor, guests can actually walk inside the big toy horse structure seen in the front of the store. On this level, girls will enjoy the Design Your Own Doll section, while boys can let their imaginations run wild with trucks, trains and more on the third floor. From Barbie dolls and 3-D puzzles to every stuffed animal imaginable, FAO Schwarz is a field trip in itself.

With hundreds of stores, restaurants and attractions, there's plenty to keep you busy for an afternoon. Weary shoppers can rest their feet and watch the statues "talk" at the Atlantis fountain show. People-watchers will get an eyeful at Planet Hollywood, although the mall itself abounds with the rich and the beautiful.

Stop for dessert at The Cheesecake Factory -- a sweet tooth's dream. It's also a great place to stop for lunch, although you should be prepared for a wait if you're there during lunchtime. While you're close, make sure to check out the hip women's clothing store, Miss Sixty. Shopping with your girlfriends just got better -- the two-story boutique features an intimate and sophisticated loft that showcases more of the store's dressier attire. Combining a black shag carpet with futuristic looking fixtures, bright snowflake lights and comfy swivel chairs, the second floor feels like more like an ultra-trendy apartment.

When entering the shops from the parking garage, you'll have to walk through only a small portion of the casino. If you're coming from the Strip, head through the new pedestrian plaza, which creates an impressive entrance into the Forum Shops' expansion. Inside the doors, visitors are greeted by a large reflecting pool, huge Roman statues and a beautiful glass domed ceiling.

The 175,000-square-foot, three-level addition includes an array of upscale shops and several new restaurants, as well as a spiral escalator -- one of only two in the United States.

The new shops are easy to navigate -- you can basically walk around in a square on each level and see everything.

You'll find plenty of stores here that you won't find back home. Stop in and admire the Baccarat crystal. It's an easy shop to find -- just look for the chandelier outside.

A large Anthropologie store offers unique women's clothing as well as home decor, bath products and pet accessories. Nearby, art lovers can appreciate the works of Peter Max and Peter Lik. Peter Max's gallery features abstract, psychedelic art while the art of Peter Lik showcases his vivid, digitally-enhanced photographs under the best lighting possible. These galleries are close to each other, which makes it convenient for patrons to view both of the artists' unique talents.

Harry Winston, Kiehl's, Kate Spade, Pucci, Juicy Couture and Celine also are among the more than 50 stores located here. Restaurants include Il Mulino New York and Sushi Roku. For dessert, stop in Vosges Haut-Chocolat for some gourmet treats.

Shoppers also should check out the Appian Way shops, located in an arcade as you walk to Caesars' front desk. The Appian Way houses 15 upscale shops, including the classy Bernini Couture. Check out the Elton John store. If you're looking for funky Elton-style sunglasses, this is the place to go.

Attracting more than 10 million visitors worldwide, the 2 million-square-foot Fashion Show mall features more boutique and chain shops than one could ever hope for.

The Fashion Show may be huge, but it's certainly not intimidating. Its wide aisles, bright atmosphere and easy-to-follow shopping legend make it easy to navigate through. In addition, the mall has plenty of chairs, benches and couches to rest, many of which are tucked away in peaceful, quiet areas.

One of the mall's most unique features is the Great Hall, a multimillion dollar event area that features an 80-foot retractable runway -- making it possible to have fashion shows at Fashion Show. There are house fashion shows, several days a week.

Saks, Macy's and Dillard's are roomy and inviting, and even when there's an overflow of shoppers, it's easy to make your way through. The giant, three-level Nordstrom features a massive shoe department, while Bloomingdale's Home features an array of beautiful, classy items like picture frames, vases and other home décor pieces. Neiman Marcus rounds out the beautifully-appointed department stores.

One store not to miss is Centaur Art Galleries . Featuring masterpieces from notable artists as early as the 16 th century to modern times, shoppers can enjoy flipping through several authentic paintings and learning the history behind each work. There are also a handful of showcase rooms where guests can sit on couches, pick up a painting and hang it on the wall.

If you're ready to give your home a few nice touches, then head over to Z Gallerie. From classic and contemporary designs to bright to neutral tones, Z Gallerie has everything one could imagine. Z Gallerie has sales pretty frequently, so keep an eye out for that special furniture or home décor piece.

If you're into the boutiques, the Fashion Show mall has more than 200 stores to choose from. Make sure to check out hip shops like Zara (which features a high-end collection as well as trendy, affordable clothing), Ruehl , Metropark, True Religion and Talulah G, to name a few. For comfy, yet cute threads, young women can head over to Madewell, which infuses earthy chic with a touch of vintage, urban cool.

Fun stores include Teavana, a dainty little shop that sells loose leaf teas and colorful teapot sets and Futuretronics, which carries some of the slimmest, most compact electronics you'll find in the market.

Shoppers who work up an appetite can stop by the 11,288-square-foot food court with the likes of Haagen Dazs, Chinese Gourmet Express and Hot Dog On A Stick restaurants. Not in a hurry? Then stop by the popular California Pizza Kitchen. There is also an outdoor balcony overlooking the Strip and the mall's large plaza below -- an ideal place to stop and eat. Here, guests can purchase a cool, refreshing treat at the Gelato Café.

There are bridges and escalators outdoors that connect the Fashion Show mall, Wynn Las Vegas, Venetian and Treasure Island. This makes it convenient for shoppers to travel without the hassle of crossing the street.


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