When it comes to shopping in Vegas, you’ve heard all about the high-end, luxury brand boutiques on the Vegas Strip, where everything from extravagant lingerie to European sports cars can be bought on a whim. But what about the other side of life—the funky, artsy storefronts with the kind of items you can’t find anywhere else? Shopping in Vegas doesn’t always mean you have to break the bank, if you’re willing to explore off the Strip.
Start on a stretch of Main Street in the shadow of the Stratosphere, between Charleston Blvd. and Oakey known as Antique Alley. Part of the downtown Vegas Arts District, these six blocks and side streets hold an impressive 21 vintage shops. Take your pick—Vintage Vegas, The Funk House, Amberjoy’s Vintage Closet, and more—and uncover anything from retro casino ashtrays to bar sets, vintage dresses, art, and even robots. One of the largest, Retro Vegas, even has a complete ’60s-era kitchen with refrigerator and all! If you need a respite, grab coffee at Makers & Finders or a handcrafted cocktail at Velveteen Rabbit. If you’re also inclined to check out new things, the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North are just a few blocks away.
The Writer’s Block
Your next hub of discovery can be found due east of the Fremont Street Experience, between Las Vegas Blvd. and Maryland Parkway. Start in The Beat coffeehouse and gallery then make your way to the infamous Container Park (look for the giant fire-breathing praying mantis—no fooling) with an ever-changing selection of clothing, art, and decor boutiques. Don’t stop here, though, because further down this rapidly developing stretch you’ll find a cavern of creativity in The Writer’s Block bookshop, full of carefully curated volumes, notebooks, toys, curios, and a space in back for regular readings. Across the street, 11th Street Records celebrates the revival of music on vinyl with a healthy selection of everything from the Beastie Boys to Bach.
World’s Largest Gift Shop
“If it’s in stock, we have it!” That’s just one of the huge signs greeting you at the corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvds, where Bonanza Gift Shop, also known as the World’s Largest Gift Shop, marks the north end of the Strip. Within this nearly mall-sized retail wonderland you can find anything you could ever imagine on a T-shirt, and dozens upon dozens of Las Vegas mugs, bottle openers, sandals, magnets, turquoise jewelry, gag gifts, magic tricks, and even those yard-long drink holders you see people carrying down the Strip. Stopping here almost seems a requirement for any first-time Vegas visitor, and the perfect place to get a souvenir to remember your Vegas vacation with a smile.