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Western USA Travel Guide

Reference WW39182
California & the West

Every type of traveller or holidaymaker is catered to in Western USA, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look for your holiday nirvana.

At Barrhead Travel we will guide you in the right direction. We know where you’ll find relaxation but we also know we’re you’ll find adrenaline. We know where to look for big sparkling city lights but we also know where to look for natural wonders. We know where you should go if you’re looking for film studios but we also know where you should fly to if you’re looking for a beach.

Our USA Specialists have compiled the following guides to help you research the different destinations and decide exactly where it is you want to visit. After that, it’s just a matter of asking one of our team to package it all up into a tailor-made holiday.  

West USA Highlights

A shopaholic’s guide to Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a city famed for glitz and glamour so it’s no surprise that it is home to some impeccable shopping. Here, shopping fanatics will find a swarm of trendy outlets where they can find themselves lost in rails of designer threads, all-American high-street favourites and hard-to-find independent labels. It’s the perfect way to spend the daytime hours before Las Vegas switches on its iconic lights to signal the start of its famed nightlife.

If you’re looking for some retail therapy while visiting Las Vegas, the two primary shopping destinations to take note of are Grand Canal Shoppes and Fashion Show Las Vegas. Here’s the low-down on what both of them offer.

Grand Canal Shoppes The Venetian | The Palazzo

This sophisticated array of shops and entertainment has made a home for itself in the Mediterranean styled The Venetian (part of The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino). It boasts 875,000-square-feet of space with a larger than life Barneys New York as its main focal point. There’s 160 other stores to choose from including fashion-favourites Armani Collezioni, Kate Spade New York, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Michael Kors, Fendi, and Christian Louboutin.

Aside from treating themselves to some gorgeous new clothes, shoppers can also enjoy award-wining dining and in-mall entertainment. Resident culinary superstars include CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Table 10 and Delmonico Steakhouse by Emeril Lagasse, db Brasserie by DanielBoulud, B&B plus Burger & Beer by Mario Batali. You can even treat yourself to as Gondola ride through Las Vegas’s very own Venice.

Essential stats:
Location: The Venetian | The Palazzo, where Spring Mountain Road meets Las Vegas Boulevard
Number of shops: Over 160
Opening times:  Sunday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday

Fashion Show
Claiming the accolade of largest shopping destination on the strip, this larger-than-life shopping centre clocks in at 2 million square feet. Fashion lovers will adore the collection of clothing stores such as Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, Superdry, Gap, Nordstorm and Topshop. Plus, they’ll love the chance to pick up some new cosmetics from Lush, Kiko Milano, bareMinerals and Bath&BodyWorks. Also remember to stop by Macy’s department store!

The shopping centre is also home to a new alfresco dining area that includes a new walking pathway, lush landscaping, outdoor patio and dining terraces. Examples of delicious restaurants found on this mini-strip include Kona Grill, Benihana, Luke’s Lobster, Flip Flop Workshop and Davidoff of Geneva Cigar Bar.

Essential stats:
Location: Where Spring Mountain Road, meets Las Vegas Boulevard
Number of shops: 250 stores, 25 dining choices and 8 department stores
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday’s

Hints and Tips For Vegas First Timers

So, you’ve never been to Las Vegas. What’s kept you? Never mind – let’s stop talking, and start doing! The important thing here is that you’re ready for the time of your life, and there’s no better place to celebrate than Las Vegas.

First up – people watching. It may sound mundane, but with the cross-section of visitors and celebrities who come to Las Vegas, it’s usually primetime entertainment. There are several terrific vantage points on the Strip, including Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas, a French bistro with the bonus of being directly across the street from the famous Bellagio fountainsSerendipity 3 at Caesars Palace also has a great outdoor view of Las Vegas Boulevard, not to mention some tasty treats. Elevated viewing with outdoor dining is always popular at Planet Hollywood – both at Cabo Wabo Cantina and PBR Rock Bar.
Cruising the Strip is required for any first-timer, by car or by foot, and since we’re on the Strip, now’s a good time to start. As you cruise, check out the enormous digital marquees for amazing shows you’ll only find in Las Vegas. There’s LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The MirageRock of Ages at The VenetianTournament of Kings at Excalibur and Le Rêve – The Dream at Wynn Las Vegas. The people back home will expect you to see at least one of them. Check out legendary magic duo Penn & Teller at the Rio Hotel for a one-of-a-kind Las Vegas experience.
Be sure to get out and have a little fun exploring, too. Stroll through the open-air street party that is Carnaval Court at Harrah’s, or let out a few screams riding the roller coaster at New York-New York. The new LINQ entertainment and shopping street meanders between the LINQ Hotel and Casino and Flamingo Hotel. With new restaurants, shops and performance venues, this family-friendly destination will soon be home to the High-Roller Observation Wheel.There’s so much to do in Las Vegas besides gaming, but if this is your first time in town, you almost have to play a little. Many hotels offer free lessons for novices – the Golden Nuggetamong them. While you’re downtown, check out the assortment of restaurants and bars that make up the Fremont East District and the new Container Park, made entirely of shipping containers; and be sure to drop by the historic El Cortez and the all-new elegant Downtown Grand hotel.
Hungry yet? Las Vegas used to only be famous for buffets. Nowadays, you can also enjoy the culinary creations of any number of celebrity chefs; but as a first-timer, a buffet is in order. The Bistro Buffet at the Palms will satisfy your palate with international selections, while the Bayside Buffet at Mandalay Bay features a diverse selection of tastes, with sweeping views of a tropical water garden. Celebrated for its expansive selection of gourmet offerings, the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace will leave everyone at the table wanting more.
Looking for adventure? We’ve got you covered; whether you like thrills by air, land or sea. Start with the SkyJump at the Stratosphere. At 108 stories, it’s the longest controlled free fall of its kind. Soon, you’ll be able to experience Slotzilla – a spectacular high-flyin’ attraction where you get hooked to a harness and zip line right over the crowds on Fremont Street and under the giant video canopy. Not daring enough? How about swimming with the sharks at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay?

Las Vegas is the birthplace of many legendary excursions – from Swingers to The Hangover. Who knows? You could be the next to leave your mark on Las Vegas.

Top Places to Visit in California & The West

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