If you thought you couldn't find the spirit of Aloha in the middle of the desert, think again: The 80,000-square-foot Hawaiian Marketplace brings a taste of island-style shopping to Vegas.
Modeled after the International Marketplace in Honolulu, the outdoor shopping center features tropical plants, bright colors and larger-than-life Hawaiian statues.
If you're looking for somewhere to either a) grab last-minute souvenirs b) find an outfit for the club tonight c) get a foot massage, teeth whitening treatment or tattoo or d) all of the above, then this is your one-stop shop.
The minute you step under the huge awning (which helps keep it cool in the hot months, along with the misters), you'll find just about every kiosk you can think of. Jewelry? Check. Sarcastic souvenir T-shirts? Check. Sarongs, personalized name plates, cowboy hats and knock-off (but cute) designer purses? Sounds like you're going to need a bigger suitcase!
These stand-alone hut vendors take up the middle of the marketplace so you can find gifts steps away from each other. Visitors can also get temporary black tattoos made with fruit dye.The tattoo salon offers ample shading and comfortable seating. Plus, you won't wake up the next morning with any regrets.
Whether you forgot to pack some of your essentials or want to stock up on snacks for your hotel room, Lali Smoke and Snack Shop sells phone chargers, food, as well as hookah and tobacco products. The mini-mart on the opposite side offers 2-for-1 bottled water for only $1.
XTC Boutique sells men's and women's apparel. XTC carries plenty of sparkly dresses and feather accessories for the ladies and dress shirts for the fellas. Don't worry guys, if your significant other likes to take their time shopping, there are couches for you if you're tired of standing.
Hawaiian Marketplace offers plenty of food choices for hungry shoppers, including Kapit Bahay (Filipino fast food), Tamba (an Indian cuisine restaurant) and Zingers, which offers burgers and an all-day breakfast menu at reasonable prices -- everything is less than $10.
You'll even find a soul food spot, Catfish Alley. In addition to the main course, munch on battered macaroni and cheese nuggets, onion rings, breaded okra, battered sweet corn nuggets, sweet potato pie and more. Fun fact? One of the co-owners was an original member of the legendary group, The Temptations.
Speaking of music, tribute bands perform throughout the day in the center of the shopping area. When the tribute bands aren't singing, the upbeat music blasting through the speakers is sure to give you a jolt, no matter what time it is.
The only thing that is a drag is the parking. There are three public parking spaces nearby (Showcase Mall, Harley Davidson Café and a lot next to the McDonald's), but you have to pay cash. If you want to park for free, we suggest parking at Planet Hollywood and walking across the bridge toward Harley Davidson. Walk time is less than 10 minutes and you'll catch some great views of the Las Vegas Strip along the way. If you've been walking on the Strip all day, the Hawaiian Marketplace also offers foot massages for a reasonable price. There are plenty of chairs to sit down and take a break.
Vegas may be a long way from Hawaii, but the Hawaiian Marketplace brings the island to the desert.
-- Review by Jeannie Garcia