Sometimes, it's nice to take a break from the Las Vegas Strip and escape the hype. Featuring tree-lined cobblestone streets, grassy areas and unique shops and dining, The District at Green Valley Ranch makes you feel like you're on a completely different vacation.
If strolling through small, peaceful towns (think "Gilmore Girls") is your kind of fun, this should be a treat. The District may not be as massive as your average mall, but that just means you'll have more time to appreciate and browse through the stores it offers. The outdoor shopping facility is split into two sides: One section is on the same side as the Green Valley Ranch hotel, while the other is just across the street in the Whole Foods/West Elm shopping area. We recommend checking out both sides, but if you want to do some serious shopping the Green Valley Ranch side is a great place to start.
Outdoorsy folks will love the selection at REI, which carries cycling, paddling, hiking, skiing and snowboarding gear, rental equipment, camping essentials, clothing, shoes, boots and much more. If you're taking the kids shopping, Janie and Jack features classic children's clothing up to size six. Or, doll up your little ones with Italian couture at Monnalisa and the latest trends at Gymboree. For those with pets, Flea Bag's Barkery & Bow-tique offers a full bakery for dogs and cats. The treats are made fresh daily. Flea Bag's even features wheat-free cookies and special orders for allergic pets. In addition to desserts, Flea Bag's carries high-fashion couture and gift items from Juicy Couture, New York Dog and Haute Diggity Dog, among others. If you brought your pup, there is a pet area nearby.
The District features popular retailers like White House | Black Market and LOFT, as well as a handful of boutique shops like Francesca's Collections. Browsing through this store is like digging through a treasure chest. Not only will you find a colorful assortment of dresses, accessories and purses, but you'll also find perfect gift items like games, books, jewelry and hand creams. Just a few steps over, Anthropologie (a sister company to Urban Outfitters) carries earthy, fashionable apparel and vintage-inspired hats. You'll also find things for the home including aprons, candles and small trinkets.
Speaking of things for the home, you'll love William's Sonoma, which carries a wide selection of quirky (but surprisingly useful!) kitchen gadgets. If you're ready to spruce up your place, West Elm is not to be missed. Located across the street on the Whole Foods side, West Elm has an array of modern furniture pieces that will jazz up your home.
The dining selection at The District is just as diverse as the shops. On the hotel side, Presidio offers a sleek, metropolitan atmosphere. Enjoy a variety of appetizers, happy hour specials, pasta plates and popular dishes like ahi tuna and chicken Parmesan. The outdoor dining area offers couches and even a fire pit -- a perfect place to lounge for the evening.
For something more casual, Al's Garage is right next door. Open 24 hours daily, the interior looks like a tricked-out garage with graffiti-splattered walls, giving it an urban touch. Al's Garage offers staple bar food including chicken fingers, fries and burgers (veggie patties available). If you're craving some good ol' barbecue, Lucille's gives generous portions. Don't skip out on the sweet tea, or the complimentary Tootsie Pops on your way out.
If you're a pizza lover, you'll have two styles to choose from. On the Whole Foods side, Settebello Pizzeria serves authentic Napoli pizza, prepared the same way since the 1700s. On the hotel side, Balboa Pizza Company features a Californian flair with its menu items and atmosphere. Health-conscious and vegans can rejoice with the made-to-order food at Whole Foods. In addition to groceries, the market serves a variety of fresh food including sandwiches, sushi, salads, pizza and much more. Our tip: If you want to eat outside, there is a "hidden" area on the side toward West Elm. When you exit Whole Foods, turn left and make another left at the corner. You'll have a view of The Green, a grassy area that features free movies during the summer months.
From May through October, take the family and enjoy complimentary movies every Friday and Saturday (at dusk) on The Green. Free popcorn is available. On the other side of the District, "Music on Main Street" presents live performances every Friday and Saturday from May through October.
Located only 15 minutes away from the Strip, take Interstate 15 South to 215 East. Exit Green Valley Parkway and turn left. With so much to see and do, a trip to The District is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle. We recommend walking through the area at night. With the crisp breeze, overhead music and tree-lit paths, The District offers a refreshing, outdoor experience.
-- Review by Jeannie Garcia