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Last Chance Gulch is a 4-block-long pedestrian mall. Though it is not exclusively a shopping area, the office buildings are liberally interspersed with boutiques, restaurants, pubs, and places for the kids to play. Informational kiosks are located in the center of this walking mall and at its north end. The Atlas Block is a group of historically significant architectural structures in Last Chance Gulch. As Helena's main areas were leveled several times in the last 125 years or so, once by earthquakes (in 1935) and several times by fire in the 19th century and again in 1928, builders of the Atlas Block carved images of salamanders, which, in medieval European mythology, are impervious to fire.

Lasso the Moon, 25 S. Last Chance Gulch (tel. 406/442-1594), is a classic toyshop, featuring rack after rack of unique toys that aren't stocked by the mass-market retailers. Next door at 21 S. Last Chance Gulch, is the Ghost Art Gallery (tel. 406/443-4536), which features art on Western and nature themes. Another good gallery is Upper Missouri Artists, 7 N. Last Chance Gulch (tel. 406/457-8240).

The attractive Great Northern Town Center is an emerging retail area just west of the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and Last Chance Gulch. Here, Cobblestone Clothing, 828 Great Northern Blvd., Ste. 103 (tel. 406/449-8684), sells upscale women's apparel with a hint of the New West; Grand Junction Mercantile, 825 Great Northern Blvd. (tel. 406/442-6210), is the place for gifts. There is also a new eight-screen movie theater here.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.