Tax-free Shopping in Houston

The Best Malls and Shopping Centers for Tax-free Spending

The Galleria Area in Houston
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Shoppers rejoice for the one weekend in August where customers can enjoy a tax break on their back-to-school necessities. Tax-free Weekend typically takes place the second weekend in August each year. Of course, not all items apply to the tax break. While essential school items like clothes and many supplies are exempt from tax for the weekend, some items are excluded, such as sporting goods items that are only used during the practice of the sport (ex.

cleats or ice skates). Because the weekend brings out shoppers in droves, it's important to have a predetermined shopping route to ensure a successful Tax-free Weekend experience. Below is a list of shopping areas where you can score the most bang for your tax-free buck.

Most Houstonians will find themselves at the Houston Galleria at some point during the Tax-free Weekend. The Galleria, Texas' largest mall, is positioned near the city's Inner 610 Loop where it connects with Highway 59. The complex is anchored by four major department stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Dillard's is located adjacent to the mall. The Houston Galleria houses nearly 400 stores and upscale boutiques, in addition to the four large department chains, and the surrounding area includes several strip malls unaffiliated with the large mall. Take a break from your shopping spree and go for a twirl around the huge skating rink located in the food court.

For the budget-conscious, Katy Mills Mall and Houston Premium Outlets are two excellent options for Tax-free shopping. Katy Mills Mall is composed of over 200 outlet stores, including Ralph Lauren, American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret. The mall's anchor stores include Burlington Coat Factory, Off 5th Avenue, Marshall's and Old Navy.

The mall's unique 1.3-mile racetrack-style floor plan allows multi-taskers to speed walk their way through their tax-free spending while burning a few calories. Houston Premium Outlets is the venue of choice for those seeking high-end designer labels at outlet prices. Over 120 outlet branches are housed within the Cypress-area mall, including True Religion, Kate Spade, Burberry, Coach and Juicy Couture.

For those who live just north of Houston, The Woodlands Mall and The Woodlands Town Center are convenient options for stocking up on back-to-school wares. Anchor stores include Macy's, JC Penney, Sears and Dillard's, but we're guessing your teenage daughters will be most interested in XXI (Forever 21). And of course, there are the usual mall staples plus Ross, Marshall's and Target Super Center. Plenty of free lot and garage parking is available.

To make your Tax-free Weekend shopping an all-day experience that the entire family can enjoy, visit Pearland Town Center and Sugar Land Town Square. Both locations have the typical mall vendors as well as gourmet restaurants like Perry's Steak House, amusement areas for children and live performances within walking distance.