Visitors to New York City often tack a day of outlet shopping onto their itinerary, and with over 220 stores just 50 miles from the city, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is an easy excursion for visitors who want bargain deals. Getting there by car is simple and fast, but many visitors are averse to driving in Manhattan. If you don't have access to a vehicle, several different bus companies offer roundtrip services in about the same amount of time it takes to drive. No trains from New York City go toward the outlets, but you can cross the Hudson River and catch a train from Hoboken in New Jersey.
|Train||1 hour, 30 minutes||from $24 (plus cab)||Avoiding traffic|
|Bus||1 hour||from $37||Traveling without a car|
|Car||1 hour||50 miles (80 kilometers)||Taking the scenic route|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From New York City to Woodbury Commons?
Woodbury Commons is an extremely popular day trip to make from New York, and thankfully several different private bus companies are available to assist with the commute. The services they offer and the prices they charge vary, but the most affordable ones start at about $32 for a roundtrip ticket, leaving in the morning from a designated location and returning later the same day. More expensive companies offer door-to-door shuttle services, picking up passengers directly from their hotel and dropping them back off after shopping.
A few of the most popular bus companies include:
- CitySights NY: Tickets start at $32, but you can have a more flexible timeframe by upgrading to a Flex Ticket for just $5 more. Buses depart and return to the Port Authority, next to Times Square.
- To Woodbury: Tickets with To Woodbury start at $35 per adult, but they pick up at various locations throughout Manhattan from Chinatown up to Times Square, as well as in Flushing, Queens.
- Manhattan Transfer Tours: This company is more expensive—$75 for a single adult or $55 per person when two or more tickets are purchased—but you don't need to go anywhere to catch the bus. The driver comes and picks you up from the door of your Manhattan accommodations.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From New York City to Woodbury Commons?
Even though taking the bus or driving take about the same amount of time, you don't have to travel to a meet-up point when using your own vehicle. The drive takes almost an hour when traffic isn't bad, but if you leave in the morning—as most shoppers do—it will likely be longer. Parking at the shopping center is easy and plentiful if you arrive early, although it may fill up if you're visiting on a weekend afternoon or during the busy holiday shopping season.
Depending on which route you take, you'll cross into New Jersey via either the Lincoln Tunnel or George Washington Bridge. There's no toll to pay when you're leaving the city, but you do have to pay a toll on your way back. It's $15 if you're paying in cash—as opposed to using an E-ZPass—so be sure to factor that extra expense into your driving budget.
How Long Is the Train Ride?
The train ride itself takes about one hour, 10 minutes, but that doesn't include the time it takes to get to or from the station. The closest train station to Woodbury Commons is in the neighboring town of Harriman, which is only a five-minute drive away but still requires using a taxi or Uber for the final stretch (there's also a shuttle that makes one morning trip on Saturdays and Sundays). What's more, there are no direct trains from New York City to Harriman, and travelers first need to get to Hoboken, New Jersey. The train to Harriman itself is about $24 for a roundtrip ticket, but once you add in all of the additional transportation it ends up being about the same—or more—as using a bus.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Woodbury Commons?
Weekday mornings may be one of the worst times for dealing with New York traffic, but it's the best time to shop at Woodbury Commons. The parking lot and stores are at their most empty, but gradually fill up as the day goes on. Weekends, in general, are busy, but you can avoid the worst of the crowds by arriving when stores open.
There are seasonal sales events throughout the year that also bring out larger-than-normal crowds, but none of them compare to the holiday season and Black Friday, in particular. Before heading out to Woodbury Commons for Christmas shopping, make sure you're well-prepared for the masses of fellow bargain hunters.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Woodbury Commons?
Even if you just want to get to the outlets as quickly as possible, consider using the George Washington Bridge route as opposed to the Lincoln Tunnel. If traffic between the two routes is comparable, then it takes about the same amount of time. Not only is it an impressive piece of architecture in and of itself, but it's also the only route that gives a view of the spectacular Manhattan skyline as you drive across it.
To make the most of your trip and avoid driving back into New York City the same day, spend a night in the area. Woodbury Commons is located in the heart of the gorgeous Hudson Valley, known for its natural beauty and stellar wineries. You can easily drive to one of the charming nearby towns—such as Kingston or Woodstock—and spend time relaxing away from the craziness of the city.
What Is There to Do in Woodbury Commons?
People heading to Woodbury Commons go for one thing only: to shop. With over 220 stores, it's one of the largest outlet shopping centers in the world. It's so big that different zones are color-coded to help shoppers stay oriented and not get lost in the maze of retailers, and its fame has spread across American borders. It may seem strange to locals that foreign visitors come all the way to New York City to take a day trip to an outlet mall, but international shoppers love Woodbury Commons, so much so that there are interpreters and greeters on hand who speak Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese, among others. If these deals are worth flying across the world for, then Woodbury Commons must have something special.