Visitors to New York City—particularly those coming from abroad—often tack a day of outlet shopping onto their itinerary. And with over 200 stores and a within a 50-mile day trip from the city, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is an easy excursion for visitors who want bargain deals. With a one-hour drive, you can enjoy a diverse collection of retailers, including clothing outlets, housewares stores, and handbag vendors. Getting there by car is simple. Or, you can hire a tour provider to take you (most tours come complete with VIP coupon books, too). This Central Valley mall is a nice reprieve for those wanting to spend a day escaping the hustle-bustle of the city that never sleeps.
Woodbury Commons is located in Central Valley, New York, an easy one-hour drive from Manhattan (without traffic). It's easily accessible by car by taking exit 16 off of I-87. Or, you can buy a MetroNorth railroad ticket, which takes you to Harriman Station, just a short taxi or shuttle ride from the outlets (shuttles operate on weekends only). Several New York City bus routes also offer direct rides to the outlets. And limo services offer VIP day excursions.
Book an Organized Trip
If door-to-door service is your cup of tea, arrange to get picked up at your hotel by Manhattan Transfer Tours. This 14-passenger van to Woodbury Common costs a bit more than the regular bus line, but it's worth it for the convenience. Gray Line Tours offers multiple departures from the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the Grey Line Visitors Center (located on the corner of 8th and 46th Street), and the Port Authority bus terminal each day. You can also hop the subway or take a taxi to Port Authority to catch the Shortline Bus (operated by Coach USA). They have an additional route that picks up on the east side of 3rd Avenue, as well. Lastly, All Transportation Network provides sedan or limo service for a premium price.
Plan Your Visit
Before heading north to get your shop on, plan your day strategically. The outlet mall is large, so it's next to impossible to hit every store in one day. Instead, pre-select the retailers you'd like to visit. Then, print out a copy of the mall's map and mark the stores you're most interested in. Once you have it all lined out, plan your route and time it right so you can squeeze in all your stops.
If you don't enjoy schlepping bags, a shuttle circumnavigates the mall on holidays and weekends, dropping you off at your favorite spots. Or you can choose to limit your shopping to just one section of shops.
The outlets are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with extended and modified holiday hours.
Bring the Kids
If you're visiting with young children, you can bring your own stroller or rent one just outside the Market Hall in the Hudson Valley District and at Simon Guest Service locations. There is a small playground in Bluebird Court for little ones to burn off some steam (let's face it, kids don't love shopping). And, small quarter-operated rides are available throughout the mall to placate the kids in between stops. Just remember to bring quarters.
Best Practices for Outlet Shopping
- The Woodbury Common Premium Outlets are most crowded on the weekends and get busier as the day progresses. So, arrive early in the day to beat the crowds and get a good parking spot.
- Serious shoppers should purchase a VIP coupon book at one of the info booths. Do note, however, that these books are available for free to AAA members and VIP Shopper Club members, and through certain car rental companies and tour groups.
- Free shopping guides, complete with a map, are available in the Food Court and at information booths. They also include valuable coupons for shopping, restaurants, and nearby attractions.
- Rent a shopping cart near the Eddie Bauer outlet for easy schlepping so you can avoid making drop-off runs back and forth to your car.
- The largest outlet event is a very popular Black Friday sale, but many promotions and specials offer additional savings (from 25 to 65 percent) throughout the year.