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Road trips are the quintessential summer adventure. As a kid, each summer my family would pile into the Chevy Cavalier and take road trips to exciting places like Topeka, Kansas and Jonesboro, Arkansas. No matter where we were going, there was always a Holiday Inn at the next exit. Twenty years later, on my own road trips, I have noticed that Outlet Malls have started to spring up along the roads of America. The New Jersey Turnpike, between Exit 6 (PA Turnpike) and Exit 18 (George Washington Bridge) boasts at least four Outlet Malls, including the mammoth Jersey Garden Mall. Signs for Outlet Malls are sprinkled up and down 95 South. Medford, Minnesota, population 788, even has an outlet mall.
Are Outlet Malls the Holiday Inn of the millennium?
Apparently so. Retailers have finally figured out what budget fashionistas have known for years—when we are bored, we like to shop, and what could possibly be more boring that a five hour trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Although the quality of outlet malls varies from interstate to interstate, they are a welcome alternative to urine-smelling rest stops.
Some of Top Outlet Malls:
Woodbury Commons—Outside New York City
Franklin Mills—Philadelphia, PA
Jersey Garden Mall—Elizabeth, New Jersey
Canada One Factory Outlet—Niagara Falls
Dixie Outlet Mall—Toronto
Gurnee Mills—Outside of Chicago