Road trips are the quintessential summer adventure. As a kid, my family would pile into the Chevy Cavalier to take summer road trips to exciting places like Topeka, Kansas, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. No matter where we were on the interstate, there was always a Holiday Inn at the next exit. Twenty years later, Holiday Inns have been replaced by Outlet Malls. 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. Even, Medford, Minnesota, population 788, has an outlet mall.
Are Outlet Malls the Holiday Inns 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’re a welcome alternative to urine-smelling rest stops.
Here’s my favorite outlet malls
Woodburry Commons Premium Outlets, Outside New York City
Franklin Mills, Philadelphia, PA
Jersey Gardens, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Canada One, Niagara Falls
Dixie Outlets, Toronto
Albertville Premium Outlets, Minnesota
Gurnee Mills, Outside of Chicago
Carlsbad Premium Outlets, San Diego
Fashion Outlets Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Premium Outlets, Las Vegas