Woodbury Common is 2 hours (including traffic) north of Manhattan, NY. There are several ways of getting there, commonly from The Port Authority Bus Terminal (Eighth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets), in Midtown, NY. But if you’re coming from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I found a bus that comes from Chinatown (walking distance) straight to Woodbury Common, more on that later.
So what is Woodbury Common? Woodbury Common is an outdoor centre containing 220 stores, divided into an all five Americana theme (Adirondacks, Saratoga, Hudson Valley, Hamptons and Niagara) which is 800,000 square feet and is said to be one of the largest outlet centres in the world. It opened in 1985 later expanding in 1998, it is very popular with the tourists who make sure it’s a part of their itinerary in New York City, because from experience no matter what budget, a trip here surely has something for anyone.
On a typical Wednesday morning, we had arranged for a bus to pick us up from Chinatown for the price of $35USD adults, $20USD child (3-11yo) round trip. I found this to be convenient and cheap, compared to the Port Authority buses which is $32USD one-way, last time I checked.
A little review on the bus service though, even though they were cheap and convenient, I found their service to be late and lacking communication. When we went to meet our driver at the Chinatown, pick-up point at 8:45 am, they did not arrive till 9:30 am (because of the traffic) and when I called their service, they spoke to me in Chinese. Also the service that picked us up from Chinatown, dropped us to a bigger black van, which made the trip longer, but it did take us all to Woodbury Common directly. We arrived approximately 10:30 am at our destination and had to come back to the van by 3:30 pm to be able to drop everyone off in time.
The Woodbury Common Premium Outlet is a large outlet that has numerous stores that you’ll need to strategically visit if you’re serious about your shopping. It is best to visit the information centre first so they can give you a map and a destination passport which will include discounts.
You’ll notice that from the information centre, high-end stores are first in view like Prada, Celine, Bottega Veneta, Chloe, Fendi, and many many more, this area is called Adirondacks. From this area, you’ll get a fork in the road left (Saratoga) or right (Hudson Valley) go left, because it’ll naturally flow into Hudson Valley as you stroll. Food is available in the Market Hall, foodcourt style. On the left-hand side of the Market Hall is the entrance/exit to the Hamptons area, the first exit leads to Niagara area (blue parking lot) this area will have brands like Skagen, Fossil, Levis, New Balance and Steve Madden. I went a little crazy in this area.
Realistically and comfortably I think you’ll need around 6-7 hours to do all your shopping, but if you’re a well-seasoned trained shopper, 4-5 hours will suffice also. Just a little tip from experience, when I looked into the high-end stores like Celine and Gucci, hoping to score a bag or two, please note that their prices are still in the thousands. They are discounted but not a huge markdown, also may I suggest if you’re just visiting NY to bring your luggage to Woodbury Common so that you’ll be putting your shopping in the luggage, and to assure that you don’t go over the baggage limit.
If you don’t travel to NY frequently, a trip to Woodbury Common would be a treat. Make sure you have a spare luggage, just for your shopping.
Overall friendly, from the information centre to the sales assistance in the stores, everyone had made it into a pleasant experience. I would repeat my visit next time I’m in NY.
Entrance into Woodbury Common is free, but what I want to share with you is the pricing of the items I encountered. High-end stores like Celine, Prada, Gucci had huge markdowns of last season’s items but still ranged into the thousands price range (USD). But people have told me that items in outlets stores are designed differently than in retail stores.
But for my budget-knit wallet, I enjoyed the Niagara area (blue section) where I was able to buy Skagen watches around (80USD) usually around in (150USD), Skagen wallets for (20USD) usually (70-90USD) since they had a huge sale. Also Fossil watches and wallets around the same price (trivia, Fossil owns Skagen). I also enjoyed the Steve Madden store where I got Gucci like loafers for $50USD, usually $80USD. My husband also got New Balance shoes for $80USD usually $120USD. Other stores that people may like and are affordable, also had a lot of stock is Kate Spade, DKNY, Calvin Klein selling their usually pricey bags and wallets for $60USD-$100USD, Calvin Klein had $30USD underwear for 3 and DKNY had graphic wallets also for $30USD. Other stores, which are also worth the mention are Rag & Bone and Acne Studios selling wallets for an affordable $60USD. ACNE Studios was selling a canvas bag for $500USD.
One tip I would have for you is that, if you like it and you have the money, get it. You’ll just be brooding about it on your way back to Manhattan. And if you have shopped a bit too much, you can always give it away as a gift.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlet
Address: 498 Red Apple Ct
Central Valley, NY 10917-6619
Telephone: +1 (845) 928-7467
Store Hours: 10 am to 9 pm
My trip to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet was too short but it was sweet. For a shop-craze person like me, I would definitely suggest a day here at Central Valley. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably from head to toe, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and trying on outfits. Also, if you can arrive early on a weekday and leave later to avoid crowds, and traffic is what I can impart from my experience if you have your own transportation. Oh and don’t forget to bring your spare luggage for shopping, so you don’t have to carry many shopping bags around and most importantly to avoid excess luggage at the airport, now, that’s clever shopping.
Visited on: 25th October 2017.
Our service van from Chinatown to Woodbury Common
Get your map and destination passport (discount booklet) here
Market Hall is where the food court is, exit to Hamptons area on the left
Hudson Valley area