It was 7am on a Thursday morning and I woke up to the pleasant sound of my phone alarm. I looked out of the window and saw raindrops pitter-pattering on the window pane. But the rainy New York City weather did not dampen my mood at all. Still feeling excited, I sprung out of bed to start washing up. No, nothing could dampen my mood today, because we were going on a FULL DAY SHOPPING TRIP to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets!
What is Woodbury Common Premium Outlets?
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is a retail hub near New York City that has over 200 outlet stores. The brands here include Coach, Bally, Calvin Klein, Prada, DKNY, Saint Laurent, Nike, Under Armour, Gucci, Versace, and many many more. You can click here to see the entire list of Woodbury Commons stores. Best of all, there are incredible discounts of up to 65% EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is just an hour’s bus ride from New York City. We love this shopping paradise so much that we have been here for three times before!
Getting to Woodbury Commons
Prior to going Woodbury Commons, we researched on the best way to get there. We found out that Coach USA/ ShortLine had a Groupon deal for Woodbury Commons round-trip tickets at just USD25. We immediately bought this deal. If we had bought the tickets directly, it would cost USD42. Therefore, we got a hefty 40% saving with this Groupon deal, which made it even more worthwhile to travel to Woodbury Commons! If there is no Groupon deal, you can buy the bus tickets via the official Woodbury Commons site. We took Coach USA/ Shortline for all our three visits here and the rides were always smooth and efficient.
Our bus to Woodbury Commons departed from Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. We walked to the terminal from our hotel and proceeded to the Shortline counter on level two. To redeem our tickets, we just showed the staff the purchased Groupon deal on our mobile phones. The staff promptly printed our ticket and we quickly proceeded to the bus berth.
Surprisingly, once we reached the berth, we were told to board the bus along with the other passengers even though it was only 8.15am. We had brought along TWO empty luggage to store our shopping loot, and we loaded them at the bottom of the bus. The coach seats were decently comfy. We took the seats by the emergency exit as they were slightly more spacious than the rest. The bus left earlier than scheduled at 8.20am, and we arrived at Woodbury Commons at about 9.30am. This is the perfect time as it is when shops are just opened.
Based on my experience from the previous two visits, I knew I had to have an indomitable shopping strategy in order to complete my shopping within one day. Therefore upon arrival, Evan collected our luggage while I quickly went to queue at the visitor center to take the map of Woodbury Commons; you can click on our picture of the map above to download it, or you can refer to the Woodbury Commons website for the latest map. We collected the discount coupon book as well. The Shortline bus ticket entitles us to this coupon book, but we are not sure if other bus operators do the same.
First, we marked out the locations of the shops that we definitely wanted to shop at on the map. Woodbury Commons is separated into five large zones with different colours on the map. Therefore, based on the density of our preferred stores, we ranked the zones based on priority. In our case, we combed Woodbury Commons via the brown zone first, followed by blue, orange, green, and red. We set a time frame for each zone in order not to overrun. We used some of the discount coupons to get further discounts on top of the in-store discounts.
We brought along two pieces of wheeled luggage so that we could store our shopping loot. We definitely did not want to be walking around carrying loads of heavy shopping bags in our hands! However, don’t worry if you did not bring along a luggage because there are luggage on sale here too.
Many Food Options
Within Woodbury Commons, there are also bistros, food trucks and a large “Market Hall” with dozens of food stores. You can take a quick break at these eateries before letting your wallet bleed even further.
We found out that the Market Hall offers free wifi and cell-phone charging stations. This was very useful because we spent one full day here. Almost all the shops have free wifi too.
Shopping for Guys and Children too!
There’s lot of stuff here for guys and children too!
Great Weather and Awesome Scenery!
We visited Woodbury Commons during the months of December and April, and the weather was very cool and comfortable. This was really awesome, especially when compared to Singapore where you can perspire profusely after walking just 5 minutes along Orchard Road. This outlet hub is located in Central Valley (New York), adjacent to Harriman State Park. Therefore, it is literally surrounded by beautiful mountains with lush green foliage. It was quite a surreal experience to shop amidst such a setting.
Tips for Conquering Woodbury Commons
- Check Groupon for any discount on bus tickets to Woodbury Commons
- Take an early bus to beat the crowd. The 8.30am bus departing Port Authority in Manhattan would be ideal.
- Bring along a luggage so that you can keep your loot in the luggage instead of carrying too many bags
- Flag out the shops / brands that you are most interested in, set a time limit for each zone
- Check the discount coupon book to see if there are further discounts on top of the in-store discounts. Use your Shortline bus ticket to redeem the coupon book.
- Be decisive, buy it if you like it! Time is running out! You still need to visit other shops!
- If you are visiting during the cold months (Winter, early Spring, etc), make sure you wear more layers because you will be walking frequently in the open.
- If you’re catching the last bus, do remember to be at the queue about 20 to 30 minutes earlier because there is usually a long queue. You don’t want to risk missing the last bus back to New York City.
Is Woodbury Commons worth going?
YES! What I love about Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is the convenience of shopping at a place where lots of brands are consolidated literally next to each other. Not only that, items are cheaper than the price you pay at normal retail stores. And many shops offer massive discounts; Coach usually has 50% off for all items (more on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year), Kate Spade has 50% off plus another 30%, etc. We will definitely be back!
Awesome Video of Woodbury Common Premium Outlets