It took us about 45 minutes going up 400 N to get to the NGPOs from Buckhead. We easily spotted the NGPOs from the highway, and we were excited to park across from Off Fifth(Saks Fifth Ave. outlet) to begin our mini-spree. Thanks to the grande Starbucks ice coffee I finished during the ride up, in less than ten minutes flat I was standing in the check out line at Off Fifth with an incredible lined winter coat (for next year) and a very-Lindsay-style gold bracelet. And like a flash, we were off again…
In the interest of keeping your attention, I won’t break down every stop we made. However, I will tell you that my favorite stores at the NGPOs were: Cole Haan, Burberry, Coach, Off Fifth, Kate Spade, Juicy, Polo, BCBG, Michael Kors and J. Crew. We were afraid to step foot into Pottery Barn or Nike – which were absolutely swarmed with eager shoppers. Even though it wasn’t a holiday weekend, we found excellent deals everywhere! Coach was running a one day promotion for 20% off of the entire store, and Jenny and I walked away with adorable new purses. Polo had some noteworthy deals, too, convincing Dana to stock up on shirts for her wonderful fiance who is in Iraq until May. Overall, I thought the shopping was great.
Here are a few tips on efficient outlet shopping that I picked up during our mini-spree:
1- Wear flats or comfortable shoes. You will regret it if you don’t. However, if your feet begin to hurt while you are shopping – you can run into Adidas, Nike or Cole Haan (love their shoes with the Nike technology) and purchase yourself a brand spankin’ new pair.
2- Go to the bathroom prior to standing in line for a dressing room. Lines can be long and there is nothing worse than nature calling while you are trying to shimmy your way out of a pair of skinny jeans…
3- Eat before you go – or bring snacks. I wasn’t impressed with the food options at the NGPO’s – or the lack thereof.
4- Develop patience. The lines are long for the dressing rooms, registers and bathrooms…there’s really no way around it. And, there were a ton of slowly walking people w/ strollers. Just keep that in mind…
5- According to a colleague, the best time to go outlet shopping is the week(end) prior to a holiday – so for instance the week before Black Friday or Fourth of July. Apparently, the outlet stores will already have their stock out for the holiday weekend and start running their sales early.
6- Bring an umbrella. The weather happened to be gorgeous on Saturday and we were fine - however it’s important to note that not all of the walkways between stores are covered. It would be a shame to drive all the way out to the NGPOs and not be able to visit all the stores on your list because you’ve become a drowned rat in a rainstorm.
Four hours later on our drive home, we realized we were absolutely famished. So, at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday we sat down for a three hour sushi meal complete with sake bombs! Yea!
We went to Yu-Ka Sushi Bar - right next to the disco Kroger in Buckhead. I did not care for the sushi or the atmosphere at all, but the service was good and the sake bombs hit the spot. I called it an early evening and ventured home with my bags upon bags of outlet loot and redboxed The Hurt Locker + A Serious Man (both nominated for Best Picture @ the Oscar’s – The Hurt Locker won). I really enjoyed both.
What a Saturday! I’m already looking forward to heading back to the NGPOs in a few months to stock up on summertime gear…
North Georgia Premium Outlets
800 Highway 400 South
Dawsonville, GA 30534