Shopping tourism is a growing travel trend, offering travelers the chance to include shopping as a major part of their vacations. Some shopping travel destinations can be quite pricey but on the budget travel end, places like the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets in Wrentham, Mass., offer the tourist a bargain virtually every step of the way.
Best suited for those vacationing in Boston, Mass., or Providence, R.I. (both 30-45 minutes away), the Wrentham Outlets brings in travelers in from all over the world. It’s an amazing yet contradictory sight, given Wrentham is a tiny town that is “quintessential New England” in a big way.
On one hand, you have the tall white church steeple, town common, historic homes, mom and pop shops in the downtown, and beautiful lakes. On the outskirts of Wrentham near the Plainville line, however, you’ll find another world at the Wrentham Outlets. It’s the largest outlet center in New England with around 170-plus stores offering designer labels and brands, often at amazingly low prices. We have often come out of here with smiles on our faces, buying clothing at around 50 percent off.
Not your grandmother’s outlet shopping center
It’s more like a shopping destination on steroids. We’re astounded at the variety of store specializing in designer fashions and sportswear, shoes, fine leather and luggage, accessories and jewelry, housewares and home furnishings, as well as shopping for children. Some famous stores include Jones New York, Coach, Aeropostale, Timberland, Williams-Sonoma, Sony, Harry and David and the Nike Factory Store. While the variety of restaurants isn’t great, you’ll find about 15 places to eat — from the food court to standalone restaurants like Uno Chicago Grill, Ruby Tuesday and Cracker Barrel. And, of course, you can never go wrong with Auntie Annie’s Soft Pretzels!
The Wrentham Outlets is such a popular tourist shopping destination that they offer group tours. You can fill out a Group Shopping Tour request form on the Wrentham Premium Outlets web site (address is provided at end of article).
Remember that New England is, geographically, compact so shopping tourists can easily get to the Wrentham Outlets from some well-known travel spots. Newport, R.I., is about an hour away, Hyannis, on Cape Cod, approximately an hour and and-half away, with Mystic, Conn., about the same time. The southern Maine coast is two hours from the Wrentham Outlets, while Rockport and Gloucester, Mass., are about an hour and 15 minutes. Outside of New England, New York City, NY., is just under four hours by car to the Wrentham Outlets.
There’s even a world-class campground for you to stay, about 15 minutes away: Normandy Farms Campground in Foxborough, Mass.
The shopping tourism industry is not going anywhere, but sometimes it comes at a high price. Fortunately, the Wrentham Outlets addresses the shopper looking for great deals by bringing an incredible amount of discount stores to one location. It’s also a pleasant shopping experience, nicely laid out and landscaped. We strongly believe that the Wrentham Outlets should be on any shopping tourist’s “shopping list” when in search of bargain outlet travel destinations.
Wrentham Premium Outlets location: One Premium Outlets Boulevard, Wrentham, MA 02093 Tel. (508) 384-0600. Web site: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/wrentham-village
Related stories at VisitingNewEngland:
The best shopping in New England
Discovering authentic country stores in New England
The Crafty Yankee in Lexington
From the Heart of Ayer Gift Shop in Ayer, Mass.