If you’re on the prowl for designer clothes, jewelry, shoes, and handbags – and cost is no object – Boston has no shortage of upscale shops. (Take a stroll along Newbury Street, or check out the Shops at the Prudential Center.) But if you, like many of us, have champagne tastes and a beer budget, you may want to head for one of the factory outlets within driving distance of our vacation rental in Medford instead.
For our bargain-hunting guests, The Premium Outlets in Wrentham, Mass., are a must-visit whenever they’re in town. Here you’ll find many of the same brands sold at Boston boutiques, including Banana Republic, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Armani, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and more, at significant discounts. The Wrentham outlets are only about 45 minutes away from Medford – just ask us for directions.
You’ll find a similar line-up of outlets at the Merrimack Premium Outlets in Merrimack, N.H., which is owned by the same retail chain. Merrimack is 45 minutes away, too, but in the other direction – away from the city instead of toward it – so there’s a chance you’ll encounter less traffic.
Another popular destination for Boston bargain shoppers is the Kittery Outlets in Kittery, Maine. Many of the big catalog brands have stores here, and it’s a particularly good place to find discounted activewear and outdoor gear from retailers like Eddie Bauer, Nike, Reebok, Columbia, Orvis, and Lululemon. Unlike at Wrentham, the shops aren’t clustered together in a walkable mall, so you’ll need to drive from store to store. From Medford to Kittery is just over an hour north on I-95.
Finally, for budget-minded visitors with a whole day at their disposal, Settler’s Green Outlet Village in North Conway, N.H. is a true shopper’s paradise. Where else can you save big bucks and enjoy a stunning view of the White Mountains at the same time? This drive will take you over two hours, but you’ll get a gorgeous taste of New England scenery along the way.