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Shoppers will go nuts for Vacaville Premium Outlets

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Shoppers will go nuts for Vacaville Premium Outlets

The Vacaville Premium Outlets off of Interstate 80.

Photo contributed/

POSTED January 14, 2012 2:18 a.m.

Outlet shopping paradise is just 90 minutes away from Manteca at the Vacaville Premium Outlets.

The 120-outlet-store complex rates among the top in Northern California, having visited outlet malls in Tracy, Redding, Folsom, Petaluma, South Lake Tahoe and Gilroy.

There are plenty of reasons for making that claim and it has nothing to do with the fact Vacaville has a Wilson’s Leather store.

•The scenic drive is great via Highway 4 across the heart of the Delta, across the Sacramento River at Rio Vista then the back roads to Vacaville via Highway 113 and assorted Solano County routes.

• A layout in 12 complexes that has extensive landscaping with protected walkways across the parking lot that encourages crisscrossing shopping instead of the U-shaped Tracy outlet mall that tends to get you to do the store after store shopping without a break.

• Restrooms that are conveniently located.

• Varied food stops in the outlet complex as well as nearby, including Mel’s Original Diner (just opened complete with 1950s and 1960s decor and table jukeboxes), the venerable Coffee Tree and Black Oak restaurants from the Vacaville Nut Tree era and Tahoe Joe’s to name a few.

• An alternative route back to Manteca via Interstate 80 to Sacramento and then south to Stockton on Interstate 5 that is 10 minutes longer than the Delta route.

• Parking and internal traffic flow that isn’t schizo like Folsom or Petaluma.

It is a neessary to elaborate on the parking and the store layout. Most factory outlet malls are like shopping malls. They want you to abandon your vehicle and focus on stores that are accessed via internal courtyards. Not Vacaville. The 12 building complexes have four parking areas with plenty of connecting tree-lined pathways making it easy to take purchases back to your vehicle or simply to operate from two or three movements in the parking lot.

The shopping pattern this encourages may not be exactly environmental friendly, but it cuts down on the boredom fatigue that often strikes the less-than-enthusiastic shopping partner. There are plenty of in-and-out patterns that are encouraged that don’t necessarily mean the store-to-store strolling that Tracy tends to have. The ability to take a store break by cutting across an expanse of the landscaped parking lot allows you to go the distance even with the most serious recreational shopper.

Even if you end up buying elsewhere since outlet stores don’t necessarily yield the best prices, the ability to do that much searching in such a compact location without having to run across town or shopping mall hop from city to city is a big plus.

The store categories at Vacaville include 22 footwear options, four perfume and cosmetic stores, 65 apparel stores, four housewares and home accessories outlets plus entertainment, specialty jewelry, luggage, toys, gifts and more.

The complex is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dennis Wyatt
managing editor

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