In America, shopping might just be the most popular pastime of them all. Spending our hard-earned money on things we love is a natural part of modern society, and there are countless brands out there all creating new items each and every day. But why would you want to pay the highest prices for these products if you can get them so much cheaper elsewhere? Instead of shopping at regular retail stores, be sure to check out an outlet mall for your next Virginia shopping trip. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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Many different outlet stores and malls can be found all around Virginia, and these locations work by offering a direct connection between the general public and the brands themselves. Without any middle men or third parties, the prices stay low and affordable, helping you buy more of the goods you want and save cash. At an outlet store, you never have to pay over the odds.

Outlet malls often feature 100 or more individual stores, including major brands from both the United States and abroad like Calvin Klein, Kate Spade New York, Skechers, Fossil, Gap, Guess, Adidas, and so many more. Products from all of these brands can be found at a typical outlet mall for a fraction of their regular retail prices. Malls also run regular sales and special offers, giving you even more ways to save.

Best Outlet Malls in Virginia

One of the oldest and most historic states of them all, Virginia plays host several great outlet malls and shopping spots. Tourists and residents in the state can be found flocking to these malls on holidays, weekends, and many other times of the year in order to take advantage of all the great deals and low prices on display. If you're looking to do some outlet shopping in Virginia, check out one of the top locations listed below.

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2.Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets
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Part of the Simon Center chain of outlet malls, which has dozens of locations all around the United States and several right in the state of Virginia, the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets are conveniently located, not far outside of Washington D.C. and Baltimore, not far from the Maryland border, so it’s in the perfect spot not just for Virginia residents, but for people in neighboring states as well.

Open for most of the day, every day of the week, this outlet mall can get very busy on weekends and special occasions like Black Friday, with countless shoppers eager to enjoy the awesome deals and low prices offered by the mall's 100+ stores. Some of the top brands you can find at this lively location include Calvin Klein, Tory Burch, Nike, Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade New York, Adidas, Under Armour, Vineyard Vines, and Restoration Hardware.

241 Fort Evans Rd NE, Leesburg, VA 20176, Phone: 703-737-3071

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3.Potomac Mills

Potomac Mills
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Originally opened way back in September of 1985, Potomac Mills is one of the oldest outlet malls in all of Virginia. Sitting in pride of place in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, this mall has been serving the nation's capital and surrounding cities for several decades now and continues to be one of the most-visited locations in the state, offering unbeatable deals all through the year.

Potomac Mills features more than 200 stores in total, making it the biggest outlet mall in Virginia, with some of the top brands at this indoor center being Very Bradley, Nike, Kate Spade New York, Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, Bloomingdale's, Talbots, Michael Kors, and Nordstrom Rack. For every kind of product, this is a great Virginia mall to visit and it also features more than two dozen eateries and an 18-screen AMC movie theater.

2700 Potomac Mills Cir, Woodbridge, VA 22192, Phone: 703-496-9330

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4.Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Williamsburg Premium Outlets
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Once known as Prime Outlets and Berkeley Commons, Williamsburg Premium Outlets is another of Virginia's top shopping destinations and got started way back in 1988. Extensive renovations in 2008 have helped to modernize this mall and bring it into the 21st century with style, and it's now part of the nationally-known Simon Center chain.

Williamsburg Premium Outlets offers more than 120 individual stores, with major brands in all categories from high-end fashion to casual sportswear. Some of the highlights of this mall include outlet stores for J. Crew, Cole Haan, Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Calvin Klein, and Banana Republic, with prices slashed by up to 65% compared to other retail locations around the United States.

5715 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188, Phone: 757-565-0702

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Best Outlet Malls in Virginia



Attraction Spotlight: The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia

What began as the Lafayette Zoological Park in 1901 is today the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, which celebrates its 115th year.

The zoo covers 53 acres adjacent to Lafayette Park and is bordered by the Lafayette River. More than 500 animals that belong to 100 species call the zoo home.

Popular mammals live at the zoo for your viewing pleasure. Here are a few.

African Lion

The zoo’s female, Zola, weighs in at 344 pounds, while her mate, Mramba, is sized at 364 pounds. Mramba is more reserved, but Zola has a quick temper. The lion’s roars are thunderous and can indeed be heard across the zoo. In 2009, Zola had four cubs: one female and three males. These lions call the south Sahara Desert and parts of southern and eastern Africa home. Lions are considered the only cats to live as large families called prides.

Asian Small-Clawed Otter

The zoo shows two of these animals: a female and a male, and is hopeful the two will breed. Their zoo habitat includes a viewing area through which visitors can watch the otters swim under water.

Asiatic Black Bear

These bears are also known as moon bears, due largely to a white patch of fur that is said to look like a crescent moon. The zoo has two of them: Chai and Thai, who are brothers. At 450 pounds, Chai weighs more.

Moon bears call Southern Asia, Korea and northeastern China home and, while sized similarly to the North American black bear, the thicker mane of fur around their necks distinguish these bears at the zoo.

Binturong

The zoo boasts two binturongs: Suzy, its female; and Rungus, its male. Binturongs are not related to cats or bears.

Bongo

Bongos, generally considered timid, are the heaviest type of forest antelope. Its bright chestnut color grows darker as the animal ages so that old males are nearly black. The body is highlighted with 12 to 14 narrow white stripes on the shoulders, flanks and hindquarters. They have particularly big ears, which are thought to heighten their sense of hearing. Bongos hail from the Lowland Rain Forest of West Africa and the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.

Malayan Tapir

Tapirs are endangered. Often, people think anteaters and tapirs are the same, or that the tapir is a cousin of the elephant. In fact, Tapirs are considered a primitive herbivore, and are most closely related to the horse and rhinoceros. The zoo has two of them – a male and female. They prefer aquatic vegetation, grasses, buds, leaves, soft twigs and fruits of low shrubs.

Malayan Tiger

Christopher and Api are the zoo’s Malayan tigers, an endangered species. It is said there may be as few as 600 in the wild – that is the tropical forests of the southern and central Malay Peninsula. These tigers are perhaps the smallest subspecies of tiger; adult males weigh about 300 pounds; females weigh in at about 200 pounds. In their natural habitat, they feed primarily on wild boar and deer.

Masai Giraffe

Four giraffes call the zoo home. Giraffes are known to be the tallest among land mammals, and their height gives them the advantage of seeing danger from afar. In addition, their eyesight is excellent. This combination of height and superior eyesight makes them the first to run if they are aware of danger, giving other animals the signal that they should run, too.

Orangutan

The male orangutan can be as heavy as 300 pounds and up to five feet tall; females are often less than 150 pounds and are shorter. There are four orangutans at the Virginia Zoo. Their body types suit them as they swing between branches – a movement called brachiating. Orangutans love to eat insects, bark, fruit and early shoots.

Orangutans are today seen on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Sumatran orangutans are fragmented into nine separate populations. Bornean orangutans are much more widely distributed.

Red Panda

Red pandas are endangered, owing largely to the loss of their habitat. There are less than 2,500 adults in the world. Oscar became a zoo resident in 2008 and Missy arrived in 2011. Bernadette came on the scene in April 2012. Oscar and Bernadette produced two male cubs in 2013, and in 2014 they had two female cubs.

Siamang

The siamang is the largest member of the gibbon family. The zoo has four siamangs. They are graceful, as they leap across substantial gaps between ropes or branches in both their outdoor habitat and indoor play area.

Siamangs are endangered as humans invade their habitat – sometime destroying the mother siamang to get at the young because of the market for them as pets.

Slender-Tailed Meerkats

The zoo’s male and female weigh about two pounds each, and love to dig. In fact, visitors will recognize their exhibit by the significant tunneling. When they’re not lounging in the sun, they are eating one of their favorites – meal worms.

In the wild, guests would find meerkats in the South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. They are territorial creatures and are known to protect their turf against other gangs of meerkats, or mobs. Since security is uppermost, they stand guard and make emergency calls to one another.

Squirrel Monkey

In their natural habitat, squirrel monkeys congregate in large groups because they find safety in these large numbers. Being in big groups prevents larger monkeys from chasing them from their trees. Mothers carry the babies around on their backs. Their home range is east of the Andes from Columbia and northern Peru to northeastern Brazil.

This squirrel monkey population at the zoo is a curious lot and loves to swing from their vines. They weigh less than two pounds each and are partial to bananas and marigolds.

White-Cheeked Gibbon

White-cheeked gibbons are considered Critically Endangered, owing to habitat and hunting losses, but the zoo is fortunate to have one male and one female who, incidentally, look completely different from one another. Females have white fur, with a tiny patch of black on top of their heads. Males are completely black save for patches of white on their cheeks. Babies have fur as white as their mom’s – think camouflage – but they turn all black by one year of age. Yet, when they reach young adulthood, the males remain black, while their counterparts become white once more.

White Rhino

Alfred, the zoo’s white rhino, was born in 1968 – making him one of the oldest residents. He’s not the lightest, though; Alfred weighs in at 4,200 pounds and really digs mud. The white rhino is listed as highly endangered; there are less than 3,000 living in the wild.

While most guests visit the zoo with the animals uppermost in their minds, plants are the first to greet them. The zoo’s horticulture sets the stage for guests and residents of the Zoo. Naturalistic habitats for exotic and native animals have been created, and the zoo designs and grows its plant-themed gardens, which also offer fresh plant treats for animals.

In the African Village Garden, African flowers and vegetables remind visitors of the exotic origins of many favorites from the region.

The Butterfly Garden exists in a corner of the zoo, which attracts butterflies and caterpillars.

In Color Gardens, visitors can immerse themselves in their favorite colors. Choose from yellow, white, orange and blue-themed gardens.

The Herb Garden is a remarkable combination of beauty and usefulness.

Modern and antique roses grow here in his amazing Organic Rose Garden area of the zoo.

In one spot, the Ornamental Grass Garden, visitors can get a sense of the many colors and forms of the grasses that grow throughout the zoo.

The Rain Garden shows how storm water is managed at the Fountain Plaza.

The Shade Garden provides a peaceful respite for visitors. Here plants like leopard plants feel right at home.

In the Tropical Garden, you might be fooled into thinking you’ve walked into Bali by the look of the tender, hardy plants that create a tropical feel.

The African Village Café is situated by the entrance to the Okavango Delta. It is a full-service restaurant, serving goodies from salads to pizza to grilled chicken. The meals are as awesome as the view and there is outdoor and indoor seating and kids’ meals and family meal options.

The Barnyard Beastro sits near the front plaza and the Zoo Farm. It offers all-beef hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, and nachos to quell your cravings. Ice cream is available as well.

The Dippin’ Dots stand is directly across from the rhino statue, and is the perfect place to find refreshment before beginning the trek into Africa.

The Snack Shack sits at the front entrance, and offers snacks and bottled water to carry visitors throughout their day at the zoo.

For a picnic lunch, think about Lafayette Park, just outside the Virginia Zoo. The park includes picnic shelters and a new playground. Visitors who decide to leave the zoo to picnic, simply show their admission receipt at the ticket booth to re-enter after what promises to be a delightfully satisfying outing.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Norfolk, Virginia

3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504, Phone: 757-441-2374