People walk out of the Columbia Clearance Store at Seattle Premium Outlets on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Quil Ceda Village, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People walk out of the Columbia Clearance Store at Seattle Premium Outlets on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Quil Ceda Village, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Head to Tulalip for retail recreation at Seattle Premium Outlets

The outlet mall has over 130 shops. You might even bring home a furry friend.

TULALIP — Seattle Premium Outlets is not your ordinary trip to the mall.

This is outdoor retail recreation.

The shopping center is among the top tourist attractions in Snohomish County, along with Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, according to the tourism bureau.

The outlet mall, about 10 miles north of Everett, is in Quil Ceda Village, a retail-dining-entertainment plaza that includes Tulalip Resort Casino, Home Depot, Walmart, Cabela’s as well as trendy restaurants and a cannabis shop.

Seattle Premium Outlets has over 130 stores with brand and designer names such as Calvin Klein, Carter’s, Claire’s, Clarks, Coach, Cole Haan, Columbia and Crocs.

That’s just a sampling of some starting with the letter C.

In addition to clothes, purses and shoes, shops have toys, dishes, cosmetics and baby items. There’s even a tool store. Direct Tools Factory Outlet is a Ryobi powerhouse.

A touch screen map lets shoppers look up stores and get visual directions with arrows. The digital directory has multiple language options.

For the loyal legion of locals, it’s just a matter of braving traffic on I-5. Shuttles services daily bring in shoppers from Canada to Seattle.

“Summer for us has already kicked off already because we are so close to the tulips, and then it just builds until September,” said Carol Hildahl, mall manager.

Hildahl said many international tourists come to shop while on visits to Vancouver, B.C.

“A lot are looking for specific brands,” she said. “I had 360 people from Taiwan here last weekend.”

Burberry, Michael Kors, Coach and Tommy Hilfiger topped their shopping list.

“A couple weekends in May, I have 17 buses registered to come through,” she said.

Another event is the Armed Forces Day specials on May 18.

There is even a special shopping holiday. National Outlet Shopping Day is June 8 and 9.

“That is essentially Black Friday in the summer,” Hildahl said. “We hand out huge tote bags and our stores have additional offers. The last two years have been absolutely crazy.”

Merchants gear specific sales and selections to seasons.

“We start the back-to-school push in July,” she said.

Many items are popular year-round.

The clearance center Columbia store, which opened last year, has racks of jackets up to 70% off.

“This is coming home with me,” said shopper Adrienne Hernandez, holding up a green puffer vest with a gold thermal-reflective lining. The $130 vest was marked down to $39.98.

Hernandez, of Moses Lake, about 200 miles away, had two bags of purchases from other outlet stores.

“We’re from a small town so we don’t have a lot of options,” she said. “We also like not paying huge prices. I like a good deal.”

The mall has an indoor food court. Kiosks serve up kettle corn, drinks and pretzels. Vending machine selections include Bitcoins and cotton candy.

Dogs are allowed in the outdoor areas. The mall hosts pet adoption sessions for those wanting to add a furry friend to the family.

Seattle Premium Outlets is open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Stores open early for the Black Friday crowd.

Other Simon outlet shopping destinations include New York City, Houston, Las Vegas and Miami.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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