Florida Guide > Shopping
Those of us who have been visiting Orlando for many years will be familiar with the Belz Factory Outlet World, which was situated at the top of International Drive. This complex included two indoor malls, and four annexes as well as an outdoor designer outlet centre. It was a great place to shop and pick up lots of bargains at the many well known outlet stores. However, by 2005 it had become very jaded and run down, with many empty shops, so we were delighted when it was taken over and recently rebuilt.
Prime Retail, who own several other outlet malls in Florida, acquired the whole site and made plans to completely revamp it. The whole site was bulldozed and the single storey malls which were linked by open walkways were removed completely to make way for an upmarket and delightful new outdoor outlet mall – Prime Outlets. This open air ‘lifestyle center’ opened in September 2007 after a multi-million dollar remodel, and it was named Prime Outlets International. Prime Outlets owns malls near Miami, Tampa and St Augustine, as well as many across the whole of the United States, and Puerto Rico.
It is still situated at the top of International Drive, just before you get to Mall at Millenia, and it is now beautifully landscaped, and a delightful place to while away a few hours, shopping at the many new stores that have opened. Located close to Universal, Seaworld and Disney World it is in an ideal site with 175 retail outlets, which include such stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nieman Marcus Last Call, and one of my personal favourites, Victoria’s Secret Outlet. In addition there are sit-down restaurants and even a spa.
Prime Outlets is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10. 00 am to 11. 00 pm, so it makes it an ideal place to shop in the evening, when it is cool. On Sundays it is open from 10. 00 am to 9. 00 pm. It is even open on Thanksgiving and on Easter Sunday, though it is shut on Christmas Day.
There are many categories of shops, including designer wear and sports wear, shoes, children’s, luggage and leather, Home Fashions, jewellery and Accessories, and speciality stores. As well as there being a large Food Mall, with fast food outlets there are restaurants where you can sit down to a meal in comfort. If you want to relax and be pampered then there is a nail and day spa, too.
We enjoy strolling along its boulevards, especially in the evening, when there is a breeze to keep you cool. With so many shops there is definitely something for everyone.
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