For many people coming to the beach, a visit to Tanger Outlets in Foley has become as essential a part of the trip as packing sunscreen and renting a beach umbrella. It’s a great way to shop all of your favorite brands in one location. More than 120 name brands, including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Michael Kors, Bose Factory Store and Oakley Vault, have outlet stores there.

As most serious outlet shoppers already know a little upfront preparation is likely to make your outlet shopping experience more productive and enjoyable. So here’s our outlet shopping survival guide.

Tip One—Dress for Success

Dress for the weather and for easily changing clothes in a dressing room. You will be outside for a large part of the day going from store to store.  Also, wear comfortable shoes and carry a light purse. This will most likely be a marathon—not a sprint!

Tip Two—Getting there and parking

Even though Tanger Outlets is located only nine miles from the beach, plan on taking 20 to 30 minutes to get there from most locations in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.

There are numerous stoplights, and during the high season, traffic can back up at the mall entrance. There is a back entrance to the outlet center from S. Juniper Street. If traffic is really backed up on Highway 59, the back entrance might be a better option for getting in and out quickly.

There is plenty of parking, so you usually don’t have to worry about finding a parking space except on shopping holidays like Memorial Day Weekend and Black Friday. Also, if you are unable or unwilling to walk long distances, there is usually plenty of room to move your car around the shopping center once you get there.

Tip Three—Make this Your First Stop

Your first stop should be Tanger Customer Service located where you’ll find discount coupons as well as information on current sales and promotions.  You can also check the coupons page on the Tanger Outlet website for printable versions of current offers and promotions.  This can save you serious money on your purchases for the day. You can also pick up a map of the stores so you can see where the stores you want to hit are located.

This directory has the outlet stores conveniently grouped by categories (Apparel, Footwear, Specialty, Accessories, Housewares & Home Furnishings and Services) to help you find what you are looking for and to make sure you don’t have to backtrack to find one of your must-shop stores.

Tip Four—What’s to Eat?

It’s not uncommon for serious shoppers to spend the entire day at Tanger Outlets, so the question invariably comes up, “What are the food options?” There is a food court, but the choices are somewhat limited—especially when it comes to healthy options. It’s basically a choice between Pizza, Mexican or Chinese. However, there are a couple of other options for quick snacks including a freestanding Starbucks, The Fudgery and Peachwave Self-Serve yogurt.

Tip Five—Something Extra for the Kids

If you have young children with you, build in some time to stop by the Family Fun Park just outside the food court. The park includes a covered playground, a carousel and an interactive water fountain.

Tip Six—Best Price Guarantee

Tanger Outlets has a “best price guarantee.” So if you purchase an item and find it advertised at a lower price within the next 30 days, you can bring a copy of the ad along with your sales receipt to Shopper Services, and they will refund the difference.  This will ensure that you’re getting the best prices anywhere when you shop at Tanger!

Located at 2601 S. McKenzie Street in Foley, Tanger Outlets are open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Leave us a note in the comments to let us know what your best shopping tip is and any great deals you’ve found going on at Tanger!