I love shopping. I also love a good deal. It only makes sense to me that shopping at an outlet mall is the prefect place for me. Miramar Outlets in Estero, just outside of Fort Myers, Florida is one of the best places I have found for a good deal and a great time. The layout and design of the stores is wonderful and was planned well, with plenty for everyone, even those who don’t like to shop!
Easily accessible from Interstate 75 and halfway between Fort Myers and Naples, Florida is the outdoor shopping oasis. With plenty of parking options, just be sure to bring a sun shade for your vehicle and try to remember where it is that you parked! are signs for different stores on the outside structure of the shopping area, but they don’t necessarily coincide with where the store is actually located, so unless you are familiar with the stores’ locations, pick and spot and enjoy a short walk to the stores!
While the Miramar Outlets are technically located in an open air shopping area, they are all part of one big building structure with awnings over the entrances of every store. Even on a rainy day, you can almost entirely avoid getting wet (except when walking to your vehicle!). Fans are located throughout the awnings to help keep you cool if you happen to be out and about on a hot summer day. Plenty of trees and plants also help to keep things seeming cooler. This may seem irrelevant, but if you come to the Miramar Outlets on a sunny summer day, believe me, the fans and shade will be a welcome site!!
Throughout the entire shopping structure, there are several different water fountains of varying size, but sure to keep young ones interested while talking a break from all the walking and shopping. One of the ponds is actually a koi pond and always seems to draw a good crown of children and interested adults around.
There are also tables with umbrellas scattered about with hot dog kiosks for a quick snack. Starbucks has a presence to keep your energy up with a caffeine buzz and kettle corn popcorn is always a must when I bring my daughter along shopping! There is a yummy (and always busy) pizza stop, as well as a Subway restaurant. Aside from those locations, there are several restaurants that are more of a sit-down style. If you are really spending time (and money) at Miramar Outlets, they are a great place to sit down for a while, have a nice glass of wine and get some energy back up to continue shopping! If you are one of the unfortunate spouses who has been dragged along, this is a great place to meet up with your significant other while you relax with a nice cold beer (you know who you are).
There is also a nice children’s playground that is a good distraction for young ones who just don’t understand the point of browsing store after store. It’s completely outdoors though, with limited shade. As the sun can get quite hot here in Southwest Florida, it would be advisable to bring sunscreen! Several restrooms are located throughout the shopping complex and are very clean. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms have baby changing stations and have always been well maintained (from my experience as well as my husband’s).
What you really came for- to spend money!!
Unlike the Tanger Outlets which usually have one or two outlet stores that I am interested in visiting, Miramar Outlets has a whole slew of them. Some of my favorites include J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gymboree, The Cosmetics Company Store, Ann Taylor and Cole Haan. While most of the items found in these outlet stores are of good quality, the prices are slightly lower than average retail prices at their shopping mall counterparts, but don’t expect to be blown away by the bargains, they aren’t here. Many of the stores’ items are from previous seasons, items and prints may be recognizable from one to two years prior. Years ago, I remember when outlet shopping meant pawing through bins of clothes to find the best deal and the least damaged items. Sometimes small holes or ink stains would reveal huge price cuts, thus giving the bargain shopper a reason to smile. You might still be smiling when you compare your purchase prices to current retail pricing, but you won’t be sifting through barrels of clothing any longer.
Miramar Outlets boasts 120 retail stores that include the following: Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Aldo Shoes, Bass, BCBG Max Azria, Borders Outlet, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Carter’s Childrenswear, Chico’s, Coach Factory Store, Cole Haan, Crabtree & Evelyn, Eddie Bauer, Escada, Fila, Fossil, Gap, Gymboree, Harry and David, Hartmann Luggage, Izod, J.Crew, Johnston & Murphy, Kenneth Cole, Jones New York, Lacoste, Le Creuset, Lenox, Levi’s, Michael Kors, Movado, Nike Factory Store, Nine West, Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, OshKosh B’Gosh, Pacific Sunwear, Purfumania, Perry Ellis, Puma, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rockport, The Sharper Image, Stride Rite, Sunglass Hut, Tommy Hilfiger, Trade Secret, Van Heusen, Villeroy & Boch, Vitamin World, White House/Black Market, Wilson’s Leather, and Zales.
The sizes of these stores vary, but they are all easily identified by signs hanging on the awnings. Property maps are located throughout the shopping complex to make your shopping experience the most enjoyable possible. They also have brochures with maps on them (just in case, they wouldn’t want you to get lost, you know!).