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Find Favorite Brands at Petaluma Village Premium Outlets

Recently I stopped by a Sonoma County shopping destination that seemed to have it all: Great stores, fabulous discounts, and an environment so relaxed and welcoming that I’d even recommend it to families with small children.

With its mature trees, well-maintained greenery and thoughtfully placed benches, it had the cozy feeling of a comfortable and friendly small town environment. The Petaluma Village Premium Outlets proved to be well worth a visit.

I found a nice selection of stores, seemingly picked to offer something for every shopper – from the button-down classic looks of Brooks Brothers Factory Store to fun trends from Aeropostale; from executive boardroom-friendly brands in Saks 5th Avenue OFF 5TH to serious workout wear from the Nike Factory Store (and Adidas and Puma have stores here, too!); and from the adorable kids’ play clothes in the Gymboree Outlet to handy gourmet finds at the Kitchen Collection.

And if you have a chance, consider stopping by the Coach Outlet, just to drool over their amazing leather accessories, dyed in deeply saturated, popsicle colors of mango, raspberry, and lime.

Did I mention great prices? While not everything was discounted, I found savings of 40 to 50 percent to be pretty common, but I also noticed quite a few markdowns as low as 70 percent to almost 90 percent, after all the reductions. Find current deals and discount coupons here.

What made it all the easier to shop was that the staff working in the stores seemed genuinely glad to answer any questions I had and help me find merchandise, even when it was clear that I was only window shopping.

So why bring the family? Well, to begin with, there are plenty of safe, grassy areas for kids to run around, as well as a couple of designated play areas. In addition, there’s the wonderful Da Vinci’s Coffee & Tea shop, offering sandwiches and salads, plus at least a dozen frosty, bubbly Italian sodas in tropical fruit flavors as well as the usual barista blends of all your favorite caffeinated brews.

Finally … my favorite stop of the day … the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Check out the locally-made covered apples — enrobed with everything from classic caramel and almonds, to cheesecake and rocky road concoctions.

Insider tip for international vistitors and fashion shoppers: The Petaluma premium outlets are located an hour north of San Francisco. Trendy labels include Banana Republic, Gap, Express, Levis and Tommy Hilfiger.

Bottom line: This isn’t a massive, marketing bonanza of competing shops outshouting each other. Think calm and inviting, with a well-curated set of shops along grass-, tree-, and awning-lined sidewalks. It’s an atmosphere that speaks to the old-fashioned virtues of strolling, shopping, and stopping for a cappuccino to gloat over your finds.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. The address is 2200 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

Written by Sonoma Insider Vicky Ness.

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