My Long Island Adventure: Tanger Outlets Riverhead

Have you ever done a slightly unconventional side trip? One that makes people look at you a little bit funny? Well, I did when I went to New York in June. Let me tell you a bit about it.

What?

During my six day trip to  NYC, I decided to spend one of those days travelling up Long Island to a place called Riverhead.

Why?

There were a mixture of reasons for this, but to be honest the main one was shopping. The next was affordability. After my travel buddy Emma departed on day four, I didn’t want to stay in our AirBnB in the ghetto by myself. I just so happened to find a reasonably priced IHG hotel right next to a giant outlet shopping mall so it was basically a done deal. I thought by the end of a busy 4 days I’d be ready for a bit of R&R by a pool somewhere.

Where?

My goal was the Tanger Outlets Riverhead. I chose this particular outlet village because of size, cost to get there and store list. It’s got a mixture of high end as well as high street type stores, and it was the only one with a Bath & Body Works, Old Navy, or Express. I’m not really a designer label kinda gal so this was much more my speed.

Tanger Outlets RiverheadSource

How?

I took the Hampton Jitney, a coach which picked me up from 106th street and Lexington, which handily happened to be a level 10 block walk from my AirBnB. After just under two hours on the road it dropped me off right outside the entrance to Tanger Outlets. On my way back, I got the hotel shuttle to the new pickup stop at Calverton where the Jitney picked me up, and got off at the first Manhattan stop at 39th street.

To be honest, another draw to taking this trip was getting to go on the Jitney – another Sex and the City reference (name that episode, fellow fans).

Tanger Outlets Riverhead via the Hampton JitneySource

The whole Jitney experience was overwhelmingly positive (except for one thing, see below) and I’m going to be writing more about that soon.

So… What happened?

This wouldn’t be a Rachel adventure without some sort of minor injury, right?

Tanger Outlets Riverhead via the Hampton Jitney

This is me attempting to ice my leg using my cool-ish water bottle and my jumper as a tourniquet after a Jitney armrest connected forcefully with my leg. Note to self: don’t try and walk around moving coaches.

Just as a point of interest for people who are as fascinated by giant bruises as I am, here’s the result of this particular escapade.

Tanger Outlets Riverhead via the Hampton Jitney

You’re welcome.

On with the story.

After arrival at the outlets at about 4pm, I walked through the entire car park (which was huge) to try and drop my suitcases off at my hotel. From looking at Google Maps, I assumed that there would be some way of walking through to my hotel from the outlets, as they are immediately adjacent. I couldn’t see anywhere obvious so I popped into shopper services to see if they could point me in the right direction.

Well, I ended up meeting two of the nicest ladies ever and I will be eternally grateful for their help. I spent almost half an hour in there, so to cut a long story short – there is no walkway between the hotel and the outlet centre. In fact, there isn’t even a pavement to the hotel. The very kind ladies not only lent me a phone to call the hotel to arrange a shuttle, but also let me store my suitcase in their office while I shopped. And gave me a discount booklet, which was free as I was Foreign. And they were so friendly!

Feeling much cheered by these nice ladies and relieved to have rid myself of my suitcases, I set off on my shopping adventure. The Tanger Outlets Riverhead shut at 9pm which gave me ample time to browse the >230 stores on this huge site. I’d never been to any shopping centre even half this big, so I was quite in awe of the whole experience. I’m not sure this map helps you with scale, but here we go anyway:

Tanger outlets map

I spent my four hours well, and I did make a few purchases – but not as many as I was expecting, to be honest. There just wasn’t that much that I wanted. I also didn’t think stuff was that cheap, to be honest. I did manage to pick up the main things I came for though, including my new favourite possession: my Bose QuietComfort 25 noise cancelling headphones. Thanks for the recommendation, Kerri! I got a refurbished pair at the Bose store and I love them.

I did buy some other stuff too, but I’m just not sure how interested people are in reading about that. Is that something you’d like to read? Or… not so much?

After shopping until I couldn’t look another stripy tee in the face, I caught up with my shuttle bus and my suitcase and drove around the corner to my hotel. Ridiculous. Anyway.

I stayed at the Hotel Indigo Long Island, which was nice enough but not as nice as the other Hotel Indigos I’ve stayed at. Mostly due to the staff, actually; they just weren’t that nice. Most unusual for a Hotel Indigo, I must say.

Tanger Outlets Riverhead via the Hampton Jitney

Still, my room was comfy and I basically watched trashy tv in bed and gloated over my purchases. There was a minor escapade in the morning due to my bathroom door managing to lock itself from the inside when I’d closed it from the outside the night before, meaning I couldn’t get into my bathroom when I woke up. That was a bit stressful as you can imagine, but I managed to MacGyver it open with the aid of the ice tongs and we all escaped unscathed.

The one thing I wish I’d done was go for a pre-breakfast swim in the pool; it looked lovely.

Tanger Outlets Riverhead via the Hampton Jitney

Those loungers look like the perfect place to sit and read a book, if you ask me.

Instead, I got back on the Jitney to continue my adventures in New York. More on that to come!

In summary

This whole Long Island Adventure sounds a bit strange, but I actually had a brilliant time. No, I didn’t buy a huge amount but I found it a valuable trip for other reasons instead.

I loved watching the changing landscape as we left Manhattan, drove through Queens, and out into the more rural areas of Long Island. It gave me a greater appreciation for the scale of New York City, the people who live there, and what life is like outside the bustling metropolis. I felt it was a more honest place than the city; none of the pretence, no glamorous veneer.

It gave me a chance to have a little breather, reflect on what I’d done so far, what I’d enjoyed and not enjoyed, and therefore what my plans for the last day and a half would be. My last precious hours in NYC wouldn’t have been half as good if I hadn’t had that space and time to plan in the hotel room in Riverhead.

I even enjoyed walking around the planted gardens they’ve got dotted around the site, clutching an ice-cold diet coke the size of my head, watching the sun set fiery orange over the pitched roofs. It was just such a contrast to the skyscrapers of earlier in the day (and ps my diet coke addiction is back with a vengeance).

I’m not sure it’s a trip I’d recommend to everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it and I’m glad I went. My left leg, less so…

Have you ever been on a slightly madcap adventure? Do share…

-Rachel

This is about that time I took a trip to Long Island and the Tanger Outlet Riverhead. Fun and mild injury ensued.

Linking up with Van, Marcella, Lauren and Isabel for Wanderlust Wednesday and with Wander Mum and Mummy Travels for City Tripping

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44 Comments

  1. 12th July 2016 / 18:29

    Like you said, sometimes you just need a side trip to get yourself right for the remainder of your trip! I think that’s fun that you took the jitney out there, but not fun that it slammed down on your leg! The bruise looks terrible! And go figure about not being able to access your hotel from the mall. They probably set it up that way so people wouldn’t just drive through their parking lot or something.

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:24

      Sometimes you do! I’m all for a random side trip. I think it keeps things interesting. The bruise was a total nightmare, it was so painful and hurt when I walked! It still hasn’t healed properly now 🙁 I’m trying to think of it as a souvenir but it’s a tough jump to make! I just could NOT work out why there was no connection. Not even a walkway! Presumably the hotel’s main source of guests is the mall, because it’s in the middle of nowhere otherwise. It makes no sense!

  2. 12th July 2016 / 18:49

    So cool that you were able to fit in a side trip. It’s nice that you got that opportunity to see another part. I LOVE Bose. They are awesome for travel and just great headphones. They are a great company too-their customer service is so good. That bruise! Ouch. Oh, and incidentally there are Tanger outlets in Delaware also!

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:26

      I really enjoyed it! I’ve heard good things about the Bose earphones all around so I was really happy I’d waited to buy them at a bargain price. Ah yes, I remember you buying your aviators in Delaware, was that at the Tanger outlets? They were a good choice by the way 🙂

  3. 12th July 2016 / 20:13

    Haha that does sound quite adventurous – and unusually so for a shopping trip 😉 I’d love to go to the Hamptons where they shoot movies like the Great Gatsby and spend some time at the beach but that pool definitely seems lovely too!

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:27

      Yes I know, I really know how to live on the edge don’t I!? I’m not normally a big shopper so I had to make it interesting somehow.

      I’d have loved to stay on the bus a bit longer and make it out to the Hamptons proper, but sadly time and money did not permit. It’s expensive out there! The beaches looked divine when we flew in though, so beautiful. One day…

  4. Jen
    12th July 2016 / 22:58

    Yay for a side trip! Nothing wrong with that at all! 🙂

  5. 13th July 2016 / 01:43

    Oh, your poor leg! Sounds like quite the adventure 🙂

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:28

      It was, in more ways than one! My leg hasn’t quite forgiven me yet, I hope it lets me go on more adventures soon…

  6. 13th July 2016 / 05:46

    I’m glad you enjoyed the journey and your shopping – even if the hotel wasn’t up to the usual standard you expect. Employees can really make or break a hotel!

    Hope your leg is all healed up now – it looks so painful! 🙁

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:30

      It was just the most disgusting thing, I actually felt quite bad about wearing shorts in case I scared small children. Sadly I have slow-healing legs (I’m sure that’s a thing) so I’ve still got a faint bruise even now. I think it’ll be with me for some time to come!

      Totally agree about employees making or breaking the place. It wasn’t a bad hotel at all, but they were just so all over the place! I nearly missed my Jitney home because they were faffing about so much. Argh.

  7. 13th July 2016 / 16:42

    well tanger outlets are all over and they are kinda the best to go to (orlando is also known for outlets which is a pain for someone who lives here) but i love your adventure (minus the abuse you took) and i love that you got out of the city for a bit! the jitney of COURSE i know the reference. and YAY for the headphones! i only buy stuff at bose outlets. they are way better – how was the trip home with them??

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:32

      Thanks again for the recommendation! They made the flight home a breeze even though I was sat next to a guy who I swear was on drugs. He only stopped jiggling about in his seat when he was snoring 🙁
      Glad you got the reference, and it’s lucky you live near Bose outlets so you can get your fix! I’m scoping out my nearest… But of course the prices aren’t half as good here.

  8. 13th July 2016 / 17:50

    I love that you escaped the city for a while! I know I’ve done off-kilter things on some of my trips, too, and I’ve always been really happy that I did. The thing about American outlet malls is that some of them are barely discounted at all, and other ones are super cheap with discounts over 50%! It’s very random, and the only ones I know about for sure are the ones I’ve gone to myself. It’s true, Long Island is a much more authentic experience than NYC proper, and I’m glad you got to see it!

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:34

      Good! Happy to hear I’m not the only one who dreams up somewhat madcap schemes! I know what you mean about the random assortment of discounts, we have that in the UK too. Some brands even have cheapo lines that they make especially for outlets, which I boycott on principle because that makes NO sense. There was a bit of a range in the mall I went to, some good prices and some that were worse than high street.

      I loved my authentic experience, it may not have been for everyone but I had an excellent time 🙂

  9. 14th July 2016 / 02:45

    Love this, and the honesty! A side trip or break is always healthy because, like you say, gives you pause to reflect. It’s important to just do what you want to do when you travel and not always what you should do. Hope your leg is doing better, what a nightmare!

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:35

      I take it you appreciated the bruise photo, then?! I absolutely needed the pause to reflect, and the change of scene helped me not to be so sad about my friend leaving! It was definitely a luxury to just take myself off somewhere, and do just what I felt I wanted to. The leg is improving slowly… I still bear Jitney marks though!

  10. 14th July 2016 / 06:04

    Oh my! I can’t believe the size of that bruise! Great to hear your experience was positive in spite of the incident. Lately, I have been experiencing certain crazy things when going on trips. I consider them part of the adventure.

    • 14th July 2016 / 18:36

      It’s a whopper, isn’t it?! That aside, I did have a brilliant time and I loved seeing a different side of the place. I’m intrigued by your crazy happenings, I hope they’re good crazy and not injured crazy like mine. They do make things memorable though, that’s for sure!

  11. 16th July 2016 / 05:17

    That’s a nasty bruise. As a traveler who often has leg injuries on my travels (and at home too), I can totally empathize with you there.

    • 18th July 2016 / 20:53

      Oh no! Sorry to hear your legs often get knocked about. That’s no fun. Thanks for the sympathy, I’m pleased to report that I did manage to carry on with my sightseeing and it’s healing up now. Slowly, but we’re getting there!

  12. 18th July 2016 / 15:30

    this actually sounds kind of amazing. except for the bruise, ouch! sorry about the sucky staff at the hotel and the possessed bathroom door. that would suck! i can name jane austen buildings, but i cannot name sex and the city episodes! ah! lol. sorry you didn’t buy as much as you expected. my first US trip, i ended in columbus ohio where i saw my favourite country band in concert (again, i’d seen them at the start of the trip hahaha) and by happy accident there was a huge outlet shopping centre close by and i had a couple of days to relax (oh the days of 4 weeks annual leave.. sigh) so all i did was shop and watch trashy tv. it was amazing.

    • 18th July 2016 / 20:55

      The bruise was a lowlight, but I’m glad you share my passion for shopping and watching trashy tv. I’m not even mad I didn’t buy much – I just loved having the chance to wander around at my own pace, catch some sun on my face in between outlets, and explore all these shops that I’d heard about on the internets. Maybe that’s a bit sad but I had a lovely time!

      I’m impressed by your Austen building recognition I have to say. We all have a talent! You should probably go on Mastermind with yours 🙂

  13. 18th July 2016 / 20:31

    Wow, that is one heck of a bruise! I like the idea of a reset mid-trip, and it certainly sounds like you got a cool perspective on New York 🙂

    • 18th July 2016 / 21:01

      It’s quite impressive, isn’t it? Luckily now it’s a shadow of its former self, so I’m not scaring passersby anymore. I absolutely loved New York, and I do think this trip really helped with the whole experience 🙂

  14. 19th July 2016 / 08:42

    So glad you’re okay after that brush with the jitney.

    I always shop to crazy excess at the US outlets. No self control.

    Loving these NY posts!

    SSG xxx

    • 21st July 2016 / 19:04

      Typical me really, I’m always so clumsy. It was an interesting addition to come home with! I’m glad you get your shop on at the US outlets, it must be way cheaper than Aus prices. I was oddly restrained this time, no idea why. I still had a lot of fun though 🙂

      Really glad you’re enjoying the posts!

  15. 19th July 2016 / 20:59

    When you first said jitney I thought straight away of SATC -better a bruise than a chipped tooth though! And that is mad that you can’t walk next door, it does amaze me sometimes in America how a car is essential to drive 100ft… What a fun adventure to fit in though. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 19:05

      Hahah nooo that episode makes me cringe in so many ways! I’m totally with you on the driving thing. It just made absolutely no sense to me. And the poor driver having to tip out and drive me around the corner. Honestly! Thanks for hosting!

  16. 19th July 2016 / 22:01

    That is some bruise!! I don’t think I’d do it for shopping but I’m not adverse to kooky side trips…

    • 21st July 2016 / 19:03

      Ugh it was the worst. Still is actually… Anyway, the side trip was excellent and although unconventional, I really enjoyed a brief breather.

  17. 20th July 2016 / 10:10

    I’m also not into brands and thought that outlet stores are always into high-end labels. I’d consider going here on my next trip to the US. 🙂

    • 21st July 2016 / 19:02

      It’s definitely not so full of high end brands as others. I also thought the setting was very scenic, but maybe I’m just easily pleased when it comes to shopping malls. Even though I didn’t end up buying a whole heap I still had a really enjoyable time. Let me know if you do make it!

  18. 20th July 2016 / 10:55

    It’s always good to experience something a bit different on a trip…despite the bruise (ouch) and strange maze of none connecting buildings. America is crazy like that…they sometimes make it very hard to walk places. Can’t believe your bathroom locked – that’s crazy. Thanks for sharing your experience on #citytripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 19:01

      People warned me that they don’t like people to walk in America, and I didn’t believe them – mostly because I found Manhattan pretty walker friendly. But then I left Manhattan and I realised what everyone was talking about!

      I think I pushed the lock button on the inside of the door by mistake before I pulled it shut. I don’t know, it’s all a bit hazy, I’m just glad I got in there in the end..!

  19. 21st July 2016 / 03:54

    That bruise looks painful! Looks like the kind I get when my kids decide to jump onto me and jab their knees into my thighs. I feel your pain.

    I got to learn that MacGyver trick for opening locks. Sounds very useful in emergencies.

    #CityTripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 18:59

      Oh it was miserable. The kind you can’t even breathe near because it hurts! Sorry to hear you get such beauties inflicted on you by your boys, not good!

      The ice tongs were heaven sent. I’m not sure what I’d have done if I didn’t have them!

  20. 22nd July 2016 / 01:29

    THIS IS MY HOMETOWN! hahah This is so funny! I literally grew up a 5 minute drive from here! Growing up my friends and I always hated the outlets, probably just because we were sick of them, but now whenever I go home it’s one of the first places I go! Such great deals! I always think it’s funny when people find their way out to Riverhead, but I guess it’s becoming quite the tourist hub as it’s so close to the beach and the city! Hope you enjoyed overall! 😀

    • 25th July 2016 / 12:15

      How funny! I’m glad you’ve come to love it now, I have to say I had a fantastic time although I know it’s not somewhere most people would choose to visit on a trip to NYC… I think I missed a lot of the bargains because I just had no idea what I was looking for, but I did still pick up a few things that I’m super happy about. It must be strange to have grown up there and hear people talk about it, my hometown is extremely tiny so I’d probably fall off my chair if I found a blog post about it. Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  21. 23rd July 2016 / 01:29

    When we’re traveling as a family or group, the idea of a side trip to an outlet mall will meet with a predictable divide: The girls will be all over it, while the guys complain that shopping malls are not travel destinations. However, it has been noted that sometimes the boys buy more than the girls. Just sayin’! 😉

    • 25th July 2016 / 12:17

      Haha! That’s hilarious. Luckily I was alone on this part of the trip so I only had to argue with myself – and nobody to keep track of my purchases, either! 😉

      I think it would have been a good place to go with a group though, as I think there would have been something for most people. If only the food court!

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