San Diego outlets provide ample opportunities to save money on your favorite designer and brand name clothes, shoes, accessories, and housewares. We have stand-alone outlet stores that carry products from their associated department stores and San Diego outlet malls that group individual brand stores together. Both need to shed products at a discount to retail pricing.
Our outlet malls are all outdoors and currently open with reduced hours and capacity. Also, (mostly) gone are the days of messy racks and disheveled shoe boxes as San Diego outlet malls strive to provide nice shopping experiences that, in some cases, are worth special day trips.
I’ll share where to go and what you’ll find at outlets spread across the county (and a few further afield).
TIP:Always thoroughly check outlet purchases for flaws as merchandise in outlet stores is typically from a prior season, overstock, or slightly damaged.
Carlsbad Premium Outlets
Conveniently located just off the 1-5 freeway, Carlsbad Premium Outlets are my favorite San Diego outlets. They’re near LEGOLAND California and quite close to top Carlsbad hotels, so those who are basing their vacations in the area aren’t going out of their way to shop for less.
Here you’ll find around 85 designer and name-brand stores in an outdoor, Tuscan-style setting. Inventory is usually pretty good and I never walk out of this San Diego outlet mall empty-handed.
Save up to 65% on brands like Tory Burch, VANS, Kate Spade, Tumi, Vince, PacSun, Coach, Carter’s, Disney, Havaianas, Banana Republic Factory Store, Adidas, Lacoste, and more. A handful of these San Diego outlets now provide curbside pickup. Call in your order and they will provide instructions on how to retrieve purchases without stepping inside the stores.
The most popular place to eat is probably Ruby’s Diner though you’ll find a Blaze Pizza, Starbuck’s, Rubio’s, and other fast-casual options.
TIP:The St. John outlet is across the street on its own in the Paseo Grande shopping center on Paseo del Norte. There are some finds to be had here if you like their knits.
Carlsbad Premium Outlets is part of Simon Property Group who manages a number of malls across the United States including Las Americas Premium Outlets.
Las Americas Premium Outlets
Address: 4211 Camino de la Plaza, San Diego, CA 92173
The largest of the San Diego outlet malls is Las Americas Premium Outlets with its 125 stores. You’ll find it near the Mexico border in San Ysidro which is about 20 minutes south of downtown San Diego and 20 minutes north of Tijuana.
Brand name stores include Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Calvin Klein, J. Crew, The North Face, Armani, Converse, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, and many more. Savings range between 25-65% off retail prices.
Due to its border location, you’ll also find a UETA Duty-Free store with duty-free cosmetics, wine and spirits, handbags, and other accessories. Those who meet the duty-free criteria will qualify for these savings.
If you’re wondering where to eat, the most popular restaurant is definitely Anchiote. It’s an authentic Mexican eatery with a robust menu and famous for chilaquiles. Quick options include McDonald’s, Idalya’s Mex-Deli (good for tortas and smoothies), and Starbucks. Entertain the kids in between stores in the small children’s play area.
TIP:Sign up for the VIP Shopper Club. Select Carlsbad Premium Outlets or Las Americas Premium Outlets as your favorite Simon Property Group mall to receive special VIP offers by email.
Outlets at the Border
Address: 4463 Camino De La Plaza, San Ysidro, CA 92173
Outlets at the Border is connected to Las Americas Premium Outlets and an entirely separate outlet mall with different ownership. Here, you’ll find just over 20 stores but they include some names not seen in the other San Diego outlet malls like H&M, Justice, O’Neil, Volcom, and Asics.
They have a separate, generous VIP Perks Club that includes a free monthly perk (such as lattes, lunch, and gift cards from your favorite stores) in addition to coupons and deal alerts.
Dining options over here include the likes of Cinnabon, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and a Taco Bell Cantina (with a Taco Bell specialty menu plus alcoholic beverages), but I still think Anchiote is the best sit-down option.
Viejas Outlet Center
Address: 5003 Willows Road, Alpine, CA 91901
Between the Willows Spa, multiple restaurants, concert venue, bowling alley, hotels, and other family-friendly activities, there is a lot to do at Viejas Casino & Resort besides gaming. One of the most popular activities though includes saving on high-end brands at the Viejas Outlet Center.
It’s not quite as large as the two San Diego outlet malls mentioned above. But, you’ll find nearly 30 apparel and accessories stores such as Carter’s, Nike Clearance Store, Sketchers, GAP Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, and others.
TIP:The holiday season is one of the best times to go shopping here because you can also take a spin on the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the county. It’s open roughly between mid-November and early January.
Address: 1646 Camino del Rio North, Suite FSU13, San Diego, CA 92108
I assume this Bloomingdale’s Outlet in Westfield Mission Valley mall receives past-season inventory from the Bloomingdale’s store in nearby Fashion Valley mall.
Usually, you’ll find more housewares here than at Nordstrom Rack next door. Higher-end handbag and shoe brands like Valentino, Gucci, and others have been spotted on sale from time to time.
Mission Valley: 1640 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108
La Jolla: 8875 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
Carmel Mountain Plaza: 11940 Carmel Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92128
Three Nordstrom Rack stores call San Diego County home. Browse a rotating inventory of men’s, women’s, kid’s, accessory, and shoe brands that Nordstrom stores typically carry, but at discounted prices. (The La Jolla location is not in Westfield UTC mall — that is a regular Nordstrom store.)
Mission Valley: 1750 Camino De La Reina, San Diego, CA 92108
Carmel Mountain Plaza: 11940 Carmel Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92128
Off Fifth is the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet where I have been able to score various deals throughout the years. I often go to the Mission Valley location (it’s across the street from Nordstrom Rack and the Bloomingdale’s Outlet) for designer sunglasses (Prada, Tom Ford, Gucci, and more) and to browse the shoe aisle. Also, they usually carry a nice selection of men’s designer ties like Ermenegildo Zegna.
You’ll find prior-season women’s and men’s shoes, clothes, and accessories with a few housewares like candles and picture frames sprinkled in. The prices are discounted but what I love is that almost every time I go there’s an additional percentage markdown on top of what’s on the price tag.
Restoration Hardware Outlet
Address: 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, Suite 230, USA 91942
We recently bought my daughter’s RH Teen desk at the Restoration Hardware Outlet in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center. Furniture, lighting, and other accessories on sale include floor samples and pieces with minor cosmetic blemishes that cost significantly less than retail pricing.
We got lucky because the exact desk she wanted was in stock, though with a couple of scratches. All I needed to do was order a paint pen from Restoration Hardware to fix them. Some of the furniture and accessories look brand new. Others are clearly damaged and severely discounted so a visit can be hit or miss.
You’ll want to time your visit with a shipment of new furniture which happens several times per week. Call the store and they’ll tell you when the next one arrives. The downside is that they do not deliver. You will need to fit purchases your car or arrange for a furniture service to pick them up.
American Freight (Formerly Sears Outlet)
San Diego: 1210 W Morena Blvd San Diego, CA 92110
La Mesa: 8805 Murray Dr La Mesa, CA 91942
Oceanside: 2505-B Vista Way 1 Oceanside, CA 92054
If you’re looking for home appliances, mattresses, furniture, tools, sports equipment, electronics, and a whole lot more (that isn’t apparel), check American Freight. They’ve merged with Sears Outlet so offer even more brands now than they used to. You can shop the stores online or in-person and have the goods delivered to your house.
Nearby Southern California Outlet Malls
If you’re looking beyond the outlet malls San Diego has to offer, you can venture out a bit further afield. As you travel to other popular Southern California destinations like Palm Springs, Big Bear, or Los Angeles, you may pass these outlet malls along the way.
Lake Elsinore Outlets
Located about 20 minutes north of Temecula, you’ll find about 40 outlet stores at Lake Elsinore Outlets. These include The Children’s Place, Nike, Skechers, VANS, and more in addition to some fast food options like Dairy Queen. Print this coupon and take it to customer service for extra savings. (No designer brands are here and it’s a no-frills mall.)
Outlets at San Clemente
Located just off the I-5 freeway in San Clemente, you’ll pass this on your way to Los Angeles or Disneyland Resort. A couple of brands not seen in other outlet shopping malls include Tillys, Under Armour Factory Outlet, White House Black Market Outlet, and New Balance Factory Store. Join the VIP program and browse the full list to see if it’s worth a stop.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets
Tourists bus in from Los Angeles to visit this outlet mall for a good reason. Even I stop here every time we visit Palm Springs because it’s enormous and home to 180 designer names.
Shop prior season Balenciaga, Prada (I always find shoes here), Fendi, Gucci, lululemon, Moncler in addition to brand names like Zumiez, UGGs, and others. I personally think Desert Hills Premium Outlets is the best outlet mall I’ve ever been to. I buy my Frette sheets and towels here.
See also: Where to Go Shopping in La Jolla