If you're looking for an outlet mall in Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill, you're going to need to plan a road trip. While there is an outlet mall located near the RDU airport -- the Morrisville Outlet Mall -- I don't recommend it. However, there are three fabulous outlet malls within an half hour to hour and a half drive depending on which side of the Triangle you live on. Why not fiind a friend, plan a marathon shopping day, and enjoy!
If you live on the western side of the Triangle, this is probably your most convenient outlet mall. Built in 2010, this complex focuses on upscale shopping. The 75 store outlet houses brands include Coach, Michael Kors, Guess, Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, BCBG and more. If you're going to make a day of it, beware that there are few food choices within the complex. However, there are a few ok places to grab a bite across the street.
The Concord Mills Mall is top of the line when it comes to outlet malls. It's located about an hour and a half from Raleigh, in Concord, NC (about 45 mins. north of Charlotte, NC). Concord Mills is home to over 200 stores, including outlets and specialty stores, including a Bass Pro Shop. Entertainment includes Dave & Busters, AMC Movie Theaters and a NASCAR SpeedPark.
The Carolina Premium Outlet shopping center is located in Smithfield , NC , about half an hour from Raleigh and about an hour from Chapel Hill. It's very close to the junction of I-40 and I-95. This is the closest "good" outlet mall to the eastern side of the Triangle. Carolina Premium Outlets is home to over 80 up market outlets, including Banana Republic, Coach, Eddie Bauer, Gap and Brooks Brothers. Carolina Premium Outlets also has a VIP shoppers club that offers special promotions and coupons to its members. The club is free to join, and you can join it online.