Gilroy, known as the "Garlic Capital of the World," also seems to be the outlet mall capital of California. The Gilroy Premium Outlets is one of the best outlet centers that I have been to as far as store selection and number of stores. Gilroy is located off Highway 101 on Leavesley Road. It is situated between San Francisco/San Jose and the Monterey Peninsula. There are over 140 stores from the Gap Outlet to Michael Kors and many more low to middle-end designer stores. The Gilroy Outlet center is huge and spans both sides of Leavesley Road. There are four shopping quadrants, so you will need to drive to each section. I stop at the outlets either on my way to or from Monterey, depending on my timing.
As a seasoned shopper, I know that these days most oulets carry merchandise specifically made for the outlet stores. Sometimes, these are items that are similar to the regualr mall stores, but made at a lower quality. Sometimes the items don't sell in the store, so they are moved to the outlet. Very rarely these days do you find outlets that sell merchandise that is slightly defective or out of season. Because I am a fan of Gap, I always go to the Gap Outlet because I know that I can get clothes I like at a somewhat cheaper price than going to the Gap at the mall.
(Photo credit: Garlic sensation. by Gio JL.)
Gilroy is called the "Garlic Capital of the World" because Gilroy Foods processes more garlic than any other factory in the world. Gilroy is also home to the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, one of the largest food festival in the U.S. The Garlic Festival is held the last full weekend in July.