Houston Shopping Tours
Houston is considered one of the top 5 cities in the United States to shop. One hears people talk about “shop like you mean it” and “shop until you drop.” The Galleria is the most popular tourist attraction in Houston. People fly from all over the world and particularly Latin America and Asia to see the highlights. Most places open at 10:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday and on Sundays are open from approximately 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Extended hours exist during December.
Check each mall’s website to see the latest information on what stores are active.
Greater Houston has 7 major areas to shop for clothing and jewelry. The first four sites are in Houston. These four are within 6 miles/9.7 kilometers from downtown Houston. The latter three malls are each approximately 30 miles/48 kilometers from downtown Houston and re located in other cities. The travel time to the four identified malls in the city from downtown are each about 10 to 20 minutes. The travel time from downtown to the latter three outlets in other cities are each about 30 to 45 minutes. The shopping centers are:
- The Galleria - This is the 4th largest shopping mall in the US with 375 stores. This has been the model for other Gallerias since the original section opened, in 1970. Over 24 million people visit here annually. It has been added onto three times: in 1976, 1986, and 2003. The original Galleria section has a full-size ice-skating rink, food court, and three levels. Restaurants also are located throughout the mall. The stores main anchors are two separate Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Other stores include Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Christofle, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren Collection, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent. Regular mall hours are Sunday from 12:00 to 6:00 PM and Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The hours are extended during the holidays. The Galleria has 2 hotels located in it for the convenience of shoppers. One can find Dillard’s across the street. This is 7.1 miles/11.4 kilometers from downtown Houston.
- Highland Village (HV) - HV is a series of outdoor strip centers with dozens of high-class stores such as Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, Harold Powell, Tootsies, Williams-Sonoma, and restaurants like Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse, Escalante’s, P. F. Chang’s, and RA Shushi. It is 5.7 miles/9.2 kilometers southwest from City Hall in downtown Houston and 1.4 miles/2.3 kilometers from The Galleria.
- Uptown Park - This Italian-style piazza with pretty fountains has over 50 stores to patronize. Some of the stores include Baker, Basiques, Carrie Ann, Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf, Francesca’s Collection, High Gloss, Lady Elle, LOFT, Longloria Collection, M Penner, Mint Baby, Top Drawer Lingerie, and Veneto Collection. Eat at any of the several restaurants including Andre’s Pastry Shop & Cafe, Arturo’s Uptown Italiano, Belvedere, Cafe Express, McCormick & Schmick’s, and The Tasting Room. It is 8.5 miles/13.7 kilometers west from City Hall in downtown Houston and 1.4 miles/2.3 kilometers north from The Galleria.
- The Rice Village - over 200 stores, including Amy Taylor, Chico’s, Claire’s Accessories, Express, Jo Ann’s, Just Add Water, Lot 8 (featured on Project Runway), New York, Life is Pink, Talbots, Victoria’s Secrets, the White House/Black Market, Bath and Body Works, the Beautique Day Spa & Salon, Pier I Imports, and more. It also has over 50 restaurants including multiple French, Italian, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, British, delis, yogurt, chocolate, coffee, baked goods and pastry shops, as well as ice cream and fruit restaurants, over one-half dozen sports bars, and more. It is 7.2 miles/11.6 kilometers southwest from City Hall in downtown Houston and 5.0 miles/8.1 kilometers southeast from The Galleria.
- Katy Mills Mall - has over 175 outlet stores, several restaurants, and a movie theater. The stores include Aeropostale, Banana Republic Factory Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, DKNY, dressbarn, Florsheim Shoes, Foot Locker, Frederick’s of Hollywood, GAP Outlet, J. Crew, Justice, Kenneth Cole Outlet Store, Naturalizer, Nautica Factory Store, the Nike Factory Store, Old Navy, Oshkosh B’Gosh, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, and lots more. This mall closes at 6:00 PM on Sundays. It is 29.9 miles/48.1 kilometers west from City Hall in downtown Houston in Katy, Texas and 20.5 miles/33 kilometers toHouston Premium Outlets in Cypress, Texas.
- Houston Premium Outlets - Its 145 outlet stores include 2b bebe, AJX Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Bass, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Forever 21, Guess Factory Store, Jos. A. Bank, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Lane Bryant Outlet, Levi’s Outlet Store, Loft Outlet, Michael Kors, Nautica, New York & Company, Nike Factory Store, Oakley Vault, Saks Fifth Avenue, St. John Outlet, Talbots, Tory Burch, and White House/Black Market, Wilsons Leather, and more. It is 31.5 miles/50.7 kilometers northwest from City Hall in downtown Houston in Cypress, Texas and 20.5/33 kilometers to Katy Mills Mall in Katy, Texas. It has a food court area.
- Tanger Outlets - This is the newest of the malls, having opened in October 2012. It has 85 upscale retail stores. These include Banana Republic Factory Store, Bass, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Gap Outlet, Gymboree, IZOD, J. Crew, Jones New York, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store Nine West, Reebok, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, and White House Black Market. Unlike the other outlet stores, this one opens at 9:00 AM Monday through Saturday. It is 32.3 miles/52.0 kilometers southeast from City Hall in downtown Houston in the town of Texas City. It is approximately 10 miles/16 kilometers further south from Space Center Houston (SCH) or (NASA) and 17 miles/27 kilometers before one reaches Galveston. Thus, this is a good mall in which to shop if one wants to combine it with either a Space Center Houston or Galveston tour.
If one goes 166 miles/267 kilometers west from Houston, one can find 2 of the biggest outlet malls in the world in San Marcos, Texas. This is about a 3-hour drive west from Houston. We allow for 6 hours of shopping at the Tanger Outlets with its over 100 brand name outlets across the street from the San Marcos Premium Outlets (formerly Prime Outlets - San Marcos) with 140 outlet stores. Collectively, these two malls have over 260 stores. ABC’s “The View” named the San Marcos outlets as the third best place to shop in the world in July 2006. Coupons are available at Tanger Outlets. Restaurants are in each outlet center.
4 main shopping areas are in Houston - The Galleria, Highland Village, Uptown Park, and the Rice Village.
1 major shopping area is in Katy, Texas - Katy Mills Mall.
1 major shopping area is in Cypress, Texas - Houston Premium Outlets.
1 major shopping are is in Texas City - Tanger Outlets.
2 major shopping areas are in San Marcos, Texas - Tanger Outlets and San Marcos Premium Outlets.
For shopping in the greater Houston area, we pickup at 10:00 AM.
For shopping in San Marcos, we pickup at 7:00 AM. We are back in Houston by 7:00 PM.
Many people come to Houston from foreign countries to shop for other items, also. These may include appliances, electronics, and miscellaneous. Some of the most popular stores are Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Fry’s, and the Micro Center. We offer transportation to each of these places. One Best Buy is close to the Galleria. A Target and the Micro Center are near Uptown Park. A Super Walmart (bigger than a regular Walmart) is relatively close to the Galleria. However, Fry’s is further away, 15.8 miles/25.4 kilometers, from downtown Houston. Going to any of these stores can be combined with going to a mall.
Ask about the sales tax-rebate benefits for those shoppers from foreign countries.