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Who doesn't love an outlet?

riverwalk

Ever have one of those days when the heat just builds up inside of you and you need a virtual valve from which all that steam can escape? What you need is an OUTLET.

And now, New Orleans has its very own outlet mall to accommodate you. Think of it as retail therapy, at discounted prices, with a food court and excellent air conditioning.

Here are seven reasons to visit the newly opened Outlet Collection at Riverwalk.

1. Coach!! As in purses, not Payton.

2. Impressive labels. The well-used nickname for Neiman Marcus is "Needless Markup," but at Neiman Marcus Last Call, you can shop for designer clothing that has been marked way down.

3. “Bet I know where you got dem shoes.”  The Outlet Collection has a LOT of shoe stores that boast permanent discounts.

4. Kiosk heaven. Two of my favorites have local owners. Klutch Cosmetics is a line of makeup products that caters to women of "all nationalities and origins." Sarah Ott features locally designed NOLA themed jewelry, tees, purses and scarves.

5. Now, THIS is different. Nola Tropical Winery sells wines made from fruits other than grapes -- like apricots, peaches, berries, and citrus fruits. They also make wine "smoothies" as a daiquiri alternative. Best of all, they offer free tastings. You'll feel so tropical, you'll want to amble over to the Tommy Bahama Outlet, the first in this area.

6. Civic pride. For what it's worth, the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is the only outlet mall located in an American downtown. Who knew??

And, probably the best reason to do the outlet mall:

7. Relax. It's simply the most gorgeous place to sit, sip an au lait from Cafe du Monde, and watch the traffic on the Mississippi River. There are plenty of extra chairs for your shopping bags.

Lynne Wasserman is a recovering attorney who writes about New Orleans for NolaVie. Email her at [email protected].