Best side roads to get you around busy holiday shopping traffic in Palm Beach County

You’re not alone. Yes, I’m talking to you, the person who is looking for a way home that doesn’t take you past a shopping mall. Or a way to your doctor’s appointment that won’t lead you along a street where cars will be stacked up in a right-turn lane to get to JC Penney’s.

I used to work at a mall. I was an assistant manager at Picture People at the Mall at Wellington Green while in college, and during the holidays I often walked 10 or 15 minutes from a distant parking space to the store.

» RELATED: Your holiday shopping guide

And that was after I sat in traffic for 20 or 30 minutes just trying to find a parking space to begin with.

So I know all too well the pain of struggling to navigate traffic around a shopping mall during the holidays. That’s why I’ve put together this list of side roads and alternate routes to help you get around the deadlock.

Inside, shoppers are happily searching for the perfect gift. Outside, it's the Wild West of traffic. Don't worry — we'll help you get around the traffic. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post) —    Wellington  -  Macy's shoppers head out into the Mall at Wellington Green Friday for more Black Friday savings.
Inside, shoppers are happily searching for the perfect gift. Outside, it’s the Wild West of traffic. Don’t worry — we’ll help you get around the traffic. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post) — Wellington – Macy’s shoppers head out into the Mall at Wellington Green Friday for more Black Friday savings.

All of these routes are going to take you a little out-of-the-way. But if you time it just right, you’ll save yourself the headache of sitting bumper-to-bumper with other frustrated drivers who just want to get home.

Check out my suggestions, then comment to share your ideas.

Gardens Mall / Downtown at the Gardens / Legacy Place

This is a great destination shopping area — but if you want to avoid it altogether, that could be difficult. Suggested routes: Military Trail to Kyoto Gardens Drive, then take Alternate A1A north to Donald Ross Road or south to Burns Road.

Palm Beach Outlets

This area is surrounded by development, so there’s still quite a bit of potential for congestion, even on side roads. Suggested routes: Use either Village Boulevard or Australian Avenue to travel north and south and avoid the stretch of Palm Beach Lakes directly to the south of the mall, where most people access the shopping area’s parking lots.

Mall at Wellington Green

I have a particular soft spot for these options, because I use them quite frequently. Suggested routes: If heading or coming from the west, use Stribling Way and State Road 7; if heading or coming from the east, use a combination of Lyons Road, Stribling Way and State Road 7.

Boynton Beach Mall

This can be a little tricky; similar to the Palm Beach Outlets, the Boynton Beach Mall has seen a surge in surrounding development in recent years, especially with the addition of more homes in Renaissance Commons. If you don’t need to drive near this mall during the holidays, don’t. Suggested routes: For east-west travel, use Gateway Boulevard to the north or Boynton Beach Boulevard to the south. For north-south travel, take either Lawrence Road or head east of I-95 to take Seacrest Boulevard. (Again, these routes aren’t for people in a rush — just for those who want to avoid that bumper-to-bumper traffic you inevitably find near malls around the holidays.)

Town Center at Boca Raton

This area is a great destination shopping spot — along the lines of the Gardens Mall. It also happens to offer some of the more direct routes that let you get around it. Suggested routes: For north-south travel, take either Powerline Road or Military Trail. Just keep in mind that Military does not intersect with Glades Road, so if you need to get onto I-95 or Florida’s Turnpike, you may want to head St. Andrews Boulevard, which borders the mall south of Glades but saves you the trouble of going too far north or south. For east-west travel, take either Palmetto Park or Yamato roads.

Now it’s your turn: Comment to share your thoughts on holiday shopping traffic and how you try to avoid it each year.

Report: Aeropostale files for bankruptcy; Gardens Mall store to close

Children fashion retailer Aeropostale announced Wednesday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in New York, and plans to close 154 stores in the United States and Canada.

112307 tc biz shop (10 of 12).....0045339A.....Photo by David Spencer/The Palm Beach Post....Jensen Beach......At the Treasure Coast Square Mall early friday, Aéropostale sales associate Ariel Mitchell (cq) trys to lure shoppers into the store by displaying a special teddybear customers can get for free if they purchase $100 worth of merchandise. Mitchell said everything at Aéropostale is priced at 50% off for the next 3 shopping days. Most stores at the Treasure Coast Square Mall opened early at 5am for the traditional "Black Friday" shopping day after Thanksgiving. ...........Photo by David Spencer /The Palm Beach Post......11/23/07
At the Treasure Coast Square Mall, an Aéropostale sales associate tries to lure shoppers into the store by displaying a special teddy bear customers. Photo by David Spencer /The Palm Beach Post (11/23/07)

Store closing sales are scheduled to begin in the United States this weekend, the company said.

The apparel chain has four stores in Palm Beach County. They are located at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, the Mall at Wellington Green and Town Center in Boca Raton. The chain has a factory store at the Boynton Beach Mall.

Areopostale’s Gardens Mall store is one of 6 Florida locations set to close, according to USA Today.

The company operates roughly 800 stores.

 

See which store just opened at The Gardens Mall

Sam Edelman, a woman’s shoe store that also sells handbags, jewelry and outerwear, has opened a 2,600-square-foot store at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. IMG_0314

The store opened on February 6 and is located on the upper level of the mall at the Bloomingdale’s end.

“The Palm Beach customer embodies the aspirational essence of the Sam Edelman brand, making The Gardens Mall a perfect location for our newest retail store,” said Sam Edelman, designer, founder and division president for the Sam Edelman division.

The brand has retail locations in New York, New Jersey, California and Las Vegas.