Seattle City Guide


Seattle Shopping
©2006 Seattle Convention and Visitor's Bureau Enjoy the outdoors while visiting Seattle's many kitschy shops.

Seattle is the home of such well-known national super-stores as Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, and REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), as well as Amazon.com. So it should come as no surprise that there's great shopping here.

The Westlake Center area of downtown (Fourth Ave and Pine St), only a few blocks from the Pike Place Market, is the hub of the urban shopping experience. But there are plenty of other shopping areas, especially including Bellevue and Lincoln Squares (700 Bellevue Way NE) in upscale suburban Bellevue, on the east side of Lake Washington.

Nor can shoppers overlook Seattle's unique neighborhood shopping opportunities. Districts like Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and West Seattle have many independently owned shops and specialty stores worth a visitor's time and money.

Insider's Guide: The Best of Shopping in Seattle

Insider's Guide: The Best of Shopping in Seattle

The Downtown Shopping District (1st Ave and Madison St) is the heart of Seattle's vibrant shopping scene with numerous national department stores, fashionable boutiques, jewelers, and more. High-end retail stores downtown include Macy's (300 Pine St) and NikeTown (1500 Sixth Ave). The centerpiece is the flagship store for the nationally acclaimed Nordstrom (500 Pine St), but do your bargain hunting a few blocks away in the remainders shelves at the Nordstrom Rack (1601 Second Ave).

Rainier Square (1333 5th Ave) offers luxury shopping with such upscale choices as Louis Vuitton, Escada, and Brooks Brothers. Most of these high-end shops face out onto the street, but make sure to venture inside the Square for other special finds. The small food court offers fast food, French cuisine, and desserts. When you need a quiet moment, take the elevator to the top floor and check out the Rooftop Garden Park.

Bellevue Square (575 Bellevue Square) is a large posh shopping mall eight miles east of Seattle that houses about 200 retailers, including upscale shops like Bally and Coach squeezed between timeless favorites like Eddie Bauer and The Gap without becoming so elite you're doomed to wander and window shop.

The Pike Place Market (85 Pike St) can be overwhelming with its plethora of shops and maze of passageways. Keep an eye out for Jack's Fish Spot (1514 Pike Pl), which will ship fresh or smoked salmon home for you; Marketspice (85A Pike St), an outstanding tea and spice shop; El Mercado Latino (1914 Pike Pl at Post Alley), which carries Latin American and Caribbean imports; and Karen's Basketry Studio (1501 Pike Pl), the perfect place to find a hand-crafted basket.

For true novelty shopping, even if it's just browsing, don't miss Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (Pier 54) on the waterfront. Not only will you find all manner of Native American artifacts, imported Russian artworks, and kitschy souvenirs; you'll also have a chance to say hello to Sylvia, Sylvester, and Gloria -- authentic mummies standing amidst the wares.

If you're a bookworm, you won't want to miss the Elliott Bay Book Company (101 S Main St) in Pioneer Square. And if you're specifically in search of travel titles, the longtime local favorite to visit is Wide World Books (4411 Wallingford Ave N).

Alderwood Mall (3000 184th St, Lynwood) is the largest shopping center in north Seattle featuring upscale retail in most of its 120-plus stores, including Bon Marche.

University Village Shopping (45th St near the University of Washington campus) features a mix of national chain stores and homegrown retailers and eateries. You'll find Abercrombie and Fitch and Pottery Barn near local places like Mom's Restaurant.

Seattle has become synonymous with music -- and not just grunge music. Find out about the music venues and other nightlife and entertainment options on the next page.

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