North Bend

Nestled in the foothills 30 minutes east of Seattle, this charming town is adding to its downtown di
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Cruising along Interstate 90, many travelers never bother to search beyond North Bend’s massive outlet mall and fast-food corridor. But those who do go deeper have long enjoyed iconic outdoor destinations such as Mount Si, arguably the most popular day hike in the state, and locally beloved diners such as Twede’s Café (137 W North Bend Way; 425.831.5511; twedescafe.com), made famous by the ’90s television series Twin Peaks. Now, old standbys along North Bend Way in downtown are getting a boost from new nightlife hot spots, adrenaline-junkie adventure companies and startlingly good dining choices to create an all-star ensemble at the gates of the Cascades.

fuel up

While not officially open until 7 a.m., third-generation baker Joe McKeown often greets customers with monstrous doughnuts by 6 a.m. at George’s Bakery and Cafe (127 W North Bend Way; 425.888.0632), now in its 89th year of business. Next door at the Euro Lounge Café (129 W North Bend Way; 425.677.4727), Romanian native Sinacia Yovanovich makes fresh crêpes using his grandmother’s 100-year-old recipes.

get equipped

Pro Guiding Service (108 W North Bend Way; 425.888.6397; proguiding.com) owner Martin Volken leads everything from backcountry-ski excursions and technical mountaineering courses out of his recently expanded shop.

go explore

Running parallel to North Bend’s main thoroughfare is the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, a bike pathway through beautiful scenery on its way to the thundering Snoqualmie Falls. After the hike, recharge with fresh pico de gallo-topped tacos at L Taco (202 North Bend Way. N; 425.831.0402.ltaco.com).

hit the town

After sundown locals head to the town’s new jazz club, Boxley’s (101 W North bend way; 425.292.9307; boxleysplace.com). Families love the North Bend Theatre (125 Bendigo Blvd. N; 425.888.1232; northbendtheatre.com). Built in 1941, the 35mm theater is one of the state’s last in operation.

Nordstrom's Retail Therapy: Shopping for Change

Nordstrom's Retail Therapy: Shopping for Change

Nordstrom is more than just a department store; for many, it’s also a flagship of progressive Seattle values. (Oh, and there’s a sale this weekend)
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Seattle's flagship Nordstrom department store

For many Seattleites and their families, a visit to Nordstrom is not the average shopping trip. It’s often an all-day affair, rife with game plans, important decisions and breaks for meals (and cocktails), much like a visit to Grandma’s. Indeed, a trip to “Nordy’s” is a cherished family tradition in line with the family focus of the company, still run with the help of a fourth generation of Nordstroms.  

Despite its success and national expansion, the Seattle-based luxury retailer still operates very much like a small business, and is beloved for its customer-focused business model. Shoppers can count on excellent service from well-commissioned sales reps (including on-site personal stylists), the most forgiving of return policies (the one rule of Nordstrom’s return policy is there is no return policy), a plethora of sizes and styles and sales galore. Not to mention in-store amenities like its signature café and cocktail bar. Best of all, the store always waits until after Thanksgiving to put up holiday decorations. (Anyone for a Nordstrom-based remake of Where the Heart Is? Anyone? No?)

Earlier this month, when the company dropped Ivanka Trump’s line of shoes and handbags from its inventory (a decision the retailer cited was due to poor sales), many viewed it as a testament to Nordstrom’s promise to put family first, and a nod to its founder, John W. Nordstrom, who himself immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden in 1887, when he was just 16.

Progressive Seattleites rallied further when this company memo followed Trump’s executive order to temporarily bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., a portion of which reads: “We currently employ more than 76,000 people who comprise different races, ethnicities and genders. We literally have thousands of employees who are first and second generation immigrants. Every one of your unique qualities brings a richness that allows us to better reflect and serve the multi-cultured communities we’re a part of.”

Despite a Twitter backlash from Ivanka’s commander-in-chief dad, Nordstrom’s shares continue to climb, and shoppers across the nation have publically ramped up their support of the department store.

Did we mention there’s a sale this weekend? Nordstrom’s first sale of the year, the Nordstrom Winter Sale, starts today in stores and online and runs through February 26th. Take up to 40% off your favorite styles for men, women and kids.

Grab your family and friends and keep the tradition going—and, as Nordstrom’s slogan reminds us, don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.