Spend a Day in La Conner

Washington’s quaint waterfront town exudes charm and warmth despite the winter chill.

Peruse one-of-a-kind consignment furnishings at Re-Feather Your Nest (623 Morris St.; 360.399.1057; re-featheryournest.com). Antique birdcages that double as outdoor candleholders, anyone? A few stores down, score some relics at Nasty Jack’s Antiques (103 Morris St.; 360.466.3209; nastyjacksantiques.com). Take a left on First Street and stop in The Wood Merchant (709 First St.; 360.466.4741; woodmerchant.com) for carefully crafted household items, including wine racks that seem to defy physics.

Treat yourself to an enormous chocolate-covered cream puff (shown righ, $6.49) from Calico Cupboard Café and Bakery (720 First St.; 360.466.4451; calicocupboardcafe.com). Or, try the savory migas ($12), made from local farm fresh eggs and seasonal veggies. Next, stop by La Conner Brewing (117 First St.; 360.466.1415; laconnerbrewery.com) for a pint; try one of eight rotating seasonal brews. For dinner, follow the locals to Nell Thorn Restaurant & Pub (205 Washington St.; 360.466.4261; nellthorn.com), where chef/owners Casey and Susan Schanen source food locally to create the Northwest-inspired menu (among this year’s best). Don’t miss out on the creamy polenta cakes ($11) and, if available, the delicious sautéed duck ($28).

Discover your (latent?) fascination with quilts at the world-renowned La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum (703 Second St.; 360.466.4288; laconnerquilts.com). Located in the historic Gaches Mansion (built in 1891), this museum boasts three floors of textile wonders. For your history fix, visit the Skagit County Historical Museum (501 S Fourth St.; 360.466.3365; skagitcounty.net/museum), where you can explore the rich heritage of La Conner and the nearby Swinomish Tribe. Fans of our area’s rich glass art scene should stop by the Museum of Northwest Art (121 S First St.; 360.466.4446; museumofnwart.org), where you can witness the early days of the studio glass revolution in the current show, Pilchuck: Ideas (on view through December 2012), featuring a rarely seen collection by artists who attended Dale Chihuly’s famous glass school.


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