Snohomish: Antique Capital of the Northwest


For the final day of my vacation, the weather was rather unkind, so I decided to devote the day to getting back to Seattle for my late-evening red-eye flight.  Along the way, though, I made a stop in Snohomish, Washington — a quaint little town that would be unremarkable, if not for the dozens of antique stores that fill its revitalized downtown business district.

The downtown storefronts are lined up along 1st Street, which is just a stone’s throw from the Snohomish River.  Its historic district extends all the way up to 5th Street.

It seems like almost every building has either an antique or craft/collectible store, or a restaurant.  Among my favorites was the old Pegasus Theater.

Inside, every square inch was packed with… well… stuff.  Most of it was new “stuff”, but there was some old “stuff” in there too — old neon signs, gas pumps, etc., just the kind of “stuff” that I like.

The Antique Warehouse was another of my favorites.  It had some very high-end items, like wood furniture, restored gas pumps and Coke machines, but there were also some bargains in its basement.

The largest antique mall in town is the Star Center Mall, on 2nd Street (walk to the eastern end of 1st Street, then take Union and Glen Avenues north). It offers 5 floors, and more than 200 dealers.
You don’t have to be an antique lover to appreciate Snohomish.  The town’s historic buildings are fun to check out, too.

The legion hall has an ancient neon sign hanging over its front door…

… and the old tile floor still welcomes people to the New Brunswick Hotel, even though the hotel itself is shut down.

If you cross busy Avenue D, you’ll see the Snohomish Iron Works, which have been in business for more than a century.

If you follow Avenue D, it will take you across the Snohomish River…

… by way of an old steel bridge (which, upon my visit in 2011, was quietly celebrating its 101st anniversary).  Crossing the bridge, at least part-way, gives you a nice view looking back on the town.  Also notice the trail that runs from the bridge, behind the buildings, down to the water.  It runs a few blocks along the waterfront, to Cady Park.  If you’re not into antique shopping, you could hang out here, while your companion spends your money.

Snohomish is located east of Interstate 5, north of Seattle, and slightly south of Everett.  From Seattle, take I-405 to WA-522 to WA-9, then go by the airport (Airport Way turns into Avenue D, which takes you across the river and into downtown).  From Everett, take US-2 to Bickford Avenue, which eventually turns into Avenue D.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the rainy drive from Bellingham to Snohomish, via I-5, US-2, and WA-9:

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