Best Places to Shop in Seattle

Seattle is a lot of things and one of them is rainy. If you’re visiting Seattle or if you live there you should have at least a short list of great stores to shop in while you’re waiting to get outside and really enjoy this beautiful seaside city.

Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle is a bit of a shopper’s paradise with more than 1,800 retailers covering every aspect of shopping from large department stores, national and international retailers, area boutiques, high-end designer stores, discount and outlet shops, specialty stores and more. The downtown area is further broken down into about 13 shopping centers and malls and each one of those is completely filled with stores. If you can’t find it in Downtown Seattle you probably can’t find it anywhere.

First Hill

First Hill in Seattle is a popular neighborhood in Seattle that is full of unique shops and boutiques. This neighborhood is comprised of a lot of doctors and medical professionals so you’ll find higher end items on sale here and less tourists. So if you’re looking to get away and spend some time window shopping rather than buying this might be just the right area for your Seattle shopping excursion.

Fremont District

The Fremont District is best enjoyed on a Sunday when the Fremont Market is happening, then you get a sense of the city, the locals, the shopping and the local fare. Fremont has an interesting dichotomy of stores with vintage and retro and bargain stores vying for shoppers along with boutiques that cater to high-end designer labels.

International District

The International District in Seattle is probably best known for its Chinatown but there are a wide range of Asian cultures that are represented including Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Island. There are about eight city blocks dedicated to stores with an international flair. Go to the international district hungry and then stick around for several meals as you’ll get some of the best and freshest Asian food and sushi you’ve ever tasted. One of the most popular stops in the International District is Uwajimaya this huge store is mainly noted for its fresh produce but there are a lot of other items and products you can pick up at great prices.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is a waterfront haven for tourists. A hustle and bustle sort of area, you’ll be shopping amid loads of excitement as fishermen are working at bringing in the day’s catch, vendors are selling their wares, tourists are taking in the sites and shoppers are picking up the latest find. Bring your camera for your trip to Pike Place Market and plan on having lunch in the area as you’ll find some of the best fast food around from a vendor’s cart.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is the local historic region of the town with a lot of things to see and do, including some great shopping. This isn’t a big mall area but rather a place with lots of eclectic shops and imported products. The area has done a good job of retaining and restoring some of the historical buildings and landmarks in the area and there’s just a great feel in the air for shoppers looking to experience old Seattle.

Queen Anne

The Queen Anne area of Seattle has some of the best views of the city as it is perched atop the highest hill. Queen Anne is another residential district that does not draw a lot of tourist activity but is a great place to visit if you’re in town. The shops are very trendy and upscale, look mainly for jewelry stores and accessory shops that focus on feminine looks. With trendy and upscale neighbors the stores and restaurants have kept up with the times and offer the latest greatest and best of everything.

University District

The University District or U District of Seattle is what you’d expect from a university based community, there’s energy, life, and a vibrance that you won’t find in the other districts. Inside the U District are a number of commercial areas known by their street names which each carry a different sort of vibe. Wander around and explore the shops, there’s always something unusual in a college town and quite often they’re affordable.

That’s a pretty good breakdown of the shopping districts in Seattle, but if its specific stores and trendy boutiques you’re looking for, check out a few of the great shops in Seattle.

Archie McPhee

Archie McPhee is just a great fun place to hang out. You don’t even need to buy anything to really enjoy the experience of this store. Archie McPhee is a toys, gifts and novelties, heavy on the novelties, shop that either has something for everyone or nothing that anyone really needs.

East West Bookshop

If you’re a book junkie like I am then the East West Bookshop in Seattle is a much. This store is mainly about books but there are other gifts and toys and other unusual items to pick up as well. It’s a great way to relax and kick back during a rainy day.

Tenzing Momo

Tenzing Momo is an herbal apothecary in the Pike Place Market area of Seattle. Although you may not need any herbs you definitely will find the store fascinating and you’ll probably surprise yourself by getting something anyway. In addition to herbs they also sell teas, oils, incense and other little treasures.

Gargoyles Statuary

Gargoyles Statuary is an odd little store with a whimsical sense of the dark side. In addition to the obvious gargoyles the store also carries some original artwork, jewelry, incense, tarot cards, candles, oils and more statuary for your garden.

Whether you’re looking for a great shopping district that has everything you could possibly ever need or you’re searching for that one special store that has something you never knew you wanted, it’s all in Seattle. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new when you’re shopping in Seattle, you never know what you’re going to find.

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