Stroll the Charming Gilman Village
Created from renovated farm and mining buildings in downtown Issaquah, Gilman Village (317 NW Gilman Blvd., just east off I-90’s exit 17) is celebrating its 40th birthday with a roster of new shops and outdoor hangout spots nestled amongst the wooden boardwalks, charming pergolas and classic haunts, such as sweet toy store White Horse Toys (425.391.1498; whitehorsetoys.com) and antique clockworks Aubrey’s Clock Gallery (425.392.5200; aubreysclockgallery.com).
Score cool eco-friendly finds in a somewhat unlikely place: Seattle waste-management company CleanScapes (425.392.0285; cleanscapes.com) opened a retail store early this summer that features reusable coffee cups, “upcycled” messenger bags and totes, and even bikes from Bike Works.
Unleash your inner artist at paint-and-sip studio Palettes and Pairings (425.270.8598; palettesandpairings.com), which opens this month. The store offers classes in acrylic painting techniques to new and experienced painters, who dabble while enjoying wine, beer and appetizers; $40 starts you off with supplies, canvas, snacks and your first glass of liquid courage.
Begin a fashion crawl at Daisy (425.427.8222; boutiquedaisy.com), with its abundance of stylish denim, dresses and sterling silver jewelry. A couple of shops away, accessorize with international flair at 3-year-old Serenity boutique (425.392.3877; serenitygilman.com), which carries handmade Japanese purses, Ottoman pewter bracelet cuffs and Indian scarves. Take a break from your wandering at JoAnne Mendenhall’s Pelage Spa & Skin Centre (425.837.8710; pelagecenter.com) for a refreshing exfoliating sea salt scrub ($100/one hour).
On the patio
The village offers a wide variety of outdoor lunch and dinner spots: Soak up the sun on the flower-laden patio of an Issaquah classic, Nicolino Ristorante Italiano (425.391.8077; nicolino.net), while enjoying a panino and a glass of vino. The outdoor deck at rookie standout The Flat Iron Grill (425.657.0373; theflatirongrill.com) is an inviting place to try the South American-influenced steak and seafood, Washington wines and a comprehensive whiskey library (more than 200!). Or snag a picnic table on the expansive fire-pit-adorned patio at Billy Bob’s Burgers and BBQ (shown right; 425.427.1600; billybobsburgersandbbq.com), where happy hour lasts from 2 to 9 p.m. Don’t miss the Dirty Bird, a drippy grilled chicken sandwich topped with bacon (more meat!), pulled pork (even more meat!), onion, tomato and peanut sauce ($10.99).