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.
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.
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.
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.