By: Dana Foster
Although we have got plenty of plaid and denim jackets, we are really much more than that. And when it comes to shopping, Seattle has you covered for it all. If you are into boutiques and one of kind items, you should definitely head to Ballard and Fremont. At first glance of the map, these two neighborhoods may look a bit far, but they are no more than a 10-15 minute car or bus ride, and they provide a much different feel than the downtown area. Ballard Avenue is full of independent shops with everything from handmade jewelry to apothecaries, to vintage clothing and more. Be sure not to miss Lucky Vintage, Horseshoe and Prism. While you shop, go ahead and work up an appetite along the way, as there are plenty of places to eat and even more to catch a buzz.
If you find yourself with some free time to exit the show floor on Sunday, I highly recommend the year round Fremont Sunday Market. Established nearly 30 years ago, the Fremont Market is my (and soon to be your) favorite place for original fashion, radical junk, estate finds and collectables. With over 50 vendors, you are sure to find a rare something that piques your interest, whether it be antique books, local honey, lightly used Dansko clogs, or a handmade leather bag. Make sure you don’t miss the indoor section of the market, which is home to another 30 vendors keeping dry from the drizzle.
For those that want to stay close to home base, Pike Place Market is not to be missed. While it is certainly full of tourists, it’s far from a trap. The market is just a few blocks from the convention center and truly has it all. There, you can find apparel, jewelry, imports, toys, stationary, candy, maps, music, body care products and fabric. I once spent an hour in So Much Yarn, and I don’t even knit. Every day, there are a variety of local vendors who make and sell goods you never thought you needed. But you probably do.
Right up the road from the market is Seattle’s Downtown Shopping District where you can get into some real trouble. Head over to Nordstrom’s flagship store (just to say you have been there) and then you can pop into Filson, Free People, Anthropologie, Zara, Urban Outfitters, All Saints, and way too many more to mention. If you are feeling that Northwest vibe, head over to the Flagship REI, Columbia Sportswear or Patagonia.
Finally, just up the steep street from all the coffee action is Capitol Hill. Home to fashion for the whole extended family, shopping here is not to be missed. Some highlights are Standard Goods, Drizzle and Shine, The Elliot Bay Book Company, Revival Shop, Glasswing and although I have only been able to window shop here, Totokaelo because it is oh so pleasing to the eyes. There are a ton of vintage shops to tickle your fancy and a walk down Broadway Street could surely take up an afternoon. I am looking forward to using the SCA Event as my opportunity (or excuse, rather) not to shop. Besides, I have the other 51 weekends in the year for that. Enjoy!