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Snohomish, Washington

Snohomish Offers Shopping, Bike Riding, Haunted Tours and More

On the outskirts of urban life, Seattle locals and visitors alike can embrace the slower pace of small-town living. Nearly 30 miles north of Seattle, Snohomish’s quaint downtown, haunted history and abundance of outdoor activities puts this small Washington town on the map. Snohomish, recognized by CNN Travel as one of the 10 coolest small towns in America, truly caters to a wide variety of interests. Whether you’re looking to practice yoga with goats, hike to haunted mining towns or partake in the town’s Annual Tweed Ride, your experience is sure to be unique.

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Shopping and Lodging

In a town of about 10,000 people, there are more than 20 antique and vintage shops to explore in downtown Snohomish alone. Vintage furniture, antique clocks and a variety of quirky collectibles line many of the shops on First Street, giving visitors easy access to the charms of the “antique capital of the Northwest.”

TroyBeck Antiques (above), Faded Elegance and Annie’s on First are all overflowing with vintage home décor and keepsakes. Don’t miss Antique Station at Victoria Village — with nearly 70 dealers and 20,000 square feet of retail space, this is one of the town’s largest and most diverse antique collections.

Right off of Second Street, Star Center Antique Mall features five floors and 200 antique dealers, specializing in everything from vintage books and china to sports memorabilia. The mall also maintains the largest antique reference bookstore in the Northwest, catering to serious enthusiasts and the most discerning collectors.

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When it’s time to crash for the day, book a night or two at Adams Manor (above)— a historical home built in the 1800s that’s only a short walk from downtown. The home can accommodate as many as 14 guests, which makes it ideal for a special occasion or weekend retreat. For smaller groups, check out the Countryman Bed and Breakfast in the town’s historic district. The converted Victorian home has three rooms with unique amenities, including balconies, a fireplace and a Greek jetted tub. Guests are treated to a complimentary historic tour.

snohomish jake campbell goat yoga
Photograph by Jake Campbell

Outdoor Activites

Known for its biking scene, it’s hard to pass up a trail ride while in Snohomish. For a day trip, take the 30-mile Centennial Trail up north and rest in the small, historic town of Machias before heading back. For bikers who are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, visit Snohomish in September to partake in the Annual Tweed Ride. Sport your finest as you cycle and enjoy an afternoon of tea and croquet on the lawn. For those who prefer a slower-paced experience, a visit to Snohomish seems incomplete without a goat yoga session at The Wobbly Ranch. Vinyasa alongside the sanctuary’s “wobblies” — a friendly family of rescue goats. If you’d rather take a break than break a sweat, Snohomish Bee Company offers beekeeping classes for beginners and apprentices alike. Learn about honeybee taxonomy, monitoring the hive and building your own apiary. Candle-making classes are offered for visitors who are looking to take home a personal keepsake.

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Historical Haunts

If ghost stories and haunted histories are up your alley, then you’ve come to the right place. From legends of long-gone inmates at the County Jail to mysterious sounds heard near the train tracks, historic Snohomish is full of eerie tales.

Situated in the heart of town, Oxford Saloon is the most famous of Snohomish’s haunted locations and often listed as one of the most haunted establishments in Washington state. Built in 1900, the Saloon had a long history of violence, which resulted in the deaths of a policeman and a madam in an undated murder in early 1900. In 2005, the Washington State Ghost Society investigated the Saloon and reported multiple accounts of paranormal activity.

Despite its ghostly history, today the Oxford Saloon is a popular eatery in town. Classic pub fare, live music and an Old West atmosphere make the saloon a worthwhile visit — just keep your eyes peeled for the resident ghosts.

Those willing to venture out should plan a trek to Monte Cristo — a reportedly haunted mining town that’s only accessible by foot or bike. Though it was deserted in the early 1910s after a flood, many of the original structures are still standing with help from the town’s preservation association. Eight miles round trip, the hike is the perfect half-day excursion for those who love to be spooked.

–Written by Maggy Lehmicke, last updated in September 2022.

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