Home. This is usually my go-to place when I’m in desperate need of getting out of the city. Ironically, this is the place I couldn’t wait to get out of as a teenager, and now I wish I could go back and live there again. Sure, the town is a little bigger, with new faces, some new stores and even a couple more stoplights, but it will always feel like home.
Nestled along highway 410 right before the climb to Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, Mount Rainier National Park and Chinook Pass, you will find Enumclaw Washington. Tucked into the base of the Cascade Foothills this little town has it all. Along the highway you will find the convenience of box stores such as QFC, Safeway, AutoZone, car dealers (with the best prices around) and a few others, but turn off the highway into the heart of downtown and you’ll find the real treasures.
Take a quick drive (or walk) down the side streets and you’ll feel that small town vibe I’m so crazy about. Tree lined streets with well worn sidewalks, busy front yard gardens and little swinging gates. Craftsman homes restored to glory, small cottages screaming out their early 1900’s charm, homes of red brick and old wood, stained glass and screen doors. When the sun is shining, the residents are out walking their pups, riding bikes with their kids and visiting some of the many city parks scattered around town.
If you’ve never been to Enumclaw, add it to your list of places to visit. When you get there, I’d suggest starting on Cole Street. It’s like every little town’s ‘Main Street’ and its charm has stolen the hearts of many. Lined with early 1900’s buildings (some are even older than that!), wide, clean sidewalks and the occasional outdoor eating area, it’s a great place to shop local.
My suggestions in Enumclaw?
The Sequel Bookstore, of course! Besides my biased opinion because they have my own book series on their shelves, this bookstore has a very warm vibe and books tucked into every nook they have. The owners are wonderful people and always willing to get the exact book you might be looking for. They also have coffee!
If you’re looking for a place to eat or have an adult beverage, Cole Street will not dissapoint. The Mint has great food and craft beer. The Rainier has a fun vibe and their food is delicious. Kelly’s Mercantile has great coffee and fresh dishes that will fill you up. Jackson’s has yummy pizza and if you want something sweet, there’s Ann’s Bakery or the candy store. Our favorite is Sweet Necessities, along the cross street of Cole; Griffin Ave.
Need something to wear? Oh Baby has great stuff and good prices. Like antiques? C.C.’s Collectables on Cole, is a two story treasure box, seriously, I could spend and entire day in there and still not see everything. In need of a couch? Allens Furniture has the best prices around and their staff is pretty awesome… I literally go in there and stare at this one sectional that I WILL own when I live in a bigger place and the staff and I have a good laugh about my weird obsession with this couch. This is just a taste of what’s on Cole Street. There are many shops, restaurants, produce stands, breweries, farms, wineries and pie… (oh my god the Pie Goddess has THE BEST PIE! ) off of Cole Street. Breakfast? Just trust me and go straight to The Kettle, forget about your diet and get a full sized scramble and a muffin… you’re welcome.
If you want the outdoors, Enumclaw has it. Aside from driving along the many back roads through farmlands and forests, there are parks, a huge golf course, lakes, rivers and campgrounds in the surrounding areas that will steal your heart. Oh and lets not forget; Mount Rainier National Park is about twenty minutes away and full of hiking, biking, views and so much fresh air you won’t want to leave. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is close by as well and has gondola rides in the summer.
Summer is coming, which means events! This little town has events that really give it a unique flavor. Enumclaw hosts Wine Walks, Beer Walks, farmers markets, street fairs, parades and Sunday Dinners on Cole. Bigger events happen at the Enumclaw Expo Center (my favorite is the Scottish Highland Games), they have concerts and shows there that are worth a visit.
Obviously I could write about this town until my fingers bleed, so I’ll just leave you with this…
When you’re looking for a place to visit with your family, a friend, a partener or even on your own, Enumclaw is a good place to explore and make memories that will make you want to come back. Its filled with character and that small town vibe that we all love so much. So, put on your boots and wander into this little gem of a town and see where the roads take you!
Until next time!