The Great Northern

Following US‑2 through wide-open spaces is guaranteed to bring new meaning to the expression “getting away from it all.”


Though they’re spreading fast, Seattle’s suburbs haven’t yet reached the tidy Victorian town of Snohomish (pop. 9,098), a century-old former logging center that lines the north bank of the Snohomish River, 25 miles upstream from Puget Sound. Six blocks of well-preserved warehouses and commercial buildings stand along 1st Street, across the river from a whining old sawmill, while the blocks above hold dozens of charming homes and quite a few impressively steepled churches. One of these old homes has been restored and now houses the Blackman House Museum (118 Ave. B, 360/568-5235, Sat.-Sun. noon-3pm, donations). The museum features period-style furnishings and displays on the town’s early history. The range of antiques shops, taverns, and cafés in the historic center has made Snohomish a popular day trip from Seattle. Pastry fans come here for the fantastic apple, pecan, cherry, and other slices available at the Snohomish Pie Company (915 1st St., 360/568-3589), while beer-drinkers converge upon Fred’s Rivertown Ale House (1114 1st St., 360/568-5820), on the river. Snohomish has maintained an admirable balance of history and commerce and is well worth a short stop if you’re passing by.

Around Snohomish, the old US-2 road has been replaced by a four-lane freeway that loops around to the north, so follow signs for the Historic Center.

Blackman House Museum (118 Ave. B)
Snohomish Pie Company (915 1st St.)