Small Town Charm

Granite Falls, WA

Most know that Darrington is my favorite Snohomish County city, but what most probably don’t know is that Granite Falls is my second favorite. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that myself until very recently. It just kind of snuck up on me out of nowhere, or maybe not. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, I have so many favorite things and places there.

We are there all the time, traveling the Mountain Loop Highway between it and Darrington most weekends. The IGA there is our go to grocery store. We take lots of camping trips and hikes in the area. More importantly it is home to one of my favorite shops and some of my favorite places to eat in our county. More about all of those places later.

Instead, I’m going to start this off with something a bit silly. You see, city names don’t always have anything to do with what is actually located in the city in question. Our first year exploring the city, I totally got the “granite” part. The city does have granite and other stone mines after all.

What I had not realized until the second year, however, was that the city actually had a “Granite Falls” waterfall (pictured above). Try not to laugh at that too much.

The falls are something we passed over all of the time heading to or from the dirt roads of the Mountain Loop Highway without even realizing they were there. It is a shame too, because the waterfall is huge, powerful, and home to what was once the longest fish ladder of its type. Cool fact! Even cooler is how little walking is necessary to access both the falls and the ladder.

PICTURED: Rustic Redemption
There is more to Granite Falls then just some stone and a waterfall though. It has historically been a steel and railroad town, one that was a hub during the gold mining days in the surrounding area. I don’t know about you, but I love a town with history. That and one with old buildings, and yes, there are some of those in town too.

If you haven’t been, or its been awhile, what are you waiting for? It is a town that is perfect for a day trip. Catch a hike or just take a beautiful drive, visit the museum, shop, and eat some amazing food. Now would probably be the best time. Like many of our other cities, it is growing, and only time will tell the impact that will have on Granite Falls small town charm. I for one hope it is not much of one at all!

Where to eat …

Granite Falls is not a big city by any means, but it is one packed with some amazing places to eat. It is home to both my favorite Mexican restaurant and BBQ spot, and its newest addition, a community oriented coffee shop, is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to go to.

So where do you need to go?

1. Playa Bonita Mexican Restaurant
Don’t let the outside fool you, the inside is massive and is almost always full of people who, like me, know just how good it is.

 2. Barbecue Bucket
This spot is home to the burger that shaped how I make my own at home. Everything there is delicious, and if you ask The SnoCo Kid, she’d tell you to have the house made baked beans. As for me, While you are there, be sure to try their BBQ sauces, and maybe even taken one home.

PICTURED: Playa Bonita
PICTURED: Barbecue Bucket

3. Hanky Pies
This is the new kid on the block, a local coffee shop that is all about community. Did I mention they also have the most delicious food there, including pastries. My favorite thing has to be their breakfast sammies though. I have to have one no matter what time of day we are stopping in.

4. Omega Pizza & Pasta

 Where To Shop …

If there is one down side to Granite Falls, it is the lack of local shops. There are quite a few empty storefronts though, so I’m hopeful that will change. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to buy though.

1. Rustic Redemption
This is not your typical antique or vintage shop. It is … unique. Within you will find an eclectic and ever changing collection of old stuff, odds and ends, and potential projects just waiting for you. The SnoCo Kid loves this one too, she is always raiding their odds and ends bins for what she likes to call jingle jangles.

2. Makers
Cate Florey Studio – Hand Stamped Jewelry
Momma Bear Products – Jam
Pupcakes – Treats for your four legged friends
The Ornery Pig – Bath Products
Timberline Bees – Honey

 Where To Play …

1. Granite Falls History Museum (Sun.)
Whether you dig history museums or not, you have to go to this one at least once. It is not only the best museum in the county, but award winning as well. The team there is beyond amazing, the exhibits are far more than you’d expect, and their online mapping and archives are something to get lost in.

2. Hiking … A Few Of Many Trails
Lime Kiln Trail (review on our website)
Lake 22
Mount Pilchuck Trail
Big 4 Ice Caves (review on pg 33)
Monte Cristo Trail (review on our website)

3. Wildwood Yoga Studio

PICTURED: Hanky Pies
PICTURED: Lime Kiln Trail
Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!).

Monthly and annual subscriptions can be bought HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique,  Artisans Mercantile, and Tried & True Boutique in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Ladders Clothing & Company in Stanwood Island, Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls, and Vintage & Rust in Monroe each month.

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.


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