The wood walkways at Gilman Village connect more than 45 specialty shops and restaurants, most of which are housed in buildings that date back to the turn of the century. Once home to some of Issaquah's earliest settlers, these structures add an old-world charm and regional flavor to the new stores within them.
Since the center opened in 1973, it has provided a unique outlet for independent and locally-owned businesses.
There are no national chains here, but there is something for everyone. The stores are diverse and intriguing, with merchandise ranging from fashion accessories and gift items to plants and home funishings. Each shop has its own angle, from the Kitchen Cupboard to Watches by Gosh. Mykens is devoted entirely to pets and offers everything from gourmet catnip to hand-painted doggie bowls. Jig's Camp is named after a fishing resort in Florida that owner Ronna Currier visited as a child. She has tried to recreate that lodge atmosphere in her Gilman Village store, where nostalgia comes in many forms: old fishing rods, cabin furnishings and antique-style signs made by local artists. They also sell what Currier describes as "cool camp clothes." Children will be enchanted by Cottontail Corner, where beloved storybook character Beatriz Potter comes to life.
Edible gifts can be found at Sweet Addition, a candystore that doubles as a deli. The deck outside the Snow Goose Cafe is a fine spot for people-watching and casual dining.
Nicolino's always draws a crowd with its homemade pastas and Italian specialties.
Those in search of unique souvenirs should be sure to include a stop at Made in Washington, where the sign outside advertises "Quality Products Made Only in Washington State."
To get to Gilman Village, take Exit 17 off Interstate 90. Go South one block on Front Street to reach Gilman Boulevard, then turn right and continue across the railroad tracks. Gilman Village is straight ahead on the left.
The village is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and on Saturday. Stores stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, but on Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 5.