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A Very Vibrant Shopping Scene in the Twin Cities

Centralia

Outlet Mall AnniversaryPerhaps the most well-known shopping opportunity in the county known to people outside the local area, the Centralia Factory Outlet, offers more than 30 outlet stores on both sides of Interstate 5. Nike, Under Armour, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Van Heusen and more represent a variety of stores that offer discounted pricing on name-brand clothing and more.

But there’s more to the shopping scene in Centralia than the outlets. A renewed economic landscape in the city’s downtown core has resulted in business activity increasing among locally-owned stores that offer everything from antiques to books and a whole lot of other stuff in between.

HUBBUB has complemented the shopping scene downtown for nearly a decade, offering contemporary crafts and gifts from housewares to toys and jewelry. A newcomer to downtown, Loose Ends Fiber Arts, gives spinsters a wide variety of yarn and equipment to choose from.

A collection of antique stores such as Attic Door Vintiques and Ayala Brothers Furniture & Antique Shop promises hours of opportunity for collectors to peruse. Those stores and several others are major reasons Centralia was listed in USA Today’s 10 Best Spots for Antiquing in September 2014.

Completing the scene in downtown Centralia is a smattering of restaurants, coffee shops and pubs that give visitors and locals alike a chance to sit down for awhile and enjoy the downtown vibe. Restaurants and bars downtown include the McMenamin’s Olympic Club, Centerville Cafe, O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House, and Great Cuisine of India, among others. All are located along the downtown stretch of Tower Avenue.

And if you’re fortunate enough to visit downtown Centralia on a Saturday, check to see if the Fox Theatre is hosting one of its many entries in the Fox Theatre Film Series. The theater, which was once the place to be in Centralia for movies and silent films, is regaining its status as a cultural and arts center of the Hub City through a revitalization project that continues.

Chehalis

The Mint City is also home to several retail offerings through both a vibrant downtown and the Twin City Town Center — and it’s also home to a store that once captured the hearts of many during its four decades of existence.

The charming core of Chehalis’s downtown area brings together a variety of businesses and restaurants, giving several options for people just wishing to visit or buy something special for someone. It’s a mix of longtime businesses such as Bartels, Brunswig’s Shoes and Book ’N’ Brush.

Restaurants in or near downtown offer a place to relax and enjoy a meal. Mackinaw’s, Sweet Inspirations and the Market Street Bakery and Cafe are all located within the two-block downtown core on Market Boulevard.

Chehalis also has its own retail complex off the freeway, just three miles south of the Centralia Outlets off Exit 79. The Twin City Town Center is home to Walmart, The Hope Depot, Kmart, Michaels, Big 5 Sporting Goods and many more.

A sentimental favorite among longtime area residents, the Yard Birds Mall is home to the largest swap meet in the Pacific Northwest, a rebirth for a building once home to a store that offered a vast variety of wares under one roof at 2100 N. National Ave.

Today, Yard Birds Mall also hosts Shankz Blacklight Miniature Golf, a family-friendly spot that offers a snack bar, arcade and theater.

Outdoors enthusiasts will enjoy Sunbird Shopping Center, located just south of Yard Birds on National Avenue. The store there offers workwear, sporting goods, firearms, fishing equipment and tackle, lawn and garden materials and more oriented for the outdoors.

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