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Originally published Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM

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Downtown Seattle shopping

Westlake Center, packed with shops and eateries, is flanked by two longtime Seattle favorites, the Nordstrom and Macy’s department stores. In the surrounding blocks are international and national retailers, mixed with small high-end boutiques, one-of-a-kind stores and the upscale Pacific Place shopping center, with 50 stores, eateries and a multi-screen movie theater.

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The compact retail core of downtown Seattle is where big-city elegance meets Pacific Northwest casual. Fleece and flannel mix with suits and stilettos on wide sidewalks that edge century-old architectural gems and modern high-rises.

The pedestrian-friendly retail core is an area loosely bordered by First and Sixth avenues, between Westlake Center to the north and Seneca Street to the south. Westlake Center, packed with shops and eateries, is flanked by two longtime Seattle favorites, the Nordstrom and Macy’s department stores. In the surrounding blocks are international and national retailers, mixed with small high-end boutiques, one-of-a-kind stores and the upscale Pacific Place shopping center, with 50 stores, eateries and a multi-screen movie theater. A few blocks farther south, Rainier Square offers more dining and retail options.

More than a dozen hotels are located in or near the area; some house designer shops, eateries and specialty stores at street level. Hunger- and thirst-quenchers are found throughout the area in casual soup-and-sandwich cafes, coffee shops, wine bars, pubs, food trucks and fine-dining restaurants.

Shop around

Nordstrom, the flagship store of this high-end men’s and women’s apparel and accessories chain, began in 1901 as a Seattle shoe store. 500 Pine St.; 206-628-2111, nordstrom.com

Made in Washington stocks local gifts and souvenirs, from chocolate-covered cherries to tea, glass art and paintings, coffee-table and children’s books. The Seattle rain globe is a fun version of the old snow globes. Westlake Center, 400 Pine St.; 206-623-9753, madeinwashington.com

Ward & Co. has grooming products and accessories for men including shaving brushes, razors (double- and single-edged) and creams. Rainier Square, 1304 Fourth Ave.; 206-971-0951, wardmensgrooming.com

Refuel

Lines can be long at times for ice cream from Gelatiamo, an Italian-style gelateria. About 16 rotating flavors of gelato compete with temptations in the pastry and dessert case. Try an espresso, too. 1400 Third Ave.; 206-467-9563, gelatiamo.com

More info: downtownseattle.com

— Jackie Smith

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