Discovering Arlington

Written by Hilary Parker - Photos by Jaynie Hancock

Discovering Arlington
Don't just pass by this little town

I’ll admit that I don’t give Arlington much thought, at least not since the Israel family moved away and took the Garlic Festival with them. But when my friend Lisa Nelson, who’s also our beauty columnist, told me she’d started a new job as the esthetician at Studio 5 Beauty Boutique in downtown Arlington, I knew a day trip was in order.

I love driving along Highway 530 through the expanse of fields, many of which will be covered in corn by mid-summer, reminding me this is a little agricultural mecca. At the 530/Highway 9 junction sits the small town of Arlington, known for its logging and railroad past. Today, the sleepy downtown is awakening with a mix of old, new and revitalized shops and eateries.  

Studio 5, on Gilman Avenue, is just a couple of blocks off Arlington’s main drag, Olympic Avenue. The salon and day spa’s bright spring green exterior is a welcome pop of color on this afternoon when the sky is heavy with spring rain clouds. Inside, this renovated 1920s bungalow is equally cheery, with shades of orange, green and pink decorating the walls.

This is a full-service salon and day spa, offering cuts, color, nail services, skin treatments, waxing and sugaring, lash tinting and tanning. Don’t you just feel pretty thinking about it?

On this visit Lisa was giving me a facial. Studio 5 uses the Eminence skin care line, based out of Vancouver, B.C. These luxurious organic products use herbs and fruits to create nourishing, fragrant products. Scents of chocolate, apricot and coconut treated my sense of smell as the products and warm towels soothed my skin. Sixty minutes later my skin was glowing and I was thoroughly relaxed.

The sun is shining as I leave Studio 5. A facial makes everything look a bit brighter.


Studio 5 Beauty Boutique

155 E. Gilman
Arlington, WA


While you're there...


Petite Sweet

This hometown bakery and café is too good to pass up! Pastries, cakes and pies call to your inner sweet tooth. Fresh-baked bread is the foundation for delicious sandwiches like the Smokin’ Granny, grilled with turkey, smoked gouda and thinly sliced granny smith apple. Breakfast also served.

318 N. Olympic Ave.
Arlington, WA

Bistro San Martin

White-tablecloth elegance and renowned world cuisine make this a fine-dining destination. The fresh sheet changes daily, and menu favorites include crab cakes, roast duck and filet mignon. Open for dinner only, so make plans to stick around town so as not to miss this dining experience.

231 N. Olympic Ave.
Arlington, WA



Fogdog Gallery

Gallery owner Claire Cundiff represents 40 artists (all but eight are local) in her new, larger gallery that is already filled to the brim with glass, wood, canvas and metal works all begging for a look. Cundiff’s boundless energy brings classes, music and poetry into the gallery on a regular basis.

233 N. Olympic Ave.
Arlington, WA

Legion Park / Centennial Trail

Legion Park is located in the heart of downtown Arlington and is the perfect place to enjoy an ice cream cone from the parlor down the street or as a pleasant resting spot for those biking the Centennial Trail, which runs through the town. Legion Park is also home to the Arlington Farmers Market on Saturdays, July through October.

200 N. Olympic Ave.
Arlington, WA



River Rock Inn

This Northwest-themed B&B is the ideal place to make your day trip into a weekend getaway. A stunning river rock fireplace greets visitors in the great room; each of the five suites has its own private bath; and meals include the freshest farm-to-table ingredients. Nestled among the trees, trails wind around the five-acre property, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the grounds, from picnicking to lawn games to the outdoor spa.

15425 133rd Ave. NE
Arlington, WA