USA Today nominates Sequim for ‘Best Small Town for Shopping’

Following last year’s win as “Best Northwestern Small Town” by USA Today’s 10Best Awards, Sequim has been nominated this year for the newspaper’s online campaign as the “Best Small Town for Shopping.”

As of Tuesday, April 24, Sequim is in the lead over 19 other cities from across the nation with populations of 25,000 or less. A panel of travel writers and bloggers nominated each city, including Orcas Island, which is in ninth place and the only other Pacific Northwest city.

Port Townsend was also nominated for the newspaper’s “Best Coastal Small Town” contest and is in 11th place.

Barbara Hanna, the City of Sequim’s communications and marketing director, said the city was notified on April 16 that Sequim was in the running again and that after winning “Best Northwestern Small Town” last May, Sequim is likely on more people’s radars.

Shelli Robb-Kahler, executive director of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, said the nomination is a great opportunity for Sequim.

“Typically, it’s about the weather, attractions, and beautiful lavender, but this is a wonderful boost for our area merchants and businesses,” she said. “Sequim does have amazingly unique and charming shops in and around Sequim.”

Campaign organizers write that nominees for “Best Small Town for Shopping” are “perfect destinations for some retail therapy” with eclectic boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores and farmers markets as some examples for shopping.

Locals can vote up to twice per day through 9 a.m. Monday, May 14 at

Winners will be announced at on Friday, May 18.


Hanna began spreading the word last week via the city’s website, press releases, and social media on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of family-owned, one-of-a-kind stores,” she said. “We really have an array of shopping opportunities. It really does make a great place to shop especially with its shop local movement.”

Shenna Younger, president of the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber, agrees with Hanna’s sentiment.

“I think it’s fabulous to receive the recognition our merchants have worked so hard for,” she said.

Younger said Sequim’s merchants strive to do a lot of unique promotions and activities year-round to make shopping interesting, such as Elk on a Shelf and/or changing window decorations often.

“I hear from people all the time how friendly our shop owners are I think it’s great to be recognized for it,” she said.

After Sequim won the “Best Northwestern Small Town” over cities in six states, Hanna said it’s been a nice boost for the city using it for promotions in varying capacities.

The contest’s web page, describes Sequim as “an old mill town on the Olympic Peninsula (that) enjoys a walkable downtown filled with gift shops and cafes, and punctuated by a historic grain elevator. This unusually sunny small town (at least by Washington standards) is famous for succulent Dungeness crab, as well as the fields of fragrant lavender at its outskirts.”

Robb-Kahler said locals and visitors can find affordable staple products while shopping in locally-owned shops that you might not find elsewhere.

“We’re fortunate we can ‘shop local’ and have fun doing it,” she said.

Look for updates on the contest with the City of Sequim via its website or its Facebook page @Sequimwagov or Twitter page @VisitSequim.

Reach Matthew Nash at