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5 cities, 5 days | Monroe's coffee scene, new businesses and a reptile zoo

From thriving new businesses to outdoor activities, Monroe in Snohomish County has a lot to offer.

MONROE, Wash. — KING 5 Mornings is hitting the road. The series "5 cities, 5 days" spotlights five western Washington communities and the true gems that make these places special.

We visited Monroe, a city in Snohomish County, about 30 miles northeast of Seattle. It's a growing community that is at the confluence of the Skykomish and Snohomish river valleys.

Here are five things you may not know about Monroe:

  1. You can get locally roasted coffee from Original Pilot House Coffee and even have it delivered to your business with a side-by-side. It's now legal to ride ATVs on the streets of Monroe. The city passed a new law in 2018 as part of a statewide effort to boost tourism in rural areas. The coffee shop also offers free homemade cookies every Thursday.
  2. You can find the most diverse collection of reptiles in the Pacific Northwest at The Reptile Zoo, including an albino alligator and a two-headed turtle.
  3. Monroe has a strong employment base. The city employs 7,500 people. About a quarter of the workforce leaves the city to work south of Everett.
  4. Despite some businesses being forced to close during the pandemic, Monroe has seen new businesses opening up, including a new custom furniture maker, a nano-brewery called Bugu Brewing Company and Lewis and Main, a new restaurant with gourmet dining.
  5. The city is popular among residents and visitors because of its outdoor activities. People are drawn to the city for the hiking and the Snohomish River. Monroe is also the jumping off place for travelers heading over Highway 2 to Stevens Pass and Leavenworth.

Before You Leave, Check This Out