I remember the days when REI was a small scrappy outdoors store for the really rough folks who cleaned and cared for their equipment after every hard-core backpacking trip so it lasted for at least 15 years, and they really, really didn't care how cute they looked.
Now it's a Super Mega Outdoors Store, which verges on a big boutique, but I'm not complaining. It's nice to have a co-op that sells superior clothing that ensures I'm never left out wet in the cold--and I'm going to look darn cute doing it.
The Flagship store downtown not only offers a huge array of equipment in one place (and not cheap, breakable discount store equipment either), but it's an experience in itself. You can test out jackets in the "rain booth"; try out bikes on the "mountain trail", hike around in boots on the mini-mountain, and climb the huge climbing wall that looks out over Seattle through huge windows. Definitely a favorite for tourist and locals alike.