In the 1930s, a small group of Seattle adventurers grew frustrated by the difficult process of importing European sports equipment, so they formed Recreational Equipment Inc., a collective to buy ice axes and crampons in bulk. The company grew into a massive outdoor retailer, but it's still a co-op; after buying an initial membership, shoppers get a 10 percent dividend on all purchases at the end of the year. The flagship store in Seattle is marked by a giant indoor rock climbing wall and a bike path around the exterior (for testing bikes, of course). Inside, a giant fireplace anchors two stories of gear and clothing that will make outdoor enthusiasts start scheming their next trek upon arrival. Even if you know exactly what you're there for, double check your purchase with the extremely knowledgeable staff.