Visiting Pike Place Market

Sometimes my husband and I pretend we’re tourists and visit popular spots on Seattle that locals often forget about and visitors frequent. Pike place is a very touristy spot, but there’s enough fresh produce to keep residents happy too.

Public market

Pike Place Market is over 100 years old and is one of the oldest continually operating public markets in the country. It’s a large expanse of a building with several levels. Flinging fish might have put Pike Place on the map, but I usually skip that section of the market (or hold my nose as I run past). The wonderful flower stalls are more interesting to me.

food and flowers

You can always count on fresh, local produce when you visit Pike Place, but there are tons of artisans too. Whether you’re looking for a watercolor paintings, ceramics, jewelry or textiles, you’ll find it here. The main arcade has rows of vendors selling their wares. Downstairs, the permanent  stores offer visitors everything from books to clothing.

The market sits on a hill overlooking Eliott Bay so it’s a great place for a photo-op. Across the water, you’ll see the shipyards, West Seattle and Alki Beach, and maybe even a passing ferry.

Elliott Bay

Seattleites are a bike-friendly bunch, and you’ll see just how many people cycle to the market when you pass by the make-shift bike racks on the railing near the market entrance.


The original Starbucks, opened in 1971, is right across from the market. It’s funny how long the lines are for an “original” brew. I can walk to at least two other Starbucks (and Seattle’s Best, Tully’s, and Peet’s, not to mention smaller shops like Cherry Street and Caffé Ladro), but this one started it all and I guess they think it’s worth the wait.

Original Starbucks

If you visit, don’t forget to walk along Post Alley. It is an alley, but it’s well-populated and safe, especially during the day. All along the alley are shops and other stops, like the Market Theater. There are restaurants too. We like to eat at The Pink Door and The Alibi Room, but there are many more places we have yet to try.

Post Alley

One of Seattle’s grossest attractions is in the alley too: The Wall of Gum. You wouldn’t think people would appreciate that, but they have their pictures taken in front of it (and contribute to it) all day long. Eww!

gum wall

Finally, enjoy the sounds of Pike Place. From a capella gospel and bluegrass to blues and ragtime, buskers around the market add to the vibrant atmosphere with their songs and antics.

jean and poster wall

Jacket: Guess via thrifted
T-shirt: Old Navy
Scarf: DIY
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Shoes: John Fluevog

What are the best tourist spots in your city? Do you frequent them or do you leave that for the visitors?


Filed under Architecture, Art, Crafts, General

3 responses to “Visiting Pike Place Market

  1. SadieSewBaggins

    Loved this post about our neighboring attraction. Funny how I can walk through the market almost every day and had never noticed the “bike rack”. Now I will keep my eyes peeled. Did you indulge in any market wares?

    • We bought fruity snacks and coffee from a vendor, that’s it. I had my eye on a neat booth. The woman who runs it makes neat clothes (all upcycled from t-shirts and sweaters). I’ll be back for one of those!

  2. I remember it well, and your pics and writeup bring back wonderful memories of visiting you in Seattle!! Hope to go again soon!

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