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Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most iconic destinations, and one of the most exciting markets in the entire U.S. It’s not just a tourist attraction, but a place many locals go to pick up ingredients for dinner or a colorful bouquet of flowers. If you plan to visit the Emerald City, you won’t want to miss it, but there are a few things you should know before you go.
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At this local treasure, you’ll not only find a wide range of fresh seafood, produce and flowers but row after row after vendors that sell all sorts of tasty foods as well as vintage goods, handcrafted items and more.
The market also offers a wealth of entertainment. Not only is it a great place for people watching, but the fishmongers who toss the fresh catch of the day back-and-forth always put on an impressive show. On any given day there are multiple street performers, many of whom are quite talented, and some that bring some rather unique skills while donning bizarre costumes.
The key to an enjoyable experience is to visit the market at the right time, which is particularly important on weekends and during the summer when the cruise ships dock in Elliott Bay, arriving with countless tourists, many of whom head straight here. If you can, try to arrive early in the morning as the vendors begin setting up, just before 9:30. It will be much easier to find parking too, with cheap metered spaces available just below on Alaskan Way.
Other than sampling the many tasty foods – the smoked salmon at Pure Food Fish Market is to die for, there are lots of other things you won’t want to miss either. Fan of the movie “Sleepless in Seattle?” Head to the Athenian Inn which briefly appeared in the film and offers dining with a spectacular view of the waterfront.
A selfie in front of the Market Theater Gum Wall, a famous wall that’s been collecting gum for over two decades, should also be on the agenda. Gross? Yes, but it definitely makes for a colorful and unique backdrop.
While lots of visitors plan to pick up a cup of Joe from the very first Starbucks, there are many better ways to spend your time than standing in an endless line for the same coffee you could get anywhere else. Skip it and plan to ride the Seattle Great Wheel – it’s just a short walk away and you’ll get to enjoy breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and the craggy Olympic Mountains. If you’re here on a sunny day, that view gets even better with Mount Rainier overlooking it all.
Pike Place Market