What’s a trip to Seattle without swinging by the world-famous Pike Place Market?
While I was visiting Seattle, I stayed at a hostel that was a one-minute walk from the market. So, I had no excuse to not visit this top Seattle attraction.
Established in 1907, Pike Place Market sees up to 10 million visitors per year, between 20,000 to 40,000 every day. This includes not just the public market, but the entire nine-acre Pike Place Market historical district. For this post, though, I’ll be referring to just the public market.
I walked through Pike Place Market three times while I was in Seattle because once wasn’t enough: I was so enamored by the atmosphere that I had to come back. There were always so many people – so many that body contact with strangers was inevitable – but it was alway buzzing with so much energy. From shoppers and vendors to street performers, Pike Place Market was full of vibrant chatter and upbeat clamor.
(Some footage of the market can be found in this video:)
Although I’d seen photos of the facade of the market many times before, I didn’t do too much research before exploring the area so that I could have a fresh experience of the market on my own. I wasn’t too worried about “missing out” on any must-try eateries. I was excited to just go with the flow and end up wherever I ended up, including when it came to food. In fact, I ended up having lunch one day at a vendor that sold sushi. Nothing out of the ordinary, but my main focus was to just to get a feel for what the market was like.
Pike Place reminded me of Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, which was established 10 years after Pike Place Market in 1917. They both host a variety of food vendors, but Pike Place definitely has more seafood options.
A highlight of the market is Pike Place Urban Garden, a 2,000-square foot garden established in 2013, which is located upstairs. Not having done any research on this place, wandering aimlessly until I found myself upstairs amid a collection of bright flowers and potted greenery felt like discovering a hidden treasure. Who doesn’t feel more at ease when surrounded by plants? 🙂
Another nice surprise were a couple of indie bookstores. No photos of those because I got caught up perusing the collection of paperbacks and hardcovers on the shelves. More about the bookstores can be found here, though, if you’re interested. I’ve rediscovered my love for reading this year, so to find bookstores in a market where I thought it was all going to be food was a welcome surprise.
I absolutely loved Pike Place Market, particularly because I experienced it without knowing too many specifics about it. It’s easy to see why it attracts millions of visitors every year, tourists and locals alike.
It’s also home to the original Starbucks and the Gum Wall.
For more information on Pike Place Market, click here.