For more than 100 years, the Pike Place Market has been operating just steps from Elliott Bay. Packed full of creative shops, restaurants, and vendors, there is always something new to see. For this portion of our Epic Road Trip, we joined our son Derek on a day exploring Seattle. He had stoked our imaginations with stories of the wonders found inside this iconic landmark. With the excitement reaching its peak, the time finally arrived for our excursion. A ride on public transportation landed us nearby and a short walk later we found 4 reasons to visit Pike Place Market.
1) Tons of Vendors
The first of 4 reasons to visit Pike Place Market has to be the variety of vendors. While we didn’t have a shopping list in hand, we were ready to drop some tourist dollars in downtown Seattle. We made our way through row after row of tables, tents, and shops. It appeared that you could find just about anything your heart desires. They have the market divided into groupings, with an area dedicated to local craftspeople. Lots of choices for shoppers looking to purchase handmade jewelry, artwork, apparel, and a wide range of other products. Passing into the permanent shops, we found all types of potential souvenirs. Derek led us into Golden Age Collectables, where we found ourselves wandering through one of the oldest comic stores in America.
2) Gum Wall
If the sight of used gum makes you ill, you will certainly want to skip a visit to Gum Wall. Located in an alley underneath the fish market is one of the most unusual hidden attractions. We had made our way down for a visit to Ghost Alley Espresso. This coffee shop serves up some unique flavor combinations, from which Crystal and Derek selected. I was unsure of my choice, so the barista offered to fix me a mystery mocha, that she knew I would love. The powerfully flavored elixir was one of the best cups of caffeine that I have ever tasted. One sip was enough to power me through a walk along with the gum-draped exterior of Post Alley. The colorful walls have been around since the 1990s.
3) Flying Fish
A mainstay attraction is the Pike Place Fish Market. It sits in a prime location, so we ended up passing by a couple of times. Our hope was to catch sight of someone buying a fresh fish, which elicits an entertaining display. The first time we stood for a while, but to no avail. On our return pass, we found someone eyeballing the catch of the day. This was my signal to start recording and sure enough, I was able to catch some of the festivities. Here’s the link to a short video of “fish tossing” being performed by the vendors at Pike Place Fish Market. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/-ntNPL0TezU There was something satisfying in knowing that we witnessed the fishmongers performing this legendary act.
4) Foodie Heaven
As our coffee levels began to drop, we decided that a nibble was in order. Lunch had been planned for another part of Seattle, so we were spying out smaller treats. The variety of bakeries and cafes appeared endless. We had stepped out of the long row of stalls to contemplate options when we suddenly spotted our prey. Right in front of us sat Piroshky Piroshky. The mix of savory and sweet aromas drew us inside. Here we found a large selection of choices and helpful staff to guide us to just the right tastes. With a solid selection in hand, we headed back out into the street to devour our tasty hand pies.
4 Reasons to Visit Pike Place Market
With our 4 reasons to visit Pike Place Market under our belts, we found ourselves with a few minutes to spare. Time to see what treasures we had missed and add them to our list for the next Seattle trip. A Giant Shoe Museum entices tourists with a row of viewing slots that offer views of giant shoes, of course. Seattle is home to Starbucks, and the first storefront is a popular destination. We skipped this spot since the lines were out the door. Perhaps a mid-afternoon would have been better. Even with passing up these iconic stops, we still had a blast exploring this landmark site in downtown Seattle.