This is a fun little review and maybe some navigation tips of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. It is a tourist magnet, but even locals love this place. It has charm, history, entertainment, food, drinks, trinkets, art, photo opportunities, and can be fun for families and well as romantic for couples that are looking to spend some quality time together!
HERE is the information about directions and parking, although currently there is a huge shopping complex being built behind the market on the waterfront, and the parking situation is quite challenging. Although I recommend following what your GPS tells you and entering the market off First Street for your first visit, drive slowly (pedestrians will be everywhere and won't care a whit that your car is in their way) down the market way to experience the feel of the market. Roll down your windows! Then park further down. There is a park on the left at the end of the market, go to the next street down and make a left, there is a covered parking area (kind of tricky to get into) straight ahead. If that is full, I wish you luck...you'll find a spot eventually:) Most parking on the street is a max of two hour parking during the day. There are pay parking meters in various locations...it requires you to pay ahead, write your license plate on the receipt and display the receipt. The other parking garages will allow you to stay longer for the most part, but most will require payment in advance as well.
There are two "entrances" that make for great photo opportunities.
Here's the one by the Fish Market.
Here is the one most seen on TV!
One of the most well known bits of fun located at Pike Place Market is Pike Place Fish Market, home of the flying fish!
Lots of people!
Photo Opp! Take a selfie with a monkfish!
There are several levels. There are outdoor stands, and inside the market there are little nooks and crannies everywhere.
This is a view towards the market, which is on the right. There are many outdoor stands with merchandise lining the sidewalk.
Exploring is a huge part of the fun here. There are lower levels that are reminiscent of being on a cruise ship.
Shops of all kinds are here are in the lower levels...clothing, jewelry, used bookstores, Asian products, collectibles and even a magic shop!
I love buying some of the giant shrimp as is displayed here...you can buy different sizes of shrimp cocktail, as well as crab cockail.
There is street entertainment all over. One group was a quartet of old fashioned instruments. Another gentleman was whaling on a piano with skilled gusto. Musicians and entertainers stake out areas all over, so keep your ears peeled and enjoy some unique entertainment! Make sure you throw them a few bucks after you enjoy their talent.
You'll see people in huge lines in a few places...chowder in the little alley across the street from the market is one.
And there was a huge crowd here for fish and chips!
Another popular spot is the Starbucks...it is compulsory to visit a Starbucks while in Seattle, obviously.
We found a cool little grocery towards the end of the strip of shops across from the market, near the park. There is a bakery nearby with another huge line and mouthwatering smells, but we elected to choose from the cool beverage choices at the grocery to accompany our shrimp cocktail.
Even the water is fun!
To enjoy water views and some characters of Seattle (notice I said characters, not character!) head to the park nearby. There are benches, tables, or you can spread out on the grass. You'll find all walks of life here...families, tourists from cruise ships, and local residents, some that call the park "home". Although I did witness some drug use, it doesn't feel dangerous, it just feels like part of the scene. You do want to make sure that you secure your belongings on you, because the crowd in general is very tightly packed during nice weather. Keep an eye on the kids especially, I suggest forming a chain with your hands! It is easy to get separated here.
By the water
We got to see a military vessel being escorted to port which was pretty fun to see, the sailors were out on the deck.
Each visit brings new and fun things to experience and view and taste. No visit is the same! If you are visiting Seattle, make Pike Place Market a priority!
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