Pike Place Market
97 Pike St Between Pike and Pine Sts. and First Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Full day of fun with shopping, food, and entertainment.
Touristy, but iconic - Seattle landmark offers food, shopping and water views
The most famous destination in Seattle has got to be Pike Place Market. Its sign is featured in film and television shows such as Greys Anatomy, and there is a perfect selfie spot at the top of the Pike Street hill. Other Instagrammable shots include Rachel the Pig (a bronze sculpture at the bottom of that same hill; rub her nose for luck), and the famous "Gum Wall" (head down the alley next to the information booth and hook a left by Ghost Alley Espresso).
Even when the Market is bustling with tourists, the trip is entirely worth it. Here are some fun places to check-out on your self-guided tour:
Pike Place Fish - “they’re the ones that throw the fish.” This spot gets crowded (and there’s no fish tossing during the pandemic), but it’s fun to watch the fish mongers toss slippery fish back and forth, or to ogle the fake monkfish that will get whisked away from your eyes if you get too close.
Market Spice - this spice shop in the corner next to Pike Place Fish sells every kind of spice or spice blend you could wish for. I like the curry powders for making roasted vegetables or fish a little more zippy.
DeLaurenti Food & Wine - this spot sells specialty Italian goods (like squid ink pasta) and locally made preserves (we love the eggplant sauce for topping meatballs) and has a huge charcuterie and cheese case that’s perfect for stocking a picnic. We love the “charcuterie cones” for a walking snack.
Beecher’s Cheese - watch the paddles swirl through a vat of fermenting milk from the huge window before heading in to pick up some Beecher’s Flagship (similar to a less sharp cheddar) or a grilled cheese.
Crumpet Shop - even if your kids don’t have the patience for high tea, you can pick up freshly made crumpets from this spot on 1st Ave. We love the Vemont (maple butter, cream cheese and walnuts) or the Green Eggs and Ham options and the chai is made in house. Snag a barstool in the back to watch employees make the crumpets.
Eighth Generation - forget that Pendleton blanket and pick up something actually designed by a Native person. The blankets are soft and well-made and hold up well to picnicking. If you don’t have room in your bags for larger items, the jewelry and accessories are also gorgeous.
Once your shopping is done, take your provisions to Victor Steinbrueck park for a picnic - you can admire a totem pole with Haida imagery and watch the ferries and cargo ships head out to sea.
Restrooms with changing tables are available, but not terribly clean. Find them on the mid-level of the market, just below the Pike Place Fish shop. The easiest place to park is in the Pike Place garage on Western Ave, or along the street on the same road. Keep in mind that parking in downtown Seattle can be challenging, but it's all part of the adventure.
While the market is generally handicap and stroller-accessible, getting around on wheels can be challenging in this older part of town and kids are susceptible to dashing off to check out a fish face. I recommend a baby carrier for the youngest and setting up a meeting place with older kids in the event someone wanders off accidentally.