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Five Things To See in Seattle’s Pike Place Market

written by Julie Cohn

Seattle is one of the most popular cities to visit in the United States and for good reason.  One of the largest port cities on the Pacific North West, Seattle is known for fresh seafood, coffee, music and culture, healthy living, and the gorgeous views from nearby Mt. Rainer.

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Five Things To See in Seattle’s Pike Place Market

There are many wonderful sites to see in Seattle but one of the best places to visit is Pike Place Market, one of the oldest public farmer’s markets in the United States.  Pike Place Market is a bustling marketplace full of locals, tourists, and street entertainers; a kaleidoscope of colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables; and a mecca of gourmet food and artisan wares.  A visit to Pike Place Market can be overwhelming, so here are Five Things To See in Pike Place Market to get the most out of your visit.

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Fish Tossing at Pike Place Fish Market

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What would you do if someone threw a 100 pound salmon at you?  If you are one of the guys from Pike Place Fish Market, it’s all in a days work.  Part work, part entertainment, these world-famous fishmongers toss fish from early morning until close for crowds of cheering spectators.  When a customer places an order, one of the fishmonger yells the order out to another guy behind the counter, then tosses the “flying” fish to be wrapped up. Occasionally, the fishmongers will toss fish for entertainment, and if you ask nicely, they might even let you catch one.  Note:  It’s harder than it looks, but just catch it like a football and you will do fine.

The Original Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place

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This first Starbucks Coffee location opened in Pike Place Market in 1971, long before expanding to the 23,000 locations worldwide it is today.  Though not as fancy as most modern Starbucks stores, this original Starbucks retains a historic look, right down to the original mermaid logo.  Note:  This is a popular destination in Pike Place Market, so be prepared to wait in line 30 minutes or longer, just to get in the door.  (If you don’t want to wait in line, visit the more spacious and equally as awesome Starbucks location at 1st and Pike.)

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

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Beecher’s iconic cheese factory has been part of Pike Place Market since 2003, and is known as one of the best cheese shops in the United States by Travel & Leisure magazine.  Cheese makers create several varieties of cheese in-house, and visitors can watch the cheese makers hard at work from large glass windows that look out over Pike Place Market.  A retail store on-site sells cheese and other gourmet food, and the cafe sells their self-proclaimed “world’s best macaroni and cheese.”

 The Gourmet Pastry Shops

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Where else can you buy a Russian donut, then walk 500 feet and get a French pastry?  Pikes Place Market has several ethnic gourmet bakery and pastry shops, with fresh pastries to die for!  My personal favorite is Le Panier, the french bakery with scrumptious butter croissants and pillow-soft fruit-filled macarons.

The Gum Wall

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A Seattle landmark since 1993, the gum wall is both oddly disgusting and fascinating.  You can find the gum wall on the south end of Pike Place Market, a brick alleyway under Pike Place, called Post Alley.  Will you stick your own piece of gum on the wall?  To each their own, but I could not do it!

If you have been to Pike Place Market, what are some of your favorite things to see?

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