Pike Place Market

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Remember the family trip I took over the summer? Well, today I’m finally kicking of my recaps of the trip. There are so many pictures to sort through and places to talk about, so I decided it would be easiest to do this bit by bit. I’m also thinking of doing a round-up post towards the end to link all of the posts and places in one mini guide.

I thought we’d start with one spot that many people have heard of, whether or not you’ve been to Seattle: Pike Place Market. This was one of the first destinations I added to my list and the one place that everyone named when I asked for Seattle recommendations. Most of them said, “It’s touristy, but worth it” and they were right.

Even though we had a relatively short journey from LAX to SEA, we were pretty tired when we arrived in the afternoon of our first day in Seattle. We had a chill, relaxing night, and rested up to go exploring on Day 2. And oh boy, did we explore. I think we visited the most places on this day. But there I go, getting ahead of myself again!

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Our first stop in Seattle was Pike Place Market. After reading a few travel guides, I knew that the market is more crowded in the afternoon, so I wanted us to head there on the earlier side. But, I’d forgotten what it’s like when you travel with family, and by the time all of us were ready, it was already late morning/early afternoon.

Driving to the market was my first experience with Seattle hills. I was not prepared for the incline on some of those hills. After driving around for a bit, we finally found a parking spot at what felt like a 75-degree angle, and then walked down the hill to Pike Place.

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I enjoy markets in general and Pike Place has something for everyone. There are restaurants, groceries, flowers, handcrafted goods, food stands, and much more. We spent a few hours wandering around the market and of course I went crazy with the pictures because there was so much that caught my eye.

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Some highlights of the market and surrounding areas for me were:

– Hot mini donuts: these were so yummy and there were some topped with maple and bacon bits (!!)

– Rachel’s Ginger Beer: this place was recommended to me by a friend who lived in Seattle and a refreshing drink was just what I needed after walking around for a while

– The flowers: the flowers were lovely and not crazy expensive. I was sorely tempted to take some back to our Airbnb, but I knew we’d be walking around for the rest of the day and I didn’t want them to wilt before we made it back. If I lived near the market though, I’m pretty sure a good chunk of my money would be diverted to those pretty flowers

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We were able to see the flying fish too. Somehow, in all of my research before the trip, I hadn’t heard about the flying fish before we got there. Then my mom mentioned it, but I had no idea what she was referring to. We happened to catch the show and it was pretty amusing to see the men tossing this huge fish around. One of their tricks is to throw a fish towards you and then catch it right before it seems like the fish will smack you in the face (I have a clip of my mom reacting to this- it’s so funny!).

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After we’d walked around for a bit, we grabbed some fish and chips and sat outside behind the market to enjoy our food. The weather was fantastic and sitting in that open area provided some good people watching, mostly of other tourist families just like us.

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I realized early on that one of my favorite things about Seattle is that there are views of water everywhere. Sitting on a bench overlooking the water and munching a tasty meal is something I could quickly get used to.

After our lunch, we packed up to head to the next spot on my list. But this wasn’t our only visit to Pike Place- we actually went back another day during our trip. My mom wanted to pick up some more souvenirs and I was happy to go back for another round. On our second trip, we saw the gum wall and the hula hooping guitar man, two important things that we’d missed on our first go-around!

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Pike Place Market was such a wonderful, vibrant place, and I’d definitely go back. I’d love to experience it earlier in the day too, when it’s a bit less crowded and the market is just coming to life.

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  • I’ve never been to Seattle, but I can imagine how nice it would be to have that huge market right along the water. Though having steep hills be a part of daily life, driving, and parking might not be something I could get used to!
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    • I went to Seattle and San Francisco within a month of each other, and I’d never really realized how hilly both places are. It’s definitely a different kind driving/walking experience and I’m not sure I could get used to it either!

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