Few cities in America have anything like Pike Place Market, founded in 1907 overlooking the waterfront and the oldest continuously working public market in the USA; countless stalls offer piles of lobsters, crabs, salmon, vegetables, fruit and flowers. Though it’s often mobbed by tourists in the summer, locals still shop here and having saved it from demolition in the 1970s remains a source of pride. The covered complex is a labyrinth of thirteen buildings on a triangular lot covering nine acres, holding three hundred produce and fish vendors, bakeries, craft stalls, touristy shops and small retailers.
At the main entrance on Pike Street the fishmongers of Pike Place Fish Co hurl the catch of the day back and forth to the amusement of tour groups while street entertainers play to rapt crowds. Here also is the brass statue of “Rachel the pig”, a large, actual piggy bank, with receipts going to charity. Even if you have no interest in buying salmon or fresh fruit, there are some classic places to eat here, as well as the original Starbucks. Don’t leave without taking a peek at the slightly gross Gum Wall, an alley along the side of the market plastered with used chewing gum, some if it strung out like stalactites (seriously).