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).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

South Dakota, one of the USA’s Great Plains states, holds an annual buffalo roundup in Custer State Park. Last week was the 51st event and we were lucky enoug…

21 Feb 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Life in the Florida Keys is dominated by the ocean. The simplest trips become postcard-worthy adventures on the Overseas Highway, the link between its countless…

17 Feb 2017 • Georgia Stephens insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month