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).

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why California should be your next family holiday

Why California should be your next family holiday

When it comes to kids, the Golden State certainly lives up to its name – California is one paradise of a playground. Go now and you’ll find the sights quie…

19 Feb 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
Los Angeles or San Francisco: which should you visit first?

Los Angeles or San Francisco: which should you visit first?

They’re two of the biggest cities in the United States. They’re two of the most famous cities in the world. Los Angeles and San Francisco have been written…

29 Jan 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
The best national parks in California

The best national parks in California

California has more national parks than anywhere else in the United States; together they protect an area the size of West Virginia. And with such a wealth of …

25 Jan 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right