Often referred to as the Soul of Seattle, the Pike Place Market encompasses nine acres and more than a half-century of Seattle history. Many tales, historic tidbits, and a few locals-only taverns hail from these cobbled avenues. It remains today as one of Seattle’s best (and free) attractions.
The history of this now robust marketplace began over a hundred years ago when, in 1906 the cost of onions just about tripled. Angry citizens demanded recourse and were answered with the first Pike Place Market. Little did the lowly eight farmers know that an eager crowd of over 10,000 hungry citizens awaited them and their wares. Pike Place Market was a hit from the beginning.
Shortly thereafter, Pike Place Market acquired its first Market building and filled its stalls. Now, over a hundred years later, the Pike Place Market is still full with over 200 year-round commercial businesses and approximately 190 craftspeople and 100 farmers rent table space by the day. The market is filled with street-performers, musicians, dancers, artistic exhibits, and attracts more than 10 million visitors annually; making it one of Washington State’s most frequented destinations.
To find Pike Place Market, head on down to the East Side of Elliot Bay, off of Western Avenue. Pike Street itself lies just west of 5th Avenue. The Market is open Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm; and Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Be sure to check out some authentic Pike Place Market highlights, such as Rachel the brass piggy bank (under the Public Market Center) and the Gum Wall (a wall where everyone sticks their chewing gum – funky, but definitely spectacular) over on Post Alley.