The world famous Pike Place Market located in Seattle, WA is the first original farmers market in the country dating back to the year 1907. Started by local farmers, it quickly became a popular spot and grew to eleven buildings covering nine acres along the Seattle Waterfront.
The Market almost was destroyed in the 1960’s having never fully recovered from World War Two. The group “Friends of the Market” along with architect and activist Victor Steinbrueck, saved the market by creating a seven acre historical district surrounding the market area with a view deck looking over Elliot Bay.
The New Expansion
Nowadays the market is thriving with over 500 interesting restaurants, vendors, and craft shops. A recent expansion to the south of the historical district is full of more restaurants, bars, artisan vendors and artists. The newly redone public plaza has gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound. The expansion, funded by good samaritans also includes low income senior housing and a neighborhood center. You can donate by dropping some change into the huge piggy bank named Rachel. She can be found next to the flying fish market.
There are forty units of low income senior citizen housing plus workspaces for senior artists. The neighborhood center offers social services for those in need. Rachel, the big piggy bank, a land mark for photographs, is where you can give back a little and add some spare change to Rachel. All the proceeds from Rachel the Piggy Bank go to the Pike Place Market Foundation, which supports the Seattle community with a senior center, clinic, and food bank services.
There is a multitude of restaurants, bars and food vendors with delicious foods that will tickle your tastebuds. The infamous Athenian Seafood Restaurant from the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” is on the waterfront serving up fresh seafood. There are also grab and go places with artisan deli meats and cheeses. The original Starbucks coffee shop that opened in 1971 is still there for you to stop by and have an original cup of coffee. The Pike Place Fish Market puts on a show for the shoppers as they throw, catch and wrap the fresh fish to go. They have fresh fruit and vegetable stands, bakeries and specialty chocolate shops, and street singers you can stop and listen to as you pass by. The night life there has live bands and several bars.
Those who want to take in the sights should check out the Pike Place Urban Garden. Located on top of the roof of the LaSalle building, all sorts of vegetables and flowers are grown there. Have a rest on the bench and take in the view of the Seattle Great Wheel and the breathtaking waterfront. There are different tours to take to see the sights. The Friends of the Market tour takes you to out of the way places, and talks about the history of the market. Adventurers who want to hear true ghost stories associated with the markets past and won’t mind maybe bumping into a ghost can take the Market Ghost Tour through the empty marketplace. There are also food tasting tours such as Savor Seattle.
Just don’t make the rookie mistake of calling is Pikes Place Market. Its Pike.