Pike Place Market, Seattle

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There’s a lot that’s worth seeing and doing in Seattle, but for the second time, my packed road-trip schedule had left me with only a brief few hours in the city, before the end of my trip.  The last time I was here, way back in 2004, I visited the quintessential Seattle tourist trap: the Space Needle.  This time, it made sense to visit another tourist favorite, but one that also has some value to the locals: the Pike Place Public Market in downtown Seattle.

Pike Place isn’t just the name of the market, it’s also the name of the street that the market is on.  Pike Place is at the end of Pike Street, at 1st Avenue. 

Your best chance at (relatively) cheap parking might be along Western Avenue, which is behind the Market, and slightly downhill from downtown.  I think I paid about $8 for two hours of parking.  An elevator and footbridge provided access to the market, as well as a nice view of the downtown skyscrapers.

Before Pike Place Market was a draw for tourists, it was (and still is) a farmer’s and fishermen’s market…

 … a place where you could (and still can) buy fresh fruits and vegetables…

… remarkably beautiful (and cheap) bouquets of flowers…

… and of course, fish.  The market is famous for its fish-tossing — performed whenever someone orders a fish that’s been kept on ice behind the counter.  It’s not easy to photograph — you might need to camp out here and wait for a while.

The fish-tossing takes place at a stall that’s just inside the market’s famous entrance, on Pike Place.  Of course, it’s mandatory that you get a picture of that neon sign and clock.  But what I wasn’t expecting, is that there is neon everywhere at Pike Place Market…

… from signs advertising fresh fish…

… to directional signs that point out restrooms…

… and passageways.  I love photographing neon signs, and I had plenty of targets here.

The main floor of Pike Place Market is, no doubt, the most visited, but there are more shops on the levels below.

Some of these are more flea-market-style shops, but they’re still worth exploring.

If you walk out to the market’s northern end, there’s a small park that overlooks the WA-99 freeway, and the Puget Sound waterfront.

And if you’re looking for more shops, you’ll want to cross to the other side of Pike Place, where more restaurants, specialty shops, and souvenir outlets await.

Oh, yes, and more neon.

Even the bathrooms here have a unique style.

Since my parking time was nearly expired, I headed back across the walkway to my car, pausing once again to enjoy the view of the city…

… and the Sound.

Pike Place Market wasn’t quite the end of my trip, but it’s the last stop that’s worth writing about.  After visiting Pike Place Market, I drove out of the city, and found a shopping mall in Bellevue where I could get dinner, then kill some time before heading to the airport.  It also gave me a good, safe parking lot, where I could spread out my suitcases and re-pack everything for the trip home.

At the airport, the final reading of the odometer said 1,762.5 miles.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Snohomish into Seattle via I-405 the WA-520n Floating Bridge, and I-5…

… and a tour of the city on various roads, including my stop at Pike Place Market:

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