The sparkling waters of Puget Sound and the spectacle of the surrounding Olympic and Cascade mountains are the heroic natural features of Seattle, but its Pike Place Market is the city's standout man-made - and still its most popular - attraction that BestTrip TV just had to see during a visit to Seattle. WATCH THE VIDEO TO EXPERIENCE THE PIKE PLACE MARKET YOURSELF.
It wasn't built as a tourist experience. When the market began in 1907 on Seattle's waterfront, it was purely for the purpose of providing area farmers with a place to sell their produce without having to lose their profits to a middleman. The market now lays claim to being the oldest farmer's market in the USA.
And it's developed into much more than a farmer's market. Threatened by development in the mid-20th century, the sprawling market complex of buildings now occupies 7 protected acres of downtown Seattle, filled with booths selling area produce, including the fruit (notably cherries and the state fruit, apples) the region is famous for, as well as the harvest of the Pacific Northwest waters, artisans, and makers of prepared foods as well as restaurants.
Other city markets may have become commercialized tourist attractions that no longer appeal to local shoppers, but Pike Place Market is still where both residents and visitors actually shop and snack and dine - in a series of waterfront buildings overlooking some of the best views in the city.
Culinary tours of the market have become an essential foodie experience in Seattle, and a number of iconic Seattle moments happen here. Like a visit to the first Starbucks in the world. Or the image of the fish mongers of the Pike Place Fish Market tossing giant salmon to each other to package for the customers who have selected the fish to take home (or ship home; a great option for many visitors who want to take the fresh taste of the Pacific Northwest with them, just not on the plane!) Or depositing change into one of the 550-pound bronze piggy banks in the market that annually collect thousands of dollars that support the market's social mission to support the city's vulnerable.
All this, minutes from some of the finest hotels in the North West - as well as one of the busiest cruise ports for travelers sailing along the coast or up to Alaska, making a pre- or post-cruise stay in Seattle a must.
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