21 Things to Do in Pike Place Market (& Nearby!)

Who said the Emerald City doesn’t sparkle? Locals and travelers alike know that a visit to Pike Place Market is an unforgettable one.

This sun-filled and joyous corner of Seattle has been the source for fresh seafood and produce for over 100 years, introducing generations to unique snacks, specialty items, and cultural experiences.

Whether you’re a first-timer or returning visitor, here are 21 things to do in and around Pike Place Market.

1. Three Girls Bakery

If you’re feeling peckish while strolling around the iconic Pike Place Market, Three Girls Bakery is the place to go.

With a rich history that dates all the way back to 1912, their expertise in crafting savory croissants, delicious pastries, and freshly made breads is second-to-none.

Whether you opt for one of their sandwiches or seek out a comforting bowl of soup instead, chances are that you won’t be able to find something better in the entire market. Get in line and enjoy!

fish throwing at Pike Place Fish Company
fish throwing at Pike Place Fish Company

2. Pike Place Fish Market

The Fish Market is famous for its fresh seafood, but it’s also known for something else – throwing fish!

That’s right, the fishmongers here have a tradition of throwing fish to each other; the fun and lively atmosphere draws in crowds from all over the world.

Watching these guys sling salmon, throw halibut and put on a show for customers is something that you won’t soon forget.

If you’re visiting Seattle, this should be high on your list of must-see sights in Pike Place Market!

3. Food Tour of Pike Place Market

Skip the traditional tourist traps and opt for something a bit more delicious. This food tour of Pike Place Market is just the ticket!

Not only will you savor the unique flavors of some of Seattle’s best offerings, but you’ll also discover its history as you take in all that the market has to offer. It’s a great way to take a bite out of Seattle!

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4. Explore Seattle’s Waterfront

The Seattle Waterfront was made for exploring! With the perfect combination of shops, attractions and delicious restaurants, it’s guaranteed to provide plenty of entertainment.

From the breathtaking view of Puget Sound to riding on the Great Wheel, you won’t run out of things to do; it’s a great place to spend a day or an evening.

5. Smell the Roses

Instead of settling for whatever bouquet is on sale at your local grocery store, pick out your own perfect combination of fragrant blooms!

The market has every variety imaginable – from perfect peonies to bright sunflowers.

6. Visit the Original Starbucks

This is your chance to check out where it all began and get some of that magical java they’ve been brewing since 1971.

The storefront may be stunningly modest, but there’s no better place to bask in the glory of this iconic coffee brand than by visiting its original roots.

Take home a souvenir cup and maybe pick up some coffee beans for later!

Nothing quite like drinking in the fresh aroma of history…well, also caffeine.

7. Visit the Gum Wall

The Gum Wall in Seattle’s Pike Place Market is definitely not your typical tourist attraction.

It’s the city’s weirdest and most visually stunning must-see – a 50 + foot alleyway almost entirely coated in a honeycomb of chewed gum blobs.

Despite its oddity, it can be quite a pleasing sight to behold!

It takes on myriad shapes and colors, depending on the flavor of the latest donors who’ve left their mark on this unique landmark.

So if you want to break away from the predictable, don’t miss out on paying homage to the glorious Gum Wall.

Gum Wall in Pike Market
Gum Wall in Pike Place Market

8. Visit the Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum has got it going on! Whether you’re in the mood for centuries’ worth of traditional art from around the world, or want to gawk at something a bit more contemporary and modern, this museum has the goods.

Boasting a diverse array of exhibits, SAM will go beyond your wildest expectations of museums located in downtown Seattle.

With new exhibitions popping up all the time and interactive events to get involved in, suddenly an average Saturday seems far more interesting than it used to be!

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9. Explore the Seattle Aquarium

For a true lesson in Northwest marine wildlife, be sure to visit the Seattle Aquarium.

Located just a five-minute walk away from Pike Place, this local gem offers a comprehensive look at the many aquatic creatures teeming in Pacific waters.

From playful river otters to giant octopi, visitors can find an intriguing display of marine life, making it perfect for scientists and amateur enthusiasts alike.

Ferris Wheel on Seattle Waterfront
Ferris Wheel in Seattle

10. Take a Ride on the Great Wheel

Take a ride on the Great Wheel and you’ll get an impressive 360-degree view of the Emerald City.

You’ll want to keep your camera handy because it’s hard not to take a gazillion photos of the beautiful city and Puget Sound from up so high!

You might even spot a few familiar landmarks – how many can you name?

11. Stroll Through Olympic Sculpture Park

Fancy a stroll down the waterfront? Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park provides a scenic path that would make any art enthusiast feel excited!

Not only does this park boast numerous magnificent outdoor sculptures of all sizes, but you’ll also get to experience spectacular views of Puget Sound during your wandering.

One thing is for sure, the Olympic Sculpture Park will have you in awe, with unforgettable visuals and Insta-worthy photo ops!

12. Pike Place Market Sign

Taking a photo in front of Pike Place Market is pretty much an essential part of every Seattle itinerary.

Stand right at the crosswalk, letting the perfect mix of pedestrians walk by, and shops humming with activity in the background.

Plus that magnificent view of the Seattle skyline gives your photos a bit of pizzazz. Not bad for a few seconds’ work!

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13. Check Out the Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for something that isn’t your typical touristy hotspot.

It’s quite the sight to behold, with 21,000 silver shingles twinkling in the sun and voicing the museum’s mission to stay on top of music’s ever-changing trends.

Whether you’re yearning for the latest Pop Culture buzz or keen on taking a trip down memory lane through musical history artifacts – MoPOP has got you covered!

Visitors can learn about sound engineering in their Sound Lab, explore the collection of film and music memorabilia or participate in unique community-focused projects.

With its plentiful array of interactive exhibits, it’s like a paradise for anyone intrigued by music, science fiction, and pop culture.

So if you find yourself in Seattle with an itch for something geeky, non-touristy, and downright fun – head over to this awesome museum!

Museum of Pop Culture on a sunny day Seattle
Museum of Pop Culture

14. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Get ready to be wowed by a world of wondrous glass sculptures – the Chihuly Garden and Glass is here just for that.

As you step into the museum, you’ll be blown away by a kaleidoscope of intricate designs.

Featuring eight jaw-dropping galleries, this place will fill your senses with awe as you wander through Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces.

Don’t forget to look up! Some pieces are so majestic they occupy an entire room; designed with amazing details that will leave you wanting more.

You won’t regret visiting this beauty and getting lost in its artistry.

15. Don’t Forget About the Farmers Market

If there’s one thing you just have to do at Pike Place, it’s to visit the Farmers Market!

It’s only fitting – after all, Pike Place Market has the unique honor of being one of the longest continuously run markets in the USA.

You’ll find all kinds of produce, seafood, and artisanal goods right at your fingertips.

Dig deep into Seattle’s culture and treat your taste buds to something truly special – all while supporting small businesses. What could be better than that?

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16. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is the gold mine you’re looking for!

Families can have a great time learning about the great gold rush of the late 1800s, where you can explore buildings and artifacts from this time period.

Get ready to hit the historic trails – it’s a modern-day gold rush that’ll be sure to leave everyone feeling like a million bucks!

17. Check Out the Handmade Crafts

As this world increasingly moves towards mass production, nothing beats the charm and individuality of handmade items.

When you’re looking for a conversation-starter piece or an adorable trinket, be sure to check out the handmade crafts at Pike Place Market.

From leather bags and wood carvings to pottery and jewelry, you can find something truly unique that is way more interesting than what’s available in any store around the corner.

So don’t settle for generic – see what these talented artisans have to offer instead!

18. Seattle Underground Tour

Are you ready to explore the hidden history of Seattle? You won’t want to miss an underground tour of Seattle.

This whimsical and engaging tour takes you through the subterranean streets of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, where you’ll learn about the city’s colorful past and the events that led to the creation of the underground tunnels.

You’ll hear stories of Seattle’s early pioneers, the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, and the city’s unique architecture.

19. Visit the Frye Art Museum

The Frye Art Museum in Seattle is a cozy oasis tucked away in the heart of the city.

Home to a vibrant collection of artworks from all over the globe, it’s an excellent spot to while away an afternoon and admire some of the world’s finest pieces.

Historical gems meet contemporary masterpieces, making this museum a perfect place for art lovers.

20. Explore the Seattle Central Library

Seattle Central Library is one of those places where you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer scale and complexity of the architecture.

From a distance, you can already sense it’s presence – it looks like an awe-inspiring work of modern art!

Inside, you’ll find an impressive library that boasts collections from around the world, as well as plenty of cozy nooks for studying.

21. Sky View Observatory

At the Sky View Observatory, you can literally see further than what meets the eye!

Situated on the 73rd floor of the tallest building in town, you can take in 100-mile views on a clear day.

Think picturesque panoramic shots of all that Seattle has to offer: Elliott Bay, downtown Seattle skyline and even Mount Rainier.

So grab your camera, it’s one of the best viewpoints in Seattle and you don’t want to miss out!