If you’ve been following along with Mad’s Muses on Instagram (hint, hint, follow me at @madsmuses) you know that I visited Seattle a couple of weeks ago with one of my best friends. Seattle quickly became one of my favorite cities that I’ve visited, partly because of their “buy local” mentality.
If you know me, you know that I love a good farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are home to local artisans and their goods, and Seattle’s Pike Place is the be-all and end-all of farmer’s markets. In addition to the distinct marketplace staples like fruit, veggies, and crafts, Pike Place has rows upon rows of colorful flowers, fresh-caught seafood, baked goods, charming restaurants, coffee booths, and quaint shops. Pike Place is a good location to eat a great brunch, browse through stores, smell aromatic floral arrangements, and see a full day's worth of landmarks.
It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed in this giant marketplace; where do you go when you visit? Definitely take a peek around the market, but take some extra time to be a tourist and visit the Pike Place visitor highlights! Check out my favorites:
The Post Alley Gum Wall
Cliché tourist here. I went to the Gum Wall about a million times while I was in Seattle. It’s a little smaller than I expected but had all of the sticky nastiness that I want out of a wall that’s covered in used bubblegum. I proudly stuck my cotton candy Dubble Bubble to the pre-existing layers of already-chewed gum after blowing a series of bubbles that I’ll never forget.
The Tulip Gallery
I totally made up this name, but the Tulip Gallery was one of my favorite things about Pike Place Market. There’s a whole corridor of flowers – not just tulips – in the market and I couldn’t get enough of the colors, smells, and views. Not to mention the bouquets were flawless and fairly priced! If I were a Seattleite, I would have one of these bouquets on my kitchen table every day.
Ah, Seattle seafood. The seafood I ate while in the city was delicious, but market sea fare was a little different. When you walk up to the main entrance to Pike Place, the first thing you see is a seafood booth with extremely large fish and an extremely pungent smell. For this I was prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was to see ice and fish flying through the air from one worker to another with children squealing and adults laughing. Entertaining: yes. Appetizing: definitely not. Still, this is a staple of Pike Place and a must-see during any visit.
The Original Starbucks Store
Ever wonder how your delicious Starbucks Pike Place brew got its name? Yep, the original Starbucks store is located right in the heart of Pike Place market, and yes, when I visited I did get a tall Pike Place brew. I may have even shed a tear as I sipped my coffee in the glory that is the first ever Starbucks location. Worth every bit of the hype.
The store tends to be a little congested so plan to grab your coffee, take any necessary pictures, and exit the building to somewhere secluded where you can sip your coffee in peace. After I got my draught, we headed to a picnic area nearby that didn’t have such a crowd to watch the birds and ferries.
I regret not taking any pictures of Metsker Maps while I was in the store, but this is easily one of my favorite places at the market. Located on First Avenue, Metsker Maps is the largest map store in the United States and has (literally) any map you could ever hope for, from Puget Sound sketched maps, to upside down maps, to your traditional US map. I had been looking for an atlas-type map to put above my fireplace for a while, and being the globetrotter that I am, I was pretty picky about which style I wanted. Needless to say, prior to my Metsker visit, I was map-less. I searched through their endless droves of rolled maps and found the perfect one – a world map divided by hemisphere made by National Geographic. *Sigh* It’s perfect.
To get more info on Metsker’s Maps, or to purchase your own unique map, visit their website at www.metskers.com.
Hi, I'm Madeline
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