FREE Seattle Walking Tour – The Market Experience


Meeting spot - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Meeting spot corner of Western Ave & Virginia St.

Eric and I had a limited amount of money due to banking issues we had with HSBC USA so we had to do something cheap for our first wedding anniversary so I booked the Market Experience tour offered by Free Seattle Walking tour.  So glad I did because it was great!  Can’t go wrong with free samples and know where all the good places to eat!

They run 2 free tours Market Experience (9.30am) and Seattle 101 (11am) daily which is fantastic!  I only did the Market Experience but plan to do the other one when I have time.

Bring:

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Camera
  • Cash

We start the day nice and early to avoid the crowd.  It’s pretty cold in January about 8-10 degrees Celsius.  I can’t really stand the cold so I recommend a good jacket because the walk doesn’t really warm you up.  It’s a slow pace walk but lots to see and eat so don’t eat too much!

The meeting spot is from the North Entrance of Pike Place Market.  From there you can see’s Seattle’s Great Wheel.  It’s best to go when the day is clear 🙂

The Pike Market Place was started by farmers around 1907 who wanted no middle man and to sell directly to the people themselves.  That way they could keep more of the profit.

Great Wheel - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Seattle Great Wheel (wanted to go but it was a foggy day)

This is the world’s oldest (and I think first) Starbucks coffee shop! Seattle surprises me everyday at how many successful companies started in Seattle.

World's oldest Starbucks - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

World’s oldest Starbucks

The original Starbucks logo is of a Siren.  The Starbucks logo we see now is a little more decent 🙂

Original Starbucks logo - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

The original Starbucks logo

Sellers need to sign up every morning before setting up their stores in the market.  Soon this place will be bustling!

Sellers prepare in the morning - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Sellers prepare in the morning

A long time ago, the Pike Market Place was due to be destroyed but the communities knew the historic significants of this fisherman market that they donated a lot of money to save it.  All the names you see on the floor are of contributors.  If you look, you will find many famous names such as Bill Gates and Barack Obama.

Floor of names - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Floor of names

At this fish market, we got to try our first sample – smoked salmon! It was probably the best tasting smoked salmon I’ve ever had.  It had a nice rich smokey flavour, not salty and the fish was really nicely cooked.  It was soft yet firm.

Seafood shop - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Seafood, seafood everywhere!

Beautiful Salmons - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Beautiful Salmons

Smoked salmon sample - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Smoked salmon sample. Sooo delicious!

If you save your salmon, right next door we tried Mick’s Pepper Jelly.  I put some on my salmon and it was yummy!  There are plenty of flavour to try! From sweet to really spicy! ^_^

Mick's Pepper Jelly shop - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Mick’s Pepper Jelly!

The market sells pretty much anything you expect from a market.  There are plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (organic or not), fresh pasta and arts and crafts!

Shops in Pike Market - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Getting busy

Our third samples are some fruits.

colourful fruits - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Colourful fruits

This is Athanian Restaurant and Bar where they shot Sleepless In Seattle starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  Eric and I had brunch there after the tour 🙂  Worth seating by the window where you get to see the Great Wheel view and the Elliot Bay.

Athanian Inn Bar & Restaurant - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Athanian Inn Bar & Restaurant

Mexican art shop.  Pretty cool!

Mexican Art - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Mexican Art

Along Post Alley there are a lot of restaurants.

Post alley - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

The Famous Post Alley

When you think of Pike Place Market you pretty much think of the picture below 🙂  It’s a nice sign! Very attractive.

Pike Market Place famous sign - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Pike Market Place famous sign

Rachel the pig is the unofficial mascot for the market.  It is actually a very big piggy bank for donations to keep the market running!  You can also find her footprints all over the market 😀

Rachel the pig - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Rachel The Pig & I!

Sorry for the terrible picture, but this is the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market.  Sometimes they throw massive fishes to the crowd to see if you can catch up. No thank you! But it’s fun to watch 🙂

Pike Place Fish Market world famous - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

The World’s Famous Fish Market – Pike Place Fish

Opposite is “Simply The Best Dried & Fresh Produce” where we go to try many many samples!  They were awesome!  I should’ve bought a bag.. you get discount if you mention you were on this tour.

Dried fruit - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Best dried fruits I’ve ever tasted!

I didn’t expect to see this on the tour but our tour guide said it is most requested so we got to see the infamous gum wall!  It’s pretty smelly.  I can’t imagine what it’s like in Summer!  Sometimes famous people pay people pay someone to put their names up there with gum and some even used the wall to propose! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Gum Wall - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

The infamous Gum Wall

Gum wall - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

It smells.. this would be highly illegal in Singapore!!

At the end of the tour, we get a chance to ask any questions and give donation to the tour (if you want).

Richard the tour guide - Seattle Free Walking Tour (Pike Market)

Richard the tour guide & I

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