From New York City onward west to Seattle, Washington, I was on a mission to explore the very best of this pacific northwest gem and check-off an item on my lengthy bucket list: Catch a fish at Pike’s Place Market. Don’t have time to read my full insider post? Skip the stories and find my complete list of Ladyhattan Favorites at the bottom of this post.
Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America, combining stunning natural beauty with all the attractions of a major metropolis. This city has quickly gained attraction and is definitely on the map. Did you know that Seattle boasts the best roast in the country – yes, Starbucks was founded here. It’s also a shopping mecca with the flagship Nordstrom’s headquarters attracting fashionistas near and far. Oozing with competitive spirit thanks to numerous winning sports teams, and endless recreational opportunities being located around both mountains and ocean, the active folks seem pretty darn happy to call this home… So, yes ladies, Seattle really has it all. With much to explore in this rapidly growing city, let’s take it day by day and first stop over at the legendary Pike’s Place Market. In this feature I will share personal glimpses of my day spent exploring Seattle’s finest market with a few suggestions and activity recommendations for your perfect day here at Pike’s Place Market.
Welcome to Pike’s Place Market, Seattle’s epicenter of fresh produce, specialty foods and independent businesses. Established in 1907 to connect citizens and farmers, the Market continues its “Meet the Producer” tradition with a year-round farmers market, owner-operated bakeries, fish markets, butcher shops, produce stands and specialty food stores. Located within the nine-acre historic district you’ll discover dozens of farmers, a bustling crafts market, and more than 200 unique owner-operated shops. Boasting so many shops and eateries, I recommend dedicating an entire day of your itinerary to wandering, tasting and exploring Pike’s Place. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and read below for glimpses and tips for your next adventure to Seattle, Washington.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Slow down there lady and stop to smell the roses. Here at the market you will be in complete awe over the multitude of flowers for sale. Ranging from about $5 and up, you can have your pick of any peony in the patch. Grab some for a gift, or perhaps a bouquet to freshen up your hotel room during a business trip in Seattle. And remember, regardless of the purpose, buying fresh flowers is always a good idea.
Taste the Cheese at Beecher’s
You see a long line gathering around the corner, and you think to yourself, what is all the commotion? The answer is simple – cheese. Not just any cheese, but Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. World famous for it’s gooey Mac N’ Cheese and freshly prepared Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, this place is a comfort food lover’s heaven. Anticipate long lines and a crowded house, as this is a Seattle go-to for anything cheese. Don’t worry about the long wait, as you have the opportunity to gaze through glass walls and watch the hand-making cheese process for yourself while waiting to place an order. To my New York friends who can’t make the long trek out to Seattle, I have good news for you. The only other Beecher’s location in the world can be found in the Flatiron neighborhood. With a cozy downstairs style wine bar, the NYC location is a great date spot or place to dine with friends. In contrast, the Seattle location is more of a “grab and go” style place because of the massive crowds. When in Seattle, take your cheese down to the waterfront and make yourself a picnic.
Get Friendly with the Locals
Being a little friendly never killed nobody, ladies. Mix, mingle and speak with the various vendors of ripe fruits and vegetables straight from the nearby farms. Speaking with all the local vendors working at the market is a great experience as a tourist in a new city – what better way to learn about the community and the production of produce from nearby areas! If you look carefully enough you may even come across a few particularly interesting characters, some dressed in costume, as street entertainers frequently parade the marketplace in hopes of a tip. Don’t be shy, say hello!
Find the Famous Space Needle
About a half mile walk away from Pike’s Place, wander up the hill in the direction of that giant Space Needle. You can’t miss it. The artist was Edward E. Carlson, then president of Western International Hotels. His space-age image was to be the focus of the futuristic World’s Fair in Seattle, whose theme would be the 21st Century. Carlson penciled a shape on a napkin while at a coffee shop that eventually became Seattle’s internationally renown landmark, the Space Needle. Today the Space Needle stands tall as the most iconic structure visible in Seattle’s skyline. Purchase a reasonably priced admittance ticket to take an elevator ride up the Space Needle where you can enjoy a 360 degree panorama of the Emerald City at 520 feet up in the air.
Take a Beer Break
Of course Seattle is famous for its coffee, but how about the brews? Right in the vicinity of the marketplace discover Pike Brewing Company, a lively spot surely not to be missed. Making craft beer since 1989, before craft beer was cool, Pike Brewing is still brewing strong. The company creates a wonderful range of beers and emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients and sustainability. The names of brews appearing on the daily Tap List are fun and true to Seattle character. I mean, they even have a “Space Needle Golden IPA” for your tasting pleasure. If you get hungry tasting all those hoppy beers, be sure to ask for the Pub Menu and try to the Dungeness crabmeat dip.
Catch a Fish
Ever since watching the Real World Season that took place in Seattle, Washington, I was fascinated with the idea of “catching a fish” in the market. After much research and networking, I landed myself the opportunity to do just that – catch a slippery fish amidst a packed crowd at the Pike’s Place Fish Market. First off, let me say that this is not as easy as it looks. The local fisherman working at the market were absolutely adorable, friendly and helped instruct me on the best way to ensure that I didn’t embarrass myself by dropping the fish infant of a cheering crowd. Similar to catching a football, except extremely slimy and slippery, the fish was thrown about 20 feet across the market and somehow miraculously landed between my two bare hands. Although I look back at this Seattle moment as an example of pure luck, but regardless, it was a bucket list opportunity that I will never forget. I can’t thank the wonderful crew of handsome gentleman who made this experience both possible and unforgettable.
Cheer on the Newlyweds
What’s more beautiful than a happy couple embarking on the start of their life together? I was really excited to be at the market right as a young couple pulled up to snap a few memorable photographs. The rowdy crowd of onlookers started cheering, whistling and shouting words of positive reinforcement for the newlyweds. Yet another sweet moment to be savored on this perfect day at Pike’s Place. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
A Happy Hour Ending at Matt’s in the Market
When in search for the best Happy Hour Seattle has to offer, I came across numerous rave reviews and recommendations for Matt’s in the Market. Not only did their menu look enticing, but the location cannot be beat. Just steps above Pike’s Place, the large glass windows of this hotspot overlook the sunset bursting through the recognizable Public Market signage and neon Clock.
For the perfect end to your perfect day at the bustling market, I highly recommend putting Matt’s on your travel itinerary when in Seattle. An intimate bar overlooking the market with character and decor reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, I found this hotspot to be charming and convenient after all the touristy activity discussed above. To start, we sat right at the bar and sipped on strong martinis paired with fresh salty Seattle oysters – need I say more?
The Happy Hour menu is fantastic and reasonably priced, featuring Kurtwood Farm’s Dinah cheese, oysters on the half shell for only $3/each, olives & nuts, and even some good ole fashioned wings. Enjoy specially priced glasses of local wine ($7/glass) and draft beer ($4) to kick-off your evening without breaking the bank. And if you’re really feeling the energy and delicious farm-to-table delights at Matt’s, then be sure to put your name down for a table and stay for dinner. Being oh so delicious and in prime Pike Place location, there is no denying that this place is in high demand so plan ahead. Thank you to Matt’s in the Market for such a great experience.
Flowers, cheese, the Space Needle, making friends with locals, cold brews, catching a slippery fish, spotting gorgeous newlyweds and a day complete with a delightful Happy Hour of oysters and tinis – well there you have it – could I share a more perfect day at Pike’s Place? I hope you enjoyed this Ladyhattan insider feature on Seattle, Washington. For questions, comments and features, please e-mail Ladyhattan@gmail.com.
Ladyhattan Favorites: Seattle
- Touring/Exploring – Pike’s Place Market, Space Needle, Seaplane Tours
- Snacks – Beecher’s Cheese
- Beers – The Pike Brewing Company
- Cocktail Bars – Canon, Zig Zag Cafe, Tavern Law
- Coffee – Starbucks Reserve & Tasting Room
- Sunday Brunch – Goldfinch Tavern
- Shopping Neighborhoods – Fremont, Madison Valley, Old Town Bellevue
- Sporting – Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Recreational Activities
- Sleep – The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
- Happy Hour – Matt’s in the Market
- Dining – Revel, Manolin, Westward
- Sushi – Sushi Kashiba
- Best Rates to Get Here – Alaska Airways