Pike Place Market#1 in Best Things To Do in Seattle
Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus, the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up, no matter how busy it gets.
The streets surrounding Pike Place Market are peppered with restaurants and coffee shops, and there's an information booth just west of the marketplace at First Avenue. If you want a little help navigating the massive market, guided tours and food tours are available from third-party companies. You can find a list on the market's website here.
The market is divided into two levels – street-level and underground – which are open every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas day). The official market bell sounds at 9 a.m., but some vendors start welcoming customers as early as 6 a.m. Closing times can also vary, but most merchants close up shop at 6 p.m. While you won't have to pay to explore the market, you'll want to have your money ready in case you find something that tickles your fancy. You can find the market a few blocks south of the Westlake Link light rail stop or by driving north of Pioneer Square. Alternatively, many bus routes will drop passengers off within walking distance of the market on First Avenue or Pine Street. There is a parking garage available one block southeast of the market.
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#2 Chihuly Garden and Glass
Bursting with artwork spanning the colors of the rainbow, Chihuly Garden and Glass offers visitors a look at creative, glass-blown pieces crafted by renowned Pacific Northwest artist, Dale Chihuly. The permanent exhibition opened in 2012 and has since attracted the admiration of Seattleites and tourists alike.
The venue is divided into the Exhibition Hall, which displays eight galleries of work and three "drawing walls," the Glasshouse (picture a greenhouse, but with glass-blown flowers) and the Garden, which features Chihuly's work integrated with lush shrubbery. Recent visitors were impressed by the amount of detail evident in each glass-blown piece and in awe of the intensely bright colors. Many say they were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed the venue. Others recommended visiting after sunset to see the attraction illuminated.
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