I spent a day and half in Seattle which I found was more than enough to spend and see the major things the city had to offer. There were a couple things I could have made an effort to see but it was out of the way from the major tourist areas so I ended up not going.
I visited the Starbucks flagship store – Starbucks Reserve. It was a short walk from the Airbnb I was staying at and it was the half way point between Pike Place Market and where I was staying. I spent my first evening here and picked up a coffee and pastry as a snack, looked around before heading off towards Pike Place. As I approached Pike Place Market, it seemed to get quieter (it was around the dinner hour). It was nice to get a sense of how walkable it was from where I was staying.
Once I was back at the Airbnb after dinner, I found a tour company that did free walking tours, well pay-what-you-can walking tours, similar to what you find in Europe. I registered for the Pike Place Market walking tour the next morning.
I spent a half day at the market including the 1.5-hour walking tour. I learned a lot about the market through the tour. Pike Place Market is the longest continuously running market in the world as they have been running since 1907. There is a system where the farmers are first to pick their spots in the market and then it’s the artisans. The artisan who has the most seniority gets first pick of their spot before it moves down the list. Each artisan needs to work two weekdays in order to secure a spot on Saturdays in the market. The cost of setting up a stall in the market varies during the year, for example, on a Tuesday in the summer, the artisan could pay about $40 where as a Tuesday in winter could be about $5 for the day.
The walking tour pointed the oldest Starbucks, and although not its original location as it was burned down, it’s been in the “new location” since the mid-1970s. It was explained that, although Starbucks, can continue to run its coffee shops in the market, an already successful corporation cannot run a store in the market. It needs to have started in the market in order to remain in the market after its success.