My first trip to Seattle was centered on food and of course, I had a mile-long agenda. The iconic Pike Place Market was at the top of the list, and conveniently at the bottom of the hill from our hotel. By the time we arrived, the vendors had packed it in for the day, but a quiet stroll through the empty, block-long building allowed for interesting photo-ops without throngs of people.

Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and remains one of the oldest continuously operated public markets in the country. The multi-level building hugs a steep hill overlooking the magnificent Puget Sound. The year-round market is a foodie’s and photographer’s delight as stalls burst with flowers, fish, vegetables, local crafts, and specialty foods. Linger around Pike Place Fish long enough and you will be treated to a show of fishmongers athletically tossing salmon (or halibut) to one another over the frosty counters. The market made me wish I had a kitchen during this visit.

With all of the alluring aromas, sounds of streetside buskers, chatty produce salesmen, and hustle-bustle of people watching, I found my way to Pike Place Market every day for a different experience. It is easy to be lured into the many bakeries, delis, and restaurants inside the main market and along Pike Place. Among my favorites were daily macarons and feuilletés (savory-filled puffed pastries) from Le Panier, eastern European snacks from Piroshky-Piroshky, morning tea and crumpets from the Crumpet Shop, and do not miss out on the legendary clam chowder from Pike Place Chowder.

Pike Place Market is the 33rd most visited destination in the United States and the original Starbucks is located here.