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One of Seattle's most famous landmarks, Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously working public market in the United States and one of the world's top 50 most visited attractions. Pike Place opened in 1907 as the city's first public market, expanding to keep up with its growing popularity as a convenient option for both shoppers and merchants. The market remains a veritable cornucopia of culinary and artisanal options, its crowded aisles and bustling halls thronged with customers jostled between vendors of fresh produce and gourmet eats, alongside fishmongers and craftsmen. The street level is dominated by the food and produce stalls, while the lower levels house a fantastic variety of shops including antique dealers, head shops, florists, and local artisans. A whirlwind of sights, sounds and aromas, Pike Place Market is nothing short of paradise for foodies and connoisseurs of unique wares.
You could be forgiven for forgetting you are in Seattle while walking through the Seattle Chinatown-International District. Brimming over with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese and Laotian Americans, this district feels like South East Asia. This area boasts a diverse range of eating options and nightlife. Chinese New Year is the biggest event in this area and is awaited by everyone!
Capitol Hill is trendy neighborhood known for its superb nightlife, entertainment zones and lovely boutiques and markets. The place has some of the best clubs, bars, gay bars, pubs, coffee houses and hosts some big names in restaurant world. From high end shops like Totokaelo which offers beautiful designer dresses and home decor items, to the lively Melrose Market where one can find various local products, this place has it all. All in all, the area is a paradise for every shopaholic and a great tourist destination with its monumental churches, trendy bars and classy boutiques.
Situated to the northwest of Downtown, Queen Anne is a neighborhood named after the architectural style the city's early elite built their homes in. This neighborhood is where the Seattle Center, probably best known for housing the Space Needle, is located. However, if sightseeing is not what you're interested in, the neighborhood's retail potential should definitely impress you. You can shop at boutiques like Adelita, Rhinestone Rosie, Stuhlbergs and Beverly Hunnicutt Studio.
Fremont, which up until 1891 used to be a city in itself, is now a neighborhood of Seattle bordered by others like Queen Anne and Ballard. The statue of Lenin and the Fremont Troll are two of the main attractions of this area, and there is lots more to see and do as well. If you're in the mood to shop, you would definitely like to check out the many, varied stores in the area. The Sunday street market is another highlight of the area.
The neighborhood immediately to the west of the University of Washington attracts students and locals for shopping, snacking and strolling. The main thoroughfare, University Way (formerly 14th Avenue) is usually referred to by its nickname, "the Ave." Neptune, Varsity and Grand Illusion cinemas are located here, as are numerous coffeehouses: Cafe Allegro and Perkengrüven among them. Shops sell futons, trendy shoes and cheap clothing. The large University Bookstore anchors the neighborhood.
As a sleepy suburb of Northwest Seattle, Ballard still remains one of the city's best kept secrets. Some of the major attractions include the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Golden Gardens Park and the Nordic Heritage Museum. If you're here to shop, head down Ballard Avenue and you can check out stores like Lucca, Horseshoe, re-Soul, Ketch and Clover Toys.