Exploring the Seattle Waterfront

Seattle CityClub intern Sarah Bollard gives you a preview of the people and places on our upcoming Waterfront Civic Boot Camp. Register today to attend Civic Boot Camp: Waterfront Redevelopment on August 12 or 26.

Reversing the route Civic Boot Campers will take, I started at the historic Pike Place Market.

As a Seattle native, the Pike Place Market has always been a staple for my weekend stay-cations. Amid the flying fish and bronze pigs lie a few hidden treasures I love to visit frequently. The seldom walked third floor of the market offers thrift shops, antiques and used book shops with books stacked up to the ceiling.

If you’re coming to the market for the first time, make sure to go up and down every staircase and alleyway, you never know what you might uncover.

Waterfront Civic Boot Camp

Market Coins has always been my favorite stop in the market. The display of old American coins, presidential campaign buttons and memorabilia as old as the Eisenhower campaign line the windows, making the shop an instant history lovers’ delight!

Waterfront Civic Boot Camp

If you’re hungry, there’s plenty of seafood – it may even be flying over you! However, my favorite food in the market has always been Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian shop selling, you guessed it, piroshkies in all shapes and sizes. The line to get in the door is only rivaled by the flagship Starbucks next door.

While in line I met a few tourists from Michigan and told them about the new promenade planned to connect the market to the waterfront. They told me they had chosen to visit the Market over the Waterfront because they couldn’t find the staircase to the Waterfront.

After lunch, I continued down to the waterfront. The stairs connecting the waterfront to the market are, as my friends from Michigan had mentioned, a little difficult to navigate. This is one of the problems the city is hoping to address with the new waterfront development plan.

I took a slight detour from the Civic Boot Camp itinerary and stopped by the Waterfront Space on Western Ave, home of the Friends of the Seattle Waterfront. Here they’ve created an exhibit to showcase the city’s work on the Elliott Bay Seawall and the plans to expand our waterfront once the Alaskan Way Viaduct is torn down. I recommend stopping by and chatting with the folks in the office and checking out the exhibits.

Waterfront Civic Boot Camp

After leaving the office and heading down one more flight of stairs, I ran straight into the seawall construction crew.

Some of their work has already been completed, but the project still has a long way to go to completion. This seawall project is only the beginning of the massive re-design of the waterfront that the city of Seattle hopes to have completed by over the next decade.

Waterfront Civic Boot Camp

With the removal of the Alaskan viaduct, the new waterfront will include a larger street to accommodate traffic; a new face of the Pike Place Market, connecting it to the waterfront; a new design of Pier 62/63; and more.

After a walk along the waterfront, one can’t help but be excited for the day when the construction ends and the new parks and public spaces take shape. I hope you find time to join us in August. 

I think you’ll be surprised by the diversity and uniqueness of this Seattle neighborhood.

Places to Explore on the Seattle Waterfront:

– Pike Place Market
– Waterfront Space
– Pier 57: Miner’s Landing and the Great Wheel
– Seattle Aquarium
– Olympic Sculpture Park

Waterfront Civic Boot Camp

Register today to attend Civic Boot Camp: Waterfront Redevelopment on August 12 or 26.