Pike Place Market ranked as the most overrated tourist attraction in Washington

Oct 13, 2023, 6:50 AM | Updated: 2:49 pm

Pike Place Market...

People shop at the Pike Place Market. (Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/

(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/

Pike Place Market is ranked as the most overrated tourist attraction in Washington, but our KIRO Newsradio hosts disagree.

“I love Pike Place Market. In fact, that was a regular thing for me when I first moved here,” said Angela Poe-Russell filling in for Ursula Reutin. “I would go to Pike Place Market I mean once a month and just discover new places and I just love it.”

Founded in 1907, the Market is one of the oldest and largest continuously operating public markets in the United States and includes hundreds of farmers, crafters, small businesses, and residents.

Show producer Andrew “Chef” Lanier is also a fan of the market. “It’s an actual functioning market and they have actually really good products.”

The ranking was from USA Today. In July 2023, it analyzed 23 million Google reviews of the 500 most popular tourist attractions in the world, spanning 65 countries in six continents. For each attraction, it asked a simple question: How frequently do the reviews mention the terms “tourist trap,” “overrated” or “expensive”?

The other Washington attractions that showed up on the list:

  • #22 Space Needle
  • #39 Original Starbucks
  • #43 Chihuly Glass Garden

“I will say they’re not all the way wrong,” Poe-Russell said. “I love our Space Needle. But it is a trap. And it’s overpriced.” Most tickets are priced at about $35.

“I used to take my kids when they were toddlers to the Fun Forest Park. And then we loved going to the Space Needle,” she said.

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The needle was meant to symbolize humanity’s Space Age aspirations.

“So when you go to the top of the Space Needle chef, they still got the glass floor, baby,” Gee Scott explained. “If y’all haven’t been there in a while you got the glass floor you able to take Come on, it’s good for the Gram. I know you’d like to pop it for the Gram stuff.”

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The Original Starbucks was seen as being part of the Pike Place Market by our hosts. It’s located at 1912 Pike Place. It opened on March 30, 1971. The original Starbucks was a 1,000-square-foot mercantile space with hand-built fixtures.

The Chihuly Glass Garden can be found at the base of the Space Needle. Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. Chihuly designed an Exhibition Hall, a Garden installation and a Glasshouse at Seattle Center.

“You get to pay $35 for the opportunity to look at one artist’s work and then you have the opportunity to pay tons of money for that artist’s work,” Chef said. “And let me remind you, that gallery was basically gifted to that one artist using public dollars for the ability for them to showcase their overhyped overpriced artwork that hasn’t been relevant since the 90s.”

For the record, the distinction of being the only place where four states meet — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah — the Four Corners Monument ranks number one as the most overrated tourist attraction in the U.S. Of 10,839 reviews analyzed, 139 flagged this spot as a tourist trap.

Listen to the Gee & Ursula Show weekdays from 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

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Pike Place Market ranked as the most overrated tourist attraction in Washington