Everything You Need to Know about Visiting the Gum Wall in Seattle

The Seattle gum wall is equal parts disgusting and awesome. Anytime I visit Pike Place Market {the gum wall is located in an alley just below} I walk through. Part of me feels like I step into a Harry Potter novel when I walk down Post Alley, and another part is intrigued by the people watching. I think it's worth the stop when you are in the city for a visit, so I compiled this list of everything you need to know about visiting the gum wall attraction in Seattle. 

Everything You Need to Know about Visiting the Gum Wall in Seattle

How did the Seattle gum wall start?

Seattle's longest-running improv theater, Unexpected Productions, is located in Post Alley. In the early '90s, people would wait for a show outside the theater and put their gum up on the wall. At first, the theater company tried to clean it off, but after a while, they were overwhelmed with the amount of gum and gave up. 

The Seattle gum wall is now a fun tourist attraction for those visiting Pike Place Market!

How Often Do They Clean the Seattle Gum Wall?

Only once! In 2015, the Pike Place Market preservation group stipped the wall clean. It took 130 hours and more than 2300 pounds of old gum was scraped away. In some places, the bubble gum was layered 7 inches thick! 

It was a futile effort though. No sooner had they left, visitors started tacking gum up to the wall again. If you visit, it hardly looks like anyone cleaned it at all.

How Long is the Seattle Gum Wall?

The gum wall isn't limited to just one wall. In fact, it stretches about 50 feet down both sides of an alley. The gum goes as high up as someone can touch and as low down as to the street line. There is gum on the street, but thankfully it hasn't started accumulating on the ground like it has on the wall. That doesn't mean you shouldn't watch where you step!

How Do I Get to The Seattle Gum Wall?

I probably went to Pike Place Market 10 times before I finally found the gum wall. It's kind of hidden, so if you aren't looking for it, you probably will miss it. Under the large Pike Place Market sign where the fish throwers are, you'll see a set of stairs that go down into an alley. Take those stairs and turn right where you will wander down into Post Alley. Tell me it doesn't feel like a scene out of Hogsmeade. 

Where to Park to Get to the Seattle Gum Wall

Parking in the city can be tricky! There is street parking near Pike Place Market in several locations. There are pay-by-the-hour spots, but it can be frustrating to find parking. If I'm spending a few hours at the market, I'll generally park at Westlake Center parking garage and then walk from there. It's a nice downtown walk that's a pretty straight shot for about 15 minutes. It also gives easy access back to the freeway.

Bring Your Own Gum

If you plan on visiting the gum wall, bring your own gum. It's hard to come by once you are in the alley and there aren't many places to buy it easily up at the market. Come prepared if you want to stick your gum to the wall. 

Also, bring hand sanitizer.

Secret Tip for a Fun Photo!

If you want a fun photo with you blowing a bubble near the gum wall, use a small balloon instead! Blow it up to a reasonable size and stand next to the wall with the tail in your teeth! Just be careful so it doesn't pop! And then throw it away in the trash when you are done so no animals eat it!

Local Tip!

Pike Place Market is a Seattle icon. It's the oldest continuously operating market in the United States. It's named for the street it is on: Pike street. Many visitors and tourists like to call it Pike's Place Market. I don't know why this drives me as insane as it does, but if you want to pretend you're a local, call it Pike Place. Don't add an s for the love of all things holy!

What to do After the Gum Wall

After your visit to the gum wall, if you keep walking down the alley, you can take another set of stairs that will take you down to the waterfront. You will be let off right in front of the Seattle Aquarium {buy the CityPASS if you want to explore} or head to Pier 57 for an evening of fun. You can get my recommendations for an evening on the Seattle Waterfront here

If you want to explore Pike Place Market some more, here are some of my favorite highlights! It took me a minute to figure out the best places in the market, but I put them all in one spot for you and you can follow this guide to make all the best stops in the market!

A Local's Guide to Pike Place Market

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If you have time to explore the city, here are 20 places to visit downtown and explore the city like a local.

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However you explore the city, enjoy it! There is plenty to see and lots to do!

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