Shop Till You Drop Once Your Ship Pulls into Seattle's Port



Thanks to the location of Seattle's cruise ports near the downtown and Belltown neighborhoods, visitors can find a wealth of shopping gems within minutes of pulling ashore. While the residential Magnolia zone does not have many businesses, neighborhoods like downtown, South Lake Union and Queen Anne offer dozens of choices for those looking to pursue a little retail therapy. Other prime shopping neighborhoods (a bit farther from the cruise ports, but still accessible by taxi, Uber or bus) include Capitol Hill, Fremont and Ballard.

Downtown shops cover the gamut from clothing and art stores to souvenir hubs stocking local goods (like culinary treats–cheeses from Beecher's, chocolate-covered cherries, smoked salmon and more). Pike Place Market proves a great place to find a bit of everything (and to support local artisans), while shops up the hill cater to fashionistas and active folks wanting to get properly outfitted for the Great Outdoors. This list helps visitors find every vacation need from sportswear and beachwear to formalwear and Seattle-specific gem (been craving a "Frasier" t-shirt or "Sleepless in Seattle" nightgown? You're in luck!). Cruise passengers will also benefit from learning where to find a pharmacy, a camera shop and a couple spots where other vacation needs can be met. Shop on, cruisers! 



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Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Photo courtesy of Beecher's Handmade Cheese


 

In 2003, Kurt Beecher Dammeier put his passion for artisan cheese into action as he opened the first Beecher's shop in the heart of Seattle's historic Pike Place Market. Visitors now delight in the store's tempting smells, tastes and sights (watch as a large vat of creamy white milk is transformed by the experts). The company commits to producing pure, all-natural, full-flavored food, handcrafted in traditional ways and using the best of ingredients. Fresh milk is pumped into the holding tanks daily at the Beecher's cheese making-kitchens, as part of the day-long process of cheesemaking. There cheesemakers create masterpieces like Beecher's signature 15-month aged Flagship, Flagsheep and Marco Polo.


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Rite Aid Pharmacy
Photo courtesy of Rite Aid Pharmacy


 

This drugstore with pharmacy is conveniently located in Belltown, not far from the cruise ports. The store prides itself on offering everyday products and services to help families "lead healthier, happier lives." Although there are several stores in Seattle, the downtown locations will be most convenient to visitors arriving by ship. The pharmacy fills prescriptions as well as offers "educational and money-saving wellness resources and programs"--both in stores and online. Shoppers can find any toiletries, beauty products, snacks or sun/pool/beach necessities (think sunglasses, sunscreen, even towels) they they may need while on vacation. The budget-friendly store will likely offer these items at much lower prices than they will be found onboard the cruise.


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Located beneath the clock in Pike Place Market, where a bordello once operated, Market Spice features an exquisite line of teas, including black, blended, flavored, loose-leaf and decaffeinated. Each tea is noted for its robust flavor and rich aroma, especially the signature blend which shares its name with the shop. Stop in for tea samples and ogle jars full of colorful spices and tea leaves. Other store merchandise includes an array of kitchenware from cheese spreaders and honey dippers to baskets of culinary goods that make perfect gifts. Think jams and other spreads as well as chocolate treats that serve as the ideal grand finale to a steaming cuppa tea.


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This shop is easy to find, hard to leave. Items featuring global flavors range from women's clothing and accessories to home decor merchandise like aromatic candles and exotic duvets. Find stunningly simple or delightfully intricate pieces for any season--flowing dresses for summer, flattering pullovers for winter and tunics and blouses for any time of year. For female cruise goers, this is a great store in which to find stylish yet sensible bathing suits and resort wear, as well as delightfully fancy yet funky dresses that prove perfect for more formal evening boat events. Be sure to check out the well-stocked sales section for marked-down treasures!


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Betsey Johnson
Photo courtesy of Betsey Johnson


 

If you're seeking funky, high-fashion apparel, there's no better place to shop than at this hip establishment. Betsey Johnson is known for brightly-colored corsets and dresses, along with street-smart tops. A lot of fun party wear is available for women who are daring and a bit whimsical at heart. Female cruise goers will find an array of formal options here perfect for a fancier evening event once back onboard the ship. This another shopping option for finding swimsuits, cover-ups and sunglasses that will turn heads on the pool deck. Also find shoes, bags, jewelry and other funky accessories!


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Simply Seattle
Photo courtesy of Simply Seattle


 

Looking for a souvenir or gift idea that really smacks of the Pacific Northwest? Gift baskets stocked with goodies, smoked salmon, Christmas ornaments, art prints, books, and specialty items are available from the folks at Simply Seattle. Everything has a tie to the area, and you're guaranteed quality and something that will please anyone. If you forgot any pieces of casual wear while packing for your cruising adventure, this is a great spot from which to pick up reasonably prices tees and accessories--that will always remind you of your time spent in the Emerald City. Find merch celebrating this area's claims to fame likeThe Deadliest Catch, Grey's Anatomy and Twilight.


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Pike Place Market
Photo courtesy of Magic in the Market/Richmond Public Relations


 

Shop till you drop at one of the country's best-known markets. It could be argued quite persuasively that Pike Place Market is Seattle's heartbeat. Situated along the water, the market was originally founded to allow produce growers to sell directly to consumers. Today, it's a protected historic district that inundates you with sights, sounds, smells, and the best people-watching in town. Whether in suits or tie-dyed t-shirts, wearing boutonnieres or strewn with wildflowers, people of all persuasions find the market a fabulous place to spend the day. The Market Foundation offers fun and informational tours Wednesdays to Saturdays, starting at the Market Heritage Center at 1531 Western Avenue.


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Barneys New York


 

If you forgot your formalwear at home, this might be a great pit stop to find some decadent duds for fancy cruise evening events! This shop carries a stellar lineup of international ready-to-wear designers for men and women, including PRADA and Jil Sander, along with an impressive collection of cosmetics and in-house sportswear. January and July usher in new seasonal lines, which often means 30% to 50% markdowns on existing stock. Shoppers will also find shoes, bags and other accessories, as well as home goods and tech and travel accessories (like electronics and travel towels). They stock kids clothing, too.


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Patagonia
Photo courtesy of Patagonia


 

No doubt, Seattle is known for its outdoor enthusiasts and incredible scenery. This well-stocked supplier of outdoor clothing and camping gear has something for the entire family and makes sure that you experience the outdoors in comfort and style. Choose from a wide range of backpacks, stoves, fleece pullovers, waterproof apparel and expedition equipment. The Belltown location will prove useful for passengers arriving to cruise ports, especially for those needing to stock up on pool and beachwear (think bathing suits that are both sporty and trendy). Also find appropriate clothing for skiing, surfing, hiking and a host of other outdoor activities.


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Financial District
Pacific Place
Photo courtesy of subactive_photo


 

This extravagant mall is one of the city's newest. Five floors are filled with high-quality shops, excellent restaurants and an eleven-screen movie theater. Tiffany & Co., Barneys New York, J. Crew, and Williams-Sonoma only hint at the numerous popular stores that share space in the mall. As an added bonus, if arriving by car, parking is incredibly convenient in the 1,200-space underground garage. For those arriving by ships at cruise ports, the location is in a very pedestrian-friendly part of downtown Seattle, just short walk up the hill from the water. Stay up-do-date online to find information about trunk shows, the latest fashion collections and holiday events.


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Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne

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