I recently came back from Seattle. I’ve been there twice now and both times I’ve visited, something new has been discovered. The first time, it was the Fremont Troll (more on that coming up on a different post). This time around, it was the Gum Wall.
Yeah, the Gum Wall which up until this point, didn’t know it existed.
Not only has it existed for the past 20 years but during that time, has become a MAJOR tourist attraction.
Considered to be one of the germiest attractions on the Planet (along with the Blarney Stone), Seattle’s Gum Wall is a somewhat hidden point of interest, located within the infamous Pike Market but below and slightly off the main market drag.
It’s not so much a single gum wall as it is several gum walls. An impressive compilation of gum built up and stuck on over the past 2 decades. It’s like a bunch of kids were asked to take the gum out of their mouths and instead of sticking it under their desks, they stuck it on the wall.
Most come to stick their own gum on the wall and make a design out of it. Many others come to take pictures while others come to lick the gum and have a picture of themselves licking the gum. There’s always a few of those in the crowd.
But in the grand scheme of things, I have to hand it to Seattle and to the residents of the city. Sure, the Space Needle and the Market get a lot of the attention and they should. These are legit attractions that define Seattle. However, this attraction is a unique oddity that makes a city dynamic and different. It seems cities everywhere these days have a tall building they count on for identity and pride. But few can boast about the legend and history of an attraction that makes everyone smile and adds a truly endearing quality to an ever-changing city like Seattle.
I hope the city doesn’t decide to scrape the gum off this wall. But just in case they do, here’s where you can find it. Get there while you can; here’s where you can find it.
Jim Bamboulis has held several posts over the past 12 years, including National Sportscaster, Food Host and Writer, Talk Show Host, Olympic Researcher and Travel Film-maker.
Born and raised in Toronto, Jim learned early on that the combination of travel and food meant ultimate living. Combining his insatiable creative spirit and desire to document his travels, Jim took his unshakable travel bug and set off to explore. Add the fact that Jim also grew up in a Greek household and he learned that not only does Mom always make the best meals, but as importantly learned the importance of understanding and appreciating the countless beautiful cultures and the integral role food plays in every corner of the World.
In August 2009, Jim founded Travel Mammal, a site that brings together his travels and experiences (both good and terrifying) with the hope that others are inspired to share their own. We are all storytellers, especially when it comes to travel and food. He urges everyone to be inspired, explore and love the world and the people that share it with us. Or in other words, Live to Travel and travel to live!