There’s another Seattle beneath your feet and it’s possible to explore it now on one of these fascinating underground tours.
Seattle was given its first burst of life as a product of one of the many gold rushes that pulled prospectors and hopeful future millionaires west into the North American continent. A sleeping timber town before that, and previously Native American for 4,000 years before that, the city has undergone a rapid expansion in the last 120 years, with some elements of the older neighborhoods being covered over with newer developments. Tours exploring this oft-unseen side of the city are a great way to take a deeper dive into Seattle life.
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
In 1889, the Great Seattle Fire turned the entire downtown business district to ash and ruin. Rather than destroy everything entirely and start again, the new city was rebuilt on top of the old, and some of the remains are open to exploration on this intriguing and entertaining 75-minute walking tour. Underground highlights include Doc Maynard’s Public House, plus a look at the tunnels beneath Pioneer Square. This tour is regular, starting on the hour between 10am and 6pm daily, with extra tours in summer. From $22 per person.
Beneath the Streets Underground History Tour
Another portal to the paved-over past of Seattle is this history-focused, hour-long tour. The underground portion of the tour takes you to explore three tunnels and four blocks of the city that once was, and still is to a certain degree, buried away beneath the current Pioneer Square. Learn all about how Seattle came to be, how it came to burn, and how it came to be rebuilt. This tour runs around seven times a day throughout the year. From $30 per person.
Seattle Underground Donut Tour
A very different underground to the above two tours is the Underground Donut Tour of Seattle, which is literally above ground and figuratively alternative, in that nobody else is running tours to sample delicious treats like this in Seattle. You’ll stop by four different, top-quality donut purveyors, with tasting samples at each stop. This two-hour tour also acts as a good exploration of Seattle’s best dining spots, including Pike Place Market. From $40 per person.