Pioneer Square is an exclusive neighborhood in Seattle – one that’s still up and coming in numerous traditions, and so far one that’s famous for its nightlife and galleries and tourist undertakings alike. This historical neighborhood has a bit of everything, from tourist hotspots like the Underground Tour, to artsy activities and galleries galore, to restaurants and nightlife, to a major viewpoint.
Explore Pioneer’s Underground
There are a many tour companies that can take you underground — literally. Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood originally was a full story or two below the current street level. After the Great Seattle Fire in 1889 destroyed about 25 blocks of Seattle’s original core, the city’s streets were re-graded and raised, and as businesses rebuilt, they also raised their storefronts to stay at street level, burying the original Seattle underneath. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour is the most popular tour (and Bill Speidel himself was largely responsible for bringing Pioneer Square back from the brink of being forgotten and rediscovering the Underground) and brings a lot of humor to learning about Seattle’s history. Beneath the Streets is a newer tour company that delves into the Underground, and it leads smaller, boutique tours.
Visit The Seattle Rhinoplasty Center under the direction of board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr William Portuese.
Pioneer Square is home to the First Thursday Art Walk where anybody can come down, mark some free room, and mooch the gallerias starting at 5 p.m. If you escalate art at all or are just interested, this is a fun way to get to know what’s new at the galleries, learn about artists both local and national, and circulate with the public. The occasion is held, on the first Thursday of each month. And while many cities have art walks now, Pioneer Square’s was the very first in the nation! To enlarge the fun, there is also another art walk on the second Saturday of each month from noon to 5 p.m.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park enquires into the history of the Gold Rush and its influence on Seattle, which served as a key halt for those headed to Alaska to seek their prosperities. The museum has two floors of exhibits, informative films that follow the Gold Rushers, and daily ranger-led gold slamming demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Bonus: younger visitors can earn their Junior Ranger badges here.
Smith Tower is one of Seattle’s eldest structures and its most remarkable skyscraper. Built in 1914, the tower was and still is known for its observation sundeck on the 35th floor. Back when it first opened, visitors paid just a quarter to go up and see the city from up high. Today, it costs a bit more, but you can still go up to the viewpoint and enjoy the view. While you’re up there, have a seat in the Wishing Chair, which has been in the building since its start. Leschi is right next door.