Travel Rankings & Advice

Pioneer Square free

Jackson Street & First Avenue | Seattle, WA 98104 | Official website
Pioneer Square Photo info
  • Type: Neighborhood/Area
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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Overall Rating: 4.0 (4.2)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Food Scene: 4.0 (4.0)
Atmosphere: 4.0 (4.0)
About these ratings

If you like history, Pioneer Square should be at the top of your to-do list. This neighborhood was one of the first settlements in the Northwest U.S. (hence the name), and it has maintained much of its Old West identity. Today, you'll find the cobblestone area peppered with art galleries, restaurants and shops, not to mention an ornamental pergola, which provides shelter to those waiting to hop on the cable car. But the must-see item here is a Tlingit totem pole, which was stolen in the late 19th century from Alaska's Tlingit natives. Eventually, the city got around to paying for the totem pole and the Tlingit tribe allowed it to remain a prominent feature of Pioneer Square.

No visit to Pioneer Square is complete until you tag along on the Underground Tour, which offers humorous insight into what the tour's website deems the "sin and flimflam" in Seattle's old Red Light District. The Underground Tour leads you through the maze of subterranean passageways — which were once the city's main roads — where you learn about the quirkier side of historic Seattle, from legends of thieves to the history of the flush toilet. The Underground Tour recommends that participants be at least 6 years or older to keep up with the 90-minute walking tour. Tour tickets cost $17 for adults, $14 for seniors and students (ages 13 to 17, or with a valid college ID), and $9 for children ages 7 to 12.

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