At one point in time in the early 1800s, there was quite a network of rooms and passageways around Pioneer Square. Those spaces were at ground level until the new city of Seattle was constructed in the middle of the 19th century. At that time, all those basements and passageways were covered up and no one used them anymore. However, in recent years, Seattle’s Underground has turned into a tourist destination that has truly made leaps and bounds in being the most popular thing to do in the city. The underground area of Seattle looks just as it did years ago when the floods and fires ravaged the city.
Since Seattle’s Underground was left untouched for so many years, it was almost completely forgotten about. However, Bill Speidel realized during the 1960s that he could capitalize on this part of the city and the Underground Tour was started.
Many other tour options have popped up since that time, so you have more choices than ever to see the city that was buried by a new one. However, if you are like most people, you will want to take the tour that started them all!
Most of the underground tours take an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. You will walk through the underground area for the duration of your tour, so comfortable shoes are a must. Your tour will begin at Doc Maynard’s Public House and you will cross through Pioneer Square before climbing down under the earth.
Your tour guide will share quite a bit of history during your tour and you will learn what each area was used for as you pass on by. You will also learn about how people used these cordoned-off spaces as gambling halls, flophouses, and so much more.
You will know you have reached the end of your tour when you arrive at Rogues Gallery and the Underground Gift Shop. There are many different souvenirs for you to purchase, but if you are like many other visitors, you will choose your very own copy of Sons of the Profits by Bill Speidel. This book relives all the information you discovered during your tour, so you can share it all with your friends back home.
I don’t know about you, but most kids, especially teenagers, love history lessons like these! After all, dark creepy spaces are interesting and full of wonder.
If you are trying to plan your next family vacation to the northwest, you are going to want to add Seattle’s Underground to your itinerary. Once you do, give me a call and let’s see what else we can find that your entire family will love!