The Best Seattle Underground Tours
Tours of Seattle’s “underground” take visitors down beneath Pioneer Square, and through the maze of buried alleys and storefronts that were once Seattle’s surface streets. They’re a great crash (or refresher) course on Seattle history, and kids and adults both find them fascinating. You’ll want to buy your tickets in advance, as tours routinely sell out. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour is the original and most famous. Groups are large, and guides are friendly and knowledgeable – but lean heavily on the “schtick.” (You may find this super fun or supremely irritating, depending on your personality.) Beneath the Streets offers a more intimate underground tour option; groups are smaller and the vibe is less corporate, though the guides are just as knowledgeable. Both tours run daily, year-round, and last a little over an hour. Note that, with steep wooden stairways and uneven surfaces, these tours can be a bit “rustic” – I don’t recommend them for people with mobility issues, very small kids, or strollers.
Reviews: Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, Beneath the Streets
Bill Speidel’s popular daytime Underground Tour is a crash course in Seattle history that touches briefly on the city’s seedier side, in coded language so that the kids in the crowd are none the wiser. All bets are off for their after-hours Underworld Tour, however, which positively revels in this town’s bad and bawdy history of drugs, crime, and prostitution. All the same locations are visited as during the day, but the stories are raunchier at night and guests receive a free cocktail upon completion of the tour. Age 21+
Tours depart from Doc Maynard’s Public House in Pioneer Square, 614 First Avenue.