If you love being in the absolute center of a beautiful historic city, then you won’t want to miss Pioneer Square, the heart of old Seattle! As the city’s first neighborhood, established in 1852, Pioneer Square is less than a half-mile away from downtown Seattle and is home to historic buildings, parks, museums, great restaurants, and so much more. Stay right nearby in one of our cozy vacation rentals, and make Pioneer Square the heart of your Seattle vacation!
Historical Curiosities and Seattle Washington Things to Do
If you’re looking for things to do in and around Seattle you might be surprised to learn that there’s actually a whole other city underneath Pioneer Square! This area of Seattle was destroyed in a fire in 1889, and city planners decided to rebuild at a higher street grade. Therefore, an entire section of the city’s streets was enclosed underground, with commerce continuing on the below-ground level. This area was later officially closed, and became known as a den for vice. Today, visitors can tour part of this Underground with one of several tour companies located here in Pioneer Square. Check out Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour and Beneath the Streets for their selection of historical and paranormal tours.
Another fascinating historical activity in Pioneer Square is a stop at the Last Resort Fire Department. It’s a 1928 fire station filled with restored antique fire-fighting vehicles. Kids and adults alike will marvel at this ingenious apparatuses of the past, and it’s a great stop for a rainy day activity.
Also, in case of inclement weather, check out the Seattle Unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Visitors to this Seattle Washington things to do can learn all about the stampede to the Yukon Gold Fields, and Seattle’s role in the story.
And During Good Weather…
If you’re looking for things to do in and around Seattle.There’s so much to see outside in the Pioneer Square neighborhood! Check out several parks, including Occidental Park, which often hosts outdoor music and cultural events, and Pioneer Park, with its historic street lamps, Tlingit totem pole, and bust of Chief Seattle. Enjoy a cozy oasis with your date in Waterfall Garden Park, tucked in behind Occidental Square. Take a walk along the “Trail to Treasure,” and learn about Seattle’s transformation over time from informational panels that share history along the way. And of course, as you do all this, you’ll enjoy browsing the many shops and eateries that Pioneer Square has to offer!
Art for All
As if all that weren’t enough, Pioneer Square is also known for its art walks. First Thursday Art Walk is a chance to experience the greatest concentration of art galleries anywhere in Seattle, at a relaxed pace on your own self-guided tour. If you prefer getting up close and personal with artists, check out Second Saturday Art Walk, where special events take place in the studios of the TK Arts building.