Seattle Neighborhood Spotlights: Pioneer Square


October 24, 2018
Seattle Neighborhood Spotlights: Pioneer Square

When you first see Pioneer Square on your Duck tour, you might notice that it feels a bit different than other parts of the city. The buildings have distinct architecture: much lower than skyscrapers, made of brick or stone, in a Romanesque Revival style. That’s because Pioneer Square was Seattle’s original downtown!

After the Great Seattle Fire in 1889 (one of our much beloved talking points), Pioneer Square was rebuilt using brick and stone, making some of its buildings the oldest still standing in Seattle today. Here are some things you can do after your wacky quacky expedition with us to explore this historic neighborhood on foot!

This public park isn’t a lawn like you might think, but instead consists of brick pedestrian walking space lined by trees, benches, tasty eateries and more! Take a stroll and see the Fallen Firefighters Memorial before stopping in to one of the area’s many coffee shops.

If you’re intrigued by the story of the Great Seattle Fire and want to explore some remnants of it, then these are the tours for you. Go underneath Pioneer Square, through passageways and time, to the city’s tidal flat level. What old relics do you think you might see?

There’s a 22 ft. waterfall in the heart of Seattle? You bet! Sneak away to this piece of tranquility when you want to escape the urban jungle. There are plenty of chairs and tables around to enjoy some food or read a book among lush trees and plants.

If you’ve never been to an indoor national park, they do exist! The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle is a museum that explains the history of the gold rush that brought a lot of people to the west.

Stepping into this station is like stepping back in time. Opened in 1906, King Street Station served the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway before the creation of Amtrak. Today it’s the 15th busiest Amtrak station in America- maybe you even used it to get here on your trip!

Looming above you at 484 ft. is Seattle’s oldest skyscraper- Smith Tower. The tower was completed in 1914 and still boasts many of its original features from marble tile to the motors that power the elevators. Check out the observatory deck and restaurant for great views and food.

  • Art Galleries

Something you’re bound to see a lot of in Pioneer Square is art. There are some famous street murals, like Friends of Post Alley, but also several art galleries that house works indoors. Art Walk is the first Thursday of every month, which showcases new artwork at local galleries. Some to keep in mind are:

Davidson Galleries, Stonington Gallery, Foster/White Gallery– you can also click here for an extensive list.

  • Good Eats

Last but never least, we know how hungry you’ll get after a busy day of exploring. Luckily there are endless options for food in Pioneer Square with plenty of diversity in styles and tastes. Here are a few that stand out- but make sure to check online for plenty of other amazing options!

Italian: Il Corvo Deli: Tat’s Indian: Nirmals Latin American: Copal Seafood: Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar Vietnamese: i5 Pho Seattle Korean: Commissary Korean Kitchen German: Altstadt

So whether it’s before or after your Duck tour, make sure Pioneer Square is on your list of places to explore!

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