Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by fallschirmhosen on October 11, 2006

With any city you visit, whether you realize it or not, there is a long history behind it. However, if you want to learn more about the history, you usually need to visit your local library or do some research online to learn anything about it. Seattle, though, offers a very interesting tour about Seattle’s past. What makes it more fascinating is that a big part of Seattle’s history happened (what is now) below ground. And, once you come back above ground, you will appreciate knowing a little bit about the city you’re walking through.

The tour introduction, which lasts about 20 minutes before you actually go underground, basically discusses how dirty and disgusting Seattle was in the 1800s, and how its founders were all corrupt. Oh, and be prepared for a graphic description of how toilets and plumbing worked in the city’s early years. I found it all quite humorous, but that’s me.

After the intro, the real underground tour begins. Large groups of 20+ people are guided below the sidewalks in the Pioneer Square area to see the former street level of Seattle. Not to give it away, but street level in the Pioneer Square area (and other parts of Seattle) is actually the former second floor of buildings. Due to many reasons, the first floors were covered over and the street level was raised to its current height.

The tour is not continuously underground. Be prepared to go up and down stairs three times as you visit three different sections of Pioneer Square. Once downstairs, though, be prepared for a glimpse into the past.

The Underground Tour is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Seattle, especially if you are in the Pioneer Square area. They put a humorous twist to it (with plenty of bad jokes), which makes it very enjoyable for history buffs and normal people alike. Unfortunately, there is no way to book a regular tour in advance, though private tours are available by calling at least 2 weeks in advance. You must book regular tours the day of the tour, and you must book it early in the day. The cost is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $5 for children.

More information:
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
608 First Ave.
Seattle, Washington, 98104
206 682 4646

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