Tag Archives: walking tours

Seattle Walking Tours: #2 Pioneer Square

Yes, it’s that time again. It’s another Seattle walking tour, brought to you by yours truly, based on a book written by Laura Karlinsey entitled Seattle City Walks. It’s my goal to figure out if the walking tour she suggests is any good, as well as adding my own take on the local history and sights of the Emerald City (which, by the way, is a far, far better city nickname than “Terminal City“).

For this go ’round, I walked through Pioneer Square, the second location inhabited by the white settlers once they landed in this area. The first area the white settlers inhabited was Alki Beach, until is was determined to be too cold and too distant to all of the cool sites in inner Elliot Bay…problems some say that Alki still has today.

Pioneer Square was first settled in 1852, and quickly took off after Henry Yesler built a sawmill. Doc Maynard set up the initial street layout, but Arthur Denny and Carson Boren figured that Doc was drunk when he surveyed the layout, so they created there own; no compromise was attained between the two layouts, and hence the weird and wacky turns Pioneer Square Streets take.


Seattle Walking Tours: #1 Pike Place Market

When I first moved to the Emerald City (Seattle) nigh upon 15 months ago, I had no idea about the layout of this city, nor of the places one should go to have a good time. So I purchased a book written by Laura Karlinsey entitled Seattle City Walks which outlines eighteen different walking tours for one to undertake.

I was so excited about this idea that I promptly placed the book on my shelf and left it there for 15 months.

I have, however, reconsidered the idea of this book. Figuring that this would give me a wonderful series of articles and entries for this site, as well as allow me to practice a form of travel writing, I have decided to partake of each and every tour. Along the way, I plan to take pictures and give my impressions on the areas highlighted by Mz. Karlinsey. So, the tours are hers, the text and pics will be mine. And this will take up a fair amount of my own energy over the next half year or so.

It’s not surprising to me that the first chapter in the book deals with the Pike Place Market. The Market is one of the top two tourist attractions in Seattle (the Space Needle being the other), and dominates the western end of Downtown Seattle.

I personally have a love/hate relationship with the Market. I love the fresh foods and the varieties available. I love the whole feel of the market, which is rushed and exciting. And the place is quite the foodies dream.

But it is a tourist haven. Think Fisherman’s wharf in San Francisco kind of crowded, and you have an idea of the size of crowds that are there. It has it’s fair share of locations that sell junk. Crappy T-shirts, postcards and other tourist trinkets abound throughout the market. Be prepared.

So, Seattle Rule of Thumb #1: From May-September, the Market belongs to the tourists. October-April, it belongs to the locals. And if you wish to avoid even more crowds, visiting Monday through Thursday will be better than visiting on the Weekend. Now on to the Tour: