Pioneer Square District Walking Tour, Seattle, Seattle (Self Guided)

Pioneer Square District was first established in 1852 and was, for a while, Seattle's first downtown. Today this area is full of amazing tourist attractions. Pioneer Square is now considered one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city with amazing art galleries and great architecture. This walking tour will lead you to some of the most spectacular sights in Pioneer Square District.
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Pioneer Square District Walking Tour, Seattle Map

Guide Name: Pioneer Square District Walking Tour, Seattle
Guide Location: USA » Seattle (See other walking tours in Seattle)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Author: doris
Stonington Gallery

1) Stonington Gallery

The Stonington Gallery, opened in 1979 is an amazing three floors of spectacular art. It displays some of the most beautiful pieces of art of the best Alaskan and Northwest Coast artists. The Gallery has gained a great reputation for itself, especially for its extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 5.30 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 5 pm;
Occidental Park

2) Occidental Park

Occidental Park is a public park located in the historic Pioneer Square District. The park is in the heart of Seattle’s largest art gallery district. The S Main Street bisects the facility and the northern half of the park is also called Occidental square while the area to the south is also called Occidental Mall.

The site of the Occidental Park was once the Savoy Hotel. The former pioneer Square Savoy Hotel was torn down to establish a parking lot. The park spanning over half an acre was built over this parking lot during the general renovation of Pioneer Square in 1971. The park is a cobblestone plaza open to the public where tourists, art lovers, shoppers and wanderers visit every day.

Works of art at the occidental park include totem poles carved by eminent Chinookan carver Duane Pasco. The totem poles depict the welcoming spirit of Kwakiutl, a totem bear, the tall sun and raven and a man riding on a whale. The park also has a fire fighters memorial with bronze sculptures of fire fighters in action by sculptor Hai Ying Wu. Granite slabs surrounding the sculpture have the names of firefighters who died doing their duty from the Great fire of 1889 till the present.
Maynard Building

3) Maynard Building

Maynard is a five storey low rising building constructed in the Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. Today it houses mainly office space, in a beautiful designed interior. Maynard Building is a favorite piece of architecture in Pioneer Square Area.
Pioneer Square Park

4) Pioneer Square Park (must see)

The Pioneer Square Park also known as the Pioneer Square Plaza is a small triangular brick and cobblestone plaza located in the middle of old Seattle. The area around the Park provided the lumber for Henry Yesler’s steam-powered sawmill that was the first industry established in what later grew to become the city of Seattle.

Pioneer Square Park features a totem pole made by the Tlingit tribe of southeastern Alaska and a bust of Chief Seattle perched upon a drinking fountain. The park is lit by turn of the century lamps that preserve the early ambiance of Seattle. In 1909, an ornate iron pergola was built for the first international fair held in Seattle, the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition of 1909. The pergola now stands over an underground restroom. The restroom at Pioneer Square Park is considered the finest underground restrooms in the US. The structure also shelters people who wait for the streetcar. The pergola was knocked down by a speeding truck in 2001 and fully restored in 2002.

Pioneer Square Park is located where Yesler Way and James Street meet. The Pioneer building, the starting point of an underground tour that tells visitors the story of historical Seattle before the 1889 great fire is located behind the park.

Take the street address if you want the Underground Tour. It is 614 1st Ave (look for a retail space). The tour takes about 1h with a guide, literally takes you beneath the city streets and sidewalks, and you get the history with fun entertainment as well. For ghost enthusiasts, you can take their Paranormal Tour.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Smith Tower

5) Smith Tower (must see)

The first skyscraper in Seattle, the Smith Tower was built in 1914 and became the tallest building at the time west of the Mississippi River until 1931. The building located in Pioneer Square still bears the old world charm of early skyscrapers with Gothic style towers.

Smith Tower is named after the promoter of the building, L. C. Smith who made his fortune manufacturing typewriters and small firearms. The building has 38 floors accessible by the last remaining manually operated elevators in Seattle. The tower has an observation deck on the 35th floor with spectacular views of the waterfront, Pioneer Square and the mountains surrounding Seattle.

The building that houses 540 offices was built of steel and bronze and used very little wood. E.E. Davis, a firm of steel contractors built eight tower floors during a single week though troubled by constant rain. The steel framework was then covered with ornate white terra cotta.

The 35th Floor of the Smith Tower has the well known Chinese Room with its carved wood and porcelain ceiling and elaborate Chinese wooden furniture including an ornate Chinese wishing chair.

Visitors to Seattle, especially those who are interested in early skyscraper architecture should not miss visiting Smith Tower to admire the architecture or to take in the view from the observation deck.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy great 360* views of Seattle without paying the elaborate Space Needle fees.
There is an outside area around the perimeter, and the inside lounge with bar is definitely old-world. Even the elevator is fun.
Prior to going up, they send you through a small interactive museum that helps give you all the history of the time the building was built (1911-1914).

Buy advance tickets online and pop to the top – or look out for the "happy hour" visiting times, where it's discounted to get in – or if you do the nearby Underground Tour, keep your ticket for discounted entry.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed: 10am-11pm; Thu-Sat: 10am-12am
Sight description based on wikipedia
Roq La Rue Gallery

6) Roq La Rue Gallery

Roq La Rue Gallery displays Pop Surrealism/Underground Contemporary art. They opened in 1998 as an integral part of the Pop Surrealist movement. The gallery's highlight is the fact that they exhibit art that mixes amazing imagery with brilliant technical craftsmanship.

Operation Hours: Wednesday - Saturday: 12.00 -18.00. Appointments available.

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Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Seattle for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Seattle has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Seattle, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.