After our extravagant lunch, we stumbled upon Seattle Free Walking Tours...and the word "free" sounded really good!! Seattle Free Walking Tours was inspired by the adventures and travels of the organization's co-founders. Free tours are a phenomenon throughout much of Europe, and they wanted to introduce the concept in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. (Suggested donation is $15.) There are a couple of different tour options, and they're very basic, but it's a great way to stretch your legs and get an introduction to the city from a native. Reservations are required...so bring a smartphone.
Here we are with Chief Seattle, an ancestral leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the late 1700s / early 1800s, and the man for whom the city was named.
The oldest Farmer's Market lies at Pike Place Market, where artisans and farmers alike have been cutting out the middle man for more than a century. It’s a place where you can “Meet the Producer”—the farmers, butchers, fishmongers, cheesemongers, bakers, winemakers and purveyors who bring their bounty to your table. One of our favorite parts about Pike Place is watching the 'performers' at the Fish Market. The way they toss those gigantic fish around is a source of amusement and wonder to kids of all ages! It's also home of the original Starbucks, so you can pop in and get a cuppa to warm up.
Spend about 90 minutes underneath the city, soaking up a history lesson all the way! As part of the tour, we learned that the commercial district burned down in 1889, and rather than take the opportunity to move the commercial district, the shop keepers rebuilt their businesses on the original mud flat. Then, the city brought in dirt fill and created city streets that were 15-40 feet above all the buildings! So, the front of the building and the sidewalks were well below the streets behind giant stone retaining walls. To cross the street, you had to climb a ladder, scurry across the street, and then climb down another ladder. It is ironic that nobody died in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, but nearly 20 people died years later, falling off the ladders as they tried to cross the streets. That is just a taste of the wierdness that you will learn on this tour!!! (Scroll down for more photos from this tour.)
- Larry Gets Lost in Seattle (younger kids)
- Mandy the Outsider & lapbook
- David Macaulay's Underground
- Architecture unit
- Cities of the Underworld dvd
- Destination Seattle (free streaming)
- Lego Space Needle
- DK Top Ten Seattle
- History of Seattle's Buried City
- Space Needle website - take some time to play around on the site and you'll get a fabulous view of the city, plus pick up a few fun facts!
Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints. - Chief Seattle