Walking Tour of Seattle, Washington
The gateway to the northwest is a wonderful, vibrant city. Under the brooding presence of Mount Rainier, it has become a center for commerce and a symbol of burgeoning technology and modernism.
My walk begins in the oldest part of the city, Pioneer Square. Although most of the buildings in this historical district were erected after the Great Fire of 1889, the area seems much older. Check out the Totem Pole and Statue of Chief Sealth, after whom the city is named, in the square. Their presence here is in recognition of the significance of Native Americans to the history and heritage of the region.
Leave the triangular "square" by walking south on 1st Avenue to Jackson Street. You will pass the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park, a tribute to the role of this event in Seattle’s history. Turn left on Jackson Street and head uphill into the International District which contains Seattle’s Chinatown. At 6th Avenue, check out Hing Hay Park, with its pagoda donated to the city by Taipei, Taiwan. After the short stop here, head back one block to 5th Avenue and turn right. Walk all the way northward to the Westlake Center, a shopping center which provides access to Seattle’s Monorail.
Take the Monorail to Seattle Center. Here there are many venues of interest to the tourist. First and foremost is the Space Needle, Seattle’s futuristic icon. Take the elevator to the top for fabulous views of the city and Elliot Bay. This park was the setting for the 1962 World’s Fair, that established Seattle as a world-class destination.
Museums in the complex include the Experience Music Project (EMP), a tribute to "pop" music in America. The Frank Gehry-designed building is an attraction istself.
Other museums that might be of interest are the Pacific Science Museum, The Children’s Museum, and, for something different, the Fun Forest Amusement Park.
Exit the Seattle Center at the southern end and head west on Broad Street which takes you down to the waterfront. Turn left on Alaskan Way to walk along the piers. There are several places here that may be worth visiting. You could check out Odyssey, the Maritime Discovery Center, at Pier 66, which examines the martime activities and history of the region. Further south, on Pier 59, are the Seattle Aquarium and the IMAX Dome.
From Pier 59, take the terraced walkway to Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s most popular attractions. Wander the stalls and marvel at the colorful displays of all types of food items, enjoy the sights and smells in the Flower Market, but prepare to be totally amazed as you watch the Fish Market employees throw fish around as if they were footballs.
Next, head south on 1st Avenue. At the corner with University Street is the Seattle Art Museum, worth an hour or two. Following this, continue south on 1st Avenue to Pioneer Square where the walk began.