One of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest, the city of Seattle can best be enjoyed by booking onto a wide choice of sightseeing tours.
Surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and home to thousands of acres of parkland, Seattle combines natural beauty with a rich cultural landscape. Indeed, the city is renowned for being, among other things, the origin of grunge music, the birthplace of multiple tech giants, and America’s coffee capital. No surprise, therefore, that there are a diverse selection of sightseeing tours that take in all of this, and more. Here are 5 of the best.
City Tour by Bus
This 3-hour small group tour invites you to get a full overview of Seattle while aboard a comfortable mini-bus. Covering almost 50 miles, you’ll pass by some of Seattle’s most renowned attractions while learning about the city’s rich history from your knowledgeable local guide. At three specific places of interest – Pioneer Square, Ballard Locks, and a city skyline viewpoint – you’ll stop off for an extended opportunity to admire the landmarks and scenery and to take some photos as a memento of your trip. From $89 per person.
Pike Place Market Haunted Happy Hour Tour
Every city has its spooky underbelly and Seattle is no different. This 2-hour walking tour takes in a site that legend has it has been haunted by ethereal beings down the ages – Pike Place Market. By day a historic and bustling hub of trade, after dark ghostly spirits are thought to have stalked the market for centuries. During the tour, your guide will entertain and scare you in equal measure with spine-tingling tales of yore, inviting you to step back in time and hear about the creepy characters whose presence has endured here long after their death. The tour covers about half-a-mile and includes several stop-offs for happy hour drinks, with your first beverage included. From $74 per person.
Underground Walking Tour
Unbeknown to many, Seattle is home to a remarkable network of underground passageways that meander beneath the city streets. This 1-hour tour offers the chance to explore this unique subterranean grid on foot, taking in three of its passageways originally constructed in the late 19th century. As you walk, your guide will tell you more about their history, as well as the city’s evolution as a whole. The tour also includes overground walks through four city blocks of historic Pioneer Square. From $29 per person.
One of the most popular excursions to take from Seattle is a whale-watching tour. This half-day trip takes you out onto the Salish Sea, one of the world’s most biologically rich areas teeming with spectacular marine life, including orca killer whales, as well as humpback, grey and minke whales. Departing from Pier 69, you’ll board the San Juan Clipper fast ferry and head out in search of these majestic creatures. During the tour, an expert onboard naturalist will tell you all about the local sea life and surrounding area. Window seats are available for an extra fee. From $133 per person.
Seattle may be better known for its coffee, but chocolate is a seriously big deal here too. This 2.5-hour tour lets sweet-toothed visitors get a taste of the local chocolate by stopping off at eight downtown foodie venues. Samples will vary dramatically with everything from dark, milk, solid, spicy, bitter, and sweet on offer, as well as chocolate treats with nuts and fruit inside them. Along the way, your guide will teach you about how and why chocolate came to hold such a special place in cultures around the world. From $65 per person.
By Paul Joseph