The Emerald City of Seattle, Washington, is filled with such a rich history, it’s no wonder it is a popular vacation destination. The city offers many educational and entertaining tours to help visitors learn about both times gone by and the present state of Seattle.
Seattle Riding Tours
Ride the Ducks of Seattle is a popular city tour which takes place on an amphibious World War II vehicle. Learn about the waterfront, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and the downtown shopping area. Upon its arrival to Lake Union, the vehicle then transforms into a boat for a cruise on the water. The tour is approximately one-and-a-half hours long. Please call ahead for current prices, tour times, and reservations.
Argosy Cruises gives a variety of boat tours, including the Argosy Harbor Tour, a one-hour historic tour of Seattle’s Elliott Bay. The cruise departs from Pier 55 and runs every day, rain or shine, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Snacks and drinks for purchase are available on board. Please visit Argosy’s website, or call ahead for departure times and current prices.
Walking Tours in Seattle
No visit to Seattle is complete without taking Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. Take a guided walk through the streets and sidewalks of Seattle where it stood before the big fire of 1889. Seattle was later rebuilt one story higher than where it had previously stood. Read more about the history of underground Seattle, and what to expect on this tour, on the Underground Tour’s website. Please call ahead for current prices and tour schedules.
The Washington Park Arboretum has a free general guided walking tour from January through November, departing from the Graham Visitor Center. Other tours offered are the Foster Island Ecology tour, a walk to Foster and Marsh Islands, and the Native Plants and Ethnobotany tour, where participants learn about the native plants of the area. The Arboretum also offers free weekend walks, each with a special theme, Young Gardeners Story Time, and Learning Fairs.
The Ballard Locks functions like a water elevator to pass boats between the Puget Sound and the ship canal, leading to Lake Union and Lake Washington. The Locks’ other two functions according to the Army Corps of Engineers are “To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20 to 22 feet above sea level,” and “To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).” Enjoy watching the water level rise and lower to assist with safe passage for all kinds of boats. Afterwards, take a walk to the fish ladder where salmon may be viewed on their journey from salt water to fresh water. The locks lays adjacent to a visitor center and botanical gardens.
These are only a sampling of the many interesting and instructive tours available in the Seattle area. Be sure to take pleasure in at least a few of these or some other not-to-be-missed tourist outings while visiting Seattle, Washington.