No better place to start exploring the city than downtown’s Pioneer Square. It’s the site of the original settlement in the 1850s, but much of the neo-Renaissance architecture we see today dates from the 1890s, after the mostly wooden original buildings were destroyed by the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. It’s a great place to explore also because of its galleries, eateries, and boutique shops, but my favourite part here (and indeed, one of the most unusual attractions in the entire country) is Underground Seattle – a warren of former shops, rooms, and passageways (above) dating back to the founding era and the Gold Rush that were actually at ground level back then, but cover over in the post-fire rebuilding. Some say it’s haunted down here – I don’t know about that, but it sure is spooky-cool.
Read more in my post Seattle Is an Exciting Evergreen.