6. Seattle: Downtown Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour
Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which functions as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map, all in one. Note: This 1.6+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Seattle Downtown in 1-2 hours. Once downloaded, your walking tour of Seattle begins at the breathtaking Seattle Aquarium. Here you’ll discover the rich aquatic life that abounds in Puget Sound From there, you’ll pass the Seattle Great Wheel and hear how a shrewd businessman transformed a pier into a tourist hub, full of bakeries, restaurants, and other shops. As you keep walking, you’ll learn about Puget Sound and the drastic decline in orca whales while getting a laugh or two over some scatological stories! Your journey then takes you to Miner’s Landing, where you’ll step back in time, learning of the Coast Salish. Hear how they fished from canoes and how their ancestors arrived some 12,000 years ago! Up next, you’ll revisit the founding of modern Seattle. You’ll get the story of the Denny family, their dangerous trek west, and a homestead that rose up into modern Seattle! Speaking of danger, you’ll also get to know the shrewd Chief Siahl. In the process, you’ll discover how he stepped in to curb tension between his people and the settlers. You’ll also meet David “Doc” Maynard, friend of the chief. Your journey next takes you to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, where you’ll be introduced to Joseph Stanley. Uncover his fondness for all things odd. If the shop name sounds familiar, it is indeed a reference to Charles Dickens! Then you’ll pass Ivar’s Fish Shop and revisit the fight to bring the railroad to Seattle, full of twists and turns. That’s not the only story! You’ll also go back to 1889 and the infamous fire, started by glue! But you’ll see how the city rebuilt and also gained its first fire department as a result. As you stroll through the bustling downtown, you’ll see the majestic Smith Tower. 38 stories, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi upon its completion in 1914! You’ll get to unearth some of the stories and rumors associated with it, including connections to Imperial China, stuntmen, and Prohibition! The journey next takes you to majestic Pioneer Square, heart of modern Seattle. You’ll learn about the city’s first steam powered sawmill and the rise of logging, Seattle’s first major industry. Here you can also admire the 60-foot totem pole, which came all the way from Alaska! As you continue, hear about the Klondike Gold Rush and the World Fair, a battle of technological might at the height of the Cold War. You’ll also learn how Microsoft and Amazon arose, with the latter beginning as an online bookstore! As you head toward Pike Place Market, uncover Starbucks and meet Howard Schultz. Hear how he wanted to create a community oasis and ultimately bought the franchise. Then pass Benaroya Hall and hear how grunge arose, with Nirvana putting Seattle on the musical map! The journey concludes at bustling Pike Place Market, where fishmongers actually fling fish across the counters, making it look like they’re flying!