Best Places To Learn About Seattle History

September 10, 2016 11:00 AM

In 1851 The Denny Party founded Seattle on Alki Beach in what is now called West Seattle. The following spring they relocated to the other side of Elliott Bay to a historic area now called Pioneer Square. And that was just the beginning of the changes big and small that Seattle would undergo as it evolved into one of the most vibrant tech hubs in the country. It doesn’t matter if you are you a local who just never got around to learning about your hometown or a visitor eager to dive into local lore. We’ve ferreted out the best ways for you to get Seattle savvy.
mohai Best Places To Learn About Seattle History
 Museum of History and Industry Photo Credit: Jenise SilvaMuseum of History and Industry
860 Terry Ave N,
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 324-1126

For over 60 years the Museum of History & Industry has been telling the story of Seattle through the exhibition of artifacts, public tours and other innovative community programming. Stop by their swank South Lake Union digs to learn about everything from the history of maritime Seattle to the legacy of Seattle hip hop. And if technology is your thing, don’t miss the Bezos Center for Innovation or the current presentation of The Boeing Flight Path celebrating the aerospace giant’s 100th anniversary. Pro tip: The museum offers free admission and extended hours (10am – 8pm) on the First Thursday of each month.

Wing Luke Museum
719 S King St,
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5124

Named for Wing Luke, a Seattle resident who served as the Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. and who was a member of the Seattle City Council, the Wing (as it is affectionately called) is a community treasure. Like Wing Luke who was the first Asian American elected to office in Seattle, the museum is a nationally recognized leader in their field. Located in the heart of the International District, the Wing uses an innovative community-based exhibition model to create exhibits and programs to tell the story of the Asian Pacific American Experience in the U.S. and more specifically, Seattle. Don’t miss the Seeds of Change, Roots of Power exhibit which focuses on the Danny Woo Community Garden or the Portrait of the Chinatown-International District Community. And to get an insiders look at the community, sign up for the Bitter & Sweet and Bruce Lee’s Chinatown tours–you’ll be glad you did!
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
319 Second Ave S. 
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 220-4240

Want to learn about Seattle’s role in the Yukon Gold Rush? You’re in luck! The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and Visitor Center, located in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square has you covered. Take the self-paced walking tour or sign up for one of the hour-long tours that run at 2:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday to discover 16 significant Gold Rush related sites that helped shape the development of Pioneer Square.
Related: Best Roadside Attractions

Seattle Underground Tour
614 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

(206) 682-4646

Also located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour takes you through subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed after the city reconstructed itself after the Great Fire of 1889 – destoying 25 square city blocks. The upbeat tour is sure to bring a smile to the faces of the most surly tourist or local as tour guides dispense Seattle history with a light-hearted touch and a wink. Bring your walking shoes and an umbrella as you’ll be up and downstairs and in underground passage ways.

Related: Best Chinese Restaurants in Seattle

Jenise Silva is a Seattle based food & travel writer. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money. The HUNT travel guides for Seattle and Vancouver and is a regular contributor to a number of online publications. Her work can be found at CitySearch, Seattle Refined, TravelSages and