Tour Overview

Pedaling through Seattle's History

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Downtown Seattle, Seattle, WA, USA 2.5 HOURS FREE


Global Family Travels has partnered with the Downtown Seattle Association to offer this complimentary, urban bike tour. Your bike tour guide, James Grindle will lead this 6.5-mile bike ride that takes you from Belltown through West Edge to the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market, where you will learn about the fascinating history and architecture of these Seattle neighborhoods through the perspective of a biker. This urban bike tour is free to the public and select dates are available from the end of August through September, 2021 for participants who are over the age of 16.

Attendance for each tour date is limited to 10 participants, and you must be registered to attend. To reserve your spot, select and register online for the date you are interested in participating by clicking here and be sure to fill out the required liability waiver! 

This tour is one of three free tours provided by the Downtown Seattle Association as one of its "Welcome Back to Downtown Campaign." Learn more about Global Family Travels and our Seattle Community Tours

COVID-19 Statement: This outdoor tour is operated with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in mind, and as of July 2021, unvaccinated tour participants are required to wear masks. For details, please refer to tour and Tasks tab for more information.

Global Family Travels

Global Family Travels’ vision is to unite humanity and inspire travelers to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly interconnected planet. Our mission is to Learn, Serve and Immerse, using travel as a means to build cultural bridges and to foster global citizens. Using tourism to help solve community challenges, we organize sustainable travel opportunities in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations and support many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This tour is one of our Seattle Community Tours & Team Building Experiences. Through partnerships with many Seattle-area non-profit organizations that address community and environmental challenges, our one-day educational adventures in Seattle are designed to create meaningful connections that support Destination Stewardship, including the preservation of diverse and native cultures, conservation, education, and economic growth of Greater Seattle.  

Our Seattle Community Tours are outdoor adventures which address local social and environmental issues and give participants the opportunity to learn about our beautiful region’s diverse communities, natural surroundings and history in fun and engaging ways.   Through partnerships with many Seattle-area non-profit organizations that address community challenges, these one-day educational outings in Seattle are designed to create meaningful connections and support Destination Stewardship, including the preservation of diverse and native cultures and the economic growth of Greater Seattle.  (Download brochure here.)

Learn more about Global Family Travels here!

About Downtown Seattle Association

Location : Seattle, WA, USA

Many Voices, One Mission 

Downtown Seattle has evolved into one of the most dynamic urban centers in the country. But a thriving downtown doesn’t happen by accident. It takes vision, partnership and persistence. It takes the commitment of people who care about this place. It takes big thinkers who are also doers. 

We are the Downtown Seattle Association. Our mission is to create a healthy, vibrant downtown. For more than 60 years, we have been providing vision and leadership on the critical issues and opportunities facing Seattle’s urban core. 

With the support of our 1,700 corporate, nonprofit and residential members, we’re working to keep downtown economically competitive, address transportation challenges and ensure a safe, clean and inviting urban experience for workers, residents and visitors. 

We Are City Makers 

Today, more than 300,000 people work downtown and over 80,000 people live here. As our urban core grows and evolves, the Downtown Seattle Association is here. We provide leadership on a range of issues, including transportation, economic competitiveness, the public realm, affordable housing and homelessness. With funding from Metropolitan Improvement District ratepayers, we employ more than 120 ambassadors who provide cleaning, safety, concierge and outreach services throughout downtown. MID ratepayers also fund parks and public space improvements, downtown marketing and transportation services. 

We call ourselves City Makers. Because we believe when downtown thrives, the whole city flourishes. 

About James Grindle, Your Tour Guide

James has an extensive background, filled with lifelong loves of Art, Architecture, Entertainment (especially Music and film) have kept him abreast of culturally relevant artifacts around the city which he loves to explore and share. He has been a member of Cascade Bicycle Club since 2016, where is he was safety trained. He was hired by WSDOT as an information coordinator and tour guide at the SR 99 tunnel project center MP31 and created and guided the above tunnel project “Bike Above Bertha” tour and ran it from 2015-2018.

He consulted in the creation of the Klondike Gold Rush Pioneer Square Trail To Treasure Map and tour, and served as the opening guide from 2010-2014. He started guiding as a professional tour guide in 2015 with Show Me Seattle Tours and is still working with them presently. He was also hired by Totally Seattle tours in 2018 as a private guide and consultant.

Overview of Tour

In partnership with the Downtown Seattle Association, Global Family Travels invites you to explore downtown Seattle's history on a guided bike adventure via the city's most protected bike lanes. Participants will learn about the rich architecture and history of some of Seattle's historic neighborhoods while pedaling with cycling guide and Seattle history enthusiast, James Grindle. A fun and informative outing for adults and teenagers 16 and older, even lifelong Seattleites will learn something new! 

This bike adventure, which is 6.5 miles long and is 2.5-hours in duration, begins in Belltown and takes you through West Edge, to the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market, with lots of stops to admire what we're seeing and ask questions. 

Capacity: Capacity for this tour is 10 participants maximum.  

Minimum Age: 16 

Tour Cost: This tour is free to attend thanks to the support of the Downtown Seattle Association. 

What is included?  

  • English speaking guide service  

What is excluded?  

  • Bikes and helmet are not included (Bike options: Bring your own bike, rent a bike through Pedal Anywhere, or use Lime bike share
  • Tips for the tour guide  
  • Meals
  • Transportation  
  • Entrance fees to activities or attractions 

We acknowledge that this Indigenous land now called Seattle is the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people. We recognize, honor, and respect the Indigenous peoples connected to this land; past, present and future. 

Biking Information

Required bike rider experience: Bike rider experience is Intermediate, and participants must be somewhat in shape as there are a few minor hills on this tour. Participants on this tour should be comfortable riding in an urban setting like downtown Seattle where there are cars, buses, and other bikers to be aware of. 

  • This tour is not recommended for inexperienced bike riders, and children under the age of 16 are not permitted to join this tour. 

Bike Helmets: During this tour all participants must wear a bike helmet in accordance with King County law. If you’re planning to rent a Lime bike, bring a helmet since they are not included in the rental. 

Bike Safety: Your guide James will go over some bicycle safety tips at the beginning of the tour, but it is recommended that you familiarize yourself prior to the tour with bike etiquette and safety. See the National Highway Traffic Safety Association for more information. 

Bike Rentals: If you are not bringing your own bike, here are some convenient rental options: 

  • Pedal Anywhere (Includes bike delivery to tour start location, bike pickup, helmet & lock; 24-hour rental period; kid & adult bike rentals available) Reserve at: or call (206) 823-7314 
  • Lime Electric-Assist Bike Rentals (Ages 16+; requires downloading the Lime app; bikes can be reserved or located using the app) 

Logistics (Parking, Transport, Safety, Etc.)

Meet and End Points: This tour runs in a loop and begins and ends at Tilikum Place Park, at 2710 5th Ave., Seattle 98121

Transportation: This tour is by bike and does not utilize public transportation. The following bus lines stop near Tilikum Place Park: 24, 26, 3, 311, 8, and D Line. The nearest light rail station is Westlake Ave & 7th Ave (~15-minute walk via 5th Ave.), and the Seattle Center monorail station is close by as well (~5-minute walk).

Parking: There is limited street parking right near Tilikum Place Park, and around the Seattle Center’s perimeter. The Seattle Center has two pay parking lots that cost $15 for a parking duration between 2-12 hours. Additionally, there are several hourly pay parking lots located along 5th Ave N between Denny Way and Harrison St.

Additionally, cars can park for free by validation voucher at the Pike Place Market Garage if they patronize one of several Waterfront local businesses. Details on free parking by validation voucher can be found here on the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association website

What to Bring: A helmet, water, and comfortable clothes to bike in.

Safety: We have limited the size of this tour to 10 participants to minimize risks of biking in a large group.

Seattle Sights Covered on This Bike Adventure:

  • Tilikum Place - Edge of Denny Hill Regrade, Amazon Spheres 
  • Westlake Park  
  • University Track 
  • Rainier Tower & IBM Buildings (Architect Yamasaki) 
  • City Municipal Tower HOV Lanes, Columbia Tower 
  • China Town Stops: Canton Alley, Panama Hotel, Kobe Terrace Park, Danny Woo Community Pea Patch, Wing Luke Museum, Donnie Chin International Children’s Park, Uwajimaya & Kinokuniya Book Store, China Gate, Hing Hay Park 
  • King St. Station courtyard 
  • Pioneer Square: Klondike Goldrush Museum, UPS Waterfall Garden, Occidental Park, Pioneer Square Park 
  • Pike Place Market (no entry, from outskirts) 
  • Moore Theatre and Jewelbox Theatre 



With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the health and safety of Global Family Travels’ travelers, community partners, colleagues and guides are of paramount importance to us. Our COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS document, found under the TASKS section, outlines our commitment to mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19 when you travel with us.

Global Family Travels asks that unvaccinated participants of this tour follow the CDC Guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

Thank you for helping to keep yourself and fellow travelers and guides safe!

Downtown Seattle, Seattle, WA, USA
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