**Thank you for your interest in joining us! Due to the popularity of this free tour, our July 31, August 7, and August 14th dates are now fully booked and no additional spots are available.** We will be looking at adding more dates in September, so please join our Seattle Community Tours mailing list and we will be sure to let you know!
Global Family Travels invites you, in partnership with the Downtown Seattle Association, the HistoryLink.org, the Seattle Waterfront Historic Association and the Friends of the Waterfront, to explore the history, communities and parks that make up Seattle's Waterfront. A fun and informative outing for adults and kids over 11 years old, even lifelong Seattleites will learn something new!
Our adventure starts at Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park, where you will meet your tour guide to begin walking the waterfront and learning about its history along the way! After this adventure, help support local waterfront businesses by dining nearby for lunch or shopping around.
Reserve your spot on this tour by choosing the date you are interested in participating! Spots are limited to 10 participants per tour date, so reserve early and be sure to fill out your tour waiver to secure your spot!
This tour is one of three “Urban Hikes” financially supported by the Downtown Seattle Association. Learn more about Global Family Travels here.
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. Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
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
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.
HistoryLink.org is the continually evolving online encyclopedia of Washington state history. We provide a free, authoritative, and easily accessible reference for the benefit of all. With a few noted exceptions, all articles on HistoryLink.org are original works developed by historians, contract writers, volunteers, and consulting experts.
Our writers are Washingtonians, writing about Washington, tunneling through our state's rich archival resources, and serving up Washington's history. We are guided by a distinguished board of scholars, educators, and community leaders. HistoryLink.org is history -- events large and small; domestic, civic, and international. Things that happened in our state and then rippled out across the planet and national and global happenings that touched our corner of the great Pacific Northwest.
Overview of Tour
For thousands of year’s Seattle’s Central Waterfront has been a place people gather to trade, work, find food and useful materials, and play. Over time, however, the landscape has been shaped by natural and human forces and that evolution continues today as the new Waterfront Park develops. Join historian Jennifer Ott for an urban hike from the Olympic Sculpture Park to the former site of Sdzidzilalitch, a Duwamish village where today’s Pioneer Square neighborhood is located. Tour highlights include the Alaskan Way Seawall, a sunken vessel, the site where a ton of Klondike gold arrived in Seattle in 1897, and a glimpse of one of the many railroad tracks that once dominated the shoreline.
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.
Capacity: Capacity for this tour is 10 participants maximum.
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?
- Tips for the tour guide
- Entrance fees to activities or attractions
About Jennifer Ott, Your Tour Guide
Jennifer Ott is an environmental historian with a particular interest in Seattle's history of moving dirt, rerouting waterways, and leveling hills. She is the assistant director and senior historian at HistoryLink.org and has written for Seattle magazine and the Oregon Historical Quarterly.
She is the author of Olmsted in Seattle: Creating A Park System for a Modern City (2019), general editor and contributor to Seattle at 150: Stories of the City Through 150 Objects From the Seattle Municipal Archives (2019), and co-author with David B. Williams of Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal (2017).
About Matt Bentley, Your Tour Guide
Matt Bentley was born in the deserts of Arizona, but has lived in and loved the Emerald City for the past 30 years. Since 2007, he has operated as a local tour guide for several different companies, spreading the love of the Pacific Northwest to visitors and locals alike.
Seattle has long been a hotbed for music and Matt has spent 20 years involved in the local music scene. He also cultivates his passion for the outdoors with as many camping and hiking excursions as possible. In 2021, he has already broken both his personal camping and hiking trip records.
Back in town, nights are spent exploring Seattle’s amazing food and beverage scene, with favorite restaurants from the north end of the city to the south. Whether it’s an outdoor adventure or a gourmet evening you’re seeking, ask Matt for all the best locales.
About Friends of the Waterfront
FRIENDS OF WATERFRONT SEATTLE IS DEDICATED TO CREATING AND SUSTAINING A WATERFRONT PARK FOR ALL.
Following the public-benefit partnership model, Friends of Waterfront Seattle educates the public about the park and its benefits, raises philanthropic funds to build and support operations of the park, and partners with the City to manage and program the park in perpetuity.
Our goal is to realize the public’s vision for a waterfront park where all communities can share cultural, recreational, and civic experiences in a safe, beautiful environment.
Friends is a founding member of the High Line Network, a movement in cities across the world to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and re-imagine it as public space.
THE VISION FOR WATERFRONT PARK WAS CONCEIVED THROUGH A COMMUNITY‑WIDE EFFORT.
The design of Waterfront Park was created with community input and collaboration at its core. Programming the park is made possible through consistent collaboration with community partners, and we invite you to get involved. Interested in partnering with Friends?
About the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association
To learn more about the fun things you can do on Seattle's Waterfront, we encourage you to visit the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association website.
The Seattle Historic Waterfront Association is a community improvement, capacity building non-profit whose mission is to promote the Seattle Waterfront community.
Logistics (Parking, Transport, Safety, Etc.)
Meet and End Points: This is a one-way tour which begins near the Olympic Sculpture Park and ends in Pioneer Square. The exact start location will be included in the pre-departure email to participants 1-2 days before the tour start date.
Transportation: This tour is by foot and does not utilize public transportation. The following bus lines stop near the Olympic Sculpture Park: 1, 2, 13, 24, 33, and 62. The nearest light rail station is Westlake Ave & 7th Ave (~22-minute walk), and the Seattle Center monorail station is close by as well (~12-minute walk).
Parking: Garage parking is available at the PACCAR Pavilion garage (best restroom to use there too!), which is open from 6 AM – 11 PM located on the southeast corner of the Olympic Sculpture Park at Broad St and Western Ave. Weekend rates for parking are $5 for 0-2 hours and $10 for 4-10 hours.
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.
Safety: We have limited the size of this tour to 10 participants due to often crowded summer conditions at Seattle’s Waterfront. Please be sure to stay with your guide during the tour and look out for bikes and other pedestrians on the waterfront sidewalk.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
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!
Central Waterfront, Seattle, WA, USA