Seattle Tours Explore Sites, History and Local Flair

Natural beauty and a vibrant energy make Seattle an award-winning destination. Travelers find it so appealing that the city made the World’s Greatest Places list by Time magazine in 2021. One of the best ways to learn about this urban gem and immerse in local culture is to take the top Seattle tours that explore the Puget Sound region — and the places that make it great. Read more.

Best Seattle Tours for Sightseeing and Local Culture

seattle tours sightseeing vacation

Beneath the Streets

Beneath the Streets ranks among the top Seattle tours for history. Each guided tour lasts one hour and explores underground passages throughout Pioneer Street, the city’s first neighborhood. These walking tours come with a local guide. In addition, each tour is limited to 20 people and covers 4 blocks.

Family-friendly options occur daily and depart several times per day. Those interested in an adult-only option should book the Red Light District tour, which happens at night for visitors 18 and older.

Tours Northwest

Tours Northwest hosts one of the largest options for Seattle tours. Popular examples explore downtown, Boeing Factory and nearby waterfronts. However, the Mt. Rainer from Seattle is a must.

Board a 24-seat mini-bus that has air conditioning, comfy seats and large windows. During the tour, guests will see forests, wildflowers, mountain glaciers and farmlands. The bus will stop occasionally, so bring comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers. These tours accommodate guests older than 5 and last about 10 hours.

seattle food tours vacation

Eat Seattle

To sample local food, try the chef food tour hosted by Eat Seattle. This tour encourages visitors to indulge in artisan vendors located in Pike Place Market.

On the tour, local chefs guide groups on the best vendors and local products — and share the story of the food scene in Pacific Northwest. In addition, they keep groups small so everyone receives a personalized tour. All Eat Seattle tours cater to all ages.

Seattle Segway Tours

One of the best ways to see the city is via Segway. This transportation option provides travelers a way to see many attractions and sites in a short amount of time. Seattle Segway Tours last two hours and depart four times per day.

Upon starting, guests will ride along Seattle’s waterfront, Elliot Bay, Washington State Ferry Terminal and Pioneer Square. Other attractions on the tour include a small national park, Pike Place, Space Needle and Myrtle Edwards Park.

Seattle Bicycle Tours

Those who prefer to ride bikes may choose electric and standard options with Seattle Bicycle Tours. Each last at least 2.5 hours and explore the city’s top spots.

For electric bike tours, book the Bainbridge, Discovery Park or West Seattle. Each include all needed equipment, such as bikes and helmets. When applicable, riders may also receive a ferry ticket. Those who prefer a standard bike will enjoy the Emerald City and Smith Cove tours. Bikes and gear are provided.

washington sites skyline

Show Me Seattle

Some of the oldest and most popular Seattle tours are hosted by Show Me Seattle. The company has more than 10 options, such as private tours, Pike Place Market, and Wine and Chocolate. Its three-hour city tour provides an in-depth look into local living.

Top sites include downtown, museums, the first Starbucks, Pioneer Square, International District, Seattle Center, Kerry Park and Ballard Locks, to name a few. Visitors will also see restaurants, shops, distinct neighborhoods and sports attractions.

Seattle Water Tours

For something different, plan an ice cream cruise with Seattle Water Tours. While ice cream is optional, it’s a great way to indulge the sweet tooth and learn about the region.

Each hour the boat takes guests on a 45-minute ride that narrates the story of Boeing, historic shipyards, one of the world’s busiest draw bridges, Seattle floating home communities and other sites. Dogs are welcome as well, and the boat accommodates up to 42 passengers.

Spooked in Seattle Ghost Tour

For Seattle’s dark side, try a ghost tour with Spooked in Seattle. This remains one of the city’s oldest ghost tours and features paranormal investigators.

In-person events include Tales from Pioneer Square, USS Turner Joy Ghost Hunt and University Heights Ghost Hunt. Each offer a different experience and last 90 minutes. Tours will include known and secluded locations with haunted history and do not occur underground. During ghost hunts, guests will learn how to hunt, hear stories and explore on their own.

To enjoy more time outdoors, read about some popular parks in Seattle.

Need a place to stay? Find a spacious vacation home in Seattle.