Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

This attraction is, in our opinion, one of the most interesting in all of Seattle, Bill Speidel's Underground Tour offering a completely unique look at the city on top of a city.

Officially known as 'Seattle's most unusual attraction', this tour provides 'a humorous stroll through the intriguing subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889.' Perhaps a little history lesson is needed to fully understand.

In 1889 glue boiled over and caught wood chips on fire in a shop downtown, the fire quickly spreading 25 blocks of mostly wooden buildings and completely devastating Seattle's downtown area. This event was a 'great' blessing in disguise, however, as the city was having several infrastructural issues in this area, to begin with. Seeing it as a chance to start over, city officials built retaining walls 8 foot or higher, filled them, and paved over what used to be the city. The tour's namesake, Bill Speidel, was a pioneer in showing this forgotten underground world to guests, first starting his Seattle restoration project in 1954.

Since then the tour has only grown in popularity. The 75-minute tour begins beneath Doc Maynards Public House and ends in Rogues Gallery and Underground Gift Shop, which holds displays, memorabilia, and souvenirs. You will see Pioneer Square and the underground up close and personal, your journey taking you through rugged conditions underground, complete with rickety stairs (in spots) and spotty lighting. The hollow tunnels reach up to 35 feet in places!

If you are in the mood for an extra thrill sign up for the Underground Paranormal Experience, a 'hands-on, lights off' attraction that provides guests with official paranormal investigation equipment to use to try and contact any of the many unrequited souls underground.