Pioneer Square, where Seattle’s founders first settled in 1852, has evolved into one of city’s prettiest downtown neighborhoods. Filled with streets lined with trees and restored Victorian buildings, the area is listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood takes its name from a small triangular cobblestone plaza near the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way, officially known as Pioneer Square Park, and features a bust of Chief Seattle, an ornate pergola, and a totem pole.
During the day, Pioneer Square buzzes with locals and visitors perusing the antique shops and art galleries. When you’re not shopping or marveling at cutting-edge art, you can visit the Seattle Underground, a network of underground passageways and basements that are remnants of the original building here, many of which were destroyed by fire in 1889. If you’re still around in the evening, Pioneer Square’s restaurant, bar, and nightclub scene takes over, making this one Seattle’s hot night spots.
Pioneer Square is located in the southwest corner of downtown Seattle, and is accessible by bus and streetcar. The neighborhood lacks definitive borders, but is bounded roughly by Alaskan Way South on the west, South King Street on the south, 5th Avenue South in the east, and between one and two blocks north of Yesler Way. Nearby is the International District, Waterfront Park, and Union Station.