As rain clouds form and the smell of coffee whiffs through the air, Seattle tends to look on the bright side of its rather dismal weather disposition. With mountains meeting ocean and skyscrapers, the city is striking even under a gloomy cloud of rain. One of the best ways to understand what makes Seattle great is by going on a tour, generally led by locals with great pride for the Emerald City. Even if you don’t have a big budget, these four free tours in Seattle will give you a vast understanding of the city.
Get Your Cellphone Tour on at the Seattle Public Library
Most libraries tend to frown upon the use of cell phones on site. However, the Seattle Public Library is a bit of a showpiece. Free and self-guided tours of the impressive innovative structure are offered by cell phone. Visitors merely follow the cellphone signs posted around 19 locations in the library. The Seattle Public Library is no snooze; the space is known in town for its award-winning architecture, 10th-floor views of Elliott Bay, and wealth of public art on display. Not to mention, the library is home to over one million books, movies, and music offerings.
Learn About the Core of Seattle on a Seattle Free Walking Tour
For visitors who haven’t spent much time in Seattle, a tour offered by the non-profit organization Seattle Free Walking Tours is right up your alley. The company offers tours that delve into the core of Seattle. The Seattle 101 tour provides an insider’s guide to the city, including some of its icons like Pioneer Square and the Waterfront. The company also runs the Market Experience Tour, a detailed look at Pike Place Market, the oldest running farmer’s market in the country. While both tours are technically free, tips and donations are encouraged.
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Tour and Taste Wine at Chateau Ste Michelle
If you want to make a little day trip outside of Seattle but you don’t want to spend a dime, Chateau Ste Michelle opens up its doors for free wine tours and tastings. Acclaimed for its award-winning wines, Chateau Ste Michelle is also the oldest winery in Washington. The Columbia Valley vineyard sits just 20 miles from Seattle, making it possible to pop in for a free tour and tasting. Guided tours and tastings are offered from 10AM to 5PM, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at winemaking in the premier grape-growing region. Tours conclude with a sampling of the winery’s wines.
Go Behind the Curtain at the Paramount Theater
Even if you can’t catch a show or performance at Seattle’s Paramount Theater, visitors can still go behind the curtain on a free tour every first Saturday of the month. For around 90 minutes, attendees gain an inside look at the historic theater. Originally opened as the Seattle Theater, the Paramount Theater boasts roots in 1928. It was restored in the 1990s, giving it a truly impressive interior structure that’s perfect to catch a play, concert, comedy act, or dance performance.