Neighborhood History Tours

Join expert guides and take a tour of your favorite Seattle Neighborhood—or discover a new favorite!

Pre-registration is required for all tours. In the description of each tour, please click on the dates to register.


South Lake Union: Extreme Makeover Edition

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The South Lake Union neighborhood is constantly changing, but it's always been a place of discovery, innovation, and big ideas. Join MOHAI and SAF in an exploration of historical and architectural stories that narrate how this neighborhood is dramatically changing to meet the needs of a growing city.

Note: New route for 2014!

Dates & Times: Saturdays, July 12, August 9, and September 13, 10am - 12pm
Meet at:
Carroll's Clock outside MOHAI, 860 Terry Ave. N
Cost: MOHAI & SAF Members $15; General $20


Historic Ballard Avenue Tour

Old Ballard Ave Image

Walk around Ballard today and you might not recognize it as one of Seattle's earliest, blue collar neighborhoods. But take a closer look and there are still lots of buildings that point to Ballard's historic past. Join MOHAI's tour guide as he meanders through the Ballard Avenue Landmark District sharing architectural highlights and the dynamic history of old Ballard.

Dates & Times: Wednesday, July 9, 6 - 8pm and Saturday August 2, 10am - 12pm
Meet at:
Bergen Place, corner of NW Market Street and 22nd Avenue NW
Cost: MOHAI Members $15; General $20


40 Years of P-Patch: From Uptown to Belltown

Belltown P-Patch

This year, Seattle's P-Patch program is celebrating 40 years of community gardening. Join gardening author Bill Thorness on a walk that connects community gardens old and new, and explores the evolving nature of our parks, starting with the new UpGarden P-Patch and traversing to the tucked away Belltown garden.

Note: This is a 2-mile walk with some hills. The elevator at the Mercer Street Parking Garage does not go to the top floor, requiring a short flight of stairs.

Dates & Times: Saturday, July 12, 1 - 3pm and Wednesday, August 13, 6 - 8pm
Meet at:

UpGarden P-Patch, 300 Mercer Street (top level of Mercer Street
Parking Garage at Seattle Center

Cost: MOHAI Members $15; General $20


The Future of Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood: Water, Progress, and Conflict

mapleleaf watertower

When Seattle Parks and Seattle Utilities decided to cover the Maple Leaf reservoir, they hit a home run: a beautiful, innovative park. So why are some North Seattle residents fuming? Join Historian Roger van Oosten on an informative, insightful and fun tour of the Maple Leaf reservoir park and neighboring environs. You'll discover the sometimes awkward, sometimes progressive and sometimes successful collision of growing density, open spaces and neighborhood rights.

Dates & Times: Saturday, July 26, 10am - 12pm and Wednesday August 6, 6 - 8pm
Meet at:
Corner of NE 82nd Street and 14th Ave NE
Cost: MOHAI Members $15; General $20


Forward Thrust and Seattle's Freeway Park

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In the midst of a crippling economic downturn, Seattle launched a bold, daring and innovative series of ballot initiatives designed to greatly expand the city's open spaces, parks and civic infrastructure. Key to the success of Forward Thrust was the creation of a downtown park. Join Historian Roger van Oosten for a fun, insightful tour of Freeway Park, neighboring areas and the Convention Center. Learn about how forward thinking citizens made Forward Thrust a success.

Note: Tour price includes parking fee at the WAC garage (1409 6th Ave)

Dates & Times: Wednesday, July 30, 6 - 8pm and Saturday August 16, 10am - 12pm
Meet at:
Washington Athletic Club Lobby, 1325 6th Avenue
Cost: MOHAI Members $15; General $20


Boat Tour: Fashionable Seattleites and the Water

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Seattle is a city of people in and around the water, and our relationship to water has influenced what we wear. Join vintage fashion expert Mary Lewis and MOHAI's costume and textile specialist Clara Berg for a tour of Lake Union with stories of style and practicality—from raincoats to swimsuits, yachting parties to Naval service, and creative designers making everything from gowns to blue jeans.

Note: Boarding begins at 10:30 am. Boat leaves promptly at 11 am. Feel free to bring your lunch on board (no glass please), or simply enjoy a Mimosa from Argosy's cash bar. Please wear appropriate shoes and plan to arrive early to find parking.

Dates & Times: Saturday August 23, 11am - 1pm
Meet at:
Argosy AGC Marina, 1200 Westlake Ave N
Cost: MOHAI Members $25; General $30 (Advance tickets ONLY for this tour)