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Explore Historic Murals of West Seattle

Seattle, United States

Check local COVID-19 restrictions before booking

Experience hosted by Clay

90 mins
Up to 10 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Discover a treasure trove of Seattle history and cultural significance, in an experience filled with colorful, insider scoop — all hidden in plain sight. We will delve into the larger-than-life depictions of long-gone Seattle history that make up the Murals of West Seattle (and provide particulars about two other murals too distant for this tour).

In this fact-filled adventure, you will get the full story of how these murals were created by civic leaders and a team of world-class artists, discover the tricks of their trade, learn which local luminaries were depicted in various scenarios and myriad behind-the-scenes anecdotes about these unique achievements.

You also will see the inspiring results of the ongoing restoration of these 30-year-old showpieces. In addition, you will glimpse 10 recently installed bronze historical panels. You will come away with an appreciation for how any community can instill pride in its citizenry by telling its foundational stories through public art -- and how West Seattle, known as "the Birthplace of Seattle," serves as an example for us all.
Other things to note
Please come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing, water bottle, and comfortable shoes. This walk takes place rain or shine. If heavy rain is in the forecast close to the tour, we will attempt to reschedule. But a light rain will not detract from our fun if we bring umbrellas!
Discover a treasure trove of Seattle history and cultural significance, in an experience filled with colorful, insider scoop — all hidden in plain sight. We will delve into the larger-than-life depictions of long-gone Seattle history that make up the Murals of West Seattle (and provide particulars about two other murals too distant for this tour).

In this fact-filled adventure, you will get the full story of how these murals were creat…

Clay's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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From $20
/ person
No dates available

Meet your host, Clay

Host on Airbnb since 2019
  • 9 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hi. I’m CLAY, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.

The Murals of West Seattle touch my heart — and the heart of Seattle, revealing how our city and peninsula began and flourished.

My mother was born (in 1923) and raised on this peninsula. I served as editor of the West Seattle Herald (1983-1988) and "West Side Story" history book (1987) and for many years on the board of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and as its executive director.

The Murals of West Seattle project took shape in 1989-1993 and was led by Earl Cruzen, for whom I provided historical photos for world-class artists to use as the basis for their creations. I'm the only one remaining from the core of the project, and I'm proud and passionate about leading tours to share the story of the murals' origin and recent restoration.
Hi. I’m CLAY, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.

The Murals of West Seattle touch my heart — and the heart of Seattle, revealing how our city and peninsula began and flourished.

My mother was born (in 1923) and raised on this peninsula. I served as editor of the West Seattle Herald (1983-1988) and "West Side Story" history book (1987) and for many years on the board of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and as its executive director.

The Murals of We…
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In partnership with Atlas Obscura

Selected by Atlas Obscura
This experience is offered directly by a member of the Atlas Obscura community and has been selected by Atlas Obscura.


Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods. Community members also host their own experiences, providing special access to the world’s hidden wonders, local marvels, and gastronomical wonders.

Where you'll be

For this 90-minute tour, we will start at the Hi-Yu Parade mural at the West Seattle Post Office and walk counter-clockwise through the two square blocks of the West Seattle business district known as the Junction — named for the corner where two lines for the nation's first municipally owned streetcar system intersected more than 110 years ago. We will stop at nine sites along streets, alleys and parking lots to view these massive masterworks.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 9 reviews.

Paulette
March 2020
Excellent history for new residents and visitors provided by Clay who is perfectly enthusiastic and knowledgeable...a West Seattle treasure himself. Even long-time West Seattle residents will locate some wonderful new finds in these historical mural paintings around our junction... And they too may view them with a different appreciation afterwards.
Excellent history for new residents and visitors provided by Clay who is perfectly enthusiastic and knowledgeable...a West Seattle treasure himself. Even long-time West Seattle re…
Lisa
February 2020
This tour is very unique and fascinating! Clay is so kind and passionate. He gave my friend his jacket when he saw her shivering. 10/10 I recommend!
Cj
February 2020
I've lived in West Seattle for 15 years and seen most of the murals we saw repeatedly (I believe there was one I was unfamiliar with, and one I hadn't realized was a mural). It was neat to see them up close and hear stories about how they were created, what they were of, and in one case how it was destroyed. I also enjoyed learning that they're actively being restored; the one we saw that was most recently restored (on the Key Bank) I hadn't noticed had been restored and I go to the Key Bank every month. Clay is an expert in West Seattle's history and made the murals come to life. My companion was unable to go due to illness; I look forward to repeating the walk later this year!
I've lived in West Seattle for 15 years and seen most of the murals we saw repeatedly (I believe there was one I was unfamiliar with, and one I hadn't realized was a mural). It was…
Lynda
February 2020
Delightful time spent in good company learning the historic stories depicted by the murals and the various stories of their creation. Clay is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter.
Quazie
January 2020
This was an amazing tour - i've walked through west seattle a number of times, but little did i know what a wonderful history existed on the very walls in front of me. Totally a worthwhile tour.
Stephanie
January 2020
What a great tour! I've lived in West Seattle for 5 years and I learned about the historical context surrounding these beautiful murals that I never would have known otherwise. I'll never look at them the same way. Clay was welcoming and provided great insight into West Seattle history.
What a great tour! I've lived in West Seattle for 5 years and I learned about the historical context surrounding these beautiful murals that I never would have known otherwise. I'l…

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests of all ages can attend.

What to bring

Weather-appropriate clothing (rain or shine)

Water bottle