Seattle/Pioneer Square-International District

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Joe Mabel
Pioneer Square is Seattle's oldest neighborhood, showcasing a wealth of art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, cool restaurants, and buzzing nightclubs within easy walking (or free bus) distance of most Downtown Seattle hotels. The classic red brick buildings, cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages are a reminder of life a century ago. Local lore holds that the term "skid row" originated in Pioneer Square, when timber would be slid down Yesler Way to a steam powered mill on the Seattle waterfront. The area sits, from east to west, between 3rd Ave. and the waterfront; and between Downtown proper to the north, and the sports stadiums to the south. The square itself is nothing much, and the people talking about the square are referring to the area.
Just to its east, the International District is the name given to Seattle's Asian neighborhood. It is located southeast of Downtown, loosely bounded by 4th Avenue S. and S. Dearborn Street. While the old Chinatown stops are concentrated around the Interstate 5 freeway, the area to the east is called Little Saigon, centered on 12th and Jackson. From there, going south along Rainier Avenue, the stores transform from Vietnamese to Cambodian, beyond which it slowly merges into South Seattle.

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