Follow us:

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

April 24, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Portland doubles size of its underground tour

If it’s true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Seattle’s venerable Underground Tour – a hit with tourists seemingly since the day after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 (which it commemorates) — has fans in Portland.

Seattle's Underground Tour shows off a section of old wooden pipe once used to carry the city's water supply. (photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2011)

Seattle’s Underground Tour shows off a section of old wooden pipe once used to carry the city’s water supply. (photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2011)

Portland Walking Tours has just announced  the opening of previously inaccessible subterranean areas in Old Town Portland, accessible only on its historic Underground Portland and spooky Beyond Bizarre walking tours.

The newly-accessible tour space, nearly doubling previous areas open for exploration, is below the historic Merchants Hotel, 222 N.W. Davis St., built in 1880. Currently home of well-known Portland establishments such as Old Town Pizza and the Faux Museum, the building’s below-ground levels are known for tales of hauntings, mysterious deaths and what are called the city’s “Shanghai Tunnels.”

The tunnels, connecting the basements of downtown hotels and bars to the Willamette River, were built in the 1800s to move goods from docked ships to basement storage areas. Legend says people were kidnapped and carried through the tunnels to ships for forced labor or other nefarious purposes, though some historians are dubious the claim holds as much water as the damp basements sometimes do.

But as with Seattle’s Underground Tour, put aside some skepticism about the tour guide’s claims and just go along with the fact that it’s spooky and kind of fun to explore the chilly, dark catacombs beneath a modern city. Especially on a hot day.

0 Comments | Topics: portland, Portland Walking Tours, Seattle Underground Tour

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►