Car-free Tourism in Seattle and Beyond
Here are some suggestions for being a tourist in Seattle and beyond without a car.
Amtrak to Portland, Vancouver, Spokane and California
Why box yourself into a car for hours when you can relax on AMTRAK to so many destinations? Amtrak has multiple trips per day to Portland and Vancouver, BC. These cities have excellent transit systems so you could create an entirely car-free trip. AMTRAK also has direct trains to California and to Spokane and beyond.
Bikes & ferries
Avoid the extra long summer lines for the ferries and just bike aboard. Bikes head to the front of the line and load and unload the ferry first. See the Washington State Bike Map for great bike routes on Kitsap and elsewhere in the state.
Bus it for a park escape
Seattle is blessed with a great park system. Some of our parks feel like they’re far from the city. But you’re in the city, so you can take transit to your escape. Consider Lincoln, Seward, Discovery and Magnuson parks for an in-town getaway. The Seattle Parks website provides information on each park, and Metro Trip Planner will tell you which bus will take you there.
Buses and streetcars and boats, oh my!
If you’re heading for the Center for Wooden Boats on South Lake Union, the Seattle Streetcar can take you there. The streetcar connects at the Westlake Transit Hub to the monorail, many bus routes and LINK light rail. If you visit the Center for Wooden Boats on a Sunday, be sure to sign up for a free boat ride. Kids will love all these different ways to get around.
Sounder daytrip to Tacoma
Sounder commuter trains allow Seattleites to take a day trip to Tacoma on the train. Tacoma’s LINK light rail connects you directly from Sounder to downtown with plenty of sites to fill a daytrip, such as the Washington History Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass. Return on Sounder at the end of the day and don’t worry about traffic on I-5. Depending on your schedule, you may want to take a Sound Transit Express Bus between Seattle and Tacoma for a leg of your trip.
When you need a car: Zipcar in Seattle, Bainbridge, and Portland
Car sharing helps you leave your car at home because you know you have a car available if you really need one. With Zipcars located throughout Seattle, all around Portland and even at the Bainbridge ferry dock, you can confidently give your car a little vacation when you’re playing tourist.