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How To Get Around: Seattle


We talk a lot about sustainability on our tours, from avoiding single-use plastic as much as possible to highlighting the walkability of our cities across the nation. But we wanted to help our travelers get in on the sustainability game by offering them a helpful resource outside of the few hours we spend with them on tour. This year, we’ll be posting our How To Get Around series to help you navigate each of our WeVenture cities by public transport, on wheels, and even on foot. To start off our series, we’ll be heading to the upper left corner of the U.S. in Seattle, Washington!

Airport to City

Getting from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to downtown isn’t only stress-free but also a little scenic. Once you’ve claimed your luggage, head to the 4th floor and cross the skybridge to the parking garage level, all the while following signs for the Link light rail. You can buy a one-way Link ride at one of the ticket machines, or, if you plan on using public transportation throughout your stay, consider buying an ORCA card, which you can continue to load up as you go. If you have a reliable smartphone, Transit GO Ticket app is going to be your best friend: you can add fare at any time directly to the app and activate when ready to board at any bus, light rail, or streetcar stop.

Outside the light rail station in Capitol Hill neighborhood

By Train

While the Link light rail can get you to and from Sea-Tac Airport, there are some major stops along the way you might want to check out.

SODO — This area “south of downtown” has become a major hub for nightclubs, great restaurants and bars, and cannabis dispensaries.

University District — University of Washington attracts students from all over the world, and its food scene reflects this diversity. Take the light rail to U-District station, where you’ll be in the heart of it all, from bubble tea to Korean kimchi. Just a short walk away is the gorgeous University of Washington campus, boasting buildings of varying architecture styles, most notably the gothic Suzzallo and Allen Libraries.

Capitol Hill — Cap Hill welcomes all to its bevvy of boutique shops, cafes, and excellent restaurants and cocktail bars. Jump off the rail at the Capitol Hill station on Broadway, where you’ll find classic burger joint Dick’s, nearby Cal Anderson Park, and every cuisine imaginable from Argentinian to Vietnamese. You might also happen to come across famous guitarist Jimmy Hendrix, or at least a cast of the legend in his iconic rock pose. Oh, and this just happens to be the meeting point for our Seattle Coffee Culture Tour!

Fremont’s Center of the Universe signpost, with handy directions to the nearby Fremont Troll and slightly farther Machu Picchu

By Bus

Fremont — With the city’s handy Transit GO Ticket app, you can easily purchase tickets prior to boarding any Seattle public transportation, including its vast network of bus lines. Hop on board to any stop along N 36th Street in Fremont, where you’ll figuratively find yourself in the Center of the Universe. This neighborhood is home to some pretty funky outdoor art, from rocketships and planets to a colossal, and somewhat controversial, statue of Vladimir Lenin.

Ballard — A little farther along, you’ll find the neighborhood of Ballard, once heavily influenced by Scandinavian immigrants. Here, you can learn about the area’s roots at the National Nordic Museum, while nearby, you can enjoy a picnic on the grounds of the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden, overlooking the Ballard Chittenden Locks. Keep an eye out for seals enjoying a bubble bath below the spillway, and be sure to go down below the locks to watch salmon swim up the fish ladder during spawning season.

Discovery Park — Just across Salmon Bay, you’ll find the 534-acre Discovery Park, once the site of the U.S. Army’s Fort Lawton and now a beautiful public park with over 11 miles of walking trails. You’ll forget you’re still in the city as you walk beneath towering Western red cedars and hemlocks.

Seattle streetcar along Yesler Way, heading from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill

By Streetcar

Pioneer Square + Capitol Hill — To combine two significant Seattle neighborhoods in one day, you can take the First Hill Streetcar, ascending uphill from Pioneer Square all the way to Capitol Hill. In the former neigborhorhood, you’ll discover the early history of the city, most of the brick buildings here having been built after the destructive 1889 fire. You’ll also find plenty of excellent bars, including the Central Saloon, a dive bar where Nirvana and a number of other famous Seattle bands performed.

View of Puget Sound and islands from Alki Beach Park in West Seattle

By Bike or Scooter

SLU Path to Burke-Gilman Trail — Hugging the shoreline of South Lake Union (SLU), this bicycle and pedestrian path offers a car-free experience that connects you from downtown all the way to the Fremont neighborhood and beyond. Once you’ve crossed the Fremont bridge, you can connect to the Burke-Gilman Trail: going westward, you can pedal your way up to Disovery Park, passing by the Ballard Chittenden Locks, whereas heading in the easterly direction will take you to the University of Washington campus and neighborhood.

West Seattle — If you’re looking for a bike ride with incredible city skyline and Puget Sound views, hop on the Elliot Bay Trail along the waterfront, snaking all the way south to the West Seattle Bridge Trail. Once across the Duwamish River, you’ll connect to the trail along Harbor Ave SW, providing a car-free experience all the way around the tip of West Seattle, where you can stop for some lunch, relax at the beach, and seek out the curious Statue of Liberty statue at Alki Beach Park.