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If you have watched the movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” you might already be in love with Seattle. From its views of the ocean, favourable year-round temperatures, delectable fish markets, and the famous Space Needle that you can see from your plane ride, Seattle is a destination that is perfect any time of the year. The “best” time to visit Seattle depends on what you would like to experience while you are here. For outdoor activities, visit from mid-July – September. If you want to catch the best of the food and wine industry here, then mid-June is better. Pike Place Market, the famous fish market and art gallery, is open year-round. However, late spring, middle of summer, and early fall are all ideal times to see the market.
For direct international flights to Seattle, you can choose between Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Kenmore Air. Other operators that have layovers include United Airlines, WestJet Airlines, American Airlines, Condor, and Icelandair. For cheap flights to Seattle, consider Alaska Airlines, WestJet Airlines, and Air Canada, but realize that you may have several stops depending on where you fly out of in Canada.
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) brings thousands of travellers to the Seattle and Tacoma, Washington cities. It is also a main business travel hub. Therefore, if you travel during the week, you may find the lines for taxis and buses long, because business travellers are competing for a ride too.
Ride share services like Wingz, Uber, and Lyft can all provide you with a ride from SEA to the city centre. These services are booked using the mobile phone app and the fare depends on where you are travelling to, the time of the day, and number of passengers. All ride share pick-ups are in the parking garage in the Ground Transportation Plaza on the 3rd Floor. Look for pickup area Sections I and J.
Taxi services are on the 3rd floor. Approach a taxi stand and request a ride. The flat-rate taxi service costs approximately $35 USD – $40 USD depending on where in the city centre you are going.
You can pre-arrange a limousine pick-up at the airport by using the airport service known as STILA. Book your ride ahead of time by calling 206-243-1811 to avoid long wait times.
The Link Light Rail runs from 5 am – 1 am Monday through Saturday and 6 am – midnight on Sundays. Trains arrive every 6 – 15 minutes. Find the SeaTac/Airport Station on the 4th floor by the parking garage. The fare is $3 USD per person and the trip takes approximately 40 minutes to the city centre.
Shuttle services and courtesy buses are available from hotels in the area. They pick up passengers on the 3rd floor of the parking garage at stations 1 and 3. These services are pre-booked.
All rental car companies at Sea-TAC Airport operate at a separate facility which can be reached by the airport shuttle 24-hours a day. You can find some great deals for car rentals with momondo.
Seattle is public transportation-friendly, and most of the city you can explore while on foot. If you are staying centralized in downtown, then you can walk to most attractions and rely on a few lines for the metro system. If you need to venture further out of the city centre, you will need to use the other public transportation options.
Link Light Rail
The Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail takes you from the University of Washington to Downtown Seattle and includes 14 stops. A one-way fare costs anywhere from $2.25 USD – $3.25 USD.
King County Metro Transit has a bus running from Downtown Seattle to the neighbourhoods of King County. You can use their mobile app to find a route near you and pick-up/drop-off times for the routes. Purchase an all-day regional transit pass for visitors. A day pass costs $8 USD per person from ORCA vending machines and gives you unlimited public transportation on the light rail and buses.
The South Lake Union Streetcar has 11 stops and arrives every 10 – 15 minutes. The First Hill Streetcar has 10 stops running from Chinatown-International District over to Capitol Hill. It departs every 10 – 25 minutes. The fare is $2.25 USD per person for both the lines.
The Seattle Center Monorail goes from Westlake Center to downtown and then over to the base of Queen Anne hill. It operates from 7:30 am – 11:00 pm during the week and 8:30 am – 11:00 pm on the weekends. One-way fares are $2.25 USD per person and keep in mind that the day pass card does not work on the monorail system.
Ride sharing services from Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft are available. Use their smartphone app to schedule a pick-up. The price depends on the distance, vehicle selected, and number of passengers.
Taxi services are also available. You can flag a taxi cab from the curb in downtown. Taxis start at a meter fare of $2.60 USD, and then $2.70 USD per mile. Wait time charges are $0.50 USD per minute.
Canadian citizens can enter the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program, which lets them visit for 90 days or less without requiring a travel visa. A passport is required, and travellers must have an Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval. For foreign nationals, please check the U.S. Department of State website.
Seattle is a business, family, and singles destination, all in one. Regardless of what brought you here, pack your days (and weekends) full of as many of the top attractions as you can. Naturally, you want to prioritize with those that give you the authentic Seattle experience first.
Seattle is the place to be to experience pop culture at its finest. It is also the land of “McDreamy” and “McSteamy” – if you are a “Grey’s Anatomy” fan. Naturally, as a first-time visitor, you want to hit the hyped tourist attractions. Then, you can take your travels under the city. The Underground Tour shows you the nuances of Downtown Seattle and the surly past of the city. Ride out to Bainbridge Island to see how the locals live, then visit Mount Rainier. If you are an avid hiker, you can try to take one of the many trails, but use a guide because it is one of the most dangerous and active volcanoes. The best neighbourhoods to stay in and walk around include Capitol Hill and the port.