Washington State Ferries
As much about the journey as the destination, Washington State Ferries take visitors from downtown Seattle (and other ferry terminals along the mainland) to islands such as
Bainbridge, Bremerton, and Vashon. Along the way, you can take photos of the Seattle skyline, keep an eye out for wildlife—it’s not uncommon to spot whales—and enjoy a break from the busy city.
The quaint island destinations offer restaurants, shopping, and options for overnight stays. The regular ferry schedule enables you to spend the afternoon and catch a return ferry or stay as long as you want.
Things to Know Before You Go
Washington State Ferries provide a hassle-free way to explore the islands surrounding Seattle.
You can walk aboard or bring your car.
The ferry cafe offers food and beverages throughout the journey.
There are no reservations for passengers on foot, but you can reserve a spot for your car.
How to Get There
With numerous ferry terminals along the waterfront, it is important to check the route map (found on the Washington State Ferry website) when making plans. The conveniently located downtown Seattle terminal is easy to reach by public transportation. Alternatively, book a tour that picks you up at your accommodations and takes you to the ferry terminal.
When to Get There
Check the ferry schedule to choose a departure time that fits your travel plans. If you plan on driving your car onto the ferry, use the site’s color-coded schedule to find the least congested times to travel. Long lines are common for drive-up passengers.
Visiting Bainbridge Island
The most conveniently located of the ferry destinations, Bainbridge Island is just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, but the atmosphere is a world apart. The natural oasis offers scenic vistas, hiking trails, waterfront dining, wineries, and a relaxed way of life not found in Seattle. If staying overnight, choose from accommodation options ranging from modern hotels to boutique bed and breakfasts.
- Tillicum Village
- Seattle Waterfront
- Waterfall Garden Park
- Seattle Great Wheel
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Seattle Unit
- Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
- Sky View Observatory
- Capitol Hill
- Pioneer Square
- Seattle Chinatown-International District
- Pike Place Market
- Seattle Aquarium
- Original Starbucks
- Hard Rock Cafe Seattle
- T-Mobile Park