Modes of transportation: Bus (BoltBus, Amtrak, Greyhound or Quick Shuttle) or train (Amtrak), walking and public transit
Length of time: Approximately 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours each way depending on the mode of transportation and your luck at the border crossing
Transportation cost: Anywhere from approximately $20-$135 per person round-trip depending on whether you take the bus or train and how far you book in advance
As most Vancouverites know, Seattle is an easy car-free weekend trip. There is no shortage of transportation options between the two cities. In July, Kevin and I travelled there by the relatively new BoltBus express service between Vancouver and Seattle.
We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the journey. The train is the environmentally-friendly choice and is certainly more comfortable, but BoltBus is cheap and (for us, at least) has a better schedule. As you’ll learn if you take BoltBus, prices fluctuate depending on your luck and how early you buy your bus ticket. Our trip cost us $28.00 return per ticket.
BoltBus provides friendly and helpful drivers, seatbelts, a washroom and (slow) WiFi, and will transport unboxed bicycles if there is space in the compartments under the coach. There is no additional charge for travelling with a bicycle if it’s your only piece of baggage under the coach, but be warned that bike reservations aren’t possible and space isn’t guaranteed.
We spent the first day of our weekend holiday walking around the city, which is a great way to see some of Seattle’s charming neighbourhoods. We started downtown with breakfast at Pike Place Market and then walked all the way to Ballard via Queen Anne and Fremont.
Fremont is one of our favourite places to visit in Seattle. We never tire of the neighbourhood’s fun art, which includes a statue of Lenin, a large troll under a bridge, Waiting for the Interurban, and other works.
When we stopped in Fremont on our recent visit we were pleased to stumble upon the Westcoast Kickball League 2012 Championship, which was both competitive and highly entertaining to watch.
The entertainment continued when we reached Ballard, a historic neighbourhood with an abundance of beautiful brick buildings and great food and shopping. In Ballard we ran into a Christmas in July event and found Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses and elves all along Market Street.
Ballard treated us to a relaxing late afternoon and early evening. We enjoyed good tea and a too-long Scrabble game at Miro Tea and topped off our time in the neighbourhood with a delicious vegetarian Vietnamese dinner at Monkey Bridge Restaurant.
We departed Ballard on a city bus, which arrived promptly and got us to our transfer point perfectly on time so that we could immediately hop on another bus travelling to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood. We wrapped up the day at the Elliott Bay Book Company, which is probably our favourite bookstore after Powell’s in Portland.
We spent the Sunday of our Seattle weekend at Pike Place Market and a Mariners baseball game. We watched an exciting game and the tickets were very reasonably priced at about $13 apiece.
I hope it won’t be too long before we return to Seattle.