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“A fun way to be a tourist around Seattle's islands” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Washington State Ferries

Washington State Ferries
2911 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)
206 464 6400
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Ranked #6 of 178 Attractions in Seattle
Type: Ferries/ Boats, Public Transportation Systems, Other
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A fun way to be a tourist around Seattle's islands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Whether you're a local or an out-of-towner, why not take a ferry ride if you're looking for either a fun day trip somewhere, exploring one of the islands that are west of Seattle in the Puget Sound, or maybe just to get out on the water for a little while on a beautiful Pacific Northwest day? The Washington State Ferries offer an easy way to get to one of the islands, with the possibility of perhaps seeing some Orcas swimming about if you're lucky! Travel to Bainbridge, Vashon, or Whidbey Islands, or maybe the San Juans, etc., and have a day or a weekend of water travel.

Rides vary in length based on location, and the prices vary depending on the time of year you travel (summer rates go up in April, about three dollars each way for cars). The ferries are big, holding a huge amount of cars and people, and travel back and forth constantly, so if you miss one, the next is not much of a wait. There are comfortable spaces on board to sit, watch the water, take a nap, relax, read, and eat. The prices for food and drinks are steep, but it's like any tourist attraction in that regard. Tons of seating inside, or you can stay in your car.

The outside decks are nice, but pack a jacket because it can be a warm, sunny day, but once you're on the water, it gets pretty chilly out there. Plenty of tourist info inside with lots of brochures, maps, etc. for you to take; all free. Walk-on is the cheapest way to go, and you only pay going one way. Cars with drivers are a little pricey if you're riding often, but for a one-time trip, it's very reasonable! I have been traveling quite a bit between Bainbridge and Seattle since I'm doing a long-term house sitting job on Bainbridge, and I really do enjoy the ride. That big ol' ferry is smooth, with a nice, low rumble and gentle movement that makes for a nice nap in the car if you choose.

There is a lot to explore on our islands, and it's amazing how many locals never even check them out, so c'mon, why not? You can ride your bike or walk on, take your car, whatever you want. (Note: if you're going to Bainbridge, the Bainbridge Historical Society Museum about a block and a half from the ferry terminal is awesome and very cheap: $4.00! It's packed full of interesting Bainbridge info, and the older folks who are docents there are full of helpful, friendly information...living history right there. Plus, it's free on the first Thursday of the month!).

Ride the ferry. Meet others on board for a friendly way to pass the time. Go explore an island. Find some natural beauty you didn't know existed! You can get more information, and also check schedules and fares at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries!

Visited May 2014
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Seattle
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Inexpensive, Scenic, Fun With Treasure at The End!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Sometimes the local transpiration system in a city offers some of the best views and value for visitors yet is often overlooked. From the waterfront in Seattle, leave the Washington State Ferries taking people to the Kitsap Peninsula across the sound, specifically Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. This is one of the largest ferry systems in North America, safe, efficient and fun! I will recommend you take the 35 minute ride to Bainbridge Island where you can easily walk from the ferry dock there to the small but fantastic downtown area. But back to the ferry for a moment. These are called "Ultra Jumbo Ferries" and have four levels, two for cars, a main passenger deck inside and upper solarium deck on top. they can carry up to 215 cars and 3,000 people so you can walk on or drive your car. Caution cars often wait up to several hours in the summer due to crowding and the ferry systems tacks on a surcharge for the summer upping the price. You pay for the car and driver going to and from Bainbridge, passengers pay only in Seattle for the round trip. Views of Puget Sound are amazing and great shots of Mt. Rainier. Nice galley for coffee or a snack. Now back to Bainbridge. This bedroom community of about 22,500 people was discovered about 20 years ago as one of the best keep secrets in America and has grown tremendously since, including a very charming 3-4 block downtown full of shops and places to eat. During the summer there is a really neat farmers market which you will love. Some highly rated restaurants include Hitchcocks, Four Swallows and San Carlos, the first two I urge reservations for. Try the Streamliner Diner for breakfast, also busy in summers. You can browse the new art museum, rent a kayak or paddle boat in Eagle Harbor just to name a few activities. If you drive check out the famous Bloedel reserve,
Faye Bainbridge Park and the quaint farm store Bay Hay and Feed. You will not be disappointed by taking a ferry ride, part of the local color and culture in a water based city. Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you want to know more, I love playing tour guide here!

Visited April 2014
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U.S.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great get away”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

When you walk on, it is very reasonable. A nice day trip to another port. Spend the day shopping or just go for lunch and return. They are usually on time and great views and a pleasant ride.

Visited February 2014
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Raglan, Monmouthshire, Wales, United Kingdom
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6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
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“Cheapest AND best tour of Puget Sound”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We love the Washington State Ferry - especially the Bremerton run. Puget Sound never disappoints regardless of the weather. And if you are on foot - you only pay one way (and it is cheap). A great way to see Seattle from the water. An extra added bonus is to drop in to Anthony's Home Port next to Bremerton Port for a snack/drink/dinner -- glorious!

Visited May 2014
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Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The best ferry ride is to the San Juan Islands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

The reason this ride is the best is first of all - it is a nice long ride on usually quiet and somewhat sheltered sea. The ferry weaves in and out among islands and it is quiet and peaceful. Sure, the ferry to Bremerton offers a beautiful view of Seattle, but it is over in a few minutes - but I do recommend that also for visitors. If you plan to get off the ferry for a short visit without a car, I recommend Friday Harbor - nice little town right off the ferry. But Orcas is great for car or bicycling.

Visited December 2013
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