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Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

Fremont, California
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Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

My husband, I , our 6 year old and our parents will be staying at the Mayflower park on 24 & 25 July and want to visit the Locks and Museum of Flight on one of the days. What would be the most economical way to see both one the same day ?

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

You can take the bus to each of them, but at $2.25 per adult per bus trip, with 4 adults and at least 3 trips, you might want to just rent a car for the day. You would save a TON of time.

Ketchikan
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2. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

You are talking about two places at opposite ends of a sprawling city. Transit time from downtown to MOF by bus is about an hour door to door, plus the time to see the museum. Then when you finally get back downtown, you have another 40 minute bus ride out to the locks in Ballard. Do you really want to spend more than three hours on a bus in one day? I've taken a six year old boy both places and they are child friendly but do not have attractions for children if you know what I mean. Seattle Center, the zoo, the aquarium and even Pikes Market or the Seattle Art Museum are bigger hits in our house with young kids.

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3. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

I would reemphasize the same point made above. You are probably looking at 35-40 minutes from downtown to MoF by bus, then a few hours at the museum. With a transfer you are looking at about an hour and a half to the locks. Then a couple hours at the locks. Then another 30 minutes or so back downtown depending on the route. It is going to be a long day going north and south in the same day.

If you are going to do it I think it would be worth a little extra money to rent a car for the day. You are looking at $9 for 4 off peak adult one-way one-zone tickets (plus your 6 y.o. is $1.25). So about $10.25 to get down to the MoF and about the same back (on onward to Ballard). Then another $10.25 to get from Ballard back to downtown. You can get a one day rental for not much more but you aren't going to be able to rent for a day from the downtown locations for that price. From the close locations to downtown you are probably looking at $70.

Having a car will save you time and will also enable you to have some other options. For example in Ballard you could go to Golden Gardens beach, stay for dinner in Ballard perhaps without worrying about late buses, or combine a Ballard trip with a visit to the Fremont neighborhood.

Consider going to the locks (which open at 7am) first thing and then heading down to the Museum of Flight (which opens at 10am) to maximize efficiency. Of course ending the day in Ballard would allow you to spend more time seeing the neighborhood and having dinner there.

-K

Edited: 8:36 pm, July 22, 2013
Fremont, California
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4. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

Hi rainbirdreader,

We do plan to go to the Seattle Center / Space Needle , Science Museum on the previous day.

I might have to bite the bullet and just rent a minivan or SUV for the day.

Fremont, California
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5. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

I checked the closest car rental location to Mayflower Park and it will cost me $ 100 + to rent an SUV or minivan for a day. Would you think it justifies the expense if I get to visit both these places in a day ? I dont think I can travel 3 hours in a bus with my 6 yr old .

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

Yikes! Do you need a SUV/van. Won't a typical 5 seat vehicle work?

What did you plan to do/see on the Seattle center day? I was thinking you could split the Ballard locks off and do that (using bus) before or after the Seattle Center. Then do MoF by bus the next day...

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

Other ideas include a cab for the trip to Ballard before or after Seattle Center orb potentially a ride share. I have to look into details on those.

Edited: 9:19 am, July 23, 2013
Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

I looked into ridesharing. At the moment it has ambiguous legality and I haven't done it. Therefore I can't recommend it. Here is an article you might want to look at though which discusses the issue and the major players.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021206141_ridesharingappsxml.html\

I was thinking about the idea of going to the locks early or late and the grounds and salmon ladder viewing area open at 7am and close at 9pm and 8:45pm respectively. Vessel traffic is going through the locks 24/7 but you never know how many or what type of boats will be going through at any particular time. The visitor center is open 10am to 6pm daily May to September. The visitor center/museum, gardens, grounds, locks and ladder are free. Tours that are offered are also free.

…army.mil/Missions/…ChittendenLocks.aspx

If you took an early bus to Ballard before or after your Seattle Center visit, R/T that is going to run about $20.50 for the five of you (off peak) or $22.50 peak. Peak hours are Monday to Friday 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

http://metro.kingcounty.gov/fares/

This has information on paying fares by cash or ORCA and also has a trip planner.

Then the next day it is going to be the same r/t cost for your group to take the bus to MoF.

It occurred to me that your parents might be 65 or older but reduced senior fares of $.75 technically require a regional reduced fare permit. Maybe other posters can weigh in on whether or not that is enforced by drivers.

Cab fare from the Mayflower to Ballard is $2.50 drop. Mileage is 2.70 per mile. It is about 6.2 miles (give or take a couple tenths of a mile depending on route) so mileage will run about $16.74. Then there is a per passenger charge of .50 for each passenger over 2 (excluding minors). So add $1.00 for three extra passengers. I am estimating $20.24.

Waiting time is $.50 per minute. That is kind of a wild card. This could be a concern during rush hour where traffic down Denny and along Elliott/15th is high. If you hit the Ballard bridge you will also likely be looking at a wait of potentially 5 minutes or more (depending on the time the bridge takes to fully raise and fully lower and the time it takes traffic to start moving).

If you tip around 15% that is $3. So maybe $23-34 for the ideal unimpeded trip.

If you took a cab from Seattle Center after visiting a few attractions there, it is about 5.5 miles to the locks from the Space Needle so mileage will be $14.85. WIth drop and two extra passengers you are looking at $18.35 or so plus tip (again that is the ideal with no waiting time).

Hope that helps

-K

Fremont, California
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9. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

I am not sure why I was only considering a minivan or SUV...hmmm. I can most definitely rent a 5 seater car.

Washington
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10. Re: Economical way to vist Locks & Museum of Flight ?

Well, I ran a quick search for your dates, and cars, in the downtown area, were all around $100. Enterprise, on Westlake had a vehicle for around $78, but with taxes, it was $95+.

As others have suggested, why don't you just take a cab? Transportation is just expensive, and while the bus is a possibility, I too, would not enjoy the travel time. Sometimes convenience is worth the cost. While I very much enjoy Ballard, the Locks, but do take into consideration how much time you will spend there. As klsalas suggested, if you go, perhaps incorporate dinner into your plans.

One other thought - have you considered the Locks Cruise with Argosy? Yes, it will be more expensive, but it is a way to experience the Locks, and by the time you rent a car, etc...And they frequently have coupons, online, Goldstar, AAA, etc. It may not fit your plan, but I thought I would mention the option: argosycruises.com/sightseeing-cruises/…