Kids of all ages agree: When in doubt, add a ride on a water taxi, streetcar, ferry or monorail to your day’s itinerary. Check out these fun ways to get around and tour the Emerald City.
Views, space to run, Ivar’s clam chowder — a Washington State ferry ride is a mini-getaway in itself ($4–$8 for passengers; ages 5 and under, free). Ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, where you can visit museums, eat lunch and play on the waterfront — all within a short walk. Or take the hour-long ferry to the Bremerton waterfront, for a tour of a naval warship and play time at Harborside Fountain Park.
Argosy offers a variety of family-friendly tours on Puget Sound, including a popular cruise to Tillicum Village on Blake Island, which includes a salmon bake and Coast Salish performances. Prices vary; the one-hour Harbor Cruise is part of CityPass.
3. Water taxi
A 77-foot catamaran that you catch at Pier 50 in downtown Seattle, the King County Water Taxi is high on the thrill- per-dollar charts ($2–$5.50; ages 5 and under, free). Take it to West Seattle’s Seacrest Park or, for more of a getaway, ferry to Vashon Island, with bikes in tow (weekdays only).
Want to tour Seattle’s attractions and lesser-known gems at your own pace? Try Emerald City Trolley, a newer operator that runs hop-on/hop-off city tours of Seattle on open-air buses designed to look like trolleys (April 19 –Sept. 28, range of prices).
The Seattle Streetcar ($1.25–$2.25; ages 5 and under, free) is your ticket to fun in the very happening neighborhood of South Lake Union, offering a scenic ride from downtown. 6.
This legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle ($1–$2.25; ages 4 and under, free) whisks you from Westlake Center and downtown thrills to Seattle Center’s theaters, spray fountain and good grub in two minutes flat.
Departing from Westlake Center and Seattle Center, these informative, hilarious open-air bus tours ($1–$28) include a guide who narrates with jokes, music and funky dancing, and a cruise on Lake Union.
8. Light rail and bus
Completed in 2008, Sound Transit’s Link light-rail system travels above and below ground from SeaTac Airport to Westlake Center, moving through some of Seattle’s most interesting neighborhoods. It’s integrated with the King County Metro bus system, which gets you exactly where you need to go (fares for each range from $1.25–$3; ages 5 and under, free). Tip: RapidRide buses are so frequent you don’t need a schedule.
9. Walking tour
Seattle has an extensive system of bike lanes and paths, including its flagship 18.8-mile Burke-Gilman Trail. Find bike maps at local shops and online at seattle.gov.
If a tour is more your speed, wheel over to Seattle Cycling Tours.
MORE SEATTLE ADVENTURES:
- Seattle family adventure guide
- What to eat in Seattle
- 5 Seattle insider tips
- 5 nearby urban adventures
- Amazing Seattle adventure giveaways