Planning a trip to Seattle, Washington
This page is designed to help those first time individual visitors or those planning to bring a group to see Seattle Washington.
Due to Covid-19, there may be restrictions on entering the US and/or Canada. Please visit the country's government website to learn their travel restrictions.
Needless to say you'll need proper ID including a passport, at all entry points, to cross into or out of the United States. From Vancouver British Columbia (Canada) to the US Border takes about an hour, and from the border to Seattle it's just under 2 hours depending on traffic. Border traffic can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Buses must use the bus and truck Pacific Crossing which is located about a mile east of the main crossing - know as the Peace Arch. It's located at the northern end of Interstate 5, and the south end of BC Hwy 99. The bus and truck Pacific Crossing is located on the northern end of State Hwy 543, and the south end of BC Hwy 15. Be sure to use a washroom before arriving at either border crossing. You can't use the custom's restrooms till after you have been processed, and often the US bathrooms are not available at all.
On the US side there is a rest area at Exit 267, the Custer Rest Stop, about 9 miles south of the border on Interstate 5 - Northbound. Vancouver BC and Seattle are about 150 miles / 241 kms apart.
(Remember, in southern Washington State, they also have a 'Vancouver,' named after the same English explorer - Captain George Vancouver. It's located on the Columbia River across from Portland Oregon. Vancouver BC is located north of Seattle.)
If coming into Seattle via SeaTac International Airport, one way to get downtown is via their new rapid transit train called the Link Light Rail. Travel time is about 35 minutes and only costs around $5 per person. If coming in via Amtrak, the King Street Station is located downtown, about a block from where the Seattle Seahawks (football) and the baseball Mariners play. Travel time on the Amtrak to or from Seattle and Vancouver BC is 4 hours, but it's very relaxing and scenic as a lot of the ride is beside the ocean, and you never have to worry about the traffic. Be sure to pay the few extra dollars to ride in the 'Business Class' car. The 'Cascades' train has a small snack bar onboard.
If traveling to or from Vancouver BC by bus, the fastest connection is with Cantrail Coach Lines. No stops are made between the border and the King Street 'Amtrak' Station.
The Victoria Clipper, which takes about 2-hours, comes in from Victoria BC along the downtown Seattle waterfront. During the summer, so do the Alaska bound cruise ships.
Seattle: Things To Consider Seeing
There are plenty of things to see and do in the Emerald City, be sure to check out the various sightseeing companies websites listed below.
The main attractions are: The Seattle Space Needle, The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit (not to be missed), The Underground Tour in Pioneer Square, The Pike Place (public) Market, the waterfront shops and restaurants - including Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the Seattle Center, the Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project - Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Monorail from the Space Needle to the Westlake Center Mall downtown, the Seattle Aquarium, Tillicum Village, the Chittenden Locks, The Museum of Flight, the Boeing Tour, the Art Museum, the Library, the Woodland Park Zoo, Alki Beach in West Seattle and so much more.
- Alki Beach - seattle.gov/parks
- Amtrak - amtrak.com
- Argosy Cruises - argosycruises.com
- Black Ball Ferry - ferrytovictoria.com
- Cantrail Coach Lines - cantrail.com
- Chihuly Garden And Glass - chihulygardenandglass.com
- W State Convention Center - wsctc.com
- Museum of Pop Culture - www.mopop.org
- Gray Line of Seattle - graylineofseattle.com
- Link Light Rail - soundtransit.org
- Pike Place Market - pikeplacemarket.org
- Museum of Flight - museumofflight.org
- Pacific Science Center - pacsci.org
- Seattle Aquarium - seattleaquarium.org
- Seattle Art Museum - seattleartmuseum.org
- Seattle Center - seattlecenter.com
- Seattle Central Library - spl.org
- Seattle Monorail - seattlemonorail.com
- Seattle Space Needle - spaceneedle.com
- SeaTac International Airport - portseattle.org/seatac
- Seattle Tour Saver - seattletoursaver.com
- Seattle Tour Map - tourmap.com
- Smith Tower - smithtower.com
- Sub Seattle Tour - subseattletour.com
- Tacoma Art Museum - tacomaartmusuem.org
- Museum of Glass (Tacoma) - museumofglass.org
- Metro Transit - metro.kingcounty.gov
- Mount Rainier - rainier.guestservices.com
- Quick Coach - quickcoach.com
- Road Travel Info - wsdot.wa.gov/traffic
- Tillicum Village - tillicumvillage.com
- Underground Tour - undergroundtour.com
- Victoria Clipper - victoriaclipper.com
- Washington State Ferries - wsdot.wa.gov/ferries
- Westlake Center Mall - westlakecenter.com
- Woodland Park Zoo - zoo.org