A sprawling urban expanse with a beautiful coastal location and favorable year-round temperatures, Seattle is a chic city that offers an active outdoor lifestyle. The city experiences somewhat overcast and cloudy weather all year round and its peak tourist season is from June – August. Average summer temperatures hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and hotel prices and flight fares soar during this time. The city is also abuzz with hectic tourist activity due to the Alaskan cruise season, as most ships operate via the Port of Seattle. For sunny days, pleasant temperatures, and less crowds, visit in spring, around April – May, or in the fall months from September – October. From November – March the weather is wet and cold, with average temperatures of 35 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Seattle offers plenty of indoor activities and attractions, as well as white, powdery slopes for winter sports lovers.
All major U.S. carriers operate non-stop, domestic flights to Seattle. You can choose from Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Virgin America, Frontier Airlines, Kenmore Air, jetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines. Other airlines serving Seattle include British Airways, ANA, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian, Volaris, Icelandair, and Air France.
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), also called the Sea-Tac Airport is approximately 13 miles from Downtown Seattle. You have several transportation options to travel from SEA to the city center.
The Link Light Rail runs from 5:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6:00 a.m. – midnight on Sundays. Trains arrive every 6 – 15 minutes and the one-way fare is $3.00 USD. The SeaTac/Airport Station is connected to the 4th floor of the parking garage and the train reaches the 4 stations in Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel in less than 40 minutes.
Taxis, ride-share and limousines
Taxi stands are on the 3rd floor of the airport parking garage. The flat-rate taxi service costs approximately $35.00 USD – $40.00 USD depending on your exact city center location. Ride-share services such as Wingz, Uber and Lyft are also available from SEA to the city center. Pickup location for ride-share services is Section I and J of the 3rd floor Ground Transportation Plaza. You can also get limousine services at the airport through STILA. To book your ride, use the interactive Travelers’ Information Board touchscreens, or curbside phones, or go to the Ground Transportation Booth on the 3rd floor of the parking garage.
Shuttle services and courtesy buses are offered by hotels around the airport area. They pick up passengers on the 3rd floor of the parking garage at stations 1 and 3. These services are pre-booked.
All rental car companies at Sea-TAC Airport operate at a separate facility which can be reached by the airport shuttle 24-hours a day. You can also find attractive deals on car rentals with momondo.
Seattle is a large metropolis with a compact downtown area that is home to many of the major tourist attractions. If your accommodation is located in Downtown Seattle, you can explore many of the popular sights on foot. To get around to other parts of the city, you will need to rely on some mode of transportation. The city is notorious for traffic jams, so public transport may be a more efficient way to travel.
Link Light Rail
Sound Transit operates Link light rail that connects the University of Washington to Downtown Seattle and includes 14 stops along the way. Trains run every 6 – 15 minutes and one-way fares range from $2.25 USD – $3.25 USD.
King County Metro Transit operates buses in Downtown Seattle as well as the neighboring King County. Fares range from $2.50 USD – $3.25 USD based on the time of day and zones traveled. An ORCA regional day pass costing $8.00 USD per person, allows unlimited use of light rail and buses for a period of 24 hours.
There are 2 main streetcar routes in the city. The South Lake Union Streetcar has 11 stops and arrives every 10 – 15 minutes. The First Hill Streetcar operates from Chinatown-International District over to Capitol Hill and has 10 stops in between. Streetcars run every 10 – 25 minutes. The fare is $2.25 USD per person for both the lines.
The Seattle Center Monorail goes from Westlake Center to downtown and then over to the base of Queen Anne hill. One-way fares are $2.25 USD per person.
Taxis and ride sharing
Taxis are easily available throughout the city and you can flag one down from the curb, especially in downtown. The meter starts at $2.60 USD followed by $2.70 USD per mile with a wait time charge of $0.50 USD per minute. Ride sharing services from Uber and Lyft are also easily available through their mobile-based app.
With an excellent oceanside location, opportunities for year-round outdoor activities, a thriving arts scene, and delectable fish and farm markets, Seattle caters to a wide range of travelers. For an authentic Seattle experience try to include some of these activities in your itinerary.
Discover the city under the city
Book the Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, a 75-minute guided walking tour to discover subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889. The tour begins beneath Doc Maynard’s Public House, then spills into Pioneer Square, before plunging underground for an exclusive, time-capsule view of the buried city.
Invest in a Seattle CityPASS
Pick up a Seattle CityPASS priced at $79.00 USD per adult and $59.00 USD per child (ages 4 – 12) to get significant savings and easy access to several popular sights and attractions.