The Seattle Water Taxi has returned…spring must be here!
Even though the weather isn’t convincing, you know spring is here: The Seattle water taxi is running! This year, the Metro Transit water taxi began on April 5th. The Rachel Marie, a 77’ catamaran, is new to this run. She formerly was used for the Bremerton/Seattle foot ferry, and holds 150 passengers, as well as 18 bicycles.
For a mere $3.00 ORCA holders leave Pier 50 (at the foot of Yesler Street) in Seattle, landing at Seacrest Park in West Seattle. (Pier 50 is just south of the State Ferry Terminal, which is Pier 52). The 10 minute run takes you to the Seacrest Park Dock, a block north of the famous Salty’s restaurant. The skyline of Seattle is breathtaking, as well as the view of Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, and (on a really clear day) Mt. Baker in the distant north. Be sure to take your camera!
Once you arrive at Seacrest Park, hop on the free Metro shuttle van #775. It will be waiting for you when you get off the ferry. This van will take you up the steep hill to the lovely Admiral district of West Seattle. The van winds back down Admiral Way, and intersects with Alki Avenue SW. Get off the van here. The Alki lighthouse is almost in view, to your left (west). The wonderful Mexican-southwest restaurant, Cactus!, is on your right (2820 Alki). Definitely worthy of a lunch stop! Try their Butternut Squash Enchilada: Crispy white corn tortillas with Jack and goat cheese, sauted spinach, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, mole and guacamole. Yum. Makes me hungry thinking about it!
After lunch, stroll down Alki Avenue. On your way back towards the ferry dock, you can windowshop, and/or join in with the dogs/strollers/roller bladers along the promenade. The Alki Beach scene is unique in Seattle. Volleyball nets are set up during the summer. There are benches and a fishing dock along the way. A small version of the Statue of Liberty finds a home here. Charming bungalows are tucked among new modern condominiums. This is a fun area to stroll! Did I mention the views?
This ferry runs seven days a week. Generally, the ferry leaves Seattle (Pier 50) at 30 minutes after the hour. The ferry leaves the West Seattle (Seacrest) dock ON the hour. There are exceptions, so check the schedule at: www.kingcounty.gov/transportation
Have you gotten your ORCA card yet? NO?! This run is another good reason to get one! If you have an ORCA card, this run costs $3.00. If you pay cash, the run will cost you $3.50. Get your ORCA card at: www.ORCA.com
Want more ideas of what else to do in the neighborhood?
- Bus to the Fauntleroy ferry: At Seacrest Park (West Seattle side), take the free Metro shuttle #773 to the West Seattle Junction. From the Junction, catch Metro bus #54 which takes you to the Fauntleroy Ferry dock. This is the ferry that takes you to Vashon Island. Lincoln Park is north of the ferry dock, a wonderful picnic place. For more information, see the February 13, 2010 “Vashon Island: A Pleasant time traveler journey” adventure on the Rebels-by-bus blog.
- Free waterfront streetcar: Route 99 of the Waterfront Streetcar runs along Alaskan Way, and right in front of Pier 50. Travelling north on this line you come close to the free Seattle Art Museum “Olympic Sculpture Park”, located at 2901 Western Avenue. Travelling south (and east) the Streetcar goes to the edge of the International district/Chinatown.
- Pioneer Square: Follow Yesler Way (from the Seattle ferry Pier 50) to Pioneer Square. See the February 12, 2010 “Seattle’s Gold Rush History” adventure on the Rebels-by-bus blog for more information.
P.S. In past years, the Water Taxi stops this run at the end of October. Metro says that if they have enough riders, they will continue this run year around. Spread the word… take your out-of-town summer guests…try this fun run!