Have you ever been on a ferry? Well, I hadn't until I moved to Washington. Over the past month I have taken three "weekend warrior" road trips via ferry to three different islands in the Puget Sound. With that in mind, it seemed like a good time for a ferry blog post.
Around here ferries are a primary mode of transportation, just like planes, trains, and automobiles! There are so many islands off the coast of mainland WA. Some islands are connected by bridges, but many are only accessible by ferry. The ferries fill a vital connection for people living on the islands to commute to Seattle and mainland Washington (as well as for weekend warriors, like me, to escape).
To board a ferry you can walk on, bicycle on, or drive your vehicle on. To date, I've ridden my bike on (1x) and driven my car on (6x). I continue to be enamored with the concept of boarding a ferry and exploring an island only accessible by boat. Here is a summary of the ferry routes I have taken to date, along with a few pictures/videos of the experiences.
Seattle - Bainbridge Island
The Seattle to Bainbridge ferry was my first ferry ride (and that was by bike actually). This is the most easily accessible and touristy of the ferry options. The ~45 minute ferry ride offers amazing views of the Seattle skyline and harbor, not to mention the Olympic mountain range and Mount Rainier on a clear day.
Anacortes - Orcas Island
Roughy 1.5 hours north of Seattle, the Anacortes ferry route is your ticket to the San Jan Islands, a archipelago off the Washington coast. From Anacortes you can sail to Lopez Island, Orcas Island, Shaw Island, San Jan Island, and even Victoria Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Fauntleroy - Vashon Island
This ~20 minute ferry route, southwest of Seattle, will have you on an island in no time! On a clear day enjoy views of the Olympic mountain range and Mount Rainier from the boat deck.
Mukilteo - Clinton
This ~30 minute ferry route connects the south end of Whidbey Island to mainland Washington, north of Seattle. Any time I take a day trip to Whidbey Island I like to drive to the north end of the island, connected by bridge, and make my way back south to Clinton to catch the ferry home.
Edmonds - Kingston
Take this ferry route for the most direct travel, from just north of Seattle, to the northern half of the Olympic Peninsula. Time-wise, it is really not any faster than driving around the Puget Sound. But at least you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the views!