Getting Here and Around
The major gateway is Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA), known locally as Sea-Tac. The airport is south of the city and reasonably close to it—non-rush-hours trips to Downtown sometimes take less than a half hour. Sea-Tac is a midsize, modern airport that is usually pleasant to navigate. You can take Sound Transit's Link light-rail (www.soundtransit.org), which will take you right to Downtown or beyond in 35 minutes for just $3.
Biking is a popular but somewhat tricky endeavor, thanks to a shortage of safe bike routes and some daunting hills. Walking is fun, though distances and rain can sometimes get in the way. Several neighborhoods—from Pioneer Square to Downtown, or from Belltown to Queen Anne, for example—are close enough to each other that even hills and moisture can't stop walkers.
The bus system will get you anywhere you need to go, although some routes require a time commitment and several transfers. Within the Downtown core, however, the bus is efficient and affordable. Another option for public transport is the bright red streetcars that connects Downtown to South Lake Union and Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill.
Access to a car is almost a necessity if you want to explore the residential neighborhoods beyond their commercial centers, but parking can cost upwards of $50 per night in the urban center. Alternatives like Car2Go, Lyft, or Uber are great options, and many high-end hotels offer complimentary town-car service around Downtown and the immediate areas.
Ferries are a major part of Seattle's transportation network, and they're the only way to reach Vashon Island and the San Juans. You'll get outstanding views of the skyline and the elusive Mt. Rainier from the ferry to Bainbridge.