Seattle Bay Watch
Photo: Seattle's Convention and Visitor Bureau
Cruise to Alki Beach for $4.00
by Dan Youra, editor, Ferry Guide
Seattle's picture perfect postcard is a sunset shot of its skyline, painted against the Cascade Mountains. The challenge of filling this frame in your camera is first walking on water to a buoy bobbing somewhere in Elliot Bay, where Seattle's panorama melts into your camera's lens.
Happily, there is an easy (and cheap!) alternative to walking on water.
Question: Where is the best vantage point to capture the winning photo for Seattle's perfect postcard?
Answer: On the deck of the Alki Ferry, cruising across Elliot Bay on a $3.50 fare.
The easiest, cheapest and fastest way to experience the beauty of Seattle without choking on the exhaust of its traffic is on a quick cruise aboard the Alki Ferry. The views while on the 15-minute trip are as good as, if not better than, those from more expensive tour boats, which go around in circles. Viewed from Alki, Seattle is transformed into a camera-ready, panoramic 3D postcard.
View of Seattle off stern of Alki Ferry
No doubt about it. For visitors and for sun starved Seattlites the best bet for inhaling Seattle's skyline from the Space Needle to Mt. Rainier is panning through a camera lens, aboard the Alki Ferry. The boat crosses Elliott Bay between Pier 50 at the Washington State Ferries terminal on Seattle's waterfront and Seacrest Park on Alki. The 77-foot catamaran Rachel Marie, operated by the King County Ferry District cruises at 24 knots and comfortably carries up to 150 passengers and 18 bicycles. Crossing time is 10 minutes during commuter hours and a more leisurely 15 minutes during non commuter runs.
Passengers on sun deck aboard Alki Ferry
Signs at the boarding docks refer to the boat in government speak as the "King County Water Taxi." Sailings are approximately every. See the schedule below to plan a trip at a time that is best for you. Passengers can play on Alki as long as they wish and return to Seattle's waterfront when they want. Don't miss the last boat! See schedule and fare information below.
Water Route to Alki Point
Seattle to Alki
Alki Beach Cruise
Click to view 2 min. Alki Ferry Video
View of West Seattle from sun deck on Alki Ferry
Seacrest Park at the east end of Alki Beach is West Bay's terminal for the Alki Ferry. Extra wide, lawn-lined sidewalks extend in both directions from the terminal. To the north and west are Alki's sandy beaches. To the south are West Bay's seafood restaurants and West Seattle's urban areas.
The sights of Seattle from Elliott Bay's western shore are awesome. And there is much more to see and do. Businesses along Alki Point and West Bay beaches invite visitors to experience the slower, more natural lifestyle on the boardwalks of Alki's famous sandy beaches, where party-goers and nature lovers gather on summer days for people watching and nature gazing.
For beach bums day-hopping to Alki beaches head to the right, upon disembarking the Alki Ferry at Seacrest terminal. A short walk along the waterfront is rewarded with Alki's beautiful beaches, famous as "Puget Sound's sandiest", close up views of the Olympic Mountains, and, potentially, even a close encounter with the Statue of Liberty.
A short walk to the left of Seacrest dock, disembarking the Alki Ferry, is Salty's Restaurant, a landmark and popular destination for seafood lunches, brunches and dinners, served with spectacular views of Seattle.
View of Seattle at sunset from Salty's Restaurant
Sunset dining at Salty's is an especially coveted occasion, when Seattle's skyline can burst forth on an impressionist's canvas, the glass and steel of its tall buildings dancing in the gold rays of the setting sun.
Salty's Restaurant on West Bay's waterfront invites guests to a meal with a view. Call Salty's Seafood Restaurant at 206-937-1600 on 1936 Harbor Dr. in West Seattle.
When you board the Alki Ferry don't forget your camera. Who knows? You may shoot, click, snap or tap Seattle's next great, picture perfect postcard.
Reserve a table online at Salty's Restaurant.
Or call ahead to 206-937-1600
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Click to view 2 min. Alki Ferry Video