Taking the Washington State Ferries? “Don’t do what I did!”
Taking the Washington State Ferries? I’ll give you a “Don’t do what I did mistake!”
A favorite thing about living in Washington State is riding on a Washington State Ferry. Someone here at work mentioned one of her friends was TERRIFIED to ride on a ferry. I was always excited to take a trip on these boats, since I grew up in Bremerton and took a million trips across Puget Sound to see the grandparents or a ballgame.
I almost would consider myself an expert…but I made a big mistake last summer. We’ll get to that shortly and tell you how to avoid what I did.
HERE ARE THE WASHINGTON STATE FERRY ROUTES
Seattle - Bremerton
You pay a car and driver fee /plus whoever is riding along as a passenger. You only have to pay for “car and driver” back to Seattle. This hour-long route currently only uses one boat - meaning it has half the sailing departures/availability I remember as a kid. My mom still lives there, so you just might see me on the Seattle to Bremerton boat on a given weekend.
Seattle - Bainbridge Island
This quick 35 minute crossing is the most popular route for the Washington State Ferry System. Since it's one of the main options to get to Olympic Peninsula, you may have to wait a boat or two to finally get on-board (busy times from Seattle are Fridays and from Bainbridge on Sundays, on most weekends and Mondays on three day weekends.)
Fauntleroy - Vashon - Southworth
This route would make more sense if it was named WEST SEATTLE - VASHON - SOUTH KITSAP.
Point Defiance - Tahlequah
This route connects Tacoma with South Vashon Island. Visiting any Vashon relatives or long lost friends, make a point to hit up the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Edmonds - Kingston
This is another popular route across Puget Sound with the Olympic Peninsula as your destination. Be prepared for a multi-boat wait. Need to pass the time with small children consider these car games to keep them entertained.
Mulkiteo - Clinton
This route connects the South Everett area with Whidbey Island. If you are trying to get to the north part of the island, consider driving up and around. Whidbey Island is the 2nd longest Island in America. That and the wait to get on a boat on a summer weekend can get long.
Port Townsend - Coupeville
Here’s the part of our guide to the ferries where I tell you about my mistake, and hope you learn from it. Last Summer, my family rented an air b n’ b on South Whidbey Island. I attempted to take the Coupeville - Port Townsend ferry in late June. I couldn’t get on since I needed to make reservations. This route is one of two that require summertime reservations to ride. Click here to make your boat reservation.
Anacortes - San Juan Islands
This is another route that requires reservations to get your vehicles onboard in the peak summer travel season. If you have the San Juans on your bucket list, make it happen and check out these great hidden gems in the islands.
For more info, including schedules & fares: Click this link