Squeezed between the North Shore Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is frequently voted one of the world’s most liveable cities, and for good reason too. It has a vibrant food scene, is a haven for outdoorsy types, plays host to a myriad of festivals, and has a thriving cultural scene too. It is located some 230km from Seattle in Washington State in the U.S. Seattle has gifted the world many cultural reference points, such as Sleepless in Seattle, Frasier, Starbucks, and Nirvana. The city is also famous for its beautiful scenery between the ocean and mountains with many stunning parks. Today, more than 40 million people visit Seattle every year. Visitors often make the journey from Vancouver. So, if you’d like to do the same, there are six ways to get from Vancouver to Seattle.
How to get from Vancouver to Seattle
The most exciting and picturesque way to get from Vancouver to Seattle is to get the seaplane. The journey takes just 60 minutes, and the scenery is stunning. An incredibly memorable trip. You can fly from Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver to Lake Union in Seattle. Travelling by seaplane can be expensive, and you can’t bring much luggage – the seaplanes are small – but those views are worth it.
Travelling from Vancouver to Seattle by train means you don’t have to deal with traffic; just sit back, take in the views, and stretch your legs whenever you feel like it. Trains depart from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver and take you right to the heart of Seattle. The train journey takes about four and a half hours, which is a little long, but it is an incredibly scenic and peaceful trip. It is also a popular trip, so we recommend booking your ticket in advance, especially in the summer months.
Travelling from the two places along the public bus route is another relaxing mode of transport as you don’t have to worry about driving the unfamiliar roads; you simply get to sit back, relax, and take in the sighs from the large windows. The price is also another draw – this is one of the cheapest ways to travel from Vancouver to Seattle.
Catching the Quick Shuttle means you can enjoy comfortable seats, free Wi-Fi, and power outlets at every seat. However, you do need to remember that you all have to clear customs together. So, you might be waiting a long time for everyone to get back on the bus. We recommend booking your bus tickets in advance to guarantee a seat, especially if you’re travelling during the busy summer season.
The most convenient way to get to Seattle is by car. And this is one incredibly scenic road trip. There are many car hire firms around Vancouver, but finding the best deal is the first step. Taking the car means leaving whenever you like and making pit stops and detours along the way.
The route is very straightforward. You just head south on Granville Street, follow Highway 99 across the Peace Arch border, and then continue to the I-5 until you get to Seattle. When the traffic isn’t too heavy and if there isn’t much of a wait at the border crossing, the road trip should take around three hours.
You can fly between Vancouver (YVR) and Seattle (SEA) with relative ease. Several Canadian and US-based airlines offer plenty of direct flights, and the journey takes less than 60 minutes. However, as this is an international trip, you’ll have to get to the airport early and allow yourself plenty of time to get through customs.
Want to take the scenic route? Take the ferry from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria, then catch another ferry and make your way down to Seattle. The ferry ride from the Vancouver area to Victoria is about an hour and a half, and the second ferry ride from Victoria to Seattle takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes. However, the ferry ports are a little out of the way and the Victoria-Seattle ferry leaves from an entirely different ferry terminal in downtown Victoria from the one you arrive into.