The latest issue of Carbusters www.carbusters.org is all about car-free and jet-free travel. It encourages readers to find vacation destinations that are close to home (not a bad suggestion, considering that the average flight has the carbon impact of a year of driving) and accessible without cars.
Last month, Bus Nerd and I did just that. We took a trip to one of my favorite places on Earth — Friday Harbor, Washington. We also spent one night in Victoria, B.C., Here’s how we managed it without setting foot in a car:
1. We took a Bellair Charters shuttle (www.airporter.com) from the Convention Center to the Anacortes ferry dock. The shuttle bus was full and made several stops—a lot like a public bus, with the added advantage of an onboard restroom. (Note that we could have taken public transportation to Anacortes but decided to simplify for this trip. For those who’d like to try:
From downtown Seattle, take Sound Transit route 510 to Everett Station.
Transfer to Skagit Transit route 90X. Get off at Mount Vernon Station.
At Mount Vernon Station, transfer to Skagit Transit route 513. Get off at 10th St. & Q Ave.
At 10th St. & Q Ave., transfer to Skagit Transit route 410. Get off at the Anacortes ferry dock.
Also note: From July to September, you can take the Victoria Clipper directly from Seattle to Friday Harbor.)
2. We took a Washington State ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor.
3. To get around town, we walked. Friday Harbor is one square mile, and, aside from some strange crosswalk issues near the ferry dock, very walkable.
4. To get around the island, we used San Juan Transit’s shuttle (www.san
juantransit.com). The name is a bit misleading, as it’s optimized (and priced) for tourists, but since we were tourists, we found it extremely useful. We took it to Lime Kiln State Park (aka Whale-Watch Park) every day we were there.
1. We took a Washington State ferry from Friday Harbor to Sidney, BC.
2. A few blocks from the ferry dock in Sidney, we caught a (double decker!) Victoria Regional Transit (http://www.bctransit.com/regions/vic) bus to our hotel in the Inner Harbor. We had a great view from our seats on top and even witnessed a classic display of bus (stop) luh.
3. To get around Victoria, we walked, but we could have purchased VRT day passes and ridden the bus.
Back to Seattle: We took the Victoria Clipper (www.clippervacations.com) from the Inner Harbor directly to Pier 69.
We Pacific Northwest types are fortunate to live in a region with an endless supply of scenic destinations a short train, bus, ferry, or bike ride away. I’m willing to bet they’re at least as good as that resort in Hawaii you’ve been saving up to visit.
Got something to say about public transportation in Seattle? Email Bus Chick at: email@example.com or blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/buschick