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Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

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Roermond, The...
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Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

We're driving from Seattle to Port Townsend soon, and I'm wondering about the best way to do that. We're renting a car in downtown Seattle.

If we go by car (either via Tacoma and directly up north, or via Olympia), will we encounter toll roads?

If we go by ferry, is it really as easy as it seems? Buy a ticket in advance, drive to the terminal, park and wait until the ferry is ready, drive our car on it, and drive off it once we get to Bremerton.

Will there always be enough space on the ferry? We're leaving Seattle on a Monday, probably around 11 am or noon.

1. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

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Seattle...
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2. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

I should add that you can't get a reservation for any of these ferry runs - first come, first served.

seattle
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3. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

I like the Edmonds ferry as its easy to get to and you drive thru Port Gamble which is a really cute little town. With all the waterfront construction in Seattle sometimes its confujsing how to get to the ferry.

Edited: 23 April 2013, 15:45
Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

If you're picking up the car in downtown Seattle just take the Seattle-Bainbridge run and save the freeway driving to Edmonds. You also don't pre-pay, just pay at the toll booth when you drive up to the ferry dock. …wa.gov/ferries/…

Renton, WA
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5. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is tolled in the eastbound direction only....it's free going west, so you could drive up to Port Townsend and then catch the Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry over to Whidbey Island, up the island to Anacortes and take the freeway back to Seattle. Or you could drive south from Port Townsend to Bainbridge Island and catch a ferry to downtown Seattle from there. Here is the schedule:

www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Gig Harbor...
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6. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

Check the schedule for the Port Townsend ferry before planning on it - it has occasional days when it doesn't run because of tidal conditions........ (www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries)....... Also, I don't know how common this is, but that ferry from Keystone was cancelled when we planned to use it on April 11 because of high winds......The Hood Canal bridge is occasionally closed to cars so boats can go through the channel.

Roermond, The...
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7. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

The friendliness, helpfulness and knowledge of the people here keeps amazing me :) Thanks for the fast and very useful replies! I had no idea there were other ferry routes as well (although now that I'm looking at the map again I wonder how I missed that).

The piece of information about toll only being eastbound comes in very handy, as we won't return back to Seattle. It might indeed be wise to see on the day what conditions are like, but at least now I know my options (and can inform my boyfriend who is the driver and I'll let him make the final decision). Timewise it doesn't make that much of a difference either, whether you go by ferry or via Tacoma, does it?

Port Angeles, WA
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8. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

Historyteacher, the OP is not asking about the Keystone Ferry. She is trying to get to PT from Seattle.

Pebbeltje, you can take either the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or the Bainbridge ferry. The trip will take roughly the same time. Do not worry about the Hood Canal Bridge. Closures are rare, and even if you encounter one, it only means a 20 minute delay.

Poulsbo, Washington
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9. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

Yes the floating bridge very rarely closes I take it all the time.

Roermond, The...
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10. Re: Seattle to Port Towsend - driving or ferry?

Could someone give me a step by step idea of travelling by ferry (with a car) to either Bremerton or Bainbridge?

We pick up our rental at Avis Downtown Seattle (5th Ave I think), so it would only be a very short drive to the ferry terminal. We park our car, go inside to buy tickets, wait until it's time to drive on the ferry, go back to the car, drive up the ferry, and once we arrive in Bremerton or Bainbridge, leave the ferry and that's it? Or does it work differently, especially regarding buying tickets?

It's probably very easy and I'm worrying too much again, but I like to be prepared. We've only once went by car on a ferry and that was another country and many years ago.

Thanks!