Bus and Van Tours
Gray Line of Seattle (206/626-5208 or 800/426-7532, www.graylineofseattle.com) offers a variety of Puget Sound tours. Its 3.5-hour city tour ($35) highlights Ballard Locks, the University of Washington, and Pioneer Square. The Double Decker tour ($21) includes eight stops around downtown and Seattle Center. Riders are given a narrated tour and can get off and on at any of the stops. Or save your money by riding the free Metro buses around downtown and let local drunks provide the narration. Gray Line has several other sightseeing trips, including Everett’s Boeing plant ($48) and day trips to Mt. Rainier ($59).
Several other companies offer more specialized tours. At Private Eye Tours (206/622-0590, www.privateeyetours.com), a semi-retired private detective takes you on a murder and mystery exploration of Seattle.
Scenic Bound Tours (206/433-6907 or 888/293-1404, www.seattlecitytours.com, $79) takes you on all-day van trips to the wild places around Puget Sound, including both Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.
The Will and the Way Travel (206/713-2745) is set up for travelers with disabilities.
Ride the Ducks (206/441-3825 or 800/817-1116, www.seattleducktours.net) is probably the strangest (and most annoying) tour company; it cruises through town—and into Lake Union—in a restored World War II landing craft, with tourists quacking loudly all the way at passersby. Any gimmick for a tourist buck.
Excellent Viewpoints Discover Tours (206/667-9186, www.seattlearchitecture.org, $15) take place on summer Saturdays, focusing on Seattle’s architectural heritage. These last 1.5 hours and are led by members of the Seattle Architectural Foundation.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition