Elliott Bay runs along the western edge of the city, where Seattle ferries depart for Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, and Victoria, BC. On clear days, boat tours of Elliott Bay offer great views across the water and the Olympic Mountains to the west, with options that range from quick harbor cruises to longer private charters. Back on land, favorite Elliott Bay attractions include the Seattle Great Wheel, the Olympic Sculpture Garden, and Elliott Bay Park.
Things to know before you go
- The Elliott Bay waterfront is a favorite for art lovers. Find outdoor art installations here from Elliott Bay Park to the Olympic Sculpture Garden.
- Plan to bring layered clothing. It can be cool on the water even on the warmest days.
- All Washington State ferries are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
The Elliott Bay waterfront extends along the western edge of downtown, where boats depart from piers with numbers that descend from north to south. The more pedestrian-friendly section of the waterfront is north of downtown, starting at Pier 69. From there, pedestrian and bike paths extend all the way to Elliott Bay Park. Limited paid street parking is available all along the waterfront.
When to get there
While locals get out on Elliott Bay year-round, you’ll find the warmest weather and least rain from June through August. The sunshine does sometimes extend into September and October, but pack an umbrella, as fall can be cold and rainy. November through February are chilly; the weather starts warming up again in March for a spring that brings both sun and rain.
Where to find Seattle’s best sunsets
This west-facing bay has some of the best evening light in Seattle. One favorite spot is Alki Beach, a long, sandy strip that’s also great for walking. On the other side of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Sculpture Park catches good evening light, as well. Even more dramatic is a sunset ride on the Seattle Great Wheel; on clear days, you’ll get beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains from here.
- Olympic Sculpture Park
- Myrtle Edwards Park
- Pacific Science Center
- Seattle Center
- Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Space Needle
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
- Kerry Park (Franklin Place)
- Queen Anne Hill
- Seattle Cruise Port
- Seattle Aquarium
- Original Starbucks
- Pike Place Market