Seattle Center and Northwest Folklife Festival encourage festival-goers to consider the many transportation options to and from Seattle Center this Memorial Day weekend including buses, bikes, light rail, monorail and private transport. Festival goers will find new routing and extra efforts to maintain easy access to Seattle Center during the four-day event, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.
Here are some tips and resources to ease your travels to Folklife:
PLAN AHEAD: Northwest Folklife Festival is located at Seattle Center in Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood. Allow for time to drive to the area, park and maneuver through the festival crowds. Arriving early ensures that you don’t miss out on any of the Folklife events. Information on current road construction affecting access to Seattle Center and alternate routes may be found here: Seattle Center Transportation News.
METRO BUS SERVICE: Bus service to Seattle Center is available via Metro routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13, 18, 19, 21, 24, 33 and the Rapid Ride D Line. Routes 5, 26, 28, 131 and 132 also travel to within walking distance. Visitors can plan their transit trip from anywhere in the region. For more information, visit King County Metro or call Metro at 206-553-3000. Find specific bus routes at King County Trip Planner.
PARKING AT THE CENTER: Seattle Center offers garage parking adjacent to the grounds: 5th Ave. N. Garage, with entries and exits on Harrison and Republican streets; 1st Ave. N. Garage between John and Thomas streets with entry on 1st Ave. N.; and in the Mercer Garage, with entries/exits on 3rd and 4th avenues.
DISABLED PARKING: All Seattle Center garages have designated disabled parking spots. If all the available spaces are full, visitors should check with a parking attendant.
CARPOOLING: The regular parking rate is $15 on Friday and $18 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Invite your family, friends and neighbors to come along to split the cost of parking, or visit Ride Share to find carpool partners. For more information on parking, visit Seattle Center Transportation.
RIDING THE MONORAIL: Seattle Center Monorail departs every 10 minutes and takes riders between Seattle Center and Westlake Center at Fifth Ave. and Pine St. The Monorail operates weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. One-way fares (cash only) are $2.25 for adults, $1 for children ages 5–12 and $1 for seniors 65 or older; children 4 or under ride for free. For more information, visit Seattle Center Monorail.
TAKING LINK LIGHT RAIL: Sound Transit’s Link light rail system, which has 15 stops along its route from Sea-Tac Airport to the University District, connects riders to buses or the monorail for transit service directly to Seattle Center. For more information, visit Link Light Rail.
CYCLING TO THE CENTER: Those looking for a free way to get to Seattle Center might consider riding a bike. Bike parking is available during the festival at entrances along Thomas St. south of Mural Amphitheatre and at Mercer St. and 2nd Ave. N. Visitors may use a Google Interactive Directions Map to plan a custom route by bike. Maps of the designated bike routes are available at Seattle Bike Maps.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES: Besides the major routes to Seattle Center via the Mercer St. or Stewart St. exits off I-5, there are alternates routes such as SR-99, Denny Way and Elliot Ave.
OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS: Festival goers have additional options, such as walking or using the King County Water Taxi or the Washington State Ferry System. For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/transportation.aspx or www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.
TRANSPORTATION HOTLINE: Seattle Center offers a parking, traffic and transportation hotline. For current information call 206 233-3989.