The southern end of King County encompasses several rapidly growing suburbs and industrial areas, with Sea-Tac Airport as a central focal point. A maze of highways, shopping malls, and towns fill the American dream of escaping from the cities.
Unfortunately, this escape has transformed rich farmland into yet more development. This part of Washington has little to offer the traveler, other than cheap lodging and food, though each town has something of interest.
Getting around the Sea-Tac Corridor
Seattle’s airport is 12 miles south of town and midway between Seattle and Tacoma, hence the name, Sea-Tac International Airport (206/431-4444 or 800/544-1965, www.portseattle.org). All the major domestic, and many international, airlines fly into Sea-Tac. Foreign travelers can change money at the Thomas Cook booth in the main terminal.
Near the baggage claim is a volunteer-staffed Visitor Information Booth (9:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. daily in the summer, brochures available at other times), along with car rentals counters and kiosks with information on Metro buses, shuttle buses, and limo services.
Sound Flight (425/255-6500 or 800/825-0722) at the Boeing Field Airport offers flightseeing tours over Seattle, Mt. Rainier, the San Juan Islands, and north to Vancouver Island, plus scheduled service to the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands, Victoria, and other destinations on Vancouver Island. Northwest Seaplanes (425/277-1590 or 800/690-0086, www.nwseaplanes.com) also flies scheduled service to the San Juans, British Columbia, and Alaska from Boeing Field.
Metro Transit (253/447-4800 or 800/542-7876 http://transit.metrokc.gov) provides bus service to Seattle and other parts of King County. Pierce Transit (253/581-8000 or 800/562-8109, www.piercetransit.org) operates service to Tacoma and other parts of Pierce County, along with Seattle and Olympia.
Renton Urban Shuttle (425/277-5555) has free bus service around town. Shuttle Express (206/622-1424 or 800/942-7433, www.shuttleexpress.com) has van service to Sea-Tac Airport.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition