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King County

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(By car: add SR-18)
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===By rail===
===By rail===
'''Sound Transit''' ''Sounder'' commuter rail service, operating weekday rush hours only, connects Seattle to [[Tacoma]] via Kent and Tukwila.
'''Sound Transit''' [] ''Link Light Rail'' service connects Tukwila and Seattle, with an extension to the airport opening in December.
Light rail service between Tukwila and Seattle begins July 2009, with an extension to the airport opening in December.
''Sounder''  commuter rail service, operating weekday rush hours only, connects Seattle to [[Tacoma]] via Kent and Tukwila.
===By car===
===By car===

Revision as of 21:09, 19 July 2009

King County [1] is the largest county in Washington State, by both area and population. It stretches from Puget Sound to the Cascade Range, encompassing the major cities of Seattle and Bellevue and their sprawling suburbs, as well as wide stretches of rural farmland and uninhabited mountain terrain.


  • Seattle - seat of King County, which has its own extensive article, and so is not covered in this one.

The rest of the county is described by its location relative to Seattle and Lake Washington.

North King County

Largely upscale suburbia, heavily residential.

East King County

Better known as the Eastside, this is the fastest growing region in the county.

South King County

Most visitors will only see the Sea-Tac Airport, in the city of SeaTac. (The airport's name came first.) Continuing south merges into Pierce County, soon reaching Tacoma.


The rural, sparsely distributed towns of the far east county are the one respite from the sprawl.

Other destinations



Get in

By car

The major interstates are I-5, running north-south through Seattle to Snohomish County and Pierce County, and I-90, running east from Seattle through Bellevue and Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass and Kittitas County. The notoriously congested I-405 splits off from I-5 at Tukwila in the south and Lynnwood in the north, serving Bellevue and the other cities of the Eastside. SR-167 is an alternate route from Tacoma to the south county, while SR-18 is a high speed bypass from north of Tacoma to I-90 east of Issaquah.

By plane

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, (IATA: SEA), called "SeaTac" by locals, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. Competition is fierce and fares are low on service to the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

By boat

Get around

By bus

Metro Transit [4] (electric or diesel city buses) actually works pretty well. The web trip planner [5] is straightforward and accurate, as long as your bus is on time.

Buses in downtown Seattle are free between 6AM and 7PM in the downtown core of Seattle. Just get on and get off. To read the details refer to Metro Free Bus info [6].

Sound Transit (diesel and hybrid buses, trains) is more expensive, but has many convenient express routes [7] that travel South (to Tacoma), East (Redmond, Bellevue), and North (Bothell, Lynnwood). Unlike Metro, it serves the adjoining counties as well.

Outside of the immediate Seattle-Bellevue area, many routes operate only during weekday rush hours. Check your schedules in advance, and beware of holiday service cutbacks. The number of the route also tells you which area of the county it serves:

  • Below 100 - Seattle only
  • 100s - South King County
  • 200s - Eastside
  • 300s - North King County
  • 500s - All Sound Transit routes

By rail

Sound Transit [8] Link Light Rail service connects Tukwila and Seattle, with an extension to the airport opening in December.

Sounder commuter rail service, operating weekday rush hours only, connects Seattle to Tacoma via Kent and Tukwila.

By car

All but essential for reaching the outermost suburbs and mountains. In addition to the interstates, major routes include SR-520, linking Seattle's University District to Bellevue and Redmond; SR-18, a major freeway in the south county from Federal Way to Issaquah; and SR-509, the alternate route from the airport to Burien and Seattle.

Traffic congestion is a major problem in the Puget Sound area on all freeways and major roads. Avoid traveling during rush hour if you can, particularly along I-5 and across the Lake Washington bridges.


Please also consult "See" in the Seattle article

Urban King County

  • Bellevue Arts Museum
  • Bellevue Botanical Gardens
  • Bridal Trails State Park
  • Cougar Mountain Zoo Park
  • Dash Point State Park
  • Emerald Downs
  • Marymoor County Park
  • Muckleshoot Casino
  • Northwest University
  • Pacific Raceway
  • Renton Historical Museum
  • Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
  • Saltwater State Park
  • Sammamish State Park
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Squak Mountain State Park
  • St. Edward State Park
  • Tahoma National Cemetery
  • Trinity Lutheran College
  • University of Washington — Bothell
  • White River Valley Museum
  • Woodinville Wineries

Rural King County

  • Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass - ski resort
  • Alpine Falls
  • Flaming Geyser State Park
  • Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
  • Nolte State Park
  • Northwest Railroad Museum - located in Snoqualmie
  • Stevens Pass - ski resort
  • Snoqualmie Casino
  • Snoqualmie Falls
  • White River Amphitheatre




Stay safe

Get out

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