The Monorail is a little used short light rail line going through Seattle's downtown area. Part of the reason it's not used is because it is limited. Only 2 stops on this ride. Downtown and the Arena/ Sky Needle / Music Experience area.
It's not a bad 5 minute ride. And it only costs a few dollars but it can be walked just as easy.
If you want to take a train to Seattle, Amtrak Cascades is your only option. They have daily trains coming from the south (from Portland and Eugene, Oregon), and from the north (from Vancouver, BC). While these trains are scheduled daily, note that there's only one train per day, so it might not always fit in with your schedule.
For example, the only train from Vancouver leaves at 6:05 in the evening and arrives in Seattle at 10:15 at night. Fortunately it appears that there are more scheduled trains between Oregon and Seattle.
What should also be noted is that the train tracks between Vancouver and Seattle offer the prettiest route, because unlike the freeway which goes inland, Amtrak follows along the coastline here. This is the only coastal route into Seattle as every main highway is inland.
So you want to go down to Pike Place Market and the waterfront. Fair enough, but don't drive there! You'll get hammered on parking fees.
Instead, take I-5 to Seattle Centre, where the Space Needle is located. There's a large car park there, where you can park all day for $5 (or more if there is a special event going on). Then, you can take the Monorail for $3 roundtrip and get dropped off near Pike Place Market in downtown. A scenic and fairly stress-free way to get yourself down to the fish and fruit zone!
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The Waterfront Streetcar is a two mile track that connects the downtown transit tunnel to the Amtrack station. Off-peak fares are $1.25 and peak fares are $1.50 and transfers are available ninety minutes after getting off. This allows you to up on and off, a great way to see the waterfront and piers.
Fun, but not very usefull is the monorail that goes from the space needle to third av. Must do once :-)We found excellent limo-drivers that will show you around at taxi fares.
The monorail is out of order since 31st of May,2004 after a fire.
Built for the 1962 World's Fair, Seattle's monorail was probably the first in the nation. You can take this one only as far as from the Westlake Center to the Seattle Center but you get to see some of downtown Seattle in the bargain. It's normally $1.50 each way for adults and .50 cents for youth, seniors and the disabled. Call for departure times.
It was closed for repairs when we tried to ride it, so they offered us a FREE bus to the Seattle Center roundtrip! Now that's service!
The Monorail has just two stops - Seattle Center and the downtown shopping district - and it's a bumpy ride which seems a little pricey at $1.50 each way. But there's no denying that it's still a very handy way to get from one of Seattle's major centers to the other, and the monorail is still a bit of a thrill to the kid inside even more than 40 years after it first ran the rails.
It was opened in 1962 for the World's Fair (the same one for which the Space Needle was built), and now there are plans afoot to extend the monorail for fourteen miles, taking in major points north and south. The people behind that project hope they'll be riding the longer monorail on December 15, 2007, but we're not holding our breath. For now, just enjoy the brief trip the current version provides!
Shoot two birds with one stone. If you are already in Seattle and have two or more days to spare, why not go to Portland? The Amtrak Cascades line has several trains plying both directions of the Seattle-Portland route each day. One-way fare is around $23. Travel time between Seattle and Portland is around four hours. The views along the way is easily worth the fare price.
If you are staying downtown in Seattle and want to see the Space Needle, Music Experience or any of the tourist attractions in the general vicinity, the Monorail is a great way to get there!
only $1.50 each way, straight from top floor of the mall (Nordstrom) to theSpace Needle.
If you park in the 5th Avenue Parking lot [by the skate park & the EMP] you usually only pay about $5 on the weekend. Then you can walk over to Seattle Center, catch the monorail [$1.50 each way or $3 roundtrip] to downtown. You are then left in a shopping center and but blocks from Pike Market. Everyone rushes to the front of the monorail to sit but the best view is from the back. You can snap pictures as you leave the area. It’s great for a Space Needle shot.
the Seattle Center monorail runs from Westlake Center (near 5th Avenue) to the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle and the EMP are located. Its a good idea to use the monorail if you're staying in the downtown area as parking in difficult to find at the Seattle Center.
Linking Seattle Center to downtown is the Monorail, with its startlingly brief 90-second trip. This quirky relic of the World's Fair traveling between two buildings with food courts (Center House and Westlake Center).
The Monorail is a direct, fast and fun way to get between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center (where the EMP, Science Center and Space Needle is). The ride is only a mile long, and takes about a minute or two. Even though, it remains a popular method of transportation for tourists and locals.
The photo accompanying this tip illustrates the uniqueness of this monorail ride. Rather than move the monorail tracks elsewhere, the Experience Music Project encorporated them into the architecture! If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you'll see how the tracks enter and pass through the Experience Music Project.
I live in Vancouver, where the drive is about 3-4 hours, depending on the speed. An alternative is to take the Amtrak to Seattle from Vancouver. It's cheaper than flying and the train station is just south of downtown (close to Safeco Field). Probably the same goes if you're coming from Portland, OR.
If you're in downtown, the buses are fare free! You can get in from the front doors AND the back doors as well. The first time I saw this, I was fairly surprised.
Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
What'd I say?
Ned Flanders: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!
[crowd chants 'Monorail' softly and rhythmically]
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...
Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Lyle Lanley: Once again...
Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
Homer: Mono... D'oh!
Pic Credit: I forgot, some Simpson's site.