Here’s a fun and low cost way (in $US) to get from Victoria, BC to Seattle, WA and back. I’ll describe it in a narrative before summarizing things in 2011 times/prices using a handy chart. This method only works if you do not have a car. A bicycle should work but note that it involves transit busses, and most can only handle a few bikes at a time. It also works best on weekdays. It may work after a fashion on Saturdays, but it’ll be a much later trip. Sunday it won’t work at all.
In Victoria, first, head to the Coho ferry terminal, near the Parliament Buildings. The ship leaves at 6:10 am but you should be there at 5:40 due to Customs; cost is $16.50. As the ferry gets close to Port Angeles, go to the foot passenger exit early so you’ll be off the ferry sooner. Head to Gateway Transit Center, a short walk left from the terminal on the Port Angeles side. You’ll want to 30 Commuter bus to Sequim (all the busses here will be Clallum Transit; your cost will be $1.50). The ferry arrives a little before 8 am and I like to catch a bus at 8, but if you want to linger around Port Angeles, you can take the 8:30 or 9 busses.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sequim, get off at Sequim Transit Center, as that’s where you’ll make your next connecting bus. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, Sequim will be your last chance to do so. If you took the 8 or 8:30 busses, you have time to explore Sequim for a little bit. Otherwise, stay close by, as your connecting bus will be leaving in about a quarter of an hour. At 9:43 take the 8 Port Townsend bus. Pay $2.50 and get a day pass. Once you reach Port Townsend’s Park & Ride, immediately switch to the 11 bus (still Jefferson).
Here you have two options. Once is cheaper and offers a nicer view of Seattle upon arrival, but makes for a much later day. The other costs a little more but will get you to Seattle a lot sooner. If you go the cheaper route, spend most of the day exploring Port Townsend, which is to be sure a very beautiful city with great architecture. Making sure you’re back at the Park & Ride a little after 3 pm. Then take the 7 bus at 3:20 to Poulsbo, still using your day pass. At Poulsbo’s Transit Center you won’t have too much time, though you might have time for a brief look at the shopping area there. Get on the 90 bus (Kitsap Transit to Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal; $2). You’ll probably have a little time to wander around. From the terminal, take the ferry to Seattle (free on the way over).
The quicker way is once you get off the 11 Shuttle in downtown Port Townsend, head straight to the ferry terminal (there’s a stop right by it). Take the ferry ($2.75) to Keystone, Whidbey Island. From there take the 6 bus to Coupeville Park & Ride (Island Transit; this system doesn’t charge riders). You’ll have a little less than half an hour to wander around; grab a bite in the area if you can. On the opposite side of the street, at 12:27, take the 1 bus (still Island Transit, thus free) to Clinton Ferry Terminal and take a free (that direction) bus to Mukilteo. Head straight for the nearest bus stop and take the 113 bus (Community Transit $1.75) to Lynnwood Transit Center. You’ll have about a quarter of an hour there. At 3:03 there, transfer to the 511 bus (Sound Transit; $3.50 or $1.75 with ORCA card) to downtown Seattle.
Returning from Seattle is similar to heading to Seattle using the cheapest way, but there are differences. Take the 6:10 ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge (or the earlier one in the chart below), but this time it’s $7.10, not free. Take the 90 bus to Poulsbo and get on the 7 bus there, but don’t go all the way to Port Townsend or you’ll miss your connection. Instead get off at 4-Corners and wait across the street for the 8 bus to Sequim. Transfer to the 30 bus to Port Angeles, explore and have breakfast there, and then take the 12:45 Coho ferry back to Victoria.
VICTORIA TO PORT TOWNSEND
Victoria to Port Angeles: Coho ferry 6:10-7:50ish – $16.50
Gateway Transit Center, Port Angeles to Sequim Transit Center: Clallum 30: 8-8:35 OR 8:30-9:05 OR 9-9:35 $1.50
Sequim Transit Center to Port Townsend Park & Ride: Jefferson 8: 9:43-10:30 $2.50 Day pass
Port Townsend Park & Ride to Port Townsend Ferry Terminal: Jefferson 11 10:30-10:40ish
PORT TOWNSEND TO SEATTLE via Whidbey Island
Port Townsend Ferry Terminal to Keystone Ferry Terminal - ferry 11:15-11:50 $2.75
Keystone ferry terminal to Coupeville Park & Ride: Island Transit 6 12:00-12:18 free
Coupeville Park & Ride to Clinton Ferry Terminal: Island Transit 1 12:27-1:20 free
Clinton Ferry Terminal to Mukilteo Ferry Terminal - ferry: 1:30-1:50 free
Mukilteo Ferry Terminal to Lynnwood Transit Center: Community Transit 113 1:57-2:48 $1.75
Lynnwood Transit Center to 3rd Ave & Pike, Seattle: Sound Transit 511 3:03-3:37 $3.50 ($1.75 with ORCA card)
PORT TOWNSEND TO SEATTLE via Kitsap County
Head back to Port Townsend Park & Ride (11 Shuttle, walk, etc)
Port Townsend Park & Ride to Poulsbo Transit Center: Jefferson 7: 3:20-4:23 – use above pass
Poulsbo Transit Center to Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal: Kitsap 90: 4:37-4:57 $2
Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal to Seattle Ferry Terminal: ferry: 5:30-6:05 free
SEATTLE TO VICTORIA
Seattle Ferry Terminal to Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal: ferry 5:30-6:05 OR 6:10-6:45 $7.10
Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal to Poulsbo: Kitsap 90: 6:15-6:35 OR 6:57-7:20 $2
Poulsbo Transit Center to 4-Corners: Jefferson 7: 7:30-8:24 $2.50 day pass
4-Corners to Sequim Transit Center: Jefferson 8: 8:45-9:21 – use above pass
Sequim Transit Center to Gateway Transit Center, Port Angeles: 9:43-10:20 $1.50
Port Angeles to Victoria: Coho ferry 12:45-2:15ish