Guide to the Light Rail
I grew up in the south Seattle area, specifically in SeaTac. I remember the days before the light rail. While the building process caused a lot of construction (in building new stations in Tukwila, by the airport and down by Angle Lake most recently) which continue to due to the constant additions, I love it. I’m so glad that we have an easier way to get downtown that is quick and easy and helps me avoid paying ridiculous amounts of money for parking
What I love so much about having light rail stops here in SeaTac is that I have friends and family that have houses I can park at, or I can park in the large, free parking lots at many of the stations. I appreciate that I don’t have to drive downtown. More importantly I don’t have to drive and pay to park multiple times or walk crazy amounts when I have to go to more than one place downtown. Instead, I can hop on the light rail and get on and off at any of the 14 stations between Angle Lake and the University of Washington. It’s so fun and easy. Because I love it, I want to make it as accessible as possible to everyone else, so here’s a bit of information about the light rail itself and the things to do at each station
You can ride the light rail from the University of Washington to Angle Lake, with 14 stops along the way. The train runs every 6, 10 or 15 mins depending on the time of day. The train operates from 5am to 1am, Monday through Saturday and 6am to midnight on Sundays and Holidays. Adult fare is from $2.25 to $3.25 depending on how far you travel. Typically I pay $6-$7 for an all-day pass that allows me to get on and off at any stop all day. Kids (18 and under) are cheaper.
Light Rail Stop/What to Do There
Angle Lake Station (Parking garage): Swim at the lake, have a picnic or BBQ, play at the splash park or playground, or attend one of their Music in the Park events.
SeaTac/Airport Station (Limited parking): Access to the airport, hotels and restaurants.
Tukwila International Boulevard Station (Two parking lots): This station is also a transit center, buses going all over the place. This allows easy access to Southcenter Mall. There are a few restaurants and fast food joints right by the station.
Rainier Beach Station: The Museum of Flight isn’t too far from this station, the Kubota Garden and a few other parks are nearby as well.
Othello Station: There’s a Starbucks, Safeway, other places to get food, banks, Union Gospel Mission, and parks.
Columbia City Station: Restaurants, shopping, and parks.
Mount Baker Station: Food, coffee and shopping.
Beacon Hill Station: Food, shopping, and parks.
SODO Station: Food, businesses, shops, etc.
Stadium Station: Mariners stadium, Seahawks and Sounders stadium, Krispy Kreme, food, and shops.
International District/Chinatown Station: Chinatown, Uwajimaya, Dim-sum, museums, Seattle Pinball Museum, food, and shops.
Pioneer Square Station: Short walk to the waterfront, food, tours/historic sites (haunted and underground tours), cute shops, and parks. There is quite a bit of night life there. I personally love this little vintage dress shop on Cherry St. right by Pioneer Square, there’s also a Utili-kilt shop.
University Street Station: Pike Place Market, Benaroya Hall, S.A.M. (Seattle Art Museum), 5th Ave Theatre, food, shopping, hotels, City Target, close to the waterfront. The Harbor Steps are in between here and Pioneer Square. Nearby is the Hard Rock Café and Gelatiamo (love that place) and there is a lot more to say about gelato and Pike Place, but those are both for another story.
Westlake Station: There are 2 malls within a block from this stop; Westlake and Pacific Place. At Westlake there is the monorail which goes straight to the Seattle Center (Space Needle, Science Center, etc.). There is also great food choices like Pike Place Chowder or P.F. Chang’s and lots of shopping both in the malls and in the area surrounding them. Christmas in this area is my favorite! Everything is decorated, it’s a fun place to do some Christmas shopping and Pacific Place snows, INSIDE the mall.
Capitol Hill Station: There’s lots of food and bars, but my focus is on the food. There’s also a lot of shopping and specifically great thrift shopping. If you love thrifting, I suggest checking out the shops here.
University of Washington Station: There is of course the University of Washington and the surrounding college town. University Village is a nice place with lots and lots of great shopping and food. Food is another reason of its own to check out this station. I’ve heard great things about some of the restaurants around this area.
We hope this guide helps you have more fun on the Light Rail and whether you’ve been on a hundred times or never before we hope it gave you a few ideas of things to do at each stop! Also, please let us know if there are any other things you love about the Light Rail or any other fun things to do at one of the stops. Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media!