Point to Point, Beautiful Seattle Transit Routes

Here’s a question or two for the Seattle Transit Traveler.  Which transit trip has a truly beautiful route?  I’ve been a fan, so far of #28.  however I know there have to be a number of other routes that have beautiful scenery.

In other topics, which route goes through the most happening area, which goes the farthest, and otherwise?  Got any route trip trivia for me?  I’d love to see it.


  1. You already take one of the best trips, I like almost anything that crosses the lake. Water Taxi to W Seattle, then a free shuttle, or just walk (North) to Alki is a beach like trip, Sounder between Seattle and Everett on a nice day (either direction, sit on the West side of the train).

    The 30 links the Seattle Center to the U-District via Fremont, the 16 winds thru Wallingford, 49 via Capitol Hill. Line 56 to Alki is also nice (I think i mentioned this once before), I got the enjoyment of driving the route for the week, ends right where shops and restaurants are on Alki, but passes thru a neat neighborhood that reminded me of Portland. As you ascend up the hill after entering W Seattle, there is a lookout at the top that affords nice views of the skyline to the East. Also Line 55 takes you near a park with more views. Finally Line 2 or 13 to Queen Anne and Highland, walk West to Kelly Park, another awesome view to the South! Skip the 358……really. =)


  2. That seems to be about every bus I’ve taken so far… including the #358, which I really only use to go from Denny to downtown to catch the #545. 🙂

    I’ll have to take the #56 real soon, my SO and I drove out there a weekend ago and it’s pretty awesome. Noted while out there that the #56 went by almost everything we would want to swing back out to. Will have to check on the #55 too. Will definitely be discovering more of West Seattle for sure. Didn’t know it existed until just recently.


  3. I don’t know about most scenic, and I’ve never ridden the #358 end-to-end, but I get a very high entertainment value from it! Sort of in the vein of, “Oh, the humanity!” I think the #48 is the longest-distance route, but don’t know for sure. The ST510/513 must be up there, distance-wise, but they’re quick…

    Trivia… I work in the U-district, and if I need to get downtown, I never have to bother with a schedule: any of the 7X express routes get me there, right quick. That sort of thing?


    1. Yes, 71, 72, 73, 74 Express are quick, they only run express until about 7p everyday except Sunday, when no express trips run, but as locals instead. You can also go to the Freeway Stops at 45th on the ramp headed south and catch a 510 or 511 which runs everyday and is always express.


  4. I have a few.

    Route 75 is a large semi circle that starts in the U District, mostly follows the shore of Lake Washington along Sand Point Way (Magnusson Park, Matthews Beach Park), Lake City, Northgate, and you end up in downtown Ballard. It’s probably the longest route within the city of Seattle.

    Route 48 used to be the longest (running from north of Ballard to Rainier Beach until it got shortened after Link opened) and still is the busiest crosstown route. You’ll see a variety of people on this bus as it makes its way across the city and it runs along Green Lake and Ravenna Blvd. Golden Gardens Beach is just down the hill from the terminal. Unfortunately, there’s no sidewalk. To get to the beach take hourly Route 46 from Fremont or Ballard.

    Route 8 begins in the heart of Lower Queen Anne by the Seattle Center and heads up to Capitol Hill via Denny, both of those neighborhoods are quite happening places, then it turns down quiet MLK in the Central District where there are nice street trees (spring blossoms and fall leaves), you’ll soon find yourself paralleling Link and ending in Rainier Beach.

    Route 11 takes you along Madison St, the only street to run continuously from the waterfront to Lake Washington. In the past this was a cable car, then a trolley bus route that carried people from the Kirkland ferry to downtown. Madison Park for views of the lake, 520 bridge and downtown Bellevue. Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden. There are shops and restaurants at the end of the line.

    Route 25, take the scenic path from the U District to downtown. It uses the winding road that parallels I-5 and crosses I-5 using that high flyover bridge. Great views of Lake Union.

    The shortest route in the city is Route 38. It’s basically a shuttle between Mt Baker and Beacon Hill stations serving people on the east slope of the hill.

    The 7 is the longest electric trolley bus route.

    The 5 goes by the zoo through Phinney Ridge. Check out Fremont Peak Park. Get off at Phinney & 46th St, walk west along 46th, south one block down Greenwood, and west on 45th. You can also use Route 44 trolley bus which serves Ballard, Wallingford, and the U District, all interesting neighborhoods.

    Some routes outside of Seattle:

    Route 271 U District to Issaquah, goes through Medina, Lake Hills Connector nature preserve, up the hill to Bellevue College, views of Lake Sammamish and I-90

    Route 209 Issaquah to North Bend via Fall City and Snoqualmie (the farthest east Metro goes). Visit Snoqualmie Falls and the NW Railway Museum. It even runs on the weekends (hourly).

    Route 224 Redmond-Duvall-Carnation-Fall City. See the Snoqualmie River Valley. There’re photos of a bus on that route that fell into a ditch on the STB flickr pool.

    Route 186 and 912 to Enumclaw (SE most route of Metro) you’ll pretty much see farms and the woods. I only drove down there once.

    I would say Link light rail between Rainier Beach and Tukwila is nice. Great views of Mt Rainier and the bus base.

    358 isn’t too bad in terms of scenery. You cross the Aurora Bridge (5 does too). See run down motels. Cut through Woodland Park. Glimpse Green Lake. See more strip malls and motels. Cut through two cemeteries. Then more strip malls all the way to the end.


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