Detour to the Big Show
Traffic Hacks for 2019 Seattle Boat Show
By now, your excitement for the Seattle Boat Show (January 25 through February 2) may be tempered by the coinciding Alaskan Way Viaduct closing starting on January 11. Although the traffic pinch will undoubtedly be worse than normal, don’t let the sky-is-falling pessimism of “via-doomers” dissuade you from attending the biggest and best boating party of the year! Here are ten tips for maximizing your enjoyment at the show and minimizing road angst.
1. Work downtown? Don’t fight the traffic. Stay after work and enjoy the show while the traffic clears out. The show is open until 2000 hours on weekdays and 2100 hours on Friday nights. As an added bonus, you can quaff some fine wine or sip some suds on Friday nights at the Uncorked (January 25) and Sails & Ales (February 1) evening events.
2. If your schedule allows, come mid-week and midday. Savvy show attendees know that this is the best time to see the show as dealers, brokers, and factory reps have more time to give you their undivided attention.
3. Get in the mood and boat to the show! Drop anchor at Bell Harbor Marina for a night or two. From there it’s a short walk, Lyft ride or pedicab trip to CenturyLink Field Event Center. Boating to the show will be a great reminder of all the new things you are thinking about getting for your boat, in case you don’t already have a list. Note that Bell Harbor is not a part of the in-water show this year due to the closing of the viaduct, so more space for you!
4. Leave the driving to Lyft and transit. Lyft is committed to helping Seattleites navigate the viaduct closure and is offering a $2.75 discount (the cost of a transit ticket) on all shared rides to and from select transit centers. From the stadium transit station, it’s a short walk to the CenturyLink Field Event Center. While enjoying your bus or light rail ride, study the boat show website for the seminars and exhibitors, and plan your visit to the show. For more info about the offer and how to claim it visit: lyft.com/i/realign99
5. Plan a staycation. Purchase the 9-Day BIG pass (only $30) and book a few nights with one of the show’s hotel partners who offer Seattle Boat Show discounts. You can enjoy two or more days of boat show fun at a more relaxed pace and then dine out at night and not worry about driving home after imbibing too much of your favorite tipple.
6. Gather your yacht club friends and carpool. Buy your tickets online and receive free parking daily at Mariners Garage (formerly Safeco Field Garage) and on weekends near South Lake Union at the Yale Avenue North garage. The yacht club that brings the most members to the show on any given day (and proves it with an onsite group photo) wins a big trophy, bragging rights as the most spirited yacht club in the region, and $500 to spend at their next event. Check out the website for details about other prizes and categories.
7. West Seattleites – take the scenic on-water route. Catch the water taxi and then jump in a pedicab or walk to CenturyLink. It’s a short stroll to the stadium.
8. Live anywhere between Queen Anne and Pioneer Square? Catch the free Waterfront Shuttle that has 14 convenient stops. Visit: downtownseattle.org/parking/#!/shuttle
9. Catch the Sounder. The South Line runs seven daily roundtrips between Lakewood and King Street Station. It runs 11 trips from Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, and King Street Station. The North Line runs four daily roundtrips between Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, and King Street Station. King Street station is just a few steps away from the north entrance to the show at CenturyLink.
10. Once at the show, leave the driving to the show. A free shuttle runs continuously between CenturyLink Field Event Center and South Lake Union. Use it!