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Distance between Seattle and Tacoma

Driving non-stop from Seattle to Tacoma

How far is Tacoma from Seattle? Here's the quick answer if you make this quick drive without any stops. Of course, traffic is going to make a big difference so make sure you check that before leaving.

Nonstop drive: 33 miles or 53 km

Driving time: 35 minutes

Even on a short drive, it might be more interesting to stop along the way and explore the local area. You can scroll down to see the calculation if you drive with stops.

Flying non-stop from Seattle to Tacoma

Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Seattle, Washington and Tacoma, Washington. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

Flight distance: 25 miles or 40 km

Flight time: 33 minutes

The straight line flight distance is 8 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.3x of the flight distance.

Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/1th of the time it would take to drive.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.

Seattle to Tacoma road trip

Let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Tacoma, and you want to stop on the way to explore. If it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting places along the way, or maybe eat at a great restaurant. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.

Road trip: 1 day of driving

With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.

Travel time: 42 minutes on the road


Start in Seattle.

Drive for about 5 minutes, then stop at Capitol Hill Neighborhood and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 6 minutes then stop at The Corson Building and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 5 minutes then stop at Museum of Flight and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 7 minutes then stop in SeaTac and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 12 minutes then stop in Federal Way and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 6 minutes then stop in Fife and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 5 minutes then stop at LeMay - America's Car Museum and stay for 1 hour.

Finally, drive for about 5 minutes and arrive in Tacoma.

To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:

Seattle to Tacoma airports and flights

In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.

To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.

Departure airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Arrival airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.

Getting to the airport: 33 minutes

Getting to your destination: 45 minutes

Now finally, let's look at an actual flight from SEA to SEA and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

Commercial flight time: 33 minutes

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Seattle to Tacoma including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.

Total travel time: 4 hours

Plan a trip to Tacoma

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Tacoma, Washington. A great place to eat might be Duke's Chowder House. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Tacoma like Museum of Glass. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Tacoma like What is Tacoma weather like in the summer?. Click the button below to explore Tacoma in detail.

How far is it the other way?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Tacoma to Seattle, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.

If you happen to know Seattle, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Seattle!

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At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 33 miles
driving time of 35 minutes
flight distance is 25 miles
flight time of 33 minutes
212 Seattle travel answers
10 Tacoma travel answers

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