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Is Seattle a car-friendly city?

I'll be staying near Pike Place for a week and was thinking of venturing out to other neighborhoods and considering renting a car.  How's street parking around there?  My hotel charges $30 a day for parking.  I realize that $30 for one day parking may be an indicator that street parking may be difficult, but I thought it'd be worth a shot to ask anyways.

1 Answer

answered first by
Debbie from San Francisco

You're right -- $30/day parking is a good indicator that street parking isn't the greatest :P  In fact, $30 is kind of considered a steal as the lowest you'd probably find is still in the mid-to-high $20s. 

If you're just traveling between different neighborhoods within Seattle, I would highly suggest not getting a car, especially if you're going to end up near Pike Place every night.  It's just not worth the hassle.  Not only are their time limits on most every street in downtown, but there are also meters.  Also, if you're from out of state, Seattle (or maybe it's all of Washington) have some unusual parking rules that you may not be aware of.  Oh, and their meter maids (and highway patrols, for that matter) are very, very on top of things.  There is *some* slightly more forgiving parking options on the more residential streets on the edge of downtown, but then you're really far away from Pike Place.

My suggestion?  Take public transportation.  Seattle's Light Link Rail system and their bus lines are very convenient to take.  If you have a smartphone, the Google Map app has very accurate schedules.  Speaking of smartphones, if you're familiar with SideCar and Lyft, both companies are up in Seattle now.  If you're not familiar, they're two peer-to-peer rideshare companies that are pretty much like cabs and you can order rides through your smartphone, which is super convenient.  Seattle's not that big, so wherever you have to go in the city, it's not going to be that far!

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