Getting to Bumbershoot: All your transportation Options

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Article Summary

  • If you can, bike to Bumbershoot
  • If you can’t bike take public transportation to Bumbershoot
  • If you really must you can drive, but go as early as possible as it is a holiday weekend and very busy in Seattle during Bumbershoot

Let’s talk about how you are going to get to Bumbershoot.  Anytime a large festival like Bumbershoot is held inside a major city you can expect massive amounts of traffic, expensive parking and a lot of headaches with getting there.  The goal of this article is to give you some tips on how to get to Bumbershoot as easily as possible.

Bumbershoot Location

Where is Bumbershoot?

Before we discuss how you get to Bumbershoot, let’s quickly go ovr where Bumbershoot is held in Seattle.  Bumbershoot is held in Seattle, WA at the Seattle Center.  The official address for Bumbershoot is 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109.  The Seattle Center is about 1.5 miles north of Downtown Seattle.  Just head towards the Space Needle and you will get to Bumbershoot.

Driving to Bumbershoot

Bumbershoot is held over Labor Day weekend in Seattle.  That is another way of saying there is going to be really, really bad traffic.  Parking will also be quite expensive and fill up early in the morning.  This is all to say that I truly do not recommend driving to Bumbershoot.  Obviously you still can, but it’s not my recommendation. 

If you do drive to Bumbershoot I highly suggest heading down early, even before Bumbershoot opens, to try to snag a parking spot before they all fill up.  It is highly unlikely that you are going to find free parking anywhere remotely near Bumbershoot, so don’t waste time driving around looking for it.  The Seattle Center does have suggested parking areas which you can find here.  The closest parking garages to the Seattle Center are the Mercer Street Garage, the 5th Avenue North Garage, and the 1st Avenue North Garage.  These will fill up early so if you want to park at one of these locations near Bumbershoot go early! If you do find street parking be sure to check the parking rules before leaving your car there, some streets close at certain hours for Bumbershoot.

Biking to Bumbershoot

Biking to Bumbershoot is a fantastic option, if you live or have a hotel close enough to Bumbershoot to do so.  Bumbershoot provides free bike parking, which you can find near the Space Needle on Broad Street.  It is important to note that there is free bike parking but you do need to bring your own lock.  I would also make a note on your phone or your Bumbershoot map of where you locked up your bike.  A lot of people bike to Bumbershoot and it can be hard to find where you parked your bike in the hoard of hundreds of other bikes.  It can be especially difficult to find your bike in the mess of bikes after you’ve enjoyed a few adult beverages!

Seattle Monorail

Taking the Link Light Rail to Bumbershoot

If you stay near a stop along the Link Light Rail it is a great option for getting to Bumbershoot.  In case you are unaware, the Link Light Rail is a train that runs from the Seattle Airport to Seattle and beyond.  It’s a great option for getting to Bumbershoot as it runs very frequently (generally every 15 minutes) and is only a few bucks ($2.25 – $3.50 each way).  If you do take the Link Light Rail you can take it from the airport, or any stop along the way, and get off at the 3rd & Vine stop in Seattle.  From here it is only about a 7 minute walk to Bumbershoot. The train is also affordable as it is only $2.25 each way.  One option is to drive to one of the Link Light Rail stops, park near the stop, and take the train into Seattle for Bumbershoot.  This lets you avoid traffic and parking fees, and is relatively convenient.

Taking the Bus to Bumbershoot

This is definitely possible, and an option a lot of people take advantage of for Bumbershot.  You should check out the official Bus trip planner page to put in your exact location to see which bus you could take to Bumbershoot.  You can visit their trip planner page at tripplanner.kingcounty.gov.  Just a word of warning: the buses are extremely packed as a lot of people use them to get to Bumbershoot, at least the buses from near downtown Seattle.  If you are hopping on a bus away from downtown you can probably get a seat, but if you are getting on in downtown expect to be standing and crammed in like sardines.  Still, it’s a really inexpensive option with most bus trips only being $2 or so.

Seattle Monorail for Bumbershoot

Monorail to Bumbershoot

The Monorail runs between the Seattle Center, where Bumbershoot takes place, and Westlake.  If you are staying in these areas it’s an awesome way to get to and from Bumbershoot.  The monorail runs every ten minutes and is only $2.25 for adults each way ($1.00 for kids).  The monorail offers limited coverage in terms of the areas it visits, but if you are along the route I highly suggest you take advantage of it.  You can get all the information on the Seattle Monorail here.

Uber or Lyft to Bumbershoot

Definitely possible, but expect high surcharges for peak times, especially when leaving Bumbershoot.  It’s also rather difficult to get a car after Bumbershoot as thousands of people are leaving the festival, many of whom are requesting vehicles.  I don’t suggest Uber if you are trying to save money, but if you are more concerned with convenience it’s an option if you can get one.

Final Words

If you can bike to Bumbershoot it’s probably your best option as it offers maximum flexibility and you don’t have to deal with the crowds of the buses or the traffic in the streets.  If you can use some form of public transportation to Bumbershoot it is also a good option.  I’d strongly suggest not driving to Bumbershoot but if you must there are parking options, just go early.

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