A walker wonders: Best route from ferry terminal to Westlake?

A walker wonders:

Do your readers have the best route (least steep) from the ferry terminal to Westlake? What are the suggestions?

This is a route familiar to many tourists, or locals who have visitors. The vertical gain is over 120 feet between the waterfront, which is basically at sea level, and Westlake Center in the retail core. If you walk along the waterfront and then try to cut over at Pike, Union, or University, you’re faced with over 100 steps to climb. So, what’s a walker to do?

For those in the know, there are some elevators for parking garages near Pike Place Market that bring you from the waterfront up to Western Avenue. There’s still a hill there, or steps to climb, but the elevator cuts out half of the elevation gain.

However, my preference would be to make the uphill climb on foot. The ferry terminal exits to a walkway on Marion St, that will take you over Alaskan Way and Western Ave and straight to First Ave. First Avenue is one of the the best streets to walk along downtown in my opinion, based on the historical buildings, retail options, and its role in connecting Pike Place Market to Pioneer Square. The incline is very gradual on First and if you continue it eventually will take you to Pike or Pine from where the walk to Westlake will be relatively flat.

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1 Response to “A walker wonders: Best route from ferry terminal to Westlake?”


  • There is an elevator at Lenora and the waterfront, near the stairs and a restaurant with outdoor seating. Puts you a bit north of Westlake Center.

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