Seattle’s King Street Station is a landmark in the Amtrak system. Completed in 1906, it served as the passenger train stations for the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railways in Seattle. As Amtrak’s current Seattle train station, it is still an exciting place to begin or end a train trip.
Here are five tips/hints for making your visit to Seattle King Street Station enjoyable:
One: If you plan to wait at the station, bring your bag lunch or snacks with you. There are no restaurants or snack bars in the station. Alternatively, arrive early and eat at one of the nearby Pioneer Square restaurants such as Tully’s Coffee on 2nd Avenue South, King Street Bar and Oven (American and Italian food) and Asia Ginger Teriyaki also on 2nd Avenue South.
Two: If you check your bags, you will be able to explore the historic station. You will notice that it is being remodeled to restore it to its original luster. If you walk outside you will see the station’s 242 foot clock tower that was inspired by the Piazza de San Marco’s bell tower in Venice, Italy. When you come back through the main entrance, you will be walking through the Compass Room, which is the base of the clock tower. See its marble compass star laid into the floor. As the restoration continues, other historical features of Seattle’s train station will come back to life.
Three: Speaking of front door, there is only one public entrance to Seattle’s King Street Station. It is located at the foot of King Street. You do not want to be dropped off on Jackson Street by the station since there is no entrance from there at the current time.
Four: Don’t be fooled by Hertz’s website. There is not a rental car counter for any company at the King Street Station. Most of the national brands such as Avis and Enterprise will pick you up at the front door of the train station or reimburse your taxi fare. Also, you may want to check outFox Rent A Car located at the Sea-Tac Airport. They may pick you up if they are not busy. Given their low rates, it may be worth the cab ride to their airport location. Also, they are open when many other downtown Seattle rental car offices are closed.
Five: If you have time, don’t miss sampling Seattle Pioneer Square’s shops and services. There are 18 art galleries and antique stores within 4 blocks of King Street Station. You can get fine soap and personal care products at the Seattle Soap Company store on Jackson Street. Or you may wish to visit the Ebbets Field Factory Outlet on South Main Street where you can purchase vintage-inspired sports-themed clothing.