Operated by Sound Transit, the LINK light rail runs from Sea-Tac Airport to downtown Seattle, and then north to Westlake. It has convenient stops downtown near areas of interest to Seattle visitors and is by far the best way to take public transportation from the airport to Seattle hotels.
LINK light rail tickets can be purchased through an unattended machine at all stations. While passengers may enter without passing through any ticket turnstiles or ticket checks, all passengers are required to have valid fare and fare inspectors are present.
Sea-Tac Airport is connected to LINK light rail via the main terminal. Follow the signs for Sound Transit/LINK light rail-- if you miss them, look for the pedestrian bridge near baggage carousel 16 and cross it to get to the light rail station.
The Seattle area is served by two bus companies-- Sound Transit, and King County Metro Transit. Metro Transit operates in King County (Seattle and surrounding suburbs), while Sound Transit operates in a larger area encompassing King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.
For those traveling in the Greater Seattle area, Sound Transit operates convenient express buses south to Tacoma, east to Bellevue, and north to Everett.
For sightseeing in Seattle, King County Metro Transit has an extensive network of bus lines. Printed schedules are available free of charge at many hotels and all tourism bureaus. In the downtown core of Seattle, Metro buses are free from 6AM-7PM. This downtown core is the Ride Free Area, and it extends from Battery St. in the north to S. Jackson St. in the south, from 6th Ave. in the east to the waterfront in the west.
Driving in Seattle is not especially stressful, although parking downtown can be difficult and costly. Parking tickets are expensive and enforced strictly. Rental cars are available at the airport and in many locations around Seattle.
Taxis are not plentiful in Seattle as they are in cities like New York, but can be a good way to get from the airport to downtown hotels. The ride from the airport to the downtown core takes about 25 minutes. To catch a taxi from Sea-Tac Airport, cross the Skybridge to the parking garage, and take the elevator one floor down to the third level.