Arrive without a drive! Bus to state parks, part 2

Westhaven with bus crop

See the light! Hop on to Grays Harbor Transit for a hassle-free day at the ocean. Photo of Grays Harbor Lighthouse and Grays Harbor Transit bus by Michael Bruce.

Oct. 24, 2018

It’s fall, and the days are growing shorter. When it comes to outdoor recreation, it’s time to get bus-y!

If you don’t feel like driving or simply don’t drive, you still have options to get out and enjoy your Washington state parks. Take a lunch, a friend, the family or even a bike. Many public transportation systems have stops at or within walking distance of a beautiful state park destination. And when you visit a Washington state park by public transportation, you don't need a Discover Pass!


This blog is the second installment in a series spotlighting ways to visit parks by public transportation. Today, we are focusing on some of our ocean and Hood Canal area parks

Use the trip planners at each transit authority site to set your own course. Some trips may include a mile or less stroll to reach the park, but many stop right at the park.

Lake Sylvia

Answer the call to enjoy the fall! Grays Harbor Transit can also get you out to Lake Sylvia State Park via a combination of regular bus routes and Dial-a-Ride.

Grays Harbor Transit

Have a notion to visit the ocean? Grays Harbor Transit will bring you right to its door! Enjoy a day trip playing in the sand or watching the storms roll in, and then take a relaxing ride home. Or gather some gear and camp or stay in a cozy yurt or cabin! Plot your visit using bus line’s home page trip planner or maps. Grays Harbor also makes stops in Centralia and Olympia and connects with other transit lines. Bus in to Aberdeen or Hoquiam, then transfer to a great day — or three — of surf and sand!

Special mention:

Lake Sylvia State Park

Grays Harbor offers weekday Dial-a-Ride options from Montesano to this park that connect with Grays Harbor’s main lines. Fall leaves, fishing and stunning walks in the woods await at this classic northwest camping park. You can bus in to Montesano, then take the shuttle the rest of the way! Gather your walking shoes or even your fishing and camping gear and call (360) 532-2770 (select Option 3) at least one hour in advance of your desired leave time from Montensano.


Pack a picnic and ride the Mason Transit line out to Twanoh State Park where you can enjoy your lunch in a classic Civilian Conservation Corps kitchen shelter.

Mason Transit Authority

Explore the stunning Hood Canal region! Sit back on a Mason Transit coach and take in the fall colors and water views as you wend your way up US 101, SR 106 or SR 3. Take a picnic — you’ll find some fine spots to enjoy the waterside without the brisk blow of ocean breezes. This is also a well-known region for fishing and shellfishing, so consult your Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Health guidelines and consider bringing your tackle or digging equipment and even an overnight trip. The Mason line also has service to Olympia and Bremerton.


Explore the shore and more! Take Pacific Transit to Cape Disappointment and play in the sand at Dead Man's Cove. 

Pacific Transit System

Get right to the point — the easy way! The Long Beach Peninsula has long been one of Washington’s most popular Pacific playgrounds. Try the Pacific Transit System for an easy way to enjoy this surf, sand, seafood and souvenir mecca. Head out for some history at one of the region’s most beautiful lighthouses (North Head), or bring a kite and get your kicks with some water and wind. Stop into Ilwaco for some world-class seafood before you ride home. You can even take a nap. Hey — you don’t have to drive!

Learn More

Ride the bus to our ADA accessible parks!
Visit our interactive online ADA recreation map today.

Do you have a handy way of visiting state parks without taking your car?
Tell us about it and share your pictures here!

Learn about more parks you can visit by public transportation.
Read the first blog in our series for more tips, tricks and exciting destinations!