A RIDE WITH A VIEW

The Most Beautiful Ferry Rides in the U.S.

  1. The Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry traverses Puget Sound in 35 minutes, enough time to nosh on local specialties like Ivar's clam chowder and Tully's coffee, served at the snack bar. (Courtesy Seattle\'s Convention and Visitors Bureau)
  2. Weather permitting, snowcapped Mount Rainier might be out for a photo op. (Courtesy Seattle\'s Convention and Visitors Bureau)
  3. Once on Bainbridge Island, get off the boat to explore the 23 miles of walking trails—stop by the dock's visitors center for a map. (Courtesy tobiaseigen/Flickr)
  4. The ferry leaves from downtown Seattle's Main Terminal building. Time your return trip to watch dusk settle over Puget Sound, and the city itself. (Courtesy Lana_aka_BADGRL/Flickr)
  5. The ferry at Halls Crossing links the northern and southern sections of Utah's State Highway 276 across Lake Powell. Watch the reflections of Navajo sandstone formations and clear-blue skies. (Courtesy Utah Office of Tourism)
  6. The Coast Mountains and Sitka's boat harbor, the end of the line on the Juneau-to-Sitka leg of the Alaska Marine Highway System. (Courtesy Brian Adams/Alaska Travel Industry Association)
  7. During the 10-hour ride between Juneau and Sitka on the Alaska Marine Highway System, you could spot sea otters, black bears, and humpback whales. (Courtesy Brian Adams/Alaska Travel Industry Association)
  8. Further south, Marine Highway System ferries stop in Ketchikan, from where this shot was taken. (Courtesy Michael Ball, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
  9. A scenic highlight of the Boston route is a view of the last manned lighthouse (and oldest continually used lighthouse site) in the country: Boston Light on Little Brewster Island (in forefront). (Courtesy Island Alliance)
  10. The Harbor Islands are a brief 15-minute ride from Boston's Long Wharf. Disembark on Spectacle Island or Georges Islands for picnicking, swimming, and guided tours. (Courtesy Kris*M/Flickr)
  11. Boston's passenger-only ferry departs six times a day for the Harbor Islands, a nearby recreation area. (Courtesy Island Alliance)
  12. On the 30-minute ride to Sausalito (one way), the ferry skirts past Alcatraz Island—but the sailboats are probably more picturesque. (JD Rinne)
  13. Go ashore at Sausalito and walk among the town's cute art galleries and shops or stop for fresh seafood at the many waterfront restaurants. (Courtesy John H. Kim/Flickr)
  14. The Golden Gate ferry sells wine and beer, so you can toast good times with friends as you take in the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island. (Courtesy Golden Gate Ferry)
  15. New York City's Staten Island Ferry offers classic views of the city's skyline and the Statue of Liberty. (Andria Patino/Corbis)
  16. Grab a soft pretzel and a beer from the snack bar of this massive, bright-orange ferry and enjoy the 25-minute ride. Then hitch a ride on the next ferry back as darkness falls and the city's skyscrapers light up. (Catherine Karnow/Corbis)
  17. The free ferry, which leaves every half hour, passes by the Statue of Liberty—close enough for a stellar photo. (Courtesy NYC & Company)
  18. The 40-seat ferry between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor, Maine, winds through clusters of lighthouse-topped rocky islets in Frenchman Bay. (Courtesy Maine Office of Tourism)
  19. During the ride, you'll catch a glimpse of lobster boats and, if you're lucky, seals, porpoises, and bald eagles. (Courtesy Blaine Harrington)

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