Eric, a former Seattle resident, gave us this tip:
The thing I would recommend more than anything else is taking a ferry. They’re just awesome. There is a ferry terminal downtown (a couple blocks from Pike Place). The ferries are huge and you can walk on for much cheaper than taking the van. Going across to Bainbridge [Island] is what I’d vote for … You can wander the small town once you get there. But really it’s all about the ride itself.
After a bit of debate, we decided to bring the van along for our ferry ride. We’d take it to Bainbridge Island then head towards Olympic National Park. The ride was awesome — took about 40 minutes. We had a beer while we watched the world go by outside the windows. It was a much more pleasant experience than driving the hundred miles around the Sound.