How to Get Here & Where to Stay in 2018
The 2018 Sean-nós NW Irish Festival will be held at The Evergreen State College, just west of Olympia, Washington. Located about half-way between Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, Olympia is the state capital.
This year, we decided NOT to arrange for a "festival hotel." For both of the two closest hotels, the prices offered on sites like hotels.com were less than we can negotiate for a festival discount.
Hotel RL is located of Highway 101, about six miles from the college. It is a pet-friendly hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar, free wi-fi, a fitness center, and free shuttle service for the Olympia area.
Extended Stay America is also conveniently located right off of Highway 101, about six miles from the college. It is a pet-friendly hotel with a kitchenette in every room, including a cooktop, refrigerator, and microwave (dishes and cooking utensils available on request, if you'd like). They provide free "Grab and Go" breakfast options, such as coffee, pastries, oatmeal, and fruit.
Both hotels are located off the same exit. One is on the south side of the exit, the other is on the north side (up a side street). It is about 1.5 miles between the two locations, so keep that in mind if you are arranging carpools!
If you'd like help finding accommodations, send us a note via the Contact page and let us know what you're looking for.
We recommend flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The airport is located about 50 miles north of Olympia. If you do not want to rent a car, you can catch the Capital Aeroporter shuttle service on the ground level of the airport, near doors 00. You can book a shuttle on-line at www.capair.com. Both round trip and one-way options are available. Normal round-trip cost is $80 plus tip.
Depending on when your flights are and if you're willing to be flexible, we may be able to give you a lift to or from the airport. We will try to collect travelers on Friday and return you to the airport on Monday. Send us a note via the Contact page if you'd like to try this option.
You can also fly into Portland, Oregon, but it is far less convenient. There are no shuttle services between Olympia and Portland. We may be able to put you in touch with a carpool, but we would strongly recommend renting a car if you decide to fly into Portland. Depending on the time of day, you'll probably need to allow up to two hours to get to Olympia from the Portland airport, although sometimes the trip can take just over an hour and a half.
If you'd prefer to travel to Olympia by train, the Amtrak station is located in the adjacent city of Lacey and the station designation is OLW. Please note that the Northbound Coast Starlight train frequently runs late -- sometimes very late. If you have the option to take a Cascades train instead, you are more likely to arrive on time (or close to it). If you are arriving on Friday and departing Monday, we may be able to provide a lift to and from the station. Send us a note via the Contact page if you'd like to arrange for a lift. If we can't collect you, there are taxis available. The train station is about 9 miles from the hotel.
Greyhound does stop in Olympia, but the BOLT Bus option doesn't. There are (at last check) three buses each day both Northbound and Southbound that stop in Olympia. The Greyhound station is in downtown Olympia, on the local bus route. Send us a note via the Contact page if you like to arrange for a lift. If we can't collect you, there are taxis available. The bus station is about 4 miles from the hotel. You can also take the Intercity Transit bus routes 43 or 44 (both of which leave from the downtown transit station, about a quarter of a mile from the Greyhound station -- you can easily catch a connecting bus to get to the transit center).
You can catch a local transit bus to Olympia, even from SeaTac Airport. You'll most likely want to take a SoundTransit bus to the Park & Ride located at Highway SR 512 just south of Tacoma. SoundTransit route 594 runs to and from downtown Seattle, and route 574 runs to and from SeaTac Airport. From the 512 Park & Ride, you can transfer to an Olympia-bound Intercity Transit bus (numbered in the 600s, usually 603 or 605 on weekdays or 620 on weekends). If you get off the bus at the Olympia Transit Center, you can transfer to a local bus going to either the festival hotel (route 43 or 44, the hotel is next to SPSCC) or go directly to Evergreen (route 41, get off at the Evergreen loop). Cash fares one-way should total between $8-10 from Seattle. More information about local transit and route planners are available at www.soundtransit.org and www.intercitytransit.com.
We plan to have an organized shuttle service available between the hotel and the Festival events, including the Saturday night concert and the session on Sunday evening. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please drop us a note via the Contact page so we can make arrangements.
If you are going to use one or more shuttle services, we would ask you to make a donation to help off-set the associated costs. It's not required, but it would be appreciated!