Ask any tourist to point to the place they believe one might find the best view of Seattle, and you can, 9 times out of 10, follow an imaginary line from the tip of his or her finger to the top of the Space Needle – a completely reasonable assumption. However, while we recognize the Needle’s iconic position in the city, we respectfully request to disagree.
See, the drawback is this: the Space Needle is an epochal part of Seattle’s landscape, and you can’t see the Space Needle from…the top of the Space Needle. Also, at $25 per person, that’s not a cheap view.
So, without further ado – here are three places you’ll find breathtaking visions of the Emerald City.
Any established Seattleite will tell you – if you’re looking for a solid view of the city’s basic contours, you go to Kerry Park. The view is so fantastic, and so unobstructed, in fact, that the park packs out every New Year’s Eve with clamouring families and lovestruck couples, awaiting the stunning fireworks that thrust and crackle annually from all sides of the Space Needle.
Just a short drive from downtown Seattle, this West Seattle gem of a park provides sweeping views of the city’s skyline and the bay. Add a little adventure and relaxation to your pursuit! Hop into a kayak and paddle your way across the bay. Seacrest is also a diving hub and boathouse, with a few hand carry boat launches speckled here and there.
Sky View Observatory
“But, writer,” you ask, “what if I don’t want to just see the skyline? What if I want to be in the middle of it all, with a bird’s eye view?” We’ve got you covered there, too.
Located on the 73rd floor of Columbia Center, the Sky View Observatory provides a perch at almost 1,000 feet – the tallest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest. (In case you’re wondering, the Space Needle is only 605 feet high.) The view from the Observatory is 360 degrees of panoramic Emerald City goodness. You’ll see Mount Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle, and more.
As if that wasn’t enough, at just $14.75/9.00 for adults and children, respectively, the cost is nearly half the admission to our beloved Needle.
The Sky View Observatory is located on the 73rd floor of Columbia Center. At nearly 1,000 feet it offers the tallest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest. The 360 degree panoramic view includes Mt. Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle and the city of Seattle.
Developed by Martin Selig, the 76-story, 1.5 million square foot Columbia Center—home to Sky View Observatory—was completed in 1985. Clad in smoked tempered glass and Carnelian granite, the structure boasts 8,800 windows, 2,100 hydronic heat pumps, 48 elevators, and 6 escalators. The many technical innovations required for such a large scale project, such as viscoelastic dampers and triangle shaped bracing, enable Columbia Center to withstand earthquakes and hurricane force winds, making it one of the strongest and safest buildings in the Pacific Northwest.