Viewing a city from an overhead perspective is a great way to visualize the architectural beauty that fits all of the pieces together to make up a city. Heading to Seattle, we were excited about heading to the summit of the iconic structure that is the Space Needle and take in the spectacular views of not only the surrounding city, but also the harbor, bay area and distant mountain ranges.
Standing at 605ft tall, the Space Needle was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River and its history dates back to 1961 when construction was finalized in time for the Seattle World Fair in 1962.
Two Trips Are Better Than One
Arriving in Seattle on a stereotypical day in terms of the weather, yes that’s right you guessed correctly with torrential rain and a misty atmosphere, we were hopeful that the weather would improve to maximize our experience at the Space Needle. Courtesy of the Seattle CityPASS, we had access to the Space Needle on two separate occasions during a 24-hour period. This is ideal if you want to take in the views during the day and then head back later to take in the scenery at night.
During our second day in Seattle, we noticed a gap in the weather and almost caught a glimpse of the forgotten concept in this part of the world – sunshine! We decided that this was our opportunity to head up the Space Needle and hopefully the weather would remain on our side, at least until we had time to take in the scenic views.
Parking and Admission
Parking around the Space Needle is just like any other city center. Limited yet available but at a premium price! Fortunately we found a spot not too far from the structure that was actually the parking lot for the local Seattle Ducks that apparently was closed for the winter season. A short walk lead us to the base of the Space Needle and after heading through a brief security checkpoint, we headed up the elevator to the summit.
After exiting the elevator, you are immediately faced with the gorgeous views around Seattle. A 360-degree observation deck allows you to head outside and face the elements as you walk around and peer through the railings across this beautiful city.
Unfortunately due to the inclement weather of the previous day and given the overcast conditions, our views across the bay and towards the Cascade Mountains and Olympic National Park were restricted. But the overhead conditions didn’t prevent us from taking in the jaw-dropping views of downtown Seattle and into the surrounding metropolis.
Views of the city
I am a huge proponent of experiencing skyscrapers and the tallest structures around the world so it was natural that we visited the Space Needle. Heading to the summit of these buildings is a great way to map out the rest of your stay in a location because you get a birds eye view of the city and can spot some of the landmarks you wish to visit. Here is a quick tip – map out your journey around the city mentally and then put these ideas into practice when you return to ground level!
I could probably have stayed outside taking in the Seattle air for several hours but we returned inside and experienced the really cool, interactive wall that provides photographs of the Space Needle, Seattle area and beyond. Another feature of this wall is that you are able to add your ‘hometown’ location and it outlines a route along with the distance from the Space Needle (a nice way to market A Brit and A Southerner!)
A Revolving Restaurant
If you are interested in really maximizing your experience at the Space Needle, I would recommend heading to the Space Needle Restaurant at the top, which is a revolving deck and provides a romantic ambience with stunning views around the city. Reservations ahead of time are recommended if you want to take advantage of this restaurant and treat your loved one to a luxury meal as you feel like you are on top of the world.
Why Visit the Space Needle, Seattle?
The Space Needle experience is no different from any other tall structure around the world. You take the elevator to the summit and then simply take in the spectacular views. But the unique aspect here is that you are able to view Seattle in a way that no other structure can provide. I highly recommend experiencing the Space Needle and seeing Seattle from a different perspective!
Try this at the beginning of your visit and you will really reap the benefits later as you continue to explore the rest of Seattle.
You can view more of our pictures taken at the top of the Space Needle and also inside here: Space Needle Seattle Gallery.
Disclaimer – We would like to thank Visit Seattle for providing us with 2 CityPASS booklets for our trip. These are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.