Best Views From the Top
Here are the places where you can get the best bird’s eye view of the Cascade mountains, city scape, water, and natural beauty of Puget Sound.
Space Needle Observation Deck
400 Broad Street
Seattle, WA 98109
The Space Needle Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2012! Still ahead of its time, the Space Needle features breathtaking views of the Seattle area and beyond. Journey skyward to the Observation Deck for 360 degrees of indoor and outdoor viewing at 520′. You can also head down from the Observation deck to the world-famous revolving restaurant, SkyCity, where you can dine 500 feet above the ground. The restaurant revolves slowly. In 60 minutes, you’ll have made a complete 360 degree rotation with views at every turn – literally! You can pre-buy your Observation Deck tickets online at http://www.spaceneedle.com. All ticket prices include a free digital download from the SpaceShots photography department. You can send your photo to family and friends from the Observation Deck or from your home computer. Observation Deck Admission prices are: Adults (age 13 – 64)/$19; Children (ages 4-12)/$12; Children (ages 3 & under)/free; Seniors (ages 65+)/$17. For dinner reservations at the SkyCity restaurant, click HERE.
Columbia Center Observation Deck
701 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
The 73rd floor of this bank building, completed in 1985, gives beautiful views on weekdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm. $5, $3 seniors and students. It’s the tallest building in Washington, standing 76 floors. You cannot get a 360 view, but an expansive and gorgeous view from the center of the downtown business district that overlooks the Cascade mountains, much of downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. The express elevators will whisk you up to the observation deck, however, you’ll have to exit the elevator at the 40th floor and enter another elevator to take you to floor 73. The Columbia Tower Club is on the 76th floor. It is the premier business and dining club in Seattle. Networking, dinners, celebrations and more happen on the top floor of the Columbia Center. For more information about the Columbia Tower Club, click HERE.
Smith Tower Observation Deck
506 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
The Smith Tower Observation Deck is Seattle’s original and most accessible view since 1914! No other observatory puts you in the middle of the downtown skyline or closer to Seattle’s historic waterfront. The 35th floor, outside, open-air Observation Deck wraps completely around all four sides of the historic Smith Tower providing breathtaking panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges. Plus, it’s the closest view in town of Safeco Field, the Colman Ferry Terminal, and Pioneer Square.
Access to the Observation Deck and 35th floor Chinese Room is through the last manually operated elevators on the west coast. These brass and copper caged original 1914 elevators depart from a ground floor recently returned to its original footprint as part of a $28 million restoration. The detailed plaster and woodwork ceiling provides a colorful backdrop for the 22 larger-than-life Indian heads that watch over the onyx and marble paneled lobby. The Observation Deck is open year around and most holidays. Tickets are: Adults/$7.50; Seniors (60+) and Students with ID/$6.00; Children age 6-12/$5.00; and children 5 and under are free.
Volunteer Park Water Tower
1247 15th Ave. East
Seattle, WA 98112
Volunteer Park is home to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Located on Capitol Hill, the Water Tower offers a FREE observation of downtown Seattle and the surrounding areas. The Water Tower was built in 1906. There are 106 steps to the observation deck at the top (no elevators). The tower stands over 75 feet above the pavement, and you’ll see from an over 500 foot elevation. The Landmarks Preservation Board designated Volunteer Park as a Seattle Landmark on November 2, 2011. To learn more about the Seattle Asian Art Museum, located on the Volunteer Park grounds, click HERE.
Port of Tacoma Public Observation Tower
1 Sitcum Way
Tacoma, WA 98421
The FREE Public Observation Tower is an open-air concrete structure with viewing platforms on four levels. Located in the parking lot of the Port of Tacoma Administration Building, the four-story tower provides panoramic views of the Sitcum Waterway, rail yards and marine terminals. The tower was dedicated on November 21, 1988. You must be able to climb stairs (no elevators). The observation deck is located at the water’s edge.