Seattle’s iconic Space Needle rises 605 feet (184 meters), like a beacon towering over the city. Erected in 1962, this unique building resembles a futuristic flying saucer set on irregular legs.
The views are great, whether you’re looking up at the Space Needle from the grounds of the Seattle Center or looking down from the observation platform. The views are beautiful on a cloudy day and absolutely breathtaking when it’s sunny.
The tower is a comfortable walk of just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) from downtown. Alternatively, enjoy a ride on the Monorail, which leaves every 10 minutes from Westlake Center mall at Fifth Avenue and stops at the base of the Space Needle. Elevators whisk visitors up to the enclosed observation deck in a matter of seconds. On a fine day, step outside and walk all around the outdoor terrace for 360-degree views of the surrounding city. Free telescopes are strategically placed around the outside observation area.
Children in particular will love exploring the surrounding Seattle Center, with its green spaces and great fountain, and carts selling popcorn and rope licorice. The Pacific Science Center, a sidewalk away from the Needle, is a fun place to spend a few hours. Take in a show at the IMAX Theater, or gaze at the stars in the Willard Smith Planetarium. If you’re hungry, the Center House offers an expansive food court and sometimes entertainment.
Browse the gift shop at the Space Needle for all kinds of space-themed souvenirs to take home as a memento.
The Space Needle is located in lower Queen Anne, about a 10-minute drive from downtown. Parking for a fee is available. It’s open year round, day and evening.