Playing Tourist at the Seattle Space Needle


Summer time is here. For those of us living in Seattle it generally means we stay put. Why in the world would we every think of leaving in the most beautiful months of the year? The sun is out and the temperature is in the 70s and 80s.

With this perfect weather come the visitors.

We have had a slew of family roll through town. They are eager to see the sights. I am happy to play tourist along with them. Some want to go on hikes and check out the areas green spaces, but our first guests of the season were itching to see as many of the man-made attractions as possible.

The Space Needle is usually at the top of most visitors’ lists when they head into the city. I’ve been here 6 years. Somehow I’ve managed never to see it. Honestly I’ve had no interest. It is very pretty to walk by, but I prefer the views from Kerry Park. It is free and I get a view of the Space Needle, one of Seattle’s most iconic symbols. 

Nevertheless, I found myself a little giddy as Dek, Ty and I rode the elevator to the top with our out-of-town guests. It was the perfect day to visit. The skies were a deep blue with just a few white clouds dotting the landscape. I could see Mt. Rainier in the distance and the Olympic mountains stretching across Puget Sound.

Within mere seconds we were whisked to the top of the Needle in a glass front elevator. Dek wasn’t scared at all. He was eager to get out and explore with his friends.

If Dek had been scared the viewfinders stationed around the walkway would have enticed him out in no time. As you might have guessed Dek had to put his eye up (and in some cases his mouth…sorry future visitors) to every single one. There were many. Too many.

As we walked around the deck we saw seaplanes taking off, a fireboat in Lake Union spraying water, and boats coming into port. I pointed out the revolving ball on top of the Seattle P.I. building, Mt. Rainier, my old office downtown and the city of Bellevue off in the distance.

This may have been one of Seattle’s premiere tourist attractions, and there were certainly a number of people up there with us, but it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. We had beat the rush. By the end of our visit the lines had started to form as tourists finished up their lunches and made their way to the next sight on their list.

I was more than surprised by how much fun I had sharing the city sights from above. We finished our visit with our friends at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. I took off for naptime, while they went off to take full advantage of their CityPASS. They squeezed in the EMP, Children’s Museum and Pacific Science Center. By 10pm they all collapsed at their hotel.

The weather continues to be perfect in the Pacific Northwest. The visitors continue to roll through. With each visit I see something new. What a great excuse to play tourist in my own town. 

Know Before You Go

  • Seattle Space Needle, 400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109 (near the Monorail and Seattle Center House)
  • Open 365 days a year, but check the website. They will close sections for parties and events.
  • Hours: 9am to 12am (see the city during the day and the lights at night)
  • Admission Price(tickets available online)
    • Observation Deck admissions: $19 Regular | $12 Youth (4-12 yrs old) | 3 and under Free
    • Day + Night Admissions (2 visits in 24 hours): $26 Regular | $17 Youth (4-12 yrs old) | 3 and under Free
    • Covered under the CityPASS (6 sights for 1 price): $69 Adult | $44 Youth (4-12 yrs old)
  • If you plan on visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass grab a combo ticket available at either venue.
    • $33 Regular | $21 Youth (4-12 yrs old) | 3 and under Free
    • Note: the Garden is not covered under the CityPass
  • Strollers must be left at the base of the Space Needle. There is no secure spot for them other than a designated area outside, but no one touched out stroller.

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Showing 10 comments
  • Reply

    Beautiful pictures! What a great, clear day for a visit. I have friends who have lived in Seattle for almost 20 years and have never gone up the Space Needle. They cite the same reasons you did. 🙂 We got lucky during our visit a couple of years ago and loved the panoramic views.

  • Merisi in Vienna

    Such gorgeous pictures! The first one is such a unique image, so many-layered.
    Thank you for this wonderful introduction to your fair city,

  • Jim
  • Reply

    Your pictures are so vibrant! I’ve never been to Seattle, but one day I’m sure we’ll get there. Thanks for sharing the great tips.

  • Boom & Gary

    Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  • Steve

    I’ve made the mandatory trip to the top of the Space Needle once, but like you I think it’s nicer to look at than from. Of course, now that you’ve shown it to Dek, you’re going to hear all about it for a looooooong time. Good luck!

  • Lisa Wood

    Its funny how we take our backyard (our town that we live in) for granted! I never explored half of the areas we have lived in over the many years of moving from house to house!
    Even now I am seeing parts of Mackay that I havent seen before 🙂
    The views are stunning and I can imagine Dek looking through every viewfinder – my boys would have done the same! Sure is great that you are getting out and about with two little ones.

  • amber

    Thank you for sharing your lovely post at Tuesday’s Travels. I’ve never been to Seattle , so I really enjoyed your photos and learning more about the area.

  • Izy Berry

    Such gorgeous photos – Seattle always looks so inviting. I’m starting to get upset that I haven’t even scratched the surface of America, but there’s just so much to see there !

  • Wendys Hat

    Fun tour! I was recently up there in June and loved everything there was to do and see in Seattle. I’d love to go back.

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