Updated: December 2017
Space Needle in Seattle:The skyline to Seattle is nice, especially from the water, and the Space Needle is the one building that stands out. The Seattle Space Needle was built in 1962 and became a center piece for the World's Fair. Any trip to Seattle would not be complete without a visit to the Space Needle. The elevator ride up 520 feet to the Observation Deck is quick and exciting. With the glass doors and side windows on the elevator, you get a birds eye view of the city right in front of you. On a clear day you can see Mt. Rainier but even on cloudier or rainy days the view is still amazing. On our recent trip to Seattle (December 2010) we took the kids up the Space Needle at night and they were really impressed. The crowds were minimal and we had no wait for the elevator. Once up at the observation deck we walked outside and did a complete 360 to get a vantage point from all directions. A nice new feature is that you get a free digital image of yourself with a fake backdrop of the city. They give you a slip of paper with a barcode on it and you enter it into a kiosk on the observation floor and then email to yourself or friends.
Space Needle Facts - The most important question everyone asks is - How high is the Space Needle? The aircraft warning beacon officially stands at 605 feet although people are not allowed up that high. The observation deck is 520 feet up - high enough to give you a good view of the water, ferry boats coming and going, and all the tall skyscrapers in the city. There is a revolving restaurant (SkyCity) which is at 500 feet - just below the observation deck. The ride up the elevator takes roughly 43 seconds. One at the top level, you can walk around an interior 360 degree room and not go outside. Unless you are totally afraid of heights, then we suggest going outside to the open air walk-around. There are walls and cables that keep you from falling over the edge, so don't worry too much. It can get windy up at the top, but it was calm the night we were up there. Get your photos and do the complete 360 before coming back inside. They offer a night and day Space Needle ticket which does make sense for some visitors if they want to see the city and streets below both at night and in the daytime light. When you come back down, they strategically have the elevator exit walk right into their gift shop. It's a good spot to look at souvenirs. You can see more details on the official website at http://www.spaceneedle.com.