It’s certainly not the tallest tower in the world, yet the Seattle Space Needle is the number one tourist attraction in the Northwest United States attracting over one million visitors annually. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it was considered a space-age wonder.
It takes only 41 seconds from the ground to the observation deck located at 520 feet. The tower’s top sits at just 184 metres (605 feet). Compare this to 328 m for the Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand, 527 m for the Willis Tower in Chicago, or 830 m for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
At a cost of $4.5 million dollars, the Space Needle was built in just 400 days and was ready in time for the fair. At the time it was built, it was state of the art and the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
The observation deck is both indoors and outdoors, allowing for clearer photos than I can capture at other towers where I am often looking through fingerprint covered glass windows. My favorite Space Needle views from the top:
Depending on where you are staying, getting to the Space Needle can be part of the fun. Also built in the then modern “George Jetson” style, the Seattle Center Monorail has remained in operation since it opened for the World’s Fair in 1962. It has only two stops, running for one mile between 5th Avenue and Pine Street to the Space Needle complex. It is the first full-scale commercial monorail system built in the USA.
We stayed at the fun and funky Hotel Monaco. It’s a fabulous boutique style accommodation that has everything you could want, even daily afternoon wine tasting. We loved it and recommend it. If you stay there too, be sure to ask at the front desk for monorail passes. They had them when we were there, so our ride was free. Click here to read our full review of Hotel Monaco.
Interesting Information on the Seattle Space Needle Views:
- The SkyCity Restaurant is the world’s second revolving restaurant. It sits at 500 feet.
- Two of the elevators travel at 10 mph, the same speed in which a raindrop falls to earth. Snow falls slower (at only 3 mph). If you are in an elevator during a snowstorm, it appears to be snowing upwards.
- Over 2.3 million people visited the Space Needle during the World’s Fair.
- And the most random information I could find comes from CHEESE (The Committee Hoping for Extra-Terrestrial Encounters to Save the Earth). They claim possession of plans from the 1962 World’s Fair that show the Space Needle was constructed to send transmissions to advanced beings in other solar systems.
- Want more, check out these Fun Facts about the Space Needle.
Practical Information on visiting the Space Needle:
- The Space Needle is open every day from 8 am until midnight. They do close occasionally for special events, so check their website for hours and directions before you go.
- Tickets can be purchased for the Space Needle alone, as a combination with Chihuly Glass, or as part of Seattle CityPASS.
- Seattle CityPASS ticket holders can enter twice within 24 hours to see the sights at both day and night. If you are in Seattle for a few days, the pass is a great deal. And it was easy to use.
- Best time to visit is before 11 am or after 7 pm when it is generally less crowded.
- Be sure to stop for your free photo before getting into the elevator.
- There is a bar on the observation deck offering wine, beer, juice, bar snacks and some sweets.
Have you been in the Seattle Space Needle? Which are your favourite towers around the world?
If you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media, including Pinterest:
Disclaimer: A guest of the Seattle Space Needle, I was also provided with a Seattle CityPASS. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.