5 of the most stunning views in Seattle
The Emerald City of Seattle is well-known for being nestled amongst awe-inspiring natural landscapes from the lakes, rivers and lush farmland to the mountain ranges, rainforests and golden sunsets on the Pacific coastline. However, the city itself is also an impressive sight to behold and rarely does modern civilization sit so harmoniously with nature. If you’re planning a trip to Seattle or have out-of-town guests visiting, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best possible views of this beautiful part of the world. The Space Needle observation deck and Columbia Center’s Sky View Observatory are popular, but there are several other lesser known spots you might want to consider.
1. Smith Tower
Take a tour of Seattle’s first skyscraper, Smith Tower, which is now a popular tourist attraction thanks to both its importance in the city’s history and the fantastic views to be had from the Observatory. In addition to the open-air observation deck with incredible views across the city, you’ll also find the Temperance Café and Bar. You can refresh yourself with some snacks and cocktails in this speakeasy-style restaurant and see the famous Wishing Chair. The restaurant used to be known as the Chinese Room as it housed gifts from Empress Dowager Cixi, and ornate Wishing Chair is said to bless single women who sit in it with marriage in the next year. Current admission prices can be found here.
2. From a Hot Air Balloon
For the ultimate viewing experience, you can’t beat a hot air balloon ride over the city and surrounding landscapes. Seattle Ballooning is the only hot air balloon company to provide an up-close view of Mount Rainier as part of the trip. Choose from a shared balloon ride or a private hire and take to the skies at either sunrise or sunset for the most breath-taking views the region has to offer. In addition to the unbeatable view of Mount Rainier, you’ll also enjoy the Seattle skyline as well as Tacoma and Bellevue with all the lakes, rivers and countryside you could wish for. Add in a bottle of champagne and croissants, and you’ve got yourself a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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3. Kerry Park
Head for Queen Anne Hill in the Queen Anne neighborhood, and you’ll find a small public park called Kerry Park (sometimes referred to as Highland Park by the locals). It’s on the south slope of the hill and provides a spectacular view of the city’s skyline including the Space Needle, Bainbridge Island, Downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, and Mount Rainier. The park was donated to the city by a businessman called Albert Kerry and his wife “so that all who stop here may enjoy [its] view” and there are benches by the railings so you can sit and do just that. For the most spectacular view of the city at night, head there at sunset and be sure to take your camera!
4. Pike Place Market and The Great Wheel
Pike Place Market is a must-see spot for any visitor to Seattle not only because it offers a huge range of delicious foods, treats, and hand-crafted treasures, but also because of its view. Walk over to Victor Steinbrueck Park to see Elliott Bay at its best. The MarketFront is a great place to see public art and enjoy more stunning views of the water.
5. The Great Wheel
If you’re already in Pike Place Market, head to The Great Wheel. The Great Wheel is a relatively recent addition to the city’s tourist attractions having opened in 2012. It’s located on Pier 57 and, thanks to the enclosed gondolas, is open all year for both locals and tourists to enjoy the view of Elliott Bay. Every night it glows with LED lights, but on special occasions, you can see bright and colorful light displays. If you’re celebrating your own special occasion, why not upgrade to a VIP gondola with a glass bottom?