Best Seattle Views and Viewpoints

Visiting Seattle and want to sample some of the best views over the city and come home with awesome snapshots? Here are some of the best spots:

Space Needle Observation Deck

The Space Needle is probably the best known vantage point in Seattle and touring this iconic landmark is certainly the most expensive way to get sweeping views over the city and its surroundings.

Rising 605 feet above Seattle and 520 feet above sea level, the Space Needle used to be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. Although this is no longer true, it is still a scenic experience that you can enjoy in different ways:
– Zooming in on 60 different Seattle attractions using a telescope on the Observation Deck;
– Enjoying the view while dining in the rotating Space Needle Restaurant;
– Taking amazing photo shots from the Observation Deck.

Seattle Space Needle Tours

Seattle in One Day 

Not sure you have enough time to visit each of Seattle’s attractions? Take a tour and sample the Emerald City’s highlights in one day.
Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt
The whole city becomes a giant game board while you play your scavenger hunt and explore Seattle in a playful and active way. Enjoy!
Seattle Space Needle Observation Deck
Book your Space Needle Observation Deck tickets to enjoy picture-perfect views from the top of the world, and skip the lines.
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Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center

SkyView ObservatorySky View Observatory Reviews

The Space Needle isn’t the only place in Seattle where you can get a great view of the city. The tallest building in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia Center, offers the Sky View Observatory on Floor 73.

What can you see from the Sky View Observatory? You get to have the same 360 degree views of the city like the Space Needle offers, but you do get to go up nearly 400 feet higher at the Columbia Center. This means you get to see Seattle at 902 feet of elevation, making the Sky View Observatory the tallest viewing platform west of the Mississippi River.

Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Cascades, and the Olympics can all bee seen on a clear day. You can also grab a bite to eat at the Sky View Cafe if you wish. Drinks are also available. The best part, however, is the fact that there is rarely a line.


Smith Tower Observation Deck

Smith Tower viewSmith Towner Observation Deck Reviews

Once it was the tallest building west of Mississippi River. Now, it’s still an imposing structure and the views from the top floor are simply amazing.

The 14-story building takes its name after builder, the firearm and typewriter magnate Lyman Cornelius Smith, and is designated Seattle landmark especially because of its views over the city, but also for its historical significance and neoclassical architecture.

The public obersvation deck can be found on the 35th floor. This room is known as the Chinese Room because its furniture and the exquisitely hand-carved ceiling came from China – a gift to the city of Seattle from Cixi – the Empress of China.

If you are single, don’t miss the opportunity to sit in the famous Wishing Chair. The legend says that any unmarried woman who sits in the chair will find her husband and tie the knot within the year.

The Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great WheelThe Seattle Great Wheel Tours and Reviews

Taking a ride of the Seattle Great Wheel is one of the best ways to see the city from above. The ride takes about 20 minutes and you will reach a peak height of 175 feet. Quite a vantage point!

The city’s lights at night make quite an impressive show worth admiring from up the Seattle Great Wheel. Another scenic moment of the day to take this ride for great photos is the dusk, or what they call the blue hour.



The Glass Ceiled Room at Seattle Public Library

The_Seattle_Central_LibrarySeattle Public Library Reviews

Another place from where you can get a breathtaking view over Downtown Seattle and its surroundings, is the glass-ceiled Seattle Room at Seattle Public Library.

When inside this award-winning modernist building, take the bright yellow escalator to go up to the fourth floor, where you can actually start your shooting session already. If you put in the effort of climing the spiral walkway up to the 10th floor, you will get to to a 12,000 sq. ft. reading room with a glass ceiling. From here you can get amazing shots over Elliott Bay.

Be aware that if you bring professional gear such as tripods and lighting kits, you will have to pay a rather high fee for professional photographers.

Gas Works Park

view from Gas Work ParkGas Works Park Reviews

Located on on Lake Union’s shore, the Gas Works Park is not only one of Seattle’s quircky attractionss, but also a great place to get some of the best views in Seattle.

Standing on the premises of a former gas plant, the park uses the industrial installations as entertainment areas. Here you will see a exhauster-compressor building turned into playground and a boiler house reshaped into picnic shelter. This make the Gas Works Park’s venue a subject of interesting snapshots in itself.

Besides that you can bring along your best landscape gear and the result will be some amazing shots of Seattle’s skyline.

Betty Bowen Viewpoint and Kerry Park

Kerry_ParkKerry Park Reviews

You will find this belvedere spot on West Highland Drive. From here, you can enjoy a variety of landscapes – residential such as the Magnolia neighbohood, marine including awesome views over Puget Sound and marinas, as well as majestic Olympic Mountains.

In the same area, you can get similar views from Kerry Park located only a few blocks east from Betty Bowen Viewpoint on West Highland Drive. Perched on a hilltop and located just a mile away from the Space Needle, Kerry Park is the best place in the city to take snapshot of Seattle’s iconic structure, with a stunning background provided by Puget Sound and Mount Rainier.

The Volunteer Park Water Tower

Another great viewpoint for those who want to get amazing pictures of the Space Needle, the Volunteer Park Water Tower is reserved to the most fit. You will be rewarded with awesome 360 degrees views of Seattle’s top landmark and the city’s skyline, but only after you’ve climed a 107-step staircase.

From a Plane

What a better way to get a bird’s eye view over Seattle than from an airplane? Here are a few seaplan tours to pick from if you want a scenic aerial experience:

Seattle Seaplane Tour

This seaplane tour is the ultimate choice for getting amazing views over the greater Seattle area and its scenic natural environs.
Seaplane Flight from Lake Union
Get a window seat and enjoy a flightseeing tour over Seattle’s waterfront and downtown areas with great aerial views of the city!
Cascade Range and Seattle Tour
Book your seat and enjoy picture-perfect views over the world with a chance to sample not only the city’s skyline, but also the Cascade Range.
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