Space Needle Is Old News

Everyone who comes to Seattle goes up the Space Needle.  Yeah, there’s Pike Place Market, the Fremont Troll, the first Starbucks, and various and sundry salmon-related doo-dads, but the Space Needle is the only thing that *everyone* has done.  Well I’m here today to tell you it’s a waste of time.

Panorama of Qwest Field and Highway 99 Viaduct taken from Smith Tower

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This here is just one side of the view from the 35th story of Smith Tower.  Even if the Space Needle wasn’t 300% more expensive, Smith Tower gets you some history (pre-1960), almost no crowds, and is actually *in* the Pioneer Square / Downtown core, where the Space Needle is actually off to the side.  On a day with anything but pristine clear views, from the Space Needle, you see the side of a few buildings and some water.  From Smith Tower, you get it all.

Only took me 7 years to figure that out.


  1. I’ve never been up the Space Needle, but a friend once said that it’s pointless going up there “for the view of the Seattle Skyline” since you’re actually IN the only interesting/famous part of the Seattle skyline. Made sense to me. You’ve just confirmed that.


  2. You could say that you’re in the only interesting part – you could also say that since you’re so far North of the skyline proper, it’s just a really bad place to view it all. The Space Needle is a tourist trap, just like the monorail, but at least the monorail provides the excitement of a 50 year old vehicle that sometimes catches fire.


  3. Alright – I’m completely wrong. NOBODY BUT ME has been up the Space Needle!

    Anyone been up Smith Tower? I’m re-evaluating everything I thought I knew about Seattle 😉


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