Space Needle, Seattle
It is fairly expensive to go up the Space Needle, and if it is just the view you are looking for, I would suggest visiting the Smith Tower at 506 2nd Street. It is a blast from the past, with an elevator man who takes you up in the old fashioned elevator, with a peak at each floor as you pass. The view from the top is spectacular, not the mention the Chinese decor of the top room. A masterpiece of architecture. I believe, however, they are not open every day. See http://www.smithtower.com for details.
This is definitely the biggest tourist trap in seattle. It's quite expensive, and you ride the elevator up and yes, it's a decent view. But in all honesty, you walk around the top and it will take you no more than 10-15 minutes and it's not really that big of a deal. The food up there is not even comparable to a deli. It's just premade food that's probably supermarket grade.
Fun Alternatives: I'd try the Experience Music Project instead. You can kill more time there and there's just a lot more fun things to see.
The Space Needle really is an iconic destination, and the view from the top is beautiful. However, to make it worth getting to the top, which can be costly and involve a long line, there are two things to consider:
1. Go on a clear day. This being Seattle, that can be rare, but I've seen tourists out on in the observation deck in heavy clouds and rain, and I do have to wonder why they rode to the top. The coffee up there is not that great, nor is the bar. On a good day, the views are stunning.
2. Do not pay for this attraction on its own. It's very pricy for a ticket to the top, and though you can get ones that are good for 24 hours, we've never actually gone back.
Unique Suggestions: Get a City Pass. You can order these through various outlets (I think we got a set through my friend's office), or just Google it. You'll pay like $60 and get a booklet that has tickets to several Seattle attractions: the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight, a 1-hour harbor tour, and the Space Needle (though some of the attractions may have changed since we got this in 2010). This is what makes the Space Needle an affordable option; you're paying a flat fee to see a lot of great attractions.
Fun Alternatives: Hanging around Seattle Center and seeing the flowers at the base of the Space Needle is actually pretty cool. If you go sit in the grass near the children's theater, you can get really nice pictures of the whole Needle structure without the ride to the top. Not the views, but for a great scenic shot of Seattle, check out Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill—it's free.
Yep, I agree, one waste of my money a few years ago ($16 now, $20 for a day/night ticket) was a trip to the top of the Space Needle.
At the top there was a small lounge / restaurant with windows and you can walk around a deck outside. There are complimentary telescopes for checking the 360deg view. Maybe I'm a scrooge but I didn't think it was worth it.
My other complaint is there are not enough nor large enough elevators, so due to the crowds, you will probably spend more time waiting around to go up than you will at the top.
Unique Suggestions: Hey what the hell, you KNOW yer' gonna' do it anyway - everybody does.
If you've got the $16 ($8 for kids 13 & under - kids under 3 free) to blow and you don't mind waiting for an elevator, go for it.
All the info and a webcam at the website here
I owe the title of this tip to my old French-Canadian gardner pal, Gaston (rip).
When informed on Monday morning July 21, 1969 that astronauts had just landed on the moon, his so-typical reply was:
"mon dieu, how stupid - ze moon - she is to look at....... not to go up zere!!"
funny thing is, I feel the same way about the Eiffel Tower ...
Fun Alternatives: If you can swing it, stay in the Westin Hotel downtown in the North Tower (any high-floor room in North tower with a "30," eg. room 4330, 4430, 4530 etc. etc.).
That way you get to see the same view the Space Needle has, PLUS the needle is in it, along with the Olympic range, Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, etc.
Okay... as a tourist it's always a must to do this, but to warn you... it's not life altering nor is it the most beautiful view of city. You have to do it, just to do it... Walk around up there and catch a tourguide to tell you about it. Photo ops galore... so don't forget your camera... but once your done, check out the more riveting parts of seattle out there...
Fun Alternatives: no alternative... go do it... just don't spend your money to eat up there, now that's isn't worth it.
Unless you have more money than brains, you won't want to waste your time eating dinner at the Space Needle Restaurant. Sure it has great views and rotates around, you pay for it! The food, although not bad, is not worth what you have to pay for it.
Fun Alternatives: I still highly recommend taking the trip up to the top of the Needle, just save your money and appetite for one of the many, cheaper, better restaurants on the ground. Or, if you absolutely must eat at the top, I hear the brunch is good and not nearly as expensive.
The Space Needle is a beautiful addition to the skyline, but as far as going up to the top, it's a waste of time. For the best views and picture opportunities in Seattle, head to Gas Works Park and get a picture with the Needle in the background. Plus, you get the lake and boats in there, too.
I can't say the space needle isn't a trip to make for not only tourists but even us locals, every couple years I make a point of going up to the top, the view is spectacular but forget eating at the restaurant. Although the view is amazing and if you get a seat next to the window the top revolves giving you a chance to see the whole 360 degree view at least once the entrees start at around 40 and up and the food isn't anything to die for. There are so many amazing restaurants in Seattle just make the trip up the space needle a day time event.
You know when I went to Seattle, I really wanted to see the Space Needle. But then when you finally get up to the top...the first thing you think to yourself is..."What is the big deal?" It's really kind of a letdown if you ask me. I guess it's more of an exciting thing if you have kids or something.....
Unique Suggestions: Try to get some kind of discount ticket or something, because it's not worth the price of admission
Yes, the Space Needle is pretty tall and kind of cool to go up in, but the exorbitant cost outweighs the fun factor. Everything in the Space Needle is way overpriced, from film to the mediocre food in the restaurant. The ride up in the elevator is very cool though, as you are able to see everything through a big glass window. I would only really recommend the Space Needle if you were coming to Seattle with small children. It is something that I would want to remember coming to, but not with all the annoying details.
Unique Suggestions: Explore every part of the Space Needle! If you pay to get up in it, don't hurry to get out. I would recommend going up to the rotating restaurant, take a very long time to order a cheap appitizer and enjoy it while the floor rotates around.
Fun Alternatives: A much better (and cheaper) view is available in the Bank of America tower. It is the giant black building rising above all the rest in the Financial District. Just go inside during business hours and head up to the 73rd floor. There is a giant observation room that goes around the whole building. Despite being inside, there are much better views from here.
true, there's a great view and a fasr elevator, but that's about it. Locals told me that the restaurant is about average food but very overpriced.
Unique Suggestions: check out the view if you go up there. After all, that's the whole purpose of the attraction.
Fun Alternatives: Save the $12 and spend it at the EMP.
The Space Needle.... probably a trap in some respects. It's expensive and touristy. HOWEVER, if you've never been up in a tower or a needle before, maybe consider it. I have no doubt the view is incredible!
The Space Needle(I don't even know how much it cost now but you can get the same views from the hills around town) if you do go up I suggest you combine it with breakfast in the space needle,you get to eat and enjoy the view at the same time as the restaurant rotates and if you haven't seen enough it's free to go a story up to the view deck.It only cost a couple dollars more than the view deck by itself and the food is very good.
The Space Needle is such a trap! When I lived in Seattle I never went in it! However, when I took my daughter there...well...you know how it is!
Never buy film here!! NEVER!!! It was 15.00 for 12 exposures!
But we had to get this photo!!
Stay away from the Space Needle! Okay, if you must absolutely go, take a ride up to the top and enjoy the view. Do not eat there. It has been summed up best by the description 'overpriced gourmet cafeteria' There are so many other places that you can go.