Seattle: Space Needle


With just hours left in this trip, our final destination is the stately symbol of the northwest, the Seattle Space Needle.

The view from the elevator, headed to the top.  Admission is pricey, but an essential part of a visit to Seattle.

The Space Needle’s elevator travels at 10 miles per hour, the same speed that a raindrop falls to earth.  If you were in the elevator during a snowstorm, the snow would appear to be falling up, since snowflakes fall slower than rain.  The Space Needle’s official website has more interesting trivia.

The Space Needle provides a 360o view, with something to see in every direction: Downtown, Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, the northern Cascades.  Of course, it all depends on whether you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day.

If the skies are clear, you can see Mt. Rainier just beyond the downtown skyline.  In the photo above, you can also see a seaplane buzzing in front of the mountain.

To the west, the sun sets over the Olympic Mountains.  I wish I had the time to stick around for it.

The outdoor observation deck is normally packed with people, just as it was the day I was there.  I quickly snapped this photo before a crowd rounded the corner.

At the top of the Space Needle, you’ll find displays comparing the structure’s height to other big buildings around the world.  You’ll also find a gift shop that sells what else? Starbucks coffee.

The sun was getting close to setting, but at this point, I had less than 3 hours to get back to the car, drive to SeaTac, turn in the car, and pass through security.  So, this was it… the end to my Olympic trip… and what a great way to end it!

Note: This trip was first published in 2004.

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