We asked our friend Ann Peavey at the Seattle Visitor Center what visitors most want to know – here are the top questions (with answers!) visitors ask this city expert:
1. Where’s the best a view in Seattle?
- The most iconic viewpoint in Seattle is the Space Needle’s observation deck at the 520 foot level. Along with fabulous views of the city, the Needle is also a top dining destination in the area.
- The Columbia Skyview Observatory at the Columbia Tower sits on the 73rd floor of the tower’s 76 floors. At nearly 1,000 feet high, the observation floor is the highest on the west coast.
- The Smith Tower offers views, as well as a dose of history! Built in 1914, the tower was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City in its day, and now operates as an office tower. The observation deck is on the 35th of 42 floors and boasts being one of only two buildings (the other being the Space Needle) with elevator operators.
- Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill’s West Highlight Drive is one of the top destinations for views without a price tag!
What’s a good getaway outside of Seattle?
Bainbridge Island (and the community of Winslow) is an easy half-day trip from downtown–Winslow gives guests a feeling of Northwest island life without the time commitment necessary to travel to the San Juan Islands. The Washington State Ferry departs Colman Dock at Pier 52 for the 35-minute trip nearly every hour throughout the day. With just a $8 price tag for round trip foot passengers, it’s a bargain! Need to get to Colman Dock? Shuttle Express offers convenient private service.
What’s the Underground City?
There isn’t actually a city under Seattle, but there are relics from what were once operating storefronts beneath the city’s streets (a feature created when landfill covered the first and second stories of a few businesses built on Pioneer Square’s soggy streets in the late 1800s). Guests can view these remnants of the past through two walking tours:
- Bill Speidel’s 90-minute Underground Tour operates daily with animated tour guides who bring the city’s history to life.
- A new tour – Beneath the Streets – now offers similar scenes and stories in a 60-minute exploration of underground passageways.
Visitors can learn about these and other sightseeing opportunities at either of Visit Seattle’s two downtown visitor centers:
Seattle Visitor Center and Concierge Services, 7th Ave. & & Pike St.
Market Information Center, 1st Ave. & Pike St.