Space Needle in Seattle – “The 400 Day Wonder”


Many moons ago I lived in Seattle for a couple of years. Regrettably, I never had a chance to do many attractions like Pike Place Market, Microsoft, Boeing, or the WA State Capitol in Olympia. Sadly, I was never able to take a ride to the top of the Space Needle.  Yes, it is a tourist trap, but one I had wished I had done while living right there. Happily I was finally able to on our last visit to Seattle.  It was truly amazing and I am glad Gene and I got to experience it together. Of course it was not typical Seattle weather and it was quite hot that day. I kept telling Gene this is not the Seattle I remember. Not sure if he believed me or not. Either way, it was a beautiful day and the views were phenomenal.

For those of you who may not know, the Space Needle was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators. There was a record-breaking goal of being built in a little over a year, to be featured at the opening of the World’s Fair on April 21, 1962. When construction was successfully finished in 400 days, US Steel dubbed the Space Needle “The 400 Day Wonder.” It is 605 feet high, 138 feet wide, weighs 9,550 tons, and was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour as well as earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes. That was crazy to learn but does help you feel a little safer while you are up there.

 We hadn’t bought tickets before we got there, so we just went up to one of the little kiosk booths and purchased them right there on to the spot. They are timed, but there was a long line so we got in line and slowly made our way to the elevators. Right before we got to the front of the line they had people taking pictures of your group. The nice thing is they are digital so you can save them and share them (like I did below)

We took a short ride in their glass elevator up 520 feet to their Observation Desk. From there we were able to get our first 360 views of what they call the Emerald City. You can walk around the entire observation deck either outside or inside depending on the weather. I have to say that I actually left later that afternoon with a little bit of a sunburn, which is quite rare in Seattle. I mean who brings suntan lotion to Seattle, lol I lived there for a few years and I do not remember 4-5 days in a row with so much sun. Sounds almost like an oxymoron, sunburn, and Seattle, lol.

 On a side note, we were there the morning before the Angels played the Mariners at Safeco Field and I was quite pleased to run into quite a few Angels Fans 🙂  We even ran into a couple later that night at the game. It was so much fun taking in all the views from the top of the world even if it was quite a warm day.  I am not a real big heat person, so I just kept going in and out and grabbed a couple of drinks at their little snack bar. Even inside the views are incredible.

While walking around, besides the city, we were able to see Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, just to name a few. We also enjoyed watching a few ships come and go. It was nice that it is timed to go up, but no limit on how long you can be up there. It would have been nice to have planned it like we did at some of the other towers and be there as the sun set on Seattle.

Space-Needle-View-4However we had the game later that afternoon, so we just soaked up as much of the ambiance as we could while we were there. It would be nice to visit again sometime in the evening and have dinner at their restaurant called SkyCity. It is quite pricey, but it does include a visit to the observation deck. I heard that they have wonderful chefs and the food is superb.

As i sit and write this post, I find it funny to think about it now, but in the last year, we have been able to tour the Empire State Building, The Willis (Sears) Tower, the Space Needle, and Lookout Tower at Harbour Centre in Vancouver, Canada. Such an amazing blessing that wasn’t even planned, it just sort of fell together. I didn’t really even realize all of this happened in the last year until I was putting this post together.


Space Needle Visitor Information


400 Broad St. Seattle, WA 98109




Open daily  – 9 am to 9 pm


Adult: 32.50 – 37.50

Senior (65+) 27.50 – 32.50

Youth (5-12) 24.50 – 28.50


Located at the base of the Seattle icon, the Space Needle’s valet parking service is a convenient time-saver. Plus, the cost of valet is the same or just a few dollars more than many of the area parking lots, which are located blocks away.

Validated General Events
9 am – 9 pm $26 $36 $20*

All rates are valid for 3 hours. Additional fees for parking beyond 3 hours. Taxes are included. Prices are subject to change.


Directions from downtown Seattle:

  1. Find your way to 4th AvenueHead northwest on 4th Avenue
  2. Turn left on Denny Way, then after one block, turn right onto Broad Street
  3. Follow Broad Street for one block to the intersection of 4th Avenue North and Broad Street
  4. Turn left at the Space Needle valet

Directions from I-5 (Northbound & Southbound)

  1. From I-5 take exit number 167 towards MERCER ST/SEATTLE CENTER
  2. Continue straight on Mercer St
  3. Turn left on to 5th Ave N
  4. Turn right at Broad Street
  5. Continue on Broad Street for one block, then turn right at the Space Needle valet

Hope you enjoyed my post. Please feel free to share your experiences at one of these amazing city highlights in the comments below. Data is current as of September 2019. Please check their website for the most up to dates prices, etc.

Accessibility Amenities

The space needle is Wheelchair accessible.


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