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Seattle’s Space Needle: A Thrill for All Ages

It's been six months since our move to Seattle – and what a trip it has been! I've been caught up surviving the pandemic times and readjusting to life in a new town, new job, new perspective on things. I confess I've been MIA from the blog (not much to say about travel when one is trapped at home) but I'm back now, picking up where I left, while finally enjoying some of Seattle's bright summer days.

I wrote this post back in March 2020 right before public places started to shut down in response to the coronavirus and kept it in my Drafts folder. The timing didn't feel right to post about Seattle's most famous landmark with everything else going dark in the world. Looking back now, I'm glad we were able to squeeze in this quintessential Seattle experience on our first free weekend in the Pacific Northwest. We were lucky to visit Seattle's Space Needle on a glorious late winter day, with almost no one there. We took every precaution making sure not to touch surfaces. We washed our hands frequently and avoided touching our faces. We also tried to keep our distance from the few people visiting that day. I have to say, although tickets to this very touristy attraction are expensive, it was totally worth it!

At 520 ft (160 m), its saucer-shaped top is high enough that I felt a bit of terror getting close to the observation deck’s windows and looking down through the glass floor to the tiny world below. We easily spent close to two hours contemplating the world from above. We ate overpriced fish and chips while enjoying the views of Seattle’s downtown skyline, Puget Sound and its islands, Elliott Bay, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and more. It was cold outside on the open-air deck but the sun was shining radiantly over the water, letting us forget for a moment that the world was starting to shut down all around us.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair under the theme “The Age of Space,” the Space Needle’s futuristic design continues to represent the innovative and forward-thinking spirit of Seattlites. Having gone through a multi-million dollar renovation recently, the popular landmark felt clean, airy, and extremely welcoming. A highlight for both June and me was experiencing The Loupe, the Needle’s rotating glass floor, which offers impressive views of its structure and the city underneath.

Once we felt we were ready to get back to ground level, we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit next door (included in our ticket price). The exhibit is a short visit, but we loved checking out its huge blown glass sculptures of exotic flowers in bright colors – and taking some really cool pictures!

As I post this in late August, the Space Needle is open again with limited capacity as part of Washington's phased re-opening. If you're wondering if you should visit, my best advice to you is to take advantage of it while it's open. Get your tickets ahead of time, plan your visit accordingly, and be ready to follow the safety protocols in place for your wellbeing and that of others, too. You can read about their new safety procedures here.


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