Large cities often have landmarks that are recognizable even if you have never been to the city. You see Big Ben and you know you’re in London. The Eiffel Tower, you’ve got Paris. The Sydney Opera House, you know it’s Sydney. The Space Needle and you are in Seattle.
The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The theme of the fair was the 21st century. The Space Needle was to be the centerpiece of the fair capturing the theme of the fair quite well in my opinion… I mean the structure looks like something out of the Jetsons, right?
I had been to Seattle many times but never to the top of the Space Needle. On my last trip to Seattle I checked this off my list. My friend Meg and I took the quick 43 second elevator ride to the observation deck, arriving at 520 feet (158m) above the ground. We had a great day to be out on the observation deck. Seeing a city from a high vantage point is one of my favorite things.
We also got to see the Experience Music Project Museum from above. According to Frank Gehry, the architect, the exterior of the building is suppose to represent a smashed electric guitar. It is a pretty abstract representation if you ask me. Although I will admit I have not smashed an electric guitar, where as Gehry apparently did while designing the building.
The Space Needle is located at 400 Broad Street. You can visit 7 days a week with tickets starting at $12 USD. The Space Needle is included in the Seattle City Pass package if you are looking to save money on several tourist activities around Seattle. Another fun option while at the Space Needle is to grab a bite to eat at the SkyCity Restaurant, located at the top. The restaurant is unique as it slowly (about 5 mph) rotates, giving you a panoramic view of Seattle.
Another well known spot in Seattle is the Pike Street Market. The market opened on August 17th 1907 and has continued to run over the years, overcoming historic hurtles such as several wars and the depression. The market was developed as a way to control the cost of goods between the farmers and consumers, getting the goods directly to the consumer without the middleman wholesaler getting in the way.
The market is basically a well organized farmers’ market with fresh goods right from the farm. There are also crafters including photographers, painters and jewelry artisans. Probably the most notable at the market are the specialty foods stalls, where the meats, dairy and fresh fish are a flying! And I’m not kidding, the fish are literally flying. So keep a sharp eye out while you’re there! Another hot spot for the market is the fresh cut flowers section. If you love flowers or need to pick up flowers for someone, this is the spot for you.
Pike Place Market is located on 1st Ave and Pike Street. They are open daily and opening times vary. While you are there be sure to visit another piece of history, the original Starbucks, located at 102 Pike Street.
Lastly you can’t miss the oddly disgusting Gum Wall. It is literally a wall of gum that has been around since the 1990’s. Add your own gum or just admire the large amounts of gum stuck to the wall.
There is also some interesting artwork along the alleyway as well. At the time of our visit the artwork was not covered in gum… but there’s no telling if it is now! The Gum Wall is located in Post Alley under the Pike Place Market.
And for you beer lovers, Pike Brewing Company is located 1415 First Ave. Give their Pike Kilt Lifter, a Scotch ale or the Pike Pale Ale a try.