When I said the Space Needle, he said, “Skip the Space Needle. Go to Columbia Center.”
He explained that Columbia Center is one of the best kept secrets in Seattle. It’s much higher than the Space Needle. The tourists don’t really know about it. (I’d never heard of it!) So, it’s a million times less crowded. It’s cheaper. And the view is beautiful.
All of that was so true.
It’s only something like 13 dollars to go to the SkyView Observatory at Columbia Tower. There was no line at all when I went. A very nice man was in the lobby and pointed me to a kiosk where I bought my ticket. Then, he let me up the first elevator to the 40th floor.
Note: I’ve heard on the internet that there’s a Starbucks on this floor where you can get a free beautiful view… I’m not sure how you get up the first access-only elevator, unless you jump in with people going to work during business hours… But either way, apparently that’s a possibility, perhaps?
Anyway, I went to the second bank of elevators, and up to the 73rd floor.
There, there was a sweet man working the desk who took my ticket and gave me my handstamp. (Apparently you get in and out privileges all day?!)
I went in and it was beautiful! Not only was the view sprawling and gorgeous, but there were these comfy chairs all around this totally uncrowded room. (I went around 8pm or so on a Saturday. I’m not sure how crowded it is during the day.)
There also were cool facts about Seattle along the walls. There was a wooden shelf all along the window where you could lean, or set up a tripod.
Under the shelf, facing the mountains, was a drawing of the mountains with each mountain labeled and facts about them! That way, if you didn’t know what you were looking at, you could figure it out by looking down (and learn something new).
You also could totally see inside one of their stadiums. (Really, you could kind of see inside both.) So, even though the game would be preeeeetty far away, conceivably you could catch a couple of plays (especially with binoculars).
I loved this place! It was gorgeous and serene. If I lived in Seattle, it would totally be a place I’d want to hang out to write or read a book or whatever…
In my next post, I’ll talk about the Space Needle, but Spoiler Alert: I am Columbia Center all the way! 🙂