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Space Needle, Seattle

Space Needle, Seattle


When you think of Seattle, the first thing that comes to mind is The Space Needle.   The Space Needle is a landmark and a symbol of Seattle.  It was our first trip to Seattle and since we were only going to be in Seattle for one day, I wanted to hit the highlights hard.   So I made reservations for lunch, months before our trip, at the rotating SkyCity Restaurant at the top of the Space Needle.

The Space Needle was build in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair.  It was once the tallest structure in downtown Seattle but a few skyscrapers have now surpassed it in height.

Space Needle, Seattle, WA

The Space Needle is 605 ft high, 138 ft wide, and weighs 9.550 tons. It was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude. It’s equipped with 25 lighting rods.

SpaceNeedle Seattle Center

SkyCity Restaurant

Once we arrived at the Space Center, we valet parked our car and headed inside the visitors/reception area.   We told the lady behind the counter that we had a 1:00 p.m reservation.   They directed us to the elevators where we were immediately escorted skywards to the SkyCity Restaurant right below the Observation Desk.

The elevator ride up is quick.  The trip from the bottom to the top on a non-windy day goes at 10 miles per hour and takes around 41 seconds .  On a windy day, it slows down to 5 miles per hour.

SkyCity Restaurant Lobby
SkyCity Restaurant Lobby Waiting Area

We waited in the lobby area of the restaurant for a few minutes.  I noticed that the floor where my son was standing was moving.  So he decided to place his foot in the lobby area and the other inside the restaurant. We watched as slowly his feet started to separate and widen to the point that it was almost doing a split on the floor.  He thought that was very amusing.

We were seated right by the window.  The weather outside couldn’t have been any better, with clear skies and a view of Seattle’s skyline for miles to see.  One can’t ask for a better view of Seattle than from the SkyCity Restaurant at 500 ft (150 m).   Not only can you see downtown Seattle skyline but also the Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, and the surrounding islands.

SkyCity Restaurant Seating View
SkyCity Restaurant Window View
Family Picture at the SkyCity Restaurant, Space Needle, Seattle

I decided to eat light so I went with the Spinach and Stawberry Salad which came with goat cheese on the top. It was delicious….In fact all of our meals were excellent.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad Starter
Anderson Lamb Hamburger at SkyCity Restaurant

As we ate and admired the scenery, the restaurant made its 360 degree circle around.   My husband decided to leave a quarter on the window to see how long it would take to circle around the restaurant.  More and more people caught on and started leaving napkins with messages on them.


It’s hard for my kids to pass up on dessert.   So when our waitress told us of the Lava Ice Cream Dessert, they were all excited to order one for each.  I of course had to join in on the fun.    One by one the waitress brought out the dessert, which was ice cream with dry ice underneath.  Our table was smoking!

Lava Dessert at SkyCity Restaurant


Lava Ice Cream Dessert

Observation Deck

After dessert we walked up to the Observation Deck (admission included) with our reservation. The observation deck is 520 ft high and has a gift shop, a concession stand, and lots of attached telescopes to help people appreciate the view.

Observation Desk at Seattle Needle
At the Observation Desk with the Family
Looking out at the Observation Desk, Seattle Needle

Sharing a meal while rotating and taking in the amazing views, what’s not to like?

Observation Deck & SpaceBase Retail Store

Monday – Sunday            8:00am – 12:00am

Tickets: $18 per person for early day or $24 per person for midday to visit the observation deck.   Lunch cost us around $46 per person (including tip) which might sound expensive.  But, if you remember that it costs $24 to just go to the observations deck, the lunch starts looking like a pretty good deal.  Its just another $22 and you get the whole three course luxury lunch experience at the top of the Needle.

SkyCity Restaurant


Saturday – Sunday           9:30am  – 2:45pm


Monday – Friday             11:00am – 2:45pm


Monday – Sunday             5:00pm – 9:45pm


Valet Parking:  The cost is $12.00 for three hours with validation from SkyCity Restaurant.




About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Milosz Zak
    August 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Well, that desert was out of this world – very appropriate for Seattle’s space needle!

    • Carmen
      August 11, 2014 at 1:15 am

      Hi Milosz, The smoke coming from the dry ice really made it an out of space experience. My kids loved it.

  2. Kate O'Malley
    August 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    The food looked incredible. Definitely on the list of places to visit now. Pretty cool!

    • Carmen
      August 11, 2014 at 1:28 am

      Hi Kate, The view from the restaurant is phenomenal and the food is delicious. We each ordered different plates and were all pleased with our meals.

  3. Richelle
    August 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I’m from Seattle and I love the Space Needle. I’ve only eaten there once when I was really little, but I got to have my prom there!

    • Carmen
      August 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Hi Richelle, That must of been an incredible experience having your prom there. I could only imagine the view in the evening.

  4. Lauren
    August 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    It looks like you had such a fun time with the whole family! Justin and I went to a revolving restaurant in the Skylon Tower once in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and it was really fun to be eating and watching the view change out the window! I can see how your kids were amused with the spinning restaurant floor and leaving little messages on napkins, how cute! 🙂

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Hi Lauren, We all enjoyed it very much and couldn’t of asked for a better day to see all the city views below. The kids thought it was fun to see the napkins and coins people were leaving on the window and watching to see how long it would take to reach us again. It took the whole meal to see our coin/napkin circled around once.

  5. Hannah
    August 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I had no idea there was a rotating restaurant! That’s so cool! Definitely top of my list to things to do when I get there. And I’ll probably add that lava dessert too- yum!

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Hi Hannah, It’s a fun thing to do if you have some time when visiting Seattle. I would definitely order the lava dessert again 🙂

  6. Paul
    August 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    This looks awesome! I love anything like this where you can get a great aerial view of a city. The food looked delicious, especially the Lava Dessert – I think the prices you mentioned were really reasonable for what you got!

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:49 am

      Hi Paul, I thought the prices were very reasonable considering we got to relax while enjoying lunch and admire the aerial views of the city below. The food was wonderful too!

  7. Brianna
    August 10, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I love Seattle but have yet to make it up to the top of the Space Needle, the views are amazing!

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:54 am

      Hi Brianna, It was our first time in the city and I had heard from others that the views were spectacular from the Space Needle. We were very glad we went.

  8. Bianca @itsallbee
    August 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I visited the needle last year but missed out on the restaurant. I have probably be visit soon and will be sure make a booking at the restaurant way in advance.

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:56 am

      Hi Bianca, You won’t be disappointed if you go. If we ever go back to Seattle I would love to go for dinner to see what the city looks like in the evening.

  9. Angela Travels
    August 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I will be heading to the Space Needle with my parents later this week. You post made me even more excited to go.

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 1:00 am

      I’m glad to hear that. I hope you all have an enjoyable experience at the Space Needle. Looking forward to hear how it went for you guys.

  10. Axelle
    August 10, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    So many things I must see when going to America! Thanks for the great post!

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Hi Axelle, I hope you get a chance to go visit Seattle one day in your future travels.

  11. Jessi
    August 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Seattle has been up there on my list for such a long time. The entire Pacific Northwest has, in fact. It’s one of the few places around the US I haven’t traveled to. The views from the Needle look great! It reminds me of traveling to the top of the Hancock Building or the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, where you have awesome views of the city and of Lake Michigan. 🙂

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Hi Jessi, I’ve been to Chicago numerous times but never had the opportunity to go to the top of the Hancock Building. I’m certain the views of Chicago and Lake Michigan from up top are incredible. I’ve been to Northern California but this was our first time in Seattle. The Space Needle is such a landmark of the city that it was on my list of places to see during our visit. It was amazing…

  12. Chris Boothman
    August 11, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Definitely looking forward to checking out the Space Needle when we visit Seattle at the end of October! So many cool things to do in this city and I am particularly fond of towers, high rise buildings and skyscrapers so this is right up my alley!

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Hi Chris, I only wish we had spent another day in Seattle. There were so many things that we didn’t get a chance to do and see during our last visit. I hear the underground tours of the city are worth checking out too.

  13. Ashley @ A Southern Gypsy
    August 14, 2014 at 2:41 am

    When I lived there, I went up in the tower but didn’t eat at the restaurant. I loved the views, but hated the cost. But, you’re right…I’d almost rather pay the extra $22 for lunch as well – sounds like a better deal haha

    • Carmen
      August 15, 2014 at 1:12 am

      Hi Ashley, It’s definitely worth your while to spend the extra money to have lunch too. If we have the opportunity to travel back to Seattle, I would do it again. 🙂

  14. Rosemary Schmidt
    February 17, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    This was expensive but then once in a while, we can afford to splurge to enjoy the invaluable panoramic view and amazing experience of having meals on top of one of the world-famous landmarks
    Rosemary Schmidt recently posted…Why to start investing in real estate in your 20sMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 2, 2021 at 12:52 am

      Yes I agree! Some experiences are definitely worth the splurge 🙂

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