Easily the most recognizable building in Seattle (and perhaps one of the most recognizable in the country), the Space Needle stands 605 feet tall in the heart of Seattle.
The Space Needle was built in 1961 to prepare for the World Fair, which took place in Seattle in 1962. Incredibly, the entire building was constructed in about one year. When construction finished, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi (the title is now held by the Wilshire Grand building in Los Angeles).
The unusual architecture was the result of a compromise between two of the chief architects. One man wanted the building to look like a giant balloon attached to the ground. The other architect wanted the building to look like a flying saucer. It looks like flying saucer won the day, but you can form your own opinion when you visit.
The Space Needle houses a restaurant called Sky City, which is 500 feet above the ground. The restaurant rotates a full 360 degrees so you can get a full view of the city from the comfort of your table.
If you want an even higher view, you can take a trip to the observation deck, which is 520 feet above the city. It takes the elevator a little over 40 seconds to reach the top.
If you are going to be in Seattle for New Year's Eve, heading to the Space Needle will offer you a spectacular fireworks show. It can get a little crowded, but the views are worth it.
If you want to visit the Space Needle, it can often be helpful to buy your tickets in advance. The hours of operation are from 8 am–12 am. The last tickets are sold 30 minutes prior to closing.