My friend and I were traveling cheap, so instead of shelling out $20 to go to the top of the Space Needle, we decided to head over to Smith Tower.
The building is very distinctive, so it wasn't hard to find. Luckily we got there early in the afternoon, so even though the observation deck was closing early for a private function, we still got to go up. (Check the online calendar before you go.) The elevator ride to the top is a little unnerving, as the old-fashioned elevator doors let you see all 34 floors whizzing past as you make your way to the top. However, the views are definitely worth it. The day was super clear, so we could see Mount Ranier on one side, the Olympics on another, and the Seattle skyline on a third. You can even see the Space Needle if you stand in just the right spot!
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