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“Want a great view of Seattle for a reasonable price? Head to the Smith Tower observation deck!”
Review of Smith Tower

Smith Tower
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The Legends of Smith Tower - Observatory Access - Adult Ticket
Ranked #31 of 444 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Enjoy Smith Tower like you've never seen it before. Immerse yourself in new exhibits that take you on a journey through the past one hundred years. Make your way to the top of the tower for an amazing vantage point from the Observatory, including an open-air deck that will give you 360-degree views of Seattle and beyond. Then take a moment to indulge in a Prohibition-inspired craft cocktails and shareable plates with a group of friends or your loved ones. And don't forget to make a wish in the Wishing Chair. It's the perfect selfie to post of your visit to Smith Tower.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Stroller parking, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Kent, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Want a great view of Seattle for a reasonable price? Head to the Smith Tower observation deck!”
Reviewed August 17, 2010

I live in the suburbs south of Seattle and took my boyfriend up to the Smith Tower observation deck on a sunny weekend, as I had a Groupon to use, so we decided to play local tourist for the day. Neither of us had been up there and it was a pleasant surprise!

An elevator operator takes you up to the 34th floor, as the elevators are still manually operated. It was a nice touch to step back in time and picture the Smith Tower during a time when it was the tallest building on the West Coast. Upon getting off on the 34th floor, you enter the Chinese Room (be sure to check out the ceiling!), decorated with carved guardian lions and furniture, namely the famed Wishing Chair where legend says any wishful woman will be promised marriage within a year of sitting in the chair.

It was a sunny (albeit smoggy) day in Seattle on the day we were there, but the views were just as nice as from the Space Needle. And the best part? You're paying MUCH less than to go up the Space Needle. Admission is typically $7.50 adults (compared to $18 adult for the Needle). The observation deck was wide enough for perhaps 2 ppl to stand side by side comfortably and for someone like myself who has a slight fear of heights, the bars around the viewing area are enough to feel secure, but wide enough apart to put your arms and camera out to take photos without any obstructions.

The only thing I was bummed about was the smogginess of the Seattle air this weekend, so we couldn't get any views of the Olympics or Mt. Rainier, but we had a great time enjoying the view of our beautiful city skyline and Elliott Bay and its surroundings.

So if you're looking for views of the Seattle skyline on a gorgeous day but looking for a cheaper alternative to the Space Needle, head to Smith Tower! I personally liked the Smith Tower view better than the Space Needle and will recommend it for visitors coming into town that don't want to spend an arm and a leg on various city attractions.
Also be sure to visit their website (or call) beforehand to check the current month's schedule - opening/closing hours may vary at times, as the observation deck and Chinese room can be booked for private events.

3 Thank KERS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Victoria BC
Level Contributor
98 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“middle-sized for the other towers in seattle”
Reviewed February 7, 2010

We went up the Smith Tower in june 2007. We figured that it was better than the space needle until we went to the columbia center which had an even better view.

Thank trainfan01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Highly recommended as an attraction to see do not miss it”
Reviewed October 28, 2009

I recently was fortunate enough to have the discovery of a lifetime. It is a must see if you are wanting to tour any attraction in Seattle. For the simple cost of $7.50 you get to explore the 42nd floor. You are able to go outside and walk all around the perimeter from the 42nd floor and you get some of the most amazing views of Seattle. It fare outweighed any view from the Space Needle which was way more of a cost to go and see. The lovely gentleman who works there was an amazing weath of knowledge, he was extremely insightful and helpful in anwering our many questions of the gifts and artifacts in the room.
This was a rare find and would reommend this to anyone who wants to see amazing views and the beautiful the Smith Tower. What a great attraction to see a do not miss!!

from Canada

2 Thank careyq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
157 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“(Almost) As great as the Space Needle”
Reviewed October 6, 2009

On my 3rd visit to Seattle with different accompanies each time I decided to see the city from the Smith Tower and save some money instead of spending it on the Space Needle. Admission is about $7 vs. $20 at the Needle. The Smith Tower is one of the oldest towers in the US and a beautiful building inside and out. City views are great but for the views the Needle is a bit better as as one is able to see Lake Union and Lake Washington which is invisible from Smith. I would think views are great from the Bank of America Tower too (highest building in Seattle) but it's open MO-FR only so couldn't go there.
If money is not an issue go for the Needle or if you are visiting during the week go to the BOA tower, otherwise Smith is a great and economic alternative.

1 Thank Holidaytravelfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Canyon, Arizona
Level Contributor
73 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Terrible Experience”
Reviewed October 20, 2005

Poor service. Poor attitude from supervisor on duty. We made a special trip from the airport to see the building and the view from the top. When we arrived, we found the observatory closed for a private event. We voiced our disapointment to the lady hosting the special event, who just happened to be walking in, and she invited us up to the top as her guest as we could not pay. The guard on duty had no objection, then the supervisor showed up and exercised his Napolionic authority and rudley refused us the opportunity to go up the elevator. The lady told him we were her guests and he got worse, threatened her with cancelling the affar and threatened us with calling the police if we didn't leave!!! I could not believe his attitude. We left and did not go back. You should check before you go, or just don't go. We went to the Space needle and had a better view and a great visit there.

9 Thank AZWhiteEagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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