I once had a group of tourists stop me on the street and ask where they could find the best sky-high views of Seattle. Being a newbie to the city (and generally terrible at coming up with ideas when put on the spot), I blurted out Space Needle and kept walking. A fine suggestion, of course. But had I actually paid attention when my husband was researching places to take our oodles of out-of-town visitors (funny, we never had so many when we lived in Dallas), I could have directed my street inquisitors to the Sky View Observatory on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center building.
As of today, the Observatory has unfurled its new 360-degree views--it previously offered up just 270--of Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Cascades, Elliott Bay, the Olympics, downtown and the Space Needle. View seekers will also find a revamped interior design featuring displays that dish out informative bits on Seattle.
My iPhone tells me to expect nothing but clear skies and sunshine for this upcoming 4th of July weekend, so a visit to the 73rd floor might just be in order (though it is closed on July 4 for a private event). Admission is gratis for children under 5, $9 for seniors and kids ages 5 to 7 and $12.50 for adults. Key in skyviewobservatory.com for more info.