It’s hard to miss Columbia Center. Completed in 1985, the structure demands to be noticed—its three massive, interlocked concave facades stretch to a mighty 943 feet, making it the tallest building in Seattle and the 20th tallest building in the United States. The landmark occupies an entire city block, just like the Great Pyramid of Giza, and houses offices and a public observatory that treats eyes to views of the surrounding mountains and Puget Sound, where food and drinks are available for purchase. Inside, the behemoth building contains a panoramic 360 degree view, and the Columbia Tower Club, a private business and fine dining club located on the 76th floor.
The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
There's a revolution happening in Woodinville, Washington. There's no violence though, unless you count the stomping of grapes. Home to hundreds of boutique wineries, the region is beginning to rival Napa Valley as the United States' biggest wine producer. Woodinville sits at the same longitude as France's wine country, allowing for optimal adult-grape-juice production and the ability to wear a beret with dignity. Barrel Wine Tours, a co-op of Woodinville winemakers, takes guests throughout the community on tours of the distilleries and wineries of these passionate part-time vintners. On a luxury coach, participants ride to four distilleries or wineries, and three-course lunches and wine pairings occur during each tour.
While it’s impossible to know what Seattle’s skyline will look like in the future, the Seattle Architecture Foundation hopes that citizens at least have some input and interest in the developments. To do this, the organization arranges a slew of architecture- and design-related walking tours, lectures, youth workshops, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Ideally, the activities help people become more informed and enthusiastic about great design and more willing to become involved when the city finally launches into space.