Medieval castles were always built with lookout decks to alert misanthropic kings to the approach of cookie-peddling eight-year-olds and door-to-door scythe salesmen in flowing black robes. Enjoy a solicitor-free sightscape with today's Groupon: for $7, you get two tickets (a $15 value) to the Smith Tower Observation Deck in Pioneer Square.
The Smith Tower Observation Deck provides breathtaking views of Seattle, its surrounding natural majesty, its colossus of Kelsey Grammer, and more. The Smith Tower recently underwent a $28 million restoration, and you can marvel at its detailed plaster and woodworked ceiling as you prepare for a sublime session of skyscape-staring. After ascending to the 35th floor in the last manually operated elevator on the West Coast, you'll step out onto Seattle's original open-air observatory, which spans all four sides of Smith Tower. This sweeping, panoramic vantage point makes it easy to spot local landmarks such as Safeco Field, the Coleman Ferry Terminal, and Pioneer Square—all of which provide a man-made foreground to natural eye-appealers such as Mt. Rainier, the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, and—on unusually clear days—the Grand Canyon. Smith Tower is also the observatory closest to Seattle's waterfront, so you can enjoy a whiff of freshly salted sea air and watch rival skeins of ducks use performance-enhancing seaweed to pull off the floating choreography in their performance of West Side Story.
Less well known with tourists than the Space Needle (which offers disappointing views of the Space Needle), the Smith Tower Observation Deck offers a uniquely memorable experience. Treat height-hungry out-of-towners, Bollywood couples in need of an epic backdrop for their duet, or office managers requiring a 35-story plunge for the world's most terrifying trust exercise to an insider's perspective of Seattle with today's Groupon.
- Great views across Seattle, including the waterfront, downtown, the Space Needle, the sports stadiums and 3 mountain ranges. – rick9525, TripAdvisor
- Awesome view. Worth the small admission fee. Great place to propose, if you love Seattle. – Sabrina I., Yelp
- The Smith Tower is both charming and beautiful. – Iggy B., Yelp
Smith Tower Observation Deck
When it was built in 1914, the Smith Tower was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Though it lost that designation a mere 17 years later, the tower still captivates Seattle visitors with the Smith Tower Observation Deck. The open-air deck wraps around the tower's 35th floor and grants panoramic views of the city's modern downtown and Puget Sound. Seattle's gorgeous surrounding landscapes are visible from the tower as well, with the majestic peaks of Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountain Range creating a stunning horizon. And the journey to the observation deck is a treat in and of itself. Passengers ride in one of the last manually operated elevators on the West Coast, which is caged in brass and copper in the style of the early 20th century. In the lobby itself, 22 Indian head sculptures watch over the onyx- and marble-paneled room, acting as precursors to the grandeur of the tower's top floors.