Space Needle

Space Needle

Seattle Center is a 74-acre fairground, park and center for the community just north of the downtown area, highlighted by the skyline-dominating Space Needle. Both the Seattle Center and the Space Needle were built for the World’s Fair, which happened in Seattle in 1962. The fair also brought in one of the other significant features of the grounds, the Monorail, which connects it to downtown Seattle.

The Space Needle is a 605-foot tall tower topped with a restaurant and observation deck. Everyday visitors spend hours in line awaiting their turn to take the 43-second elevator ride to the top, from which all of Seattle, on a clear day, out to the mountains and waters, is visible.

From the top of the Space Needle, you can also see the many buildings and facilities that make up Seattle Center. The Pacific Science Center is a science museum that contains a number of great exhibits as well as an IMAX theater. Another significant museum on Seattle Center grounds is the Seattle Children’s Museum, housed in the basement of the Center House. The Center House is home to a collection of restaurants, shops and offices that cater to the Seattle Center’s year round visitors, as well as a high school and multiple theater and arts groups. More theater and a variety of cultural buildings including McCaw Hall, home of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company can also be found across the International Fountain from the Center House.

To the other side of the Center House is Key Arena, former home to the Seattle Supersonics, current home of the WNBA’s Storm and the wildly popular roller derby team, Rat City Roller Girls. Sporting events can also be found in Seattle Center at Memorial Stadium, where local high schools have soccer and football games.

Throughout the year Seattle Center plays host to many of Seattle’s biggest festivals as well as a full calendar of smaller ones. Between the Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day weekend and Bumbershoot over Labor Day Weekend, the grounds play host to a variety of international festivals such as mid-July’s Bite of Seattle. Throughout the summer, the grounds are full of visitors and locals alike taking in music, sun and sites.