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Everything You Need to Know About the Sky View Observatory

SeattleSky View ObservatorySky View Observatory

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What is the Sky View Observatory?

Sky View Observatory, located in the heart of downtown Seattle, provides an unequaled vantage point for viewing the city's skyline. The observatory, perched atop the Columbia Center, is the tallest public viewing spot in the Pacific Northwest. It offers you stunning panoramic views of the Emerald City and its surrounding natural splendor.

At 902 feet in height, the observatory features floor-to-ceiling glass that provides a 360-degree view of famous sites such as the Space Needle, Puget Sound, Elliot Bay, Mount Rainier, Bellevue, and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. The interactive exhibits and knowledgeable staff further enhance the experience, providing historical and geographical context to the stunning vistas.

Sky View Observatory| Quick facts

  • Official name: Sky View Observatory & Bar
  • Address: 700 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States
  • Date of opening: March 2, 1985
  • Owner/operator: Gaw Capital Partners
  • Function: Viewing area
  • Height: 902 feet

Plan your visit to Sky View Observatory

Opening hours

  • General timings: Monday to Sunday from 12 PM to 7 PM.
  • Last entry: The last elevator to enter the Sky View Observatory is 1 hour before closing time.
  • Closed on: The observatory will remain closed on 23 November & 25 December this year. It may also be closed for hosting private events or due to zero visibility.
  • Duration: We recommend setting aside at least 45 to 90 minutes to fully enjoy the experience.
  • Best time to visit: We recommend visiting the Sky View Observatory just before sunset to witness the beauty of Seattle in all its colors as the day slowly changes into the night.

Location

Address: 700 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States | Find on Maps

The Sky View Observatory is located at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

  • Nearest bus stop: 3rd Avenue & Columbia Street
  • Nearest tram stop: Pioneer Square Station
  • Landmarks nearby: Space Needle, Pike Palace Market, Chinatown Gate.

Who built the Sky View Observatory?

Martin Selig developed the Columbia Center, which houses the Sky View Observatory. The $120 million "Columbia Center" project would be sponsored by Seafirst Mortgage Company and built by Howard S. Wright.

Architecture and design

The Columbia Center was designed by Chester L. Lindsey Architects and developed by Martin Selig. This included the Sky View Observatory, which is located on the 73rd floor. The construction of the building began in 1982 and was finished in 1985. Constructed with smoked tempered glass and Carnelian granite, the building features an impressive 8,800 windows, 2,100 hydronic heat pumps, 48 elevators, and 6 escalators. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, such as viscoelastic dampers and triangle-shaped bracing, the Columbia Center is equipped to endure earthquakes and hurricane-force winds. These advancements make it one of the sturdiest and safest structures in the Pacific Northwest, showcasing the engineering prowess that went into creating this remarkable edifice.  

Made up of three geometric concave facades with two setbacks, it gives the impression of three towers standing side by side. In 2013, the Sky View Observatory was redesigned and rebuilt so that you could admire 360-degree views of the city instead of the previous 270-degree view. Your safety is a top priority. The observatory maintains rigorous safety measures and cleanliness standards to ensure a worry-free visit for all guests.

Frequently asked questions about the Sky View Observatory in Seattle

How high is the Sky View Observatory in Seattle?

The observatory is at a height of 902 feet above ground.

Is the Sky View Observatory the highest viewing point in the city?

Yes, the Sky View Observatory in Seattle holds the record of being the highest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest.

Why is the Sky View Observatory famous?

The Sky View Observatory is famous because of the magnificent vistas of the city of Seattle that can be seen from there. It is one of the tallest buildings on the West Coast of America.

What can I do at Sky View Observatory?

You can soak in the beauty of Seattle, host an event, dine and drink at the Sky View Cafe & Bar, or go souvenir shopping for your friends and family.

How do I access the Sky View Observatory?

You can access the Sky View Observatory by buying tickets online.

How much are Sky View Observatory tickets?
When did the Sky View Observatory open?

The Sky View Observatory was opened to the public in 1985.

Where is the Sky View Observatory located?

The Sky View Observatory is located on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle.

What are the Sky View Observatory timings?

The Sky View Observatory is generally open from 12 PM to 7 PM, although hours may vary depending on the day.

Is photography allowed at Sky View Observatory?

Yes, personal photography is allowed at the Sky View Observatory. You can even use professional photography gear, like tripods, for personal use.

Are children allowed at the Sky View Observatory?

Yes, children of all ages are allowed to visit the Sky View Observatory.

Is the observatory wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the Sky View Observatory is wheelchair friendly.

Is there a dress code?

There is no specific dress code for visiting the Sky View Observatory.

Is there a gift shop at the Sky View Observatory?

Yes, you can find the gift shop on the 73rd floor, near the Sky View Observatory.

Is visiting the Sky View Observatory worth it?

Whether you're a visitor or a local looking to rediscover the beauty of Seattle, the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center promises an extraordinary experience. Head up to the 73rd floor and be prepared to be mesmerized by the sights and activities that await you.

What other attractions are near Sky View Observatory?

You can see the famous sights of Seattle, like Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, Chinatown Gate, Space Needle, Occidental Park, etc., near the Sky View Observatory by taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour.