It doesn’t matter if you can’t gain access to any of Seattle’s finest penthouses; these days, anyone with $13 and 20 minutes to spare can get a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Emerald City’s crisp, verdant skyline.
In summer 2012, the Seattle Great Wheel completed its construction and opened its 42 gondolas to the public. Open seven days a week, the wheel stands 175 feet tall and extends out over Elliott Bay. It’s the largest observation wheel on the West Coast (for reference: the London Eye, the tallest wheel in the western hemisphere, stands 443 feet tall).
Admission is $13 seven days a week, day or night; the wheel closes at 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and midnight on weekends. Each gondola holds up to eight people. While reservations aren’t accepted, tickets can be purchased online in advance.
Located downtown among the buildings that comprise the iconic Seattle skyline, the wheel is brightly lit after sunset and features brilliant LED light shows on holidays and special occasions, including University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks games. Even by light of day, the view below is simply stunning.
Photo credits: author’s archive