The Smith Tower Observation Deck is an attraction often overlooked by visitors to Seattle, but it’s well worth adding to your list of things to do. Not only does the view offer a unique perspective of the city's skyscrapers and the Seattle waterfront, the historic building provides a peek into Seattle in the early twentieth century.
The observation deck at Smith Tower is located at the top of this historic building, wrapping 360 degrees around its 35th floor. However, the trip to the top is half the fun. The recently restored lobby retains its original neoclassical charm, including 22 Native American statues and panels of marble and onyx. Ride to the top of the building aboard the original 1914 Otis elevators, made of shiny brass and copper and still manually operated.
The most unique room in this historic building is the Chinese Room Smith Tower. The ceiling is gilded with a hand carved teakwood and porcelain tiles gifted by the Empress of China. The Chinese Room also offers a stunning 360-degree, panoramic view of the city. It also boasts The Wishing Chair, a legendary piece of furniture crafted from black wood by a Chinese carver. It is said that any single woman who sits in this chair, depicting the marital symbols of a dragon and a phoenix, will be married within one year. It is no surprise, then, that while the room can be rented for private functions, wedding receptions are the most popular.
The Smith Tower Observation Deck provides panoramic views of Seattle that you can't get anywhere else, including the Space Needle—you can peer down on Pioneer Square, the Seattle waterfront, and the sports stadiums. On a clear day, the view of Mount Rainier is stunning from the Smith Tower. Gaze out at Elliott Bay, Alki Point and the Olympic Mountain range.
The Smith Tower Observation Deck is an affordable option, as well, with tickets costing less than $10 for adults, and children are free. Take the elevators to purchase tickets on the 35th floor. While the Observation Deck is open year-round, it is recommended to check the Smith Tower website for frequent closures due to private functions.