The Space Needle in Seattle from the base.
Ferris Wheel in Seattle, Washington
On my recent trip to Seattle my friends and I wanted to channel a little bit of Christian Grey, so we did a helicopter tour, not that I need much encouragement since I love helicopter tours. As an extra added bonus it was Fleet Week and we were flying during an opening of the TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction).
The downside of the TFR is that we were held on the tarmac for quite a bit waiting for clearance. The upside is that we got to see tons of different planes (Blue Angels, Harriers) taking off and landing, so at least the sights were good.
The helicopter tours fly out of Boeing Field which is to the South of Downtown Seattle. Our tour started over East Seattle, moved over the water between Seattle and Bainbridge Island, than returned back over the city. It’s offered fantastic views of the city, naturally. It helped that it was a perfect day, blue skies, warm temperatures.
While the views don’t quite compete with locations like Hawaii (not that many places do), the mountains framing the city, and the water ways that surround it do make for great scenery. And the iconic Space Needle looks great from that close up.
I’m almost always going to tell you that if you have a chance that you should do a helicopter tour, and this is not exception. One thing I particularly liked was that we took a 4 seater helicopter, and there were 3 of us and the pilot. It was nice to have a private tour and be able to joke around more freely than when you’re on a big helicopter with strangers.
What to do in Seattle??? Of course go to the Space Needle. Yes, it’s an overpriced tourist attraction, but it does offer great views of Seattle. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, a major theme of the fair was Space – hence it was named the Space Needle.
There are two options for visiting the Space Needle: tickets to the observation deck ($19 for adults purchased in advance), or eat at the SkyCity Restaurant (which allows entry to the Observation Deck).
When I went we had lunch at the SkyCity, which rotates (42 minutes for a full rotation) and although the food was pricey, the menu had an interesting variety of food, not the typical fare from a touristy spot. They also had a cool ice cream dessert, that if nothing else, looked pretty.
The service was good, the views great and then after we finished eating my friends and I went to the observation deck for some more pictures. We were there after a late lunch and the observation deck had a good amount of people, but not overwhelming. If you enjoy good views of a city, the Space Needle is a good spot. The other spot is the Columbia Tower, which I’ll write about in a few weeks.