Columbia Center shines a new view on Seattle

Best place to view the Seattle skyline
The Columbia Center in downtown Seattle is one of the best places to get a view of the region.

The Space Needle is the place to get the best views of Seattle, right? While the Needle is a great spot and is a popular tourist attraction, the Columbia Center in the downtown district may offer a better view of the region’s scenery.

My daughter Mallory suggested we visit the Columbia Center. The Sky View Observatory is amazing! It’s located on the 73rd floor of the tallest building in Seattle. The Columbia Center (formerly known as Bank of America Tower and Seattle Seafirst Tower) was completed in 1985 and is 943 feet tall.

Columbia Center is the tallest building in Seattle and Pacific Northwest
The Columbia Center is the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest.

The view from the observation level is impressive. We saw Mt. Rainer – the highest mountain in the Pacific Northwest – which is more than 50 miles south of Seattle. It’s been a running family joke that all of us have seen the mountain except for daughter Steph. She was not pleased with the mountain’s lack of viewing cooperation. But, during her last visit in October, the mountain was so gracious, it showed itself to her several times. Making up for the previous visits, I reckon.

Great view of Mt. Ranier from Columbia Center in Seattle
Mt. Rainier appears to hover over Seattle despite being more than 50 miles away.

Mt. Rainer was beautiful to view. The snow-covered peak stands above the clouds, while you can see the Seattle area below it.

The Columbia Center allows visitors a chance to see something they can’t from the Space Needle – the Space Needle. I was impressed with seeing the Needle from the observation floor, because I’m used to looking out from it.

Best view of the Space Needle is from Columbia Center in Seattle
The Space Needle is Seattle’s top tourist attraction.

We had a bird’s eye view of Seattle’s two downtown stadiums – Century Link Field and Safeco Field. We could actually see people moving about at Safeco. The Mariners were playing a baseball game that day.

Views of Century Link Field and Safeco Field from Columbia Center
Century Link Field and Safeco Field are homes to the city’s pro football and baseball franchises.

The bay area of Puget Sound was gorgeous to take in. We saw the Great Wheel along the Waterfront, as well as the dock areas where shipping containers are prepped.

Another great view of the Seattle skyline from the Great Wheel
The Great Wheel offers a close-up view of Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay and the city’s skyline.

The Columbia’s Center observation floor allowed views of nearby buildings. The city has some truly majestic structures.

Get a view of downtown Seattle from the Columbia Center
I love the shapes on the building.

While I remain a fan of the Space Needle, I’ve developed a fondness for the Columbia Center. I recommend visiting the Columbia Center for some great views. You’ll see the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges among some additional views of the Seattle skyline.

For more information on the Sky View Observatory and Columbia Center, please visit