Smith Tower, Seattle

Smith Tower, Seattle (must see)

At the end of the 19th century, an inventor named Lyman Cornelius Smith arrived in Seattle. Already wealthy from the sale of his gun company (later Smith & Wesson) and then his revolutionary new typewriter (later to be Smith Corona), Smith promptly bought several blocks around Main Street and 1st Avenue.

In 1901, he built the L.C. Smith Building. Goaded by the plans of a business rival, he then plotted the 42-story Smith Tower. When it was completed in 1914, this was the tallest building outside New York. The distinction was gradually diluted until in 1962, its last remaining title – that of the tallest building in Seattle – was taken by the Space Needle. Smith Tower remains a sentimental favorite, however, and the views from the small Observation Deck is sweeping, taking in all four directions: waterfront, Pioneer Square, the mountains surrounding Seattle, etc.

The tower's 35th floor also has the well known Chinese Room with its carved wood, porcelain ceiling, and elaborate Chinese wooden furniture.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy great 360-degree views of Seattle without paying the elaborate Space Needle fees.
There is an outside area around the perimeter, and the inside lounge with bar is definitely old-world; even the elevator is fun!
Prior to going up, a small interactive museum helps give you all the history of the time the building was built (1911-1914).

Tip:
Buy advance tickets online or look out for the "happy hour" visiting times – or if you do the nearby Underground Tour, keep the ticket for discounted entry.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Seattle. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Smith Tower on Map

Sight Name: Smith Tower
Sight Location: Seattle, USA (See walking tours in Seattle)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Seattle, Washington

Create Your Own Walk in Seattle

Create Your Own Walk in Seattle

Creating your own self-guided walk in Seattle is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Pioneer Square, the district where Seattle was founded in the mid-19th century, had gone through its boom and near-bust until a period of preservation managed to save it for a new life. Today, this is the most historic part of Seattle that holds a special place in the city's yesteryear and is home to several noteworthy landmarks and attractions.

One of the most prominent sites in the area...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

Fremont is a vibrant neighborhood in Seattle, renowned for its quirky and artistic character. Among other things, this famous district is home to some of Seattle's most beloved and controversial sculptures.

One of its most iconic landmarks is the Fremont Troll, a massive sculpture of a troll lurking underneath the Aurora Bridge.

At the height of its counterculture days, Fremont renamed...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Seattle, Washington, boasts a wealth of religious sites of various denominations – together reflecting the city's diverse spiritual heritage. Besides being purely centers of faith, these buildings are an important part of the city's historical heritage, some of them standing as architectural marvels, each with its unique story.

Trinity Parish Church, founded in 1865, is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Seattle Center Walking Tour

Seattle Center Walking Tour

Immediately north of Downtown Seattle, you will find the ever-popular Seattle Center. Developed for the 1962 World's Fair, this 30-hectare (74-acre) park and arts & entertainment center contains numerous landmarks. It is also where Seattle's biggest festivals, concerts, film screenings, and theatrical performances are held.

At the heart of this bustling area stands the iconic...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Overlooking Puget Sound's Elliott Bay on the West Coast of the United States, the port city of Seattle is renowned for its surrounding waters, mountains, evergreen forests, and thousands of acres of parkland. The largest metropolitan area in today's Washington State had been inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years prior to the European pioneers. The first European to set...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

In terms of towering skyscrapers abuzz with commerce, upscale shopping & dining, and splendid theaters, Downtown Seattle resembles many American cities. At the same time, it is also unexpectedly pleasant with hills, outdoor sculptures, and peek-a-boo views of Elliot Bay's sparkling water. Still, the diverse architectural landscape of the city is distinctive primarily for its landmark...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Best Coffee Shops in Seattle

Best Coffee Shops in Seattle

Explore Seattle’s top coffee shops to get a real sense of the eclectic and culturally diverse caffeine buzzed city. Whether you desire a chic downtown coffee café with lots of windows and swanky décor or a dark coffee shop with mix-matched furniture, strong espresso, free wireless and lots of...
15 Distinctively Seattle Things to Buy as Souvenirs

15 Distinctively Seattle Things to Buy as Souvenirs

With the penchant for coffee they have in Seattle, no wonder they go sleepless. Other than that, the Emerald City is renowned for quite a few "distinctively Seattle" things that make it stand out from the crowd of other major urban U.S. destinations. Here are some tips as to which they are...