13 Best Views of Seattle: The Panoramic Emerald City Views Only Locals Know About!

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Sometimes we forget that Seattle views are gorgeous, and some of the best views in Seattle no one even talks about. We have lived in Washington our whole lives so we know a thing or two about the best panoramic views in Seattle for your Seattle Views bucket list!

So without further ado, let’s dive into some gorgeous and slept-on views in Seattle that you need to see to believe.

seattle viewpoints

Best Views of Seattle Overview

We know some people just need a quick list to save so they can knock your Seattle best views list as quickly as possible, so we got you covered!

Here are the best views of Seattle!

  1. Space Needle
  2. Dr. Jose Rizal Park
  3. Alki Beach
  4. Kerry Park
  5. Downtown Waterfront
  6. Golden Gardens
  7. University of Washington – Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier
  8. Lincoln Park
  9. Discovery Park
  10. Gasworks Park
  11. Water Taxi
  12. Hamilton ViewPoint Park

Best Seattle Tours for Views & Seattle City Pass

Best Scenic Tours in Seattle

Hop on hop off Bus Tour


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Hop on and hop off at some of Seattle’s hottest tourist destinations! This Tour bus offers one or 2-day bus tours, and it covers 16 stops over Seattle.

There are different packages for single or family. The Family package includes two adults and two children.

Then it splits the packages between:

  • Must See Seattle Ticket: Offer the traditional Must See Seattle Route.
  • Scenic See it All Ticket: Includes the Must-See Seattle Route, a Seattle Panoramic Tour, and a Self-Guided Walking Tour! So you get 3 Tours with this option!

Seattle: Harbor Cruise with Live Narration

Argosy Cruises offers a 1-hour tour that has been showing guests around the waters of Seattle since 1949; that’s such a long time! With the Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbour Tour, you’ll be able to see some amazing sights and cool tour perks such as:


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  • Gorgeous Seattle skyline views from its ship!
  • You’ll be able to visit one of the largest shipping terminals in the world!
  • Stunning views of the Cascade Mountain Ranges and Olympic Mountain Ranges.
  • Learn about Seattle via the narration!

Seattle City Pass

This is awesome because the Seattle CityPASS offers five attractions that can be spread out over 9 days!

We are talking Popular Seattle Attractions that you are probably going to visit because, well you’re in Seattle and of course you want to visit some of the most popular attractions!,

With a Seattle CityPASS you can get access to these must-do attractions!

  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Space Needle

And you can choose 3 of the following attractions for admission!

  • Woodland Zoo
  • Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
  • Museum of Pop Culture
  • Chihuly Gardens and Glass

Instagram Worthy Photos in Seattle Spots and Tips

When is the best time for Seattle views?

The best time for Seattle Views is during non peak times; this way, you have fewer people to compete with over spots. We also recommend going during sunrise or sunset for the best lighting in your photos.

What is the best Seattle view?

The Best Seattle View is a matter of opinion, and a controversial one for locals living in Washington, but the view of Seattle From Gas Works is gorgeous, as well as the Mt. rainier view you get by visiting the University of Washington. However, many people will say the best views are from the Seattle Space Needle and Smith Tower.

What is the best water view in Seattle?

The best water view in Seattle is from Alki Beach; the views from Alki give you the perfect mix of Seattle waterfront views, the Puget Sound and Elliott Bay.

Seattle Views Photo Tips

Take your photos during Sunset or sunrise!

Taking your photos during sunset or sunrise is a must if you are after those Instagram worthy shots. We recommend going an hour before sunset or sunrise to reach your designated Seattle view, this allows you enough time to try out some practise shots and find and angle you enjoy best.

Plus, if you go during sunrise in seattle there’s less people out during sunrise vs sunset.

Check the forecast!

We know Seattle has a reputation for being gloomy, and this is precisely why you need to check the forecast before heading out to find views in Seattle. Trust us, if it even says there is a slight chance of rain, pack rain gear and protective gear for your camera!

Be prepared for rain in your Seattle views!

If you are visiting anytime between October to May, chances are you will have a rainy day in your itinerary, if not a few of them. It rains in Seattle a lot; while it doesn’t rain heavily like in Orlando, it does rain continuously during our rainy season.

Dress for Rain and Winds!

As the previous two points mention rain, let’s stress this for you. It will likely rain or have some cold winds during the rainy seasons. So pack accordingly and never leave your house in something you couldn’t stand outside in the rain for an hour.

4 Panoramic City Views of Seattle

1. Space Needle

The Space Needle is one of the most touristy things you can do in Seattle, despite its cliche rep. It’s still a top contender for one of the best panoramic views of Seattle. When you are at the top of Space Needle, you can see Downtown Seattle, Puget Sound, and Lake Union.

So worth the hefty price for a ticket, but like we said above, look into getting a Seattle CityPASS if you also are going to visit other hotspot attractions in Seattle =).

2. Dr. Jose Rizal Park

Dr. Jose Rizal Park is a popular place to visit if you are after Seattle skyline photos and views. Whether your visit when it’s dark or visit during the day, you are bound to have such good views of Seattle.

The park is on Beacon Hill, south and east of Pioneer Square. There’s ample parking in the area.

seattle views

3. Kerry Park

Kerry Park is located in the Queen Anne area of Downtown Seattle; from here, you can get amazing views of the space needle and Downtown Central Seattle. If you’re lucky

4. Smith Tower

9 Gorgeous Seattle Water Views

5. Golden Gardens

The Golden Gardens are favored by locals, and with good reason; this beach is full of fun things to do, like hike trails, explore wetlands, have a picnic along the shores, and plenty of others. But what we love about this beach is the water views, especially during sunset with the sun slowly dipping between the mountain ranges in the distance.

6. Alki Beach

Alki Beach offers gorgeous views of Puget Sound, especially if you come during sunset when the water reflects the warm pink and yellows of the sky. There are so many spots you can go to on Alki for the best views so we listed a few and what they offer views of

We recommend these spots on Alki beach for views:

  • Near Alki Point Lighthouse: Puget sounds views
  • Near Rocky Beach: Mossy Rocks and Pillars make a cool photo
  • Don Armeni Park: Downtown Seattle Views
  • On the Alki Paved Paths: Views of Bainbridge Island and the Puget Sound
  • On the Beach near the bathhouses: Views of Bainbridge Island and the Puget Sound

Plus, when you finish your photo session, you can enjoy this famous Washington beach by hanging out like a local!

Locals and tourists alike both like to stroll through Alki beach, whether that be on foot, longboarding the Paved pathways, rollerblading, or biking in the family bike carts.

If you’re not in the mood for walking, stop at some beachfront bars and restaurants like el chupacabra, which offers stunning views of alki beach while you down those chips and salsa!

If you prefer italian, pegasus restaurant is good and located by the Starbucks.

If you want burgers then Pepperdock has juicy burgers, and if you want fish try then try Dukes Seafood and Chowder or Alki Spud!

There’s a ton of places to eat here, so make sure to check them out if you are hungry or thirsty!

7. Downtown Waterfront Seattle

The Seattle Waterfront is a famous and iconic view in Seattle, with the historical Piers, Seattle Great Wheel, numerous little shops, Seattle Aquarium, and proximity to Pike Market. It makes this view a two-stone kinda deal if you get our drift.

While viewing the Seattle Waterfront, we recommend stopping at these spots for the best photos of Seattle and views of Elliott Bay.

Best Views in Seattle from the Waterfront:

  • Pier 57: walk along this pier for views of Elliot Bay and West Seattle
  • Seattle Great Wheel: When you’re on top of this thing! Wow, Panoramic views of Seattle!
  • Pier 56: Views of West Seattle and Elliott Bay
  • In between pier 56 and pier 55: More views of Elliott Bay and West Seattle

8. University of Washington – Lake Washington & Mt. Rainier Views

The University of Washington is a Beautiful Campus! Walking through the campus feels like you are being transported to another time in history with the old and historical architecture that makes the university so stunning. Couple that with its fantastic location next to Lake Washington and many view options.

Speaking about options!

We almost forgot to mention the absolutely gorgeous view you get if you head from Suzzallo Library and go towards the steps that lead to the Water Fountain; from this you can get amazing views of Mt. Rainier.

Here are some of our favorite views from UW:

  • Fisheries is down the street from the university near boat docks and offers a view of Portage Bay Reach. Plus, there’s a load of geese and ducks!
  • Union Bay: Union Bay is the water area near the university, such as near the Husky Stadium.
  • Rent a Canoe from the UW Waterfront Activities Center for views of Lake Washington, and this was one of our favorite things to do at UW!

9. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is slept on; it’s a great park to visit and offers excellent views of Puget Sound, just like Alki Beach! The only difference is Lincoln Park is more Nature friendly and is home to numerous trailways through the forest surrounding it.

The rocky beach has a paved pathway that stretches along the beach, and you stop at different spots along it to get some good views of the sound, or head all the way to the end of the path where it becomes pebbly and if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of some aquatic life like orcas passing through.

10. Discovery Park

Discovery Park is where tourists and locals show up for a taste of natural adventure. Whether you want to explore hikes, visit the discovery park lighthouse, take a stroll along the shores, go paddle boarding, or visit the discovery park visitor center.

this viewpoint is perfect if you are after water views, a stunning view of the lighthouse with the mountain ranges behind it, or snap a selfie near the pebbly beach.

11. Hamilton Viewpoint Park

No one but locals go to this viewpoint; we have been coming here since we were little kids, so it’s a memorable spot for us and we almost didn’t include it in this list because we wanted to keep the secret.

This Viewpoint in Seattle offers views of Downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay, and it’s especially popular at nighttime with the city lights reflecting across the water.

It’s a small parking lot, so keep that in mind if visiting during the busier weekends.

view of seattle

12. Gas Works Park

Gasworks was once an old Gasification Plant for the Gas Light Company; it was deserted for a bit, but after they cleaned it up and repurposed the gasification plant and then eventually it was added to the National Register of Historic Places back in January 2013.

It’s pretty normal to catch college students and locals relaxing and having picnics or lounging on the hill.

You can see Lake Union, the boating docks, the Space Needle, the Downtown Seattle skyline, and the remainder of the coal gasification plant from the Gas Works Hill.

Enjoy the views and do like the locals, relax and have a picnic =).

Also, this is the place to be for the 4th of July!

13. Water Taxi

The Water Taxi goes from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle Waterfront, so it’s a no-brainer why hopping on this water vessel would offer gorgeous views of the different parts of Seattle!

Views in Seattle FAQ

Where can I get a view in Seattle?

The best viewpoints in Seattle are:
– Space Needle
– Smith Tower
– Seattle Waterfront
– Alki Beach
– Kerry Park
– Sky View Observatory
– Gas Works Park
– Lake Washington
– The Nest

What is the famous Seattle Overlook?

There are a few Famous Seattle Outlooks in Seattle:
– Kerry Park
– Space Needle
– Skyview Observatory
– Smith Tower
– Volunteer Park

Where is the best view of Seattle skyline?

The best view of the Seattle Skyline is from the observation deck or Kerry Park.

What park in Seattle has the best view?

The park with the best view in Seattle is Kerry Park as it overlooks lake union and central downtown Seattle.

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