Observation decks give you breathtaking views and a feel for the city you are in, literally elevating them to awesome status. But most often, getting up there costs a pretty penny. So, imagine our surprise when we unearthed this hidden gem. Whether you're a Puget Sounder or are just passing through, you must check out this free viewpoint in Seattle

Located in Capitol Hill's sprawling 48.3-acre Volunteer Park, the park's water tower is the highest point in the neighborhood. 

The 75-foot tall, brown-brick structure reaches an overall elevation of 520-feet and sits unassumingly amongst the greenery.

While countless people walk by it every day, not everyone knows that you can actually get inside and climb to the top! 

If you don't mind a little cardio — 107 steps worth of stairs, to be precise, you'll be rewarded with insane views of Seattle. You can get a 360-degree panorama view of downtown, Lake Union, Lake Washington, Puget Sound, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. 

While most pay about $32 to get these views at the iconic Space Needle, exploring this tower and the sights that come with it is free. 

Although it's open every day between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., it's a popular arena for those who love to chase sunsets. If you're lucky, you might even catch a live music performance from a busker!

Once inside the former 114-year-old water reservoir, you'll get to stroll through wide corridors and look out of gigantic windows with intricate grills. This is also quite the popular spot for photoshoots, so snap away.

If the weather is gloomy and grey, you'll also find people nestled on the tower's wooden benches, catching up on some reading. 

You might find several rock climbers throwing their anchors around, although climbing is prohibited at this historic site. 

The grounds are also home to the Volunteer Park Conservatory — a paradise of gigantic cacti and succulents with a plant nursery. They have free admission on some days as well.

If you're looking for other hidden gems in the area, you won't be disappointed. There's an Anthony Bourdain-approved hidden bar behind a doorbell that should be your next stop. 

Volunteer Park Water Tower

Price: Free 

Address: Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave E, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

Why You Need To Go: You can get panoramic views of Seattle from an observation deck for free.  


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