Seattle Center Monorail darts through history
There are at least a dozen ways to get from lower Queen Anne to downtown Seattle, but none are as enjoyable or fast as a ride on this World's Fair souvenir. Though it's nearly four decades old, the Seattle Center Monorail is no relic; it still makes the one-mile trip from the base of the Space Needle to Westlake Center in just over a minute's time.
It's a wonderfully scenic trip. The track runs above Fifth Avenue, affording matchless views of Capitol Hill to the east and Belltown to the west. At its south end, it terminates at Westlake Center — a four-story indoor mall and adjacent open-air plaza that's the epicenter of many seasonal celebrations, including the city's biggest Christmas tree-lighting ceremeony and fireworks show — and the approach to the Monorail's Seattle Center terminus passes directly through the futuristic Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Taken in either direction, the Monorail offers a fairly spectacular ride.
That said, some locals take the Monorail without even considering the scenery. It's simply a transportation mode for some — after all, it's the most direct route from downtown to uptown, and it connects with the Metro Tunnel and the South Lake Union Streetcar.
And hundreds of office workers make daily use of the Monorail to grab lunch in a different neighborhood, or to simply get away from their desks for an hour. At just $4 round-trip, a ride on the Seattle Center Monorail is a prime deal — a little more than a dollar per 10-year jump into Seattle's past.
Posted on May 12, 2009 by Geoff Carter