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Families Flock to the Seattle Great Wheel

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Consider it Seattle's equivalent of the London Eye. Nearly three times shorter than the legendary 605-foot Seattle Space Needle, the city's newest landmark, the Seattle Great Wheel, delivers panoramic views of the Emerald City that will lift you—and your family—off your feet. 

Located on Pier 57, its 42 climate-controlled gondolas offer a 15-20 minute spin on the waterfront. Each gondola rotates three times, and can accommodate up to six adults or eight children. 

The $20 million attraction is the brainchild of Seattle entrepreneur Hal Griffith who, for more than 30 years, has envisioned a Seattle Ferris wheel.  The attraction is also a part of the efforts to improve Seattle’s waterfront, which includes replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with an underground tunnel. 

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The Seattle Great Wheel rides are offered from 11 a.m. until midnight Monday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets cost $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8.50 for children ages 4-11.  Children under the age of three can ride for free.  For $25, you can upgrade to the VIP gondola. The ticket buys you a view from leather seats and a glass floor, as well as a free t-shirt.  Make your purchases at the pier or online at www.seattlegreatwheel.com.

Jenneke Oostman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of John Wiley Greenland.

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