Seattle Great Wheel

Ferris Wheel in Downtown, Pike Place & Waterfront

With the Alaskan Way Viaduct soon to be confined to the ‘ugly postwar architecture’ chapter of the history books, Seattle has started work on beautifying its often neglected waterfront. Leading the way is this 175ft Ferris wheel that was installed in June 2012 with 42 gondolas, each capable of carrying eight people on a 12-minute ($13!) ride.

The wheel sticks out over the water on Pier 57 and is the tallest of its type on the West Coast, though it pales in comparison with other behemoths such as the London Eye. So far, it has fulfilled its role as a popular Space Needle–like attraction primarily aimed at tourists.