The Most Photographed Attraction in Seattle

spaceneedlenope2Ah, the rainy city of Seattle. Actually, the “rainy” part is a bit exaggerated, because while it does get a lot of overcast skies, it has fewer inches of annual rainfall than New York City, Chicago, or even Atlanta. Rain or shine, there is a multitude of photogenic scenes to be found in Seattle. Pike Place Market, the majestic views of Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains towards the west, the Fremont Troll, and the Experience Music Project to name a few. However, Seattle’s most photographed landmark is… NOT the Space Needle, as many would have probably guessed right off the bat! It’s certainly reasonable to assume that the highlight of Seattle’s skyline would be the most photographed landmark within its borders, but the cameras find their way to a particular nearby location even more often.

So what is it that can outshine the allure of Seattle’s defining landmark and draw photographers away?


How about a pink elephant? The rotating pink elephant sign of the Elephant Super Car Wash located on Battery Street and Denny Way–literally a block or two from the Space Needle–surprisingly takes the ribbon in this case. While the Space Needle is certainly iconic and a major tourist attraction, and despite the exhilarating view from the top, the Elephant Super Car Wash sign reels in more shutter-snappers for one crucial reason: it’s a hot pink elephant in the middle of Seattle!


Elephant Super Car Wash began in 1951, 11 years before the Space Needle was introduced to the Emerald City, so it has more seniority in the Seattle area, and it has become quite the landmark it it’s own right. And, while during the day it is quite loud, at night it lights up, and who with a camera can resist a giant glowing neon hot pink elephant–if for no other reason than to show proof that they’ve seen one? There is also the convenience (or, rather inconvenience) factor. Taking a good picture of the Space Needle can be difficult because without the right angle, buildings and/or trees end up obstructing the view of a nice, clean shot. Not to mention that taking a snapshot of the Needle while in a moving car is just an accident waiting to happen. Although, after you’ve crashed and are staggering dazedly on the highway, you might find that you’ve ended up at just the right angle for that perfectly framed Space Needle shot.


“Now will you look at that?”