An Inside Look at Amazon's Seattle Spheres

Amazon's Biospheres are open to the public. Sort of.
  • Amazon's Spheres

This article appears in print in the January 2019 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

You know by now the Seattle Spheres are “a place where [Amazon] employees can think and work differently surrounded by exotic plants.” You probably also know the Spheres are not a place the public can easily get into. In the interest of curtailing attempts at breaking and entering, here’s how to visit them.

Weekend Public Visits. The non-Amazon biophiliac can see the Spheres on “open house” days — usually the first and third Saturday of each month. You must make a reservation online and you can only plan 30 days out. The tour is unescorted, and you can stay as long as you like. “Ambassadors” are available to answer questions (and tell you not to touch the plants). 2111 Seventh Ave.

Amazon HQ Guided Tour. A stop at the Spheres is now part of the public tours Amazon provides of its vast Seattle campus. The 90-minute tours occur Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but they’re not offered in November and December (when your relatives are most likely to be visiting). 2121 Seventh Ave.

Understory. This museum-style exhibit is open every day — and kind of underwhelming. It is not a guided tour of the flora inside the Spheres, but it’s a nice place to kill time if you have a reservation for the tour next door. 2101 Seventh Ave.

Befriend an Amazonian. Amazon employees can escort visitors through the Spheres during regular business hours. And they can eat at Renee Erickson’s Rana e Rospo (Frog and Toad) salad-and-sandwich bar or at General Porpoise Doughnuts, which are off limits to the great unwashed.

Deep Dive. If you can’t get into the Spheres, you can drown your sorrows at Erickson’s new Deep Dive bar underneath the Spheres. Granted, you can’t see the vegetation taking root above you and plotting to subsume your party. But you can get a hot dog for $18. 620 Lenora St.

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