Some other things to keep in mind..
It's dark in Seattle before 5pm this time of year. Assuming you're coming from FAI
, I suppose this will actually be an improvement.
Most Pike Place Market vendors are gone before 5-6pm. I think the first Starbucks stays open later tho..
If you want to see some Seattle 'culture', you can walk from the Space Needle into the Queen Anne neighborhood next door. Some good pubs (recommend TS
McHugh's), coffee shops (recommend Caffe Ladro), the city's best record store (Easy Street), excellent pizza (Pagliacci), a movie theater, etc. If you feel like exercise, you can walk up Queen Anne Drive to Highland, take a left, and you'll find Kerry Park with one of the best views of the city.
If you don't get to the top of the Space Needle, you're really not missing much. The view is kinda neat, but there are wires preventing good photos.. and as mentioned, if there are low clouds or fog you're REALLY not missing much. If you get downtown before 4:30pm and you want a really impressive view, check out the Bank of America building on 5th (can't miss it.. it's the tallest building in town). There's an observation 'deck' on the 73rd floor.. directions are easy from the lobby or you can just ask. I think it costs $5.
Another interesting Seattle area is on/around Broadway in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Definitely some interesting people-watching there.. you'd likely need to take a bus up there, but if you're up for an adventure just walk up Pike or Pine from downtown and take a left on Broadway.
One more fun neighborhood is Fremont, just north of Queen Anne.. also very easy to reach by bus. It's sort of eclectic, though slowly becoming a draw for the boutique set. There is one very interesting feature there.. a big (and authentic) statue of Lenin brought over from the former USSR
The bus system is pretty easy, and there's a large downtown area that's a ride-for-free zone. You'll see maps of it at the decent-sized stops.
The first time I visited Seattle, I stayed downtown (just because I wasn't familiar with any other area and I didn't have much time). Knowing what I know now, downtown would be one of the last areas I spend much time seeing on a quick trip to the city.