Seattle, nicknamed the "Emerald City," is situated on the Puget Sound between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. It is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and encompasses thousands of acres of parkland. It’s also been named “the Most Well-Read City” and the area is home to two large public library systems: the Seattle Public Libraries and the King County Library System. It is home to a thriving tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon.com headquartered in the metropolitan area. Coffee is a mainstay with Starbucks and smaller coffee companies headquartered here. It’s also home to a number of independent music labels, including Barsuk and SubPop Records (now with a location in the Sea-Tac airport in Concourse C). Seattle consistently ranks among the greenest cities in the US, and boasts the nation's "Greenest Utility" in Seattle City Light with a zero carbon footprint and clean hydroelectricity supplying 90 percent of Seattle’s power.
Seattle is home to the "World's Greenest Commercial Building," the Bullitt Center. It's also the location of the indescribable EMP Museum, a product of innovative architect Frank O. Gehry and the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library (host to our convocation reception), designed by Rem Koolhaus. The futuristic Space Needle, designed by architect John Graham from a drawing by Edward A. Carlson, a legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair, is its most recognizable landmark.
Art abounds in Seattle with several major museums: the Seattle Art Museum and its Olympic Sculpture Park and Asian Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, the Northwest African American Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, the EMP Museum, and many more. It also has a local art gallery scene that is gaining national attention.
Our hotel, The Westin Seattle, is conveniently located in downtown Seattle adjacent to the shopping core and in walking distance to museums and the Pike Place Market (including the site of the original Starbucks).
SoundTransit’s Link Light Rail, the South Lake Union Streetcar, King County Metro buses, and the Seattle Center Monorail are all just steps from the hotel. Visit Downtown Seattle for more information.
Or, if you’re so inclined, Pronto bike sharing systems are located throughout downtown, where you can rent a bike and a helmet to cruise Seattle’s waterfront parks or master those downtown hills. Designated bike lanes are located throughout downtown.
Taking SoundTransit’s Link Light Rail from Sea-Tac Airport to The Westin Seattle is incredibly easy and inexpensive. The fare is $3.00 each way and exact change or a pass/card is required. The light rail runs every 7 to 10 minutes from approximately 5am to 1am on weekdays and every 10-15 minutes on the weekend. Located just across the street from the conference hotel, Westlake Center is the nearest station. Sea-Tac Airport’s Ground Transportation page has a full list of transportation options.
Located just across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue is Washington’s fifth largest city. It is home to the Bellevue Arts Museum, a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design.
Tacoma is Washington’s 3rd largest city and features a walkable and very livable downtown core, anchored by its museum district. Within a few blocks, you can visit the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum and more. Tacoma is also home to a number of small presses. We’re developing a tour around this – so stay tuned!
Seattleites take recycling seriously! Every effort is made to distinguish food/yard waste/compost from recycling from garbage. In fact, a new law will fine residents for putting compost in the garbage. Most restaurants have signage, but if you’re out and about, here is a helpful guide. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.