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Top Ten Reasons Seattle Was Chosen!

1. Center of Innovation
Boeing 787From software, to a jet engine to espresso and grunge rock, Seattle has always inspired world-changing ideas. It’s a city where extraordinary is commonplace and commonplace is anything but. And if you look closely, you just might discover that in Seattle there are amazing things happening all around you.

2. Walkable Downtown
walkingFrom the centrally-located Washington State Convention Center to the famous Pike Place Market, from the intriguing International District to historic Pioneer Square, Seattle’s downtown is compact and easy to get around. You can walk from your downtown hotel to meeting facilities, shopping, dining and many attractions. In fact, Seattle was voted one of the most walker-friendly cities in the United States in 2008 by WalkScore.com.

3. The View
Puget Sound at SunsetSituated on the shore of Puget Sound between two incredible mountain ranges - the snow-capped Olympics and the craggy Cascades - Seattle is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The tallest and most beautiful volcanic peak in the Cascade Range, Mount Rainier, soars above the city, and Elliott Bay adds a flattering looking glass for the city’s mix of modern and historic architecture. It’s easy to see that Seattle is a remarkably picturesque place. In fact, Forbes.com just named Seattle one of the "World’s 13 Most Stunning City Skylines" (March 2009).

4. Arts & Culture
Grass Blades by John FlemmingA wealth of visual creativity, theatre, dance, literary arts and music make it clear why Seattle is renowned as an arts and culture destination. World premier plays debut here. A lively music scene draws appreciative crowds to intimate venues and packed auditoriums. Hundreds of galleries and venues showcase the art produced by thousands of resident artists. Museums of all descriptions, a generous dose of public art, eye-popping architecture, authors, poets, symphony orchestras, rock legends and jazz greats all give Seattle a lively cultural ambiance.

5. Cuisine & Wine
Salmon from Ettas SeafoodA visit to Seattle is not complete without a taste of our excellent seafood. The city’s world-class chefs continually delight visitors with recipes featuring locally grown ingredients. The hundreds of dining choices, specializing in cuisine from around the world prepared in a uniquely Northwest style, are truly impressive, leading GQ magazine to name Seattle its Food City of the Year in January, 2009.

And to accompany those perfect meals: Washington’s award-winning wines, renowned for their superb flavor. As the second-largest producer of premium wines in the country, Washington has hundreds of wineries producing vintages from eleven distinct appellations.

6. Accessible
Seattle’s new Link light rail system connects downtown to points south and SeaTac AirportChicago is just 3.5 hours away by air and Washington, D.C., is five hours. Sea-Tac Airport hosts non-stop flights from 71 U.S. cities and 16 international cities, and it’s only a 20-minute drive via Interstate 5, which passes right through downtown or a 37-minute ride on Seattle’s new Link light rail system. Driving from Vancouver, B.C., takes about 2.5 hours, and from Portland about three hours. Seattle is easy to get to, but hard to leave behind.

7. Sustainability
Seattle’s stunning natural setting and progressive, green-thinking culture have established it as one of North America’s most environmentally-committed cities. In the past two years, Seattle has ranked among the best U.S. cities for the size of its carbon footprint by the Brookings Institution and has been called one of the country’s cleanest cities by Forbes magazine. Nestled between three national parks, two mountain ranges, scenic estuaries, lakes and channels, Seattle features a vibrant city center that coexists beautifully with pristine nature.

8. Entrance to the Great Northwest and Canada
San Juan IslandsUsing Seattle as a base, visitors can travel a few hours by car, train, seaplane or ferryboat and find themselves in Victoria or Vancouver, Canada; the sun-speckled San Juan Islands, the Olympic rain forest; or one of several ski resorts. The city is within a half-day’s drive of Washington’s booming wine country, mountain hiking trails, beaches, national parks and a live volcano. The Port of Seattle is a major starting and stopping-over point for the burgeoning cruise business to Alaska and British Columbia. The Port of Seattle projects that in 2011 alone, 403,500 passengers will board one of 195 cruise sailings through Seattle. Anywhere in the Northwest is an easy trip from here. Note: if you plan to travel to Canada, don’t forget your passport!

9. Friendly, Yet Sophisticated
Sophisticated SeattleSeattle is one of the most welcoming and hospitable places in the country, with a diverse population and a neighborly outlook. At the same time, you’ll find all the best advantages of a big city - fabulous restaurants, active nightlife, world-class shopping, professional sports, a robust economy and plenty of activities for any preference.

10. The Weather
The weather is wonderful!Yes, really! Despite the reputation, it doesn’t always rain in Seattle, which has less annual rainfall than Boston or Miami or even Houston. The light showers that keep the area green and lush are rarely enough to warrant an umbrella. The temperature is mild all-year-round, with almost no humidity. It’s pleasantly cool (mid-70s) in summer and warm (upper 40s) in winter.

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