Washington Destination & Region Guide
With snowcapped mountains towering above the eastern skyline and the Puget Sound islands off to the west, this region offers visitors an incredible variety of scenery and recreation opportunities.
From idyllic seashores and soaring mountains to urban centers and one of the finest wine growing areas in the country, Washington delivers a variety of experiences that encourage groups to explore. Across the state, planners can expect excellent meeting and event venues accompanied by restaurants offering farm-fresh food and locally produced beverages.
With major international airports in Seattle and Spokane, a number of regional airports dispersed throughout the state, and Interstates 5 and 90 crisscrossing the state, every region of Washington is easily accessible.
The six regions of Washington present diverse options for meetings and events. The Seattle Metro area located in the Puget Sound lowlands offers world-class facilities. The islands of Puget Sound along with the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas and the Pacific Coast offer charm and ambience found nowhere else. The northern region of the state bordering British Columbia boasts both the Salish Sea and the majestic North Cascades. The southwest region of the state is home to the mighty Columbia River and the scenic Columbia River Gorge. The eastern portion of the state that borders Idaho is home to the city of Spokane, with a spectacular waterfall in the heart of the city, and the rolling hills of the Palouse region, a photographer’s paradise. Lastly, Washington’s wine country, located in the more arid central and south-central part of the state, offers a picturesque setting.
With such diversity of landscapes and facilities, Washington is equipped for every type of meeting and event.
REGION 1 – SEATTLE METRO
BELLEVUE | EVERETT | LYNNWOOD | OLYMPIA | SEATTLE | TACOMA
With the Cascade Mountains dominating the eastern skyline and the Puget Sound islands off to the west, this region offers visitors an incredible variety of scenery, and a wide range of attractive meeting and recreation opportunities. Anchored by the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, the region extends north to Snohomish County and south to Olympia.
The region abounds with facilities ranging from full-service convention centers to intimate luxury accommodations.
With the largest hotels and conference center in the state, downtown Seattle can handle any size group while delivering a uniquely Pacific Northwest experience.
With a temperate climate, the Seattle Metro region offers mild winters, and the summers are typically warm and pleasant. The Seattle Metro region is readily accessible by air, rail or highway.
REGION 2 – THE ISLANDS, PENINSULAS & COAST
BREMERTON | CAMANO | LONG BEACH | PORT ANGELES | SAN JUANS | WHIDBEY
A picture-perfect setting, fine facilities and warm hospitality make the islands of Puget Sound, the beaches and rocky headlands of the Olympic Peninsula and the sandy expanse of Long Beach Peninsula popular destination spots for visitors from all over the world. On the islands of Puget Sound, the sounds and sights of the city become a mere memory, allowing your group to get down to business without distraction. The Olympic Peninsula, home of the Olympic National Park, and nearby Kitsap Peninsula, offer a variety of options for unique meeting locations. Historic forts, seaside retreats, forest resorts and friendly cities welcome meetings and events of all sizes.
A temperate marine climate means you will likely encounter mild weather whenever you visit, making the region an attractive option for meetings and events year-round.
REGION 3 – NORTH CENTRAL & NORTHWEST
BELLINGHAM | LEAVENWORTH | WENATCHEE | CHELAN | WINTHROP
Midway between Seattle and Spokane, located on the sunny side of the Cascade Mountains, north-central Washington has a wide variety of meeting venues, a renowned local food and beverage scene and an abundance of outdoor recreational experiences in every season.
In addition to Wenatchee, north-central Washington’s largest city, meeting and event opportunities can be found in the Bavarian- themed town of Leavenworth, at scenic Lake Chelan and in the town of Winthrop with its Old West vibe.
On the western side of the North Cascades, the city of Bellingham lies nestled between the mountains and the coast. Whether it is whale watching on Puget Sound or skiing on Mount Baker, your group will find a wide-range activities for fun and team building.
REGION 4 – SOUTHWEST & THE GORGE
CENTRALIA | CHEHALIS | LONGVIEW | VANCOUVER
From the slopes of glacier-clad Mount Rainier and the other-worldly volcanic landscape surrounding Mount St. Helens, the southern Washington Cascade mountains are easily accessible from the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. Along with recreation and scenery, the area attracts groups that desire quality facilities with a quiet atmosphere. Farther south, the cities and towns along the Columbia River are alluring destinations for a first-class conference or event.
Just across the Columbia River from Oregon, Vancouver, Washington, is readily accessible from anywhere in the Portland metropolitan area, including the Portland International Airport. A vibrant and quirky art scene and easy access to the region’s wide range of recreational activities make Vancouver an attractive site for a conference or event.
The Longview-Kelso and Centralia-Chehalis pairs of cities offer attractive alternatives to the busy Vancouver area. These smaller communities provide a wide variety of venues from full-service conference facilities to intimate retreat settings.
REGION 5 – EASTERN
CLARKSTON | PULLMAN | SPOKANE
Washington’s eastern regions include the rich historical, cultural and picturesque attractions of the northeast along with the scenic recreational opportunities of the southeast. Spokane dominates the area commercially while the college-town atmosphere of Pullman provides a fun vibrancy. The Clarkston area is gateway to the spectacular Hells Canyon.
The dramatic waterfall roaring through the center of Spokane signals that the city is no ordinary metropolitan area. A thriving art and culture tradition and a flourishing culinary scene combine with outdoor activities to draw conferences, meetings and events. Spokane has a wide variety of conference and event facilities from a modern full-service convention center to carefully restored historic hotels.
Farther south, the cities of Pullman and Clarkston should not be overlooked. Home of Washington State University, Pullman is a vibrant urban center that attracts visitors with big-city services and small-town charm. Clarkston offers year-round recreation with a rich historical background.
REGION 6 – WINE COUNTRY
TRI-CITIES | WALLA WALLA | YAKIMA
The rolling hills and rich farm lands of south- central and southeast Washington are home to many of Washington’s finest vineyards and orchards. Steeped in history and located at the heart of a celebrated wine region, Walla Walla offers all the amenities one would expect to find in larger cities.
With three large event facilities, and numerous hotels with meeting space, the cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland form one versatile meeting destination. Collectively known as the Tri-Cities, the community makes it easy to hold an event there.
The closest wine-country city to the Seattle Metro area, Yakima has more than 300 days of sunshine annually and offers distinct advantages as a meeting destination.
CONFERENCE CENTERS & HOTELS
Contrary to popular belief, and perhaps your own intuition, you don’t need to be planning a large-scale meeting or event to justify the use of a large-scale event center. These large complexes exist exclusively for events of any size, and they offer a full range of support services from the latest technology and internet connectivity to customized catering. All of these conference and convention centers are situated near hotels making a large multi-day gathering a seamless event.
Washington offers a collection of large centers that are incredibly versatile and can often accommodate groups from as few as five people to as many as several thousand. The choices available for event spaces at centers can be extremely convenient for planners looking for unique and comprehensive options for a one-day gathering to a week-long event.
Washington offers a wide selection of hotels that range in size from a few dozen guest rooms to several hundred. Many of these hotels offer meeting and event spaces for groups of varying sizes.
Whether you are planning a conference or event in the Seattle Metro region, or you want to venture across the state to one of the other interesting regions, you will find excellent facilities. Spokane is a scenic destination with an abundance of hotels. Other areas, such as the wine country in the south central and southeastern section of the state, the Islands of Puget Sound and the cities along the Pacific coast, allow planners to find just the right atmosphere for whatever their group desires.
Find a complete list of CVB’s, CC’s and Hotels in our online directory.