How to get involved at an SHA Conference
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The City: “The Emerald City,” “Jet City,” and “The Rainy City”
Located in the Pacific Northwest in the shadow of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Seattle is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the US and the fastest growing metro in the US. The city, as it’s often referred to by locals, has a number of nicknames, “The emerald city” because of the lush evergreen forests in the area, “Jet city” through the local influence of Boeing, and “The rainy city,” because it does a rain a lot in Seattle and is often overcast, but many cities in the Northeast, Ohio, and Michigan average about the same number of sunless days.
The Weather: Everyone’s Favorite Love-Hate Relationship
Last year from January 6th to January 12th, 2013 the temperature ranged from 55F/13C to 37F/3C (highs) and 42F/6C to 26F/-3C (lows) with no snow and 1.75 inches/4.45 cm of rain over the course of the week. The previous year from January 8th to January 14th, 2012 the temperature ranged from 50F/10C to 41F/5C (highs) and 39F/4C to 27F/-3 (lows) with no snow and 0.35 inches/0.89 cm of rain over the course of the week.
The Conference Hotel: Sheraton Seattle Hotel
This year’s conference will take place at the Sheraton Seattle hotel (1400 Sixth Ave, Seattle, WA). The hotel is located at the corner of 6th and Pike St., in the heart of downtown Seattle’s central business district. All of the conference sessions, plenary, meetings, and banquet will take place at the hotel. Off-site events at a variety of unique venues are being planned, most notably the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, whose annual public “Archaeology Day” will take place during the conference this year, and the Museum of History and Industry/Center for Wooden Boats, located on the lakefront at the south end of Lake Union.
The hotel is located within two blocks of premium shopping at two malls, the flag ship Nordstroms (5th and Pine St.), numerous fast food and gourmet establishments (and bars), and the hotel is within one to two blocks of four Starbucks. If Starbucks is not your first choice there are a number of local coffee shops, all with a few block radius of the hotel. As the venue is in the heart of Seattle, the area has a wide array of events, museums, and attractions to see, including the iconic Pike Place market (1st and Pike St.) which is only six blocks from the conference hotel.
The SHA has special rate of $129.00 (plus a 15.60% tax per room/night and a $2.00 per room/night tourism fee) for a single/double occupancy room (online booking code will be available soon). A $20 fee per room/night will be added for a rollaway (if desired) and a $20 fee for additional adults above two. Suites are also available at a conference rate of $350 (plus tax and fee) per room/night. For additional information please visit: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=460
There are a number of hotels within a mile radius of the conference hotel, if the limited number of rooms at the conference hotel are filled an overflow hotel may become available.
Traveling to the City: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Traveling to and from Seattle by air, train, and car is quite easy. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or Sea-Tac (SEA airport code) is the 16th busiest airport in the US and boasts of the world’s largest parking structure with over 13,000 parking spaces under one roof. The top 5 carriers into Sea-Tac are Alaskan, Horizon, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines, but the airport has flights from over 20 airlines.
The easiest and cheapest way to get to the hotel from the airport is to take the Central Link Light Rail. The service runs from 5am to 1am Monday through Saturday and 6am to Midnight on Sundays. The trip from the airport to downtown (below Westlake Mall at 4th and Pine; 2 blocks away from the hotel) will take approximately 37 minutes and cost $2.75 each way. The trains run every 7.5 to 15 minutes depending upon what time of day. (http://www.soundtransit.org/schedules/central-link-light-rail)
If you prefer a taxi service the trip can cost $40-$50, with some hotel to the airport services for $40 and may take 25-30 minutes without traffic.
For travel around the city, the “Metro” public bus system operates throughout Seattle and King County, and is one of the most extensive and highly-praised in the nation. To find a route, maps, and fare information visit Metro online at (www.metro.kingcounty.gov).
There is a scheduled bus service to downtown Vancouver, Canada, through Quick Shuttle, with stops in downtown Seattle, Bellingham International Airport, the Canadian–U.S. border, and at the Vancouver International Airport (www.quickcoach.com).
If flying isn’t an option or you’re worried about the weather, the train is another option. Amtrak offers a number of trains running from Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and Vancouver, BC and all across the west coast of the US. (http://www.amtrak.com/home)
If you choose to drive to the conference, Seattle is the beginning or the end (depending on which way you’re traveling) of Interstate 90 which connects to Interstate 5 which runs through the heart of the city with numerous downtown exits. However, parking downtown and at the hotel ($46 a day) can be very expensive and hard to find. Luckily if you choose to drive you can park at the Sea-Tac airport for cheaper (<$20 a day) and take the light rail for $2.75 each way.
Throughout this summer and fall, the SHA website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook page will be updated with information about local attractions, restaurants in the area, and updates on the conference including the preliminary program, call for volunteers, reminders for the ACUA photo contest, and much more! Don’t forget the deadline for papers and posters is Thursday July 10, 2014! http://sha.org/index.php/view/page/annual_meetings
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