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Why did we choose the Red Lion for this meeting?

We compared all downtown Seattle venues that are large enough for our group while not being overwhelmingly huge and expensive. The Red Lion has the right combination of pleasant meeting spaces all on one floor (with windows!), comfortable rooms at a great price for October in downtown Seattle ($139/night, including high-speed Internet), and a wonderful location in the heart of shopping and restaurants. The hotel web site includes a photo gallery that shows you what its spaces look like. The Red Lion does have its own good restaurants : the Terrace Garden on the fifth floor (which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and the Elephant and Castle (an English-style pub on the ground floor of the hotel). And there's much more to see, do, and eat just outside in the hotel neighborhood.

Right nearby:
The Red Lion is located on Fifth Avenue between Pike and Union Streets. Just a short walk down Fifth Avenue to Pine Street (one block north of Pike), you'll find Nordstrom (on Fifth Avenue) and Macy's (on Third Avenue). The Red Lion is in the midst of myriad specialty stores and cafes at Pacific Place and Westlake Center (Fifth Avenue and Pine) and Rainier Square (Fifth Avenue and Union)—and there are a few coffee shops, too, and even several drug/convenience stores within a block or two. The Downtown Seattle Association's web site “ For Visitors & Residents ” provides maps and information about the neighborhood, and the Seattle Convention and Visitor's Bureau has even more information.

Just a 10-minute walk from the Red Lion:
The Pike Place Market is a leisurely stroll from the Red Lion to First Avenue and Pike. At the Market you'll find a glorious array of food, crafts, and collectibles with a local and international flair. You can watch the guys at Pike Place Fish throw salmon at each other (and pack it in ice for your trip home), have a baguette that will remind you of Paris at Le Panier ; buy artisan cheese—and watch cheesemakers at work—at Beecher's Handmade Cheese ; visit galleries; buy toys or kitchenware or books or jewelry; or just stroll and enjoy the place and the people.

If you head south from the Red Lion on Fifth Avenue (away from Pike, cross Union and continue 4 more blocks up a relatively gradual hill) you'll find the Seattle Public Library's new Central Library —another 10-minute walk, at Fifth and Madison. This library, famous for its architectural innovation, is a bustling place that its community loves dearly.

A stretch of the legs from the Red Lion:

From Pike Place Market you can trek down a rather steep hill to the waterfront where you can tour the Seattle Aquarium or catch a scenic ferry ride from the Seattle Ferry Terminal .

From the Central Library, keep heading south on Fifth Avenue and you'll come to Uwajimaya , one of the West Coast's best shopping destinations for Asian groceries, goods, food and gifts (don't scoff, Californians, until you've seen it!). Here you'll be about a mile from the Red Lion in Seattle's Chinatown/International District

If you feel like doing more exploring, you can visit Pioneer Square , Seattle's historic district and home to an eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants, and small museums such as the Klondike Gold Rush National Park near First Avenue and Main Street—also about a mile from the Red Lion. If you took the train to Seattle, you found yourself at the beautifully renovated King Street Station on Jackson Street next to Pioneer Square and yes, about a mile from the Red Lion.

What else is a mile from the Red Lion? Why, Seattle's icon, the Space Needle . Just head north on Fifth Avenue—it's straight ahead, at Seattle Center, just over a mile away, right next to the Pacific Science Center and the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum . In happier times, you would have been able to ride the famous Monorail from Westlake Center (at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street) to the Seattle Center, but alas, it is broken at present. Perhaps it will be back in service in time for the Western MLA Chapters meeting, but “there is no estimated return to service date at this time."

What's that? You say you'd rather not walk a mile? No problem, bus rides are free in downtown Seattle from 6am to 7pm. Find a route map and a guide to downtown Seattle at Metro Transit's Ride Free Area page. But the weather should be perfect for walking. Seattle Weather tells us that the average high for October is a brisk 60 degrees, with average monthly rainfall only three inches.

So make your reservations today! Call 1-800-733-5466 or 1-206-971-8000, or visit the Reservation web site and use Group/Meeting code 0610MEDICA_001 . (Note:there are several Red Lions in Seattle so be sure to call this one!) And if you haven't registered for the Western MLA Chapters meeting, what are you waiting for? Go to the Western MLA Chapters Meeting site for program, CE, and exhibitor information and to register: http://pncmla.org/pncmla2006/ .

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Last Updated: Sept. 12, 2006
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