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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Snohomish County: Hub of the Northwest

With Seattle to the south, Vancouver, Canada, to the north, the Puget Sound and its islands to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east, Snohomish County is centrally located in the Pacific Northwest.

“We have the best of what Washington has to offer — except we don’t have any desert,” said Samantha Shaw, group sales manager of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau.

But what Snohomish County lacks in desert, it makes up for in accessibility to affordable attractions and meeting sites. Many visitors stay in the area, where costs are up to 35 percent less than nearby Seattle, Shaw said, and use the county as a hub for visiting the area’s hot spots.

Major attractions include the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Everett, where guests see how planes are made and watch a Boeing 747 land on the tarmac. Other attractions for plane enthusiasts are the Historic Flight Foundation and Flying Heritage Collection, two personal collections of vintage aircrafts and airplanes.

Shoppers are drawn to the town of Snohomish, the Pacific Northwest Antique Capital. With more than 175 antique dealers in a four-block radius, a quaint country setting, cafes, art galleries and farm and gardening experiences, the town offers a full day of exceptional shopping. For something a bit more modern, there’s the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, the second-largest mall in Washington.

Snohomish County runs along the Puget Sound, and many of its small coastal towns have major ferry lines and access to boating, fishing, paddle boarding and other water activities. Stillaguamish Valley, also known as Stilly Valley, is the place to go for hiking, climbing and rafting. During the winter, visitors can ski in the Cascade Mountains.

The area also has numerous museums, such as the Hibulb Cultural Center, the first cultural center to be certified by the state of Washington. It sits on the Tulalip Indian Reservation and gives visitors a look inside the lives of the Tulalip people as well as access to the Tulalip Reserve Casino and several shopping centers.

Other meeting venues include farm-to-table agritourism sites, the Edward B. Hampton Conference Center at Comcast Arena and the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour, which can host 600 people banquet-style.

“There’s also the Strato Deck, which can hold about 300 people for a reception,” Shaw said. “It has a 360-degree view of the county — you can see the mountains, the planes, the Puget Sound. It’s a very cool spot, especially for folks excited about aviation.”


Spotlight on Snohomish County

Primary meeting facilities: Lynnwood Convention Center

Other meeting properties: Tulalip Resort Casino and Spa, Holiday Inn Downtown Everett, Edward B. Hampton Conference Center at Comcast Arena

Largest meeting space: Lynnwood Convention Center at 34,000 square feet

Total hotel rooms: 5,500+ rooms

CVB website: