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Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

TUSKEGEE

Accommodations at Tuskegee University's Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center may be the ideal fit for a small group. All with a full-service hotel, the facility offers 17,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in several rooms and a ballroom that holds up to 350 people.

The National Park Service conducts tours on the Tuskegee campus of the George Washington Carver Museum and The Oaks, the home of the school's founder, Booker T. Washington. There also are guided tours available of the National Tuskegee Airmen Museum and Moton Field, where the legendary pilots received their flight training.

ARKANSAS

The tiny southern Arkansas town of Hamburg has a bit of star power with the opening of the Pippen Meadows Golf Course. The owner of the facility is former NBA player Scottie Pippen, who hails from the town. A more likely meeting destination in the Timberlands region where Hamburg sits is Pine Bluff, where thousands of visitors gather each September for the Smoke on the Water barbecue and music festival. A notable year-round attraction is the Southeast Arkansas Arts and Science Center.

In Hot Springs - the state's biggest tourist draw - top attractions include Bath House Row in Hot Springs National Park, Magic Springs theme park and the new Gangster Museum of America. Hot Springs conventioneers with time for a day trip might consider a visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, the world's only diamond-producing site that's open to the public - and the spot where the nation's largest diamond was discovered.

LITTLE ROCK

Two major meeting venues in Arkansas' capital city are the Robinson Center and Statehouse Convention Center, both located in Statehouse Plaza on the banks of the Arkansas River.

Be sure to include a visit to the Little Rock Nine Memorial, erected on the grounds of the State Capitol, as well as a tour of the Central High School National Historic Site. A new local Black heritage attraction is the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, whose third floor houses to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. The building is a recreation of a 1911 structure that was home to a Black fraternal organization.

FLORIDA

From the Panhandle to the Keys, a gathering in Florida can be filled with all kinds of interesting activities. The capital city of Tallahassee is home to the historically Black Florida A& M University. Florida's western Gulf Coast includes Citrus County, where snorkeling with manatees is a popular pastime; the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, where the sunsets at Pier 60 put on a show; Sarasota, where you can view the palatial home of John and Mable Ringling; and Fort Myers, site of the neighboring winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Atlantic Coast destinations include Amelia Island, where the state's first resort for African-Americans was established at American Beach; St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches, home to America's oldest continually occupied settlement; and the Space Coast region that includes Cocoa Beach and the Kennedy Space Center. Visitors to the Florida Keys can enjoy a drive along a scenic highway stretching from Key West to Key Largo.

DAYTONA BEACH

Situated just 400 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, Daytona's New Ocean Center convention, entertainment and sports complex offers 205,536 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space.

When the sessions are over, delegates might want to visit some of the city's great African-American cultural and historical sites, including the Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Statue and the Mary McLeod Bethune Home & Gravesite, on the grounds of the university founded by the educator and civil rights leader.

The Daytona 500 Experience IMAX Theater lets visitors taste the thrill of speed, while surfing, kayaking and a host of other activities are on tap at the city's famous beach.

FORT LAUDERDALE

The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is located on the Intracoastal Waterway that lends the city its nickname, the "Venice of America." With a total of 600,000 sq. ft. on three levels, the facility contains the 1,300-sq. ft. Executive Teleconference Suite, two large ballrooms and nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. Recently, the convention center has implemented a number of green initiatives - focused on recycling, energy efficiency , water conservation and other measures - and the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB has produced a guide for planning green conventions.

Lodging is provided by more than 33,000 area guestrooms, including more than 3,500 rooms within a mile of the convention center. Over 30 local properties have earned the Florida Green Lodging certificate from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.


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