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

VIRGINIA

One of Virginia's most famous architectural and historical landmarks is Monticello, the Charlottesville home of President Thomas Jefferson. Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate and gardens, is found in Fairfax County, part of the northeastern area of Virginia near the nation's capital. That area also is home to Alexandria - site of African American Heritage Park and the Alexandria Black History Museum - and Arlington, whose Freedom Park displays artifacts like Martin Luther King's Birmingham jail cell door and pieces of the Berlin Wall.

The area located between the York and James rivers in southeastern Virginia includes Jamestowne - which recreates the first permanent English settlement in North America - the Yorktown Battlefield Museum and Colonial Williamsburg, a recreation of the colony's 18th century capital.

Further south along the state's eastern coast is Newport News, where visitors can tour the Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center, once the home of an African-American attorney and civic leader.

FAIRFAX COUNTY

Planners will have no trouble finding venues to hold their meetings and incentive programs in Fairfax County. The area boasts 96 hotels with 17,000 hotel rooms that cater to budgets from economy lodging to four-star luxury properties. Furthermore, Fairfax's 20 meeting hotels offer over 5,000 sq. ft. of space that can accommodate medium to large sized convention and conference groups - from small corporate meet-ups to enormous associations.

For big events the Dulles Expo and Convention Center is located just six miles from Washington Dulles Airport. The facility is 210,000 sq. ft. with more than 3,000 parking spaces. The complex also boasts a 15,000-sq. ft. conference center on site. A 233-room hotel is located next door as well.

Living museums, historic homes, reenactments, and world-class museums are only part of what you'll find in Fairfax County when it's time for history to come alive. The experiences you'll encounter will give you a greater understanding of this region's role in defining America. Among other things, an array of attractions replays the momentous events of the war between the states. For instance, the Fairfax County Court House was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War, while the Ox Hill Battlefield Park is home to one of the most historic face-offs of the conflict, during which two Union generals perished and thousands of casualties were suffered on both sides.

In Fairfax County, you'll discover a whole new world of wonderful places to explore. An amazing combination of sights and sounds await those who are looking to experience the attractions and culture of Northern Virginia and the Capital Region, everything from the National Firearms Museum and the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, to a slew of museums, art galleries and performing arts venues.

HAMPTON

With a capacity for up to 14,000, the 344,000-sq. ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center contains a 108,000-sq. ft. exhibit hall and a 13,000-sq. ft. conference center. The facility sits next to the John Q. Hammons Embassy Suites Hotel and the Hampton Coliseum, which offer additional meeting space.

Crossroads Development, a $200 million project under way in the convention center area, will include a full-service hotel and 2,000-seat theater. There are 2,500 guestrooms within walking distance of the convention center and a total of 3,000 rooms citywide.

The Hampton University Museum, Virginia's oldest museum, houses more than 9,000 works of art. Other points of interest on this historically Black university campus are the Memorial Chapel, the Booker T. Washington Memorial Garden & Statue and Emancipation Oak.

Another local landmark is St. John's Church, whose congregation was established in 1610, making it the oldest continuing English-speaking parish in the United States. Fort Monroe, the largest stone fortress in the United States, is the site of the Casemate Museum.

One of Hampton's top visitor attractions is the Virginia Air & Space Center, which has an exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen. Other places to see include the Hampton History Museum, the Mariners' Museum and the historic Hampton Carousel.

NORFOLK

Norfolk's unique Waterside Convention Connection is a local hospitality industry alliance that facilitates access to than 1,200 hotel rooms, 55 meeting rooms and 216,000 sq. ft. of convention space. Participants include the Waterside Convention Center, the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, the Radisson Hotel Norfolk, the Waterside Festival Marketplace and Norfolk Scope, an arena containing 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Norfolk's citywide lodging inventory includes 5,200 guestrooms.

One of the city's most noted Black heritage attractions, the Attucks Theatre (once dubbed "the Apollo of the South") offers space for special events. Visitors might also take the opportunity to view the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the West Point Monument in Elmwood Cemetery, which stands in tribute to African-Americans who fought in the Civil and Spanish-American wars.

More local history is highlighted at sites like the Moses Myers House, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the MacArthur Memorial and the Norfolk History Museum at Willoughby Baylor House.

Norfolk offers several ways for visitors to explore its maritime heritage. They can tour Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base; Nauticus, a 120,000-sq. ft. kid-friendly maritime museum; the Hampton Roads Naval Museum connected to Nauticus; and the Wisconsin, America's largest battleship, docked just outside the museum.


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