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

GEORGIA

Besides a capital city that consistently ranks as one of the hottest vacation spots for African-American travelers, Georgia has a host of other meeting and travel destinations throughout the state.

Northern Georgia includes Augusta, home to the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History; Columbus, where the Black Trail includes the home of blues pioneer Ma Rainey; and Macon, site of the Tubman African-American Museum. It also includes places in the suburban Atlanta area like Decatur, the gateway to Stone Mountain Park, and Gwinnett County, which boasts the nation's largest Hindu Temple.

Notable destinations in the southern portion of the state include Albany, where you can tour the Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum; Valdosta, home to the official state musical theater, the Peach State Summer Theatre; and Brunswick & the Golden Isles of Georgia, the coastal resort area that includes Jekyll Island with its National Landmark District and Georgia Sea Turtle Center waiting to be explored.

ATLANTA

One of newest developments in the ever-evolving Atlanta is 12th & Midtown, a mixed-used downtown complex that will be centered on the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Scheduled to open in April 2010, the city's first Loews hotel will contain 414 guestrooms and more than 24,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Atlanta's largest meeting venue, the Georgia World Congress Center, offers 1.4 million sq. ft. of exhibit space in 12 halls, two grand ballrooms and 105 meeting rooms. Joining the greener hospitality bandwagon, the convention center recently completed several energy-efficient upgrades.

The city's best-known Black heritage attraction is the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in the Sweet Auburn district. The site encompasses King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and the gravesites of King and his wife, Coretta.

Other cultural and historical points of interest include the African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum; the Atlanta University Center, which ranks as the largest consortium of Black colleges and universities in the United States; the and the National African American Culinary Arts & Hospitality Association's Soul Food Museum.

The new Center for Civil and Human Rights is targeted to open in 2010 near Centennial Olympic Park, the New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.

SAVANNAH

The 330,000-sq. ft Savannah International Trade & Convention Center has undertaken a host of green initiatives, and the Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau provides a list of green hotels. There are more than 12,000 area guestrooms, including 3,300 in the "Meeting District" of historic downtown. Home to the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States, Savannah is Part of Georgia's Low Country region, an area where the African-American Gullah and Geechee cultures have put down roots.

An African-American heritage tour of the city would feature visits to First African Baptist Church, the nation's oldest historically Black Baptist church; the Ralph mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum; the Laurel Grove Cemetery; and the King-Tisdell Cottage, which houses an African-American cultural museum . Savannah's cemetery, ghost and garden tours are also popular, as are dining, shopping and gallery hopping at City Market, in the Savannah Historic District, or along historic River Street.

The Telfair Museum of Art, the first public art museum in the South, encompasses the Jepson Center for the Arts, where several works of African-American art are on display. The city also is home to the nation's largest private art school, the Savannah College of Art and Design. One of the most famous pieces of art in Savannah is the Bird Girl statue featured in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Key historical and architectural landmarks include the Juliette Gordon Lowe Home, birthplace of the Girl Scouts founder; the Wormsloe Historic Site; Old Fort Jackson and the Owens-Thomas House. Tybee Island, located 20 minutes from the Historic District, is a favorite spot for dolphin watching, kayaking, deep-sea fishing and enjoying the night life on the Tybee strip. Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse is also perched on the island, waiting for adventurous and energetic visitors to climb to the top.

KENTUCKY

From the distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to Mammoth Cave National Park northeast of Bowling Green, there is lots of territory for visitors to explore in the Bluegrass State.

Groups gathering in Bowling Green might be interested in an underground boat tour of Lost Cave or a visit to the National Corvette Museum. Places to see in Lexington - the heart of the state's Bluegrass Region - include New Zion, an historic neighborhood founded by former slaves; the Mary Todd Lincoln House; and the Exploirum of Lexington art and science museum.

Covington, situated near the Kentucky-Ohio border, beckons visitors to explore MainStrausse Village, a restored 19th century German neighborhood; take an Underground Railroad tour organized by the Behringer/Crawford Museum; or stroll the Covington-Newport Riverwalk, site of the James Brandley memorial honoring the former slave who was the only Black person admitted to a U.S. institution of higher learning before the Civil War.


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