Wish You Were Here
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

SAN DIEGO

California's second largest city claims bragging rights for the nation's largest urban cultural park. Balboa Park is home to the acclaimed San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park as well as 15 museums, many art galleries and the Tony Award-winning Globe Theatres.

San Diego also boasts 70 miles of beaches and 92 golf courses, and if that's not enough to keep an outdoor lover occupied, there's also hiking, fishing and wildlife watching in the 600,000-acre Anza Borrega Desert State Park.

The city's largest meeting facility is the San Diego Convention Center, which has 525,701 gross sq. ft. of contiguous ground-level space.

COLORADO

Colorado's Rocky Mountain scenery inspired the ode to "purple mountains' majesty" in "America the Beautiful." Aspen, the state's best-known mountain resort, also attracts hikers to the nearby Maroon Bells. Hiking is just one of the many popular outdoor activities in fitness-conscious Boulder, where you can also visit the Naropa University, America's only Buddhist University.

Breckenridge, another ski resort, is the site of the Barney Ford House Museum, the home of an escaped slave who became the town's first Black businessman. In Colorado Springs, you can explore the red rock formations known as the Garden of the Gods in the foothills of Pikes Peak. Besides hitting the slopes, Keystone visitors can ride paddleboats and go ice skating on a man-made lake.

Steamboat Springs draws visitors for both winter sports and summer events like the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival. Vail is home to the World Alpine Ski Championships and, for those who would rather stroll than slalom, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

DENVER

Denver's Five Points Neighborhood, part of the Welton Street Historic District, was dubbed the "Harlem of the West," during the segregated 1940s and 1950s, a time when many great Black jazz artists - from Billie Holiday to Miles Davis - performed in area clubs and bars. The neighborhood is now home to the Stiles African American Heritage Center and the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, which houses a 7,000-sq. ft. gallery with exhibits on history, music, art and more. Also located in Five Points is the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, in the former home of Dr. Justina Ford, the state's first Black woman physician. Here you'll find a variety of photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits showcasing role of African-Americans in the settlement of the West.

The Denver Art Museum's new Frederic C. Hamilton Building houses a major American Indian collection. Other local places to view art include the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, the Museum of Outdoor Art, the Museo de las Americas - which showcases contemporary Latin American artists - and the galleries and studios in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Tours of the Budweiser Brewery, the MillerCoors Brewery, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, the Colorado State Capitol, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Brown Palace Hotel, the Balisteri Vineyards and the U.S. Mint are just a few of the other ways to spend your leisure time in Denver.

For meetings, the Colorado Convention Center offers the largest venue, with 584,000sq. ft. of exhibit space on a single level and 63 meeting rooms totaling 100,000 sq. ft. on one level. It also includes the, 35,000-sq. ft. Four Seasons Ballroom, the 50,000-sq. ft. Korbel Ballroom and the 5,000-seat Wells Fargo Theatre. There are 7,300 guestrooms within walking distance of the convention center and more than 45,000 hotel rooms in the metro area.

HAWAII

Now that Hawaii has become known as Barack Obama Country as well as a tropical paradise, visitors may want to include some locales with a Presidential connection on their itinerary. Oahu's Hanauma Bay, a prime snorkeling spot, is close to Sandy Beach, one of Obama's favorite childhood hangouts, and the Halona Blowhole, near where his mother's ashes were scattered. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau also notes that Obama has played golf at Olamana Golf Links and Luana Hills Country Club.

On the island of Kauai, the 10-mile-long, 3,567-ft.-deep, Waimea Canyon, called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," is a sight not to be missed. Other sightseeing and recreational attractions include Poipu Beach, Wallua Falls and the Napali Coast.

Maui is home to such attractions as the Haleakala Crater, the historic Bailey House Museum, the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center and the Iao Needle, a 2,250-ft. stone pillar that was once used as an altar.

NEVADA

Nevada offers a bounty of interesting attractions for avid sightseers and outdoor adventurers, not to mention those whose favorite kind of action takes place amid the bright lights of a stage or casino.

The Silver State is home to Great Basin National Park, Death Valley National Park and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which provide for a range of activities from ghost town tours to hiking through the canyons.

Some of the state's most popular recreational sites surround Lake Tahoe. On the south shore of the lake, you'll find Zephyr Cove, the Heavenly ski resort and several hotel casinos. The north shore has the picturesque Tahoe Rim hiking trail. There are 18 alpine ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.

Reno, another favorite gaming destination, is also home to Bethel A.M.E. Church, the state's oldest surviving Black institution. Other area attractions include the downtown Riverwalk District and the National Automobile Museum.


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