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

LAS VEGAS

The Moulin Rouge Hotel, which opened in Las Vegas in 1955 as Nevada's first integrated hotel, is no longer around, but you can see exhibits highlighting the city's Black history and culture at the Walker African-American Museum. The Hispanic Museum of Nevada, the Asian-Pacific Cultural Center, the Jean Weinberger Museum of Jewish Culture and the Lost City Museum - which houses Native American artifacts - provide a further look into the multicultural heritage of Vegas.

Some of the city's casino resorts offer meeting space as well as gaming and entertainment, and the Las Vegas Convention Center is undergoing a major renovation.

NEW MEXICO

Two landmarks in Albuquerque that highlight New Mexico's relatively small African-American presence are the Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church, founded in 1883, and Mount Olive Baptist Church, whose Black congregation was founded in 1898, albeit at a different location. Other places to see include the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Sandia Peak Ski Area, which boasts the world's longest tramway.

Las Cruces, the state's second largest city behind Albuquerque, is home to the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, the largest agricultural museum in the United States.

Santa Fe, a popular haven for artists, is the nation's oldest state capital. Major local attractions include the Palace of the Governors and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

Taos, the gateway to the Enchanted Circle and the Taos Ski Valley, is the site of Taos Pueblo, where Native Americans dwelled for more than 1,000 continuous years.

OKLAHOMA

The only state capitol ever built over an oil well is found in Oklahoma City. If you go there, you can visit the Deep Deuce Historic District, which was once a bustling Black business and entertainment hub. Other points of interest include the Bricktown entertainment district, the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Tulsa's historically Black Greenwood District is the site of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Greenwood Cultural Center and the Mabel B. Little Heritage Center. The nation's first Black bank was founded in a town about 58 miles southwest of Tulsa. The city itself is known for such attractions as the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Discoveryland amphitheater.

With more than 10 ecoregions - including Rocky Mountain foothills, tallgrass prairies and hardwood forests - Oklahoma offers a diversity of outdoor recreation from mountain climbing to scuba diving.

OREGON

Oregon has eagerly jumped on the new "geotourism" bandwagon, a term coined to promote travel that sustains and enhances an area's geographic character. Oregon has plenty of geographic treasures to protect, including more national scenic byways than any other state. Hell's Canyon, North's America's deepest river gorge, and Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, are also part of the Oregon landscape.

The Willamette Valley is a verdant agricultural region that is home to more than 200 wineries. Eugene, nicknamed the "Emerald City," is the largest city in the Willamette Valley. More than a dozen wineries and vineyards are located here, along with such sites as the University of Oregon, the Owen Rose Garden and a replica of an 1846 cabin at Skinner Butte. With its setting near the McKenzie River Valley, the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast, Eugene offers a wide range of recreational and sightseeing opportunities.

PORTLAND

Outside the Oregon Convention Center stands a brass likeness of Martin Luther King, Jr., depicted with statues of a child, a worker and an immigrant. Along with this monument, entitled "The Dream," there are a number of other places in Portland where African-American achievement and heritage are celebrated.

On a tour of the Albina district you'll encounter the former Golden West Hotel, the only place where African-Americans could find lodging before state's public accommodations law was passed in 1953; Gladys Sims McCoy Memorial Park, named for a local African-American community activist; the Matt Dishman Community Center, home to the Northwest Afrikan American Ballet; and the Albina Coffeehouse, where you might catch a performance of the Albina Jazz Quintet.

Art lovers might enjoy visiting some of the Alberta Street galleries or touring the Portland Art Museum. Event space is available among the displays of ceramic, glass, metal, fiber, wood, and other art at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and the Captain William Clark Monument - depicting a Native American with Clark and his slave York - provide a look into the state's pioneer past. Other places for learning and exploring include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum and the Oregon Zoo.

Portland's 5,000-acre Forest Park has been called "American's largest urban wilderness. "Other nature-filled oases in the city include the Audubon Society of Portland's wildlife sanctuary, Leach Botanical Gardens and the Hoyt Arboretum.

The Oregon Convention Center features 255,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 50 meeting rooms, the 25,200-sq.f t. Oregon Ballroom and the 34,300-sq. ft. Portland Ballroom. There are about 20,000 hotel rooms in the metro area, including 4,300 guestrooms downtown. Free public transportation is available in the downtown area, and the MAX light rail provides service from the airport to downtown.


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