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

TEXAS

Arizona may have the grandest canyon, but the next in size is Texas' Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo. In Corpus Christi, your must-see list might include the Water Garden at the Bayfront Arts largest U.S. city on the Mexican border, offers a downtown walking tour that starts at San Jacinto Plaza, the original site of explorer Ponce de Leon's ranch. Points of interest in Galveston include the Aquarium Pyramid, Bishop's Palace and Ashton Villa.

The Dallas Cowboys make their home at Texas Stadium in Irving, where you'll also find the Movie Studios at Las Colinas. South Padre Island serves up a host of fun activities, from horseback riding on the beach to dolphin cruises. Tyler visitors can tour the Bonner-Whitaker-McClendon House and enjoy a family-friendly outing at the Caldwell Zoo. Waco is the site of the Earle-Harrison House & Pape Gardens, as well as October's Heart O'Texas Fair and Rodeo.

ARLINGTON

One of the top attractions in Arlington is the Legends of the Game Baseball Museum and Children's Learning Center at Rangers Ballpark. But you don't have to be a Major League baseball fan to find something interesting to see and do here. Other options include browsing the western-themed art the Frontier Gallery; visiting the historic Fielder House, headquarters for the Arlington Historical Society; and enjoying the rides and entertainment at Six Flags Over Texas. The city's largest meeting space is the Arlington Convention Center, which has 48,600 sq. ft. of column-free exhibit space and 8,500 sq. ft. of meeting space.

AUSTIN

If you go to Austin, be sure to check out the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center, Texas' first Black neighborhood museum. Other key attractions include Blanton Museum of Art, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum. Of course, you can't visit Texas' capital without getting a taste of why the city claims to be the world's "Live Music Capital." Nearly 200 live music clubs serve up samplings. At the 900,000-sq. ft. Austin Convention Center, you'll find five contiguous, column-free exhibit halls totaling 246,097 sq. ft. and incorporating a 43,000-sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, plus complementary wireless Internet service.

DALLAS

Each spring the African American Museum of Dallas and Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame sponsors the Texas Black Invitational Rodeo, but you can tour the facility year round. Two other local Black heritage attractions for your group's itinerary are the Juanita Craft Civil Rights House and the Freedman's Memorial, a pre-Civil War African-American burial ground. The 75-acre Victory Park includes American Airlines Center, home court for the Dallas Mavericks and host to many other sports and entertainment events. The Dallas Convention Center boasts more than one million sq. ft. of exhibit space, including 726,726 sq. ft. of contiguous space.

FORT WORTH

You can soak up some of Fort Worth's western style on a tour of the Stockyards National Historic District, where a daily cattle drive takes place. Another site, the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame, has a multicultural focus highlighting African-American, Hispanic, Native American and European settlers of the West.

The new home of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is expected to open this year, with a portion of its space dedicated to the Cattle Raisers Museum. The Amon Carter Museum, the Sid Richardson Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth are just some of the local options for viewing art exhibits. Meanwhile, the new Museum of Living Art, a habitat for reptiles and amphibians, is set to open at the Fort Worth Zoo in spring 2009. Other notable attractions include Sundance Square, the Texas Motor Speedway and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. The city offers free bus transportation within the downtown area where many top visitor attractions are located. The Fort Worth Convention Center offers 254,226 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 58,849 sq. ft. of meeting space and a 28,160-sq. ft. ballroom. Fort Worth has more than 11,000 guestrooms, including more than 2,000 downtown rooms.

HOUSTON

Houston's Buffalo Soldiers National Museum claims to have the world's largest collection of African-American military history. Other notable Black heritage attractions include the American Cowboy Museum on the Taylor Stevenson Ranch, the Project Row Houses art and cultural center and the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, founded by freed slaves just after the Civil War.

There's more history to explore at the 480-acre George Ranch Historical Park, while art lovers might head to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston Pavilions, a new downtown entertainment district featuring 360,000 sq. ft. of retail space, opened in October 2008. The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park, another new attraction, hosts live entertainment. Kids in your travel group might especially enjoy a visit to Space Center Houston, the Downtown Aquarium, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, or the Houston Zoo. Houston's METRORail system links visitors to many downtown attractions, and the city recently launched a new electric car taxi service.

The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston contains 1.8 million gross sq. ft. of space, 862,00 sq. ft. of exhibit space in seven halls and nearly 185,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Accommodations are provided by more than 60,000 hotel rooms citywide.


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