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

TAMPA BAY

Tampa Bay offers a unique blend of urban excitement, convenient meeting venues, world-class attractions, annual festivals, cultural centers and pristine natural settings, making it one of the most vibrant waterfront regions on Florida's west coast. Attendees will find the variety, convenience, accommodations and professional staff to cater to most any type of event.

The 600,000-sq. ft. waterfront Tampa Convention Center, which will soon play host to the National Association of Black Journalists' National Convention, is at the heart of Tampa Bay's premier meeting spaces, with an exhibit hall, breakout rooms and flexible pre-function space for gatherings with spectacular views.

The downtown waterfront offers other exciting venues from the multi-purpose St. Pete Times Forum and The Florida Aquarium, to Channelside Bay Plaza with its one-of-a-kind restaurants, waterside cafés and retailers, Yacht Starship dining cruise, and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. A streetcar ride away is Ybor City, known for its authentic cigar makers, cultural exploration, Cuban dining and colorful nightlife.

The Westshore District is just miles from downtown and minutes from the Zagat's-rated number one Tampa International Airport. This upscale retail center offers first-class hotels and venues, near Tampa's largest variety of restaurants, entertainment and shopping plazas, including International Plaza and Bay Street and Westshore Plaza.

With more alternative meeting venues for off-site group functions, North Tampa has Busch Gardens, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and MOSI - the Museum of Science and Industry. The University of South Florida - with the on-campus Sun Dome - is a popular locale for lectures, sporting events and concerts. Acclaimed for its diverse attractions and venues, warm weather and equally warm hospitality, Tampa Bay's choices of where to meet, stay, dine, unwind and have fun are limitless, comfortably accommodating all tastes, timelines, travel and meeting needs. To experience one of the nation's foremost meeting destinations, go to www.VisitTampaBay.com.

PENSACOLA

With beautiful beaches and a historic district filled with African-American history, the Pensacola Bay Area is the perfect place for your next meeting. Come relax on our pristine shores and explore our African-American heritage, which dates back 450 years.

Whether hosting a classic, large event or a creative, small meeting, meeting planners find plenty of ideas in the Pensacola Bay Area. From beachfront to downtown including traditional, urban, natural and historic settings, flexible function space totals more than 150,000 sq. ft.

There are also plenty of options during your free time. Play a round of golf on a scenic course. Take a deep sea fishing trip. Watch our world-famous Blue Angels. Delight in our fresh seafood and Southern soul food. Learn about our rich heritage at the African-American Heritage Society. Visit Florida's oldest church or a pre-Civil War brick fortress that was built by African-Americans. Step inside a furnished colonial home owned by a free Black woman. Visit one of the only cemeteries in the country where slaves and nobility are buried side by side. Celebrate with us during our many free festivals and events.

The Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to help with any of your meeting planning needs. From site visits, food selection and transportation to registration and welcome gifts, we can work with you to ensure a successful event. To start planning your meeting, call (800) 874-1234 or go to www.MeetInPensacola.com.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Palm Beach County could be the single most desirable destination in Florida for a meeting, incentive, vacation or family reunion. True, it is not home to huge amusement parks or mega water slides that draw millions. The lack of those immense tourist attracting elements are exactly why the charm, sophistication, culture and relaxed elegance of Palm Beach County has attracted visitors ever since America's first resort was built here in 1894.

Sure, there are attractions like Lion Country Safari, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and a 147,392-acre National Wildlife Refuge. And yes, there are water parks. But these are tourism right sized not tourism giant sized. They are hands-on, visitor friendly.

All ethnicities know Palm Beach County as a warming (average 78° year around), welcoming, beach and outdoors family destination. Golfers from duffers to zero handicappers can play a different links every day with over 170 courses. The Everglades and Lake Okeechobee are in the western portion of the County while the Intracoastal Waterway and 47 miles of beach are warmed by the nearby Gulfstream in the east. There are 38 municipalities that are as unique as the wide range of ethnic cultures that inhabit them.

Art and culture abound. There are so many events, fairs, cultural venues, museums and performances year around that the County, for good reason, is known as "Florida's Cultural Capital." Of course, the shopping is legendary. World-renowned Worth Avenue is on Palm Beach Island. However, other shopping and entertainment and nightlife complexes are spread across the County. Just ask for CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Boca Town Center Mall in Boca Raton and the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens just to name a few.

All of these tourism assets make Palm Beach County an ideal place for a meeting, incentive or vacation. However, the big surprise is how affordable all of this can be. Everything you need is here including unique resorts and a 350,000 sq. ft. convention center. Only one thing missing: You, your group, your family.

More information at www.palmbeachfl.com.
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