Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2011

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Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama. By ANTHONY CLARK What makes a destination family-friend- ly? Is it the cost or the availability of attractions and activities? How about the culture of a community? By that I mean is it a community that cherishes education,museums and the arts. Do the hotels and motels have resources on the property or provide easy access to resources off property. Are there all-inclusive packages that combine travel, food, lodging and attractions? As a publication with a focus on meetings and conven- tions what about convention services that have activities for children while their parent/s attend a seminar or other event? Here’s a fewmore to add to the list. Howabout reputable babysitting services? Is it a safe destination or one plagued by a high crime rate? Can your kids make new friends? Some kids love strenuous activity. Are there places to swim, horseback ride, or some other high-energy sporting activity? This list of attributes for what family-friendly truly mean is endless and is often a moving target depending upon the age and number of children, whether they are headed by a single-parent or come from blended households with multi- ple interests. But there are common threads among all family-friendly destinations that combinemany of the elements listed above. Below is a short preview of several family-friendly desti- nations. 32 BIRMINGHAM, AL For visitors the world over, especiallyAfrican-Americans, the mere mention of Birmingham evokes emotion like no other city inAmerica because of its long historywith theCivil RightsMovement. These emotions, both positive and nega- tive are exactlywhywe recommendedBirminghamas one of America’s top family-friendly destinations. It’s a chance to learn, and share in a cultural and historical experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the United States. The transformation in just 50 short years is nothing short ofmiraculous and one of which the city is immensely proud. This renaissance serves as a reminder of what is possible when people have good intentions. To follow Birmingham’s Civil Rights history, go to birim- and click on the “Civil Rights” link. There you will find links and suggested itinerary to all of the prominent Civil Rights locales within the city from Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly IngramPark, the FourthAvenue BusinessDistrict and theAlabama JazzHall of Fame. But there’s more to Birmingham than Civil Rights. The words “southern charm and hospitality” are often tossed around to describemany cities in the South, but those words take on added significance and are a true reflection of what this community is all about. Birminghamis a citywith a little of everything fromdining Black Meetings & Tourism July/August 2011: Photo Credit: Denis Jr. Tangney

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