Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2013

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•pg_30-43_ICI__BMT_pg3-58 8/12/13 8:47 PM Page 30 FAMILY FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS BY MICHAEL BENNETT F amily-friendly destinations make up a huge segment of the travel market, especially for African-Americans who often take the kids along to their meetings and conventions and turn those outings into family vacations. But family-friendly is not a one size fits all proposition. Families come in all different sizes and age differences. What's family-friendly to one might not be so friendly to another. The destinations below encapsulate all that we've come to expect of what is typically defined as family-friendly. We looked at hotel amenities, restaurants, amusement parks, interactive learning experiences, outdoors adventures, transportation and so much more. One universal concern shared by families large and small is cost. You'll see from our list that some locales are in high-cost urban areas. But don't let that deter you, some tourist attractions in Washington DC are free. To offset the high cost of DC hotels try the Maryland or Virginia suburbs and use public transportation. Rather than stay in a high-priced Manhattan property, Newark hotels are priced for the budget conscious and your just 15 minutes away from lower Manhattan, not to mention there's lots to do in Newark, as you'll see below. If you can't afford South Beach, no problem, move inland or try Ft Lauderdale and still soak up the Miami scene. Philadelphia is surprisingly affordable and family-friendly. The appeal of Birmingham, AL; Norfolk, VA; and Greensboro, NC is not only their affordability; but each has a plethora of amenities and attractions for the entire family. 30 B M & T ••• July/August 2013 •••

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