Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2010

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BY MICHAEL BENNETT population of over 60 million –about a fifth of the total U.S. population. Mother Nature has also blessed the region with great natural beauty. It’s the combination of culture, entrepreneurial It’s ingenuity, natural beauty, central location and affordability thatmakes theMidwest the destination of choice formeetings, incentives and tourism. ILLINOIS When you think of Illinoismost of us look no further than Chicago. It’s a city blessedwith fine restaurants,nightlife, the- ater, music, culture, shopping and wonderful attractions, but there’s more to the state than the Windy City. Visit the Southland region of Chicago and Lansing to get away from the big city or try the village of Lisle, which was ranked by Money magazine back in 2007 as #20 of the “100 Best Places to Live.” TheQuad City area has a wonderfulmix of cuisines including Cajun and Jamaican along with zydeco and reggae music and a fall Irish folk festival. Over in Peoria the Riverfront Museum and the Caterpillar Experience Visitors Center are must see attractions. Rockford is the quintessen- tial family-friendly Midwest town with a couple of great museums – Burpee Museum of Natural History and Discovery CenterMuseum.And of course no visit to Illinois is complete without a stop at The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library andMuseum in Springfield. INDIANA The Hoosier state has a lot to be proud of from world famous universities to top-notch sports franchises and Cleveland Downtown Skyline, a bridge, over the Cuyahoga Riverr Photo Credit: David Liu been commonly referred to as “America’s Heartland” or just the “heartland.” The Midwest came to be called such, because the patchwork of major urban centers and small towns are considered to be the broadest representation of all that is American culture. The 10 states we profile here have a combined Burpee Museum of Natural History arguably the world’smost famous auto race, the Indianapolis 500. Visitors to Evansville usually stroll along theRiverfront, head to the Lady LuckCasino,or take a step back in time vis- iting the Reitz Home Museum or Angel Mounds State Black Meetings & Tourism September/October 2010: 35

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