Black Meetings and Tourism

November/December 2014

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B M & T ••• November/December 2014 ••• 19 The south is known for its food and its music and Jackson is no different. There's great blues, gospel, jazz, and more. There's "down home" southern cooking, gourmet Southern Fusion, plus international favorites. Guy's Grocery Games champion, Chef Tom Ramsey's restaurant, LaFinestra, is located in Jackson.You'll also find good eatin' at The Mayflower's Comeback Sauce, recently featured in New York Times. Stop by Big Apple Inn to get a signature smoked sausage sandwich or pig ear. It's a dish that's on the mind of all coming back home. There are more than 300 restau- rants from which to choose. Get out and explore the city. The spirit of the Civil Rights Movement is on display at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. There's also the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum – named among the Top 10 "Most Amazing Baseball Museums in America" by ESPN. The Jackson Zoological Park is always fun as is the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. The Farish Street district is the his- toric African-American cultural area of town. It houses the Alamo, the theater where Dorothy Moore got her start. The area also includes the Big Apple Inn and F Jones Corner, a blues club. There are scores of unique museums and outdoor attractions, hundreds of events and festivals, three historic cultur- al districts, innumerable visual and per- forming arts, hot sports action, and a cool nightlife in Jackson. Jackson-Evers International Airport is only 6.6 miles from the center of town. Airlines serving Jackson are American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines and US Airways Express. NAPA VALLEY, CA Don't whine about having to attend the next meeting. Instead, enjoy some wine because the meeting is in the Napa Valley. Sigh! It doesn't get any better. Napa Valley has that aahhh factor. Not only is it known for having the finest wine in the world, the scenery, which includes plush, rolling green hills and calming vistas, is spectacular! Napa Valley, considered America's premier wine, fine dining, arts and well- ness destination, also has spas to relax and rejuvenate and even mud baths in Calistoga. Napa Valley, which had 2.94 million total visitors in 2012, hosts 400 hundred wineries, many of which are open to the public (some by appointment only, oth- ers not at all). Some have a large, world- famous wine-education focus, while 95 percent are small, family-owned hands- on wineries. The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, which holds 1,200, could serve as a meeting space, as could the 300 acre Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. http://www.visitnapavalley- .com/wineries-jamieson_ranch_vine- yards_518.htm There is no shortage of places to stay with 6,000 rooms in 150 properties coming in the form of everything from 5- star luxury resorts and hotels to quaint bed & breakfast establishments. There are about 35 hotels in Napa Valley, with more close by in Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville and Rutherford. When it's time to meet, there are more than 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space from ballrooms to barrel rooms and wine caves to vineyards. For dining, the area has more than 125 of North America's finest restaurants and awarded more Michelin stars per capita than any other wine region in the world. Activities abound.There are Calistoga Hot Springs, The Lincoln Theatre, Napa Valley Conservatory, the Farmer's Market, hiking trails, moped and motor- cycle rentals, river rafting, yoga, climbing, kayaking, the NapaValley Museum, diRosa Museum, visit the Napa River and Lake Barryessa. There's also an After Hours Grgich Hills Winery Tour and NapaValley Wine Train Dinner. There are several options for getting there including four international air- ports: Oakland (50 miles/81 km), San Francisco (57 Miles/95 km), Sacramento (64 miles/103 km) and San Jose (82 miles/129 km). Rolling hills covered with row upon row of grape vines in this cultivated vineyards of Napa Photo Credit: Gary Tognoni

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