Black Meetings and Tourism

November/December 2014

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Page 48 of 52

B M & T ••• November/December 2014 ••• 48 MEETING ON THE "SUNNY SIDE OF THE BAY" BY SOLOMON J. HERBERT II Just 12 minutes from San Francisco, Oakland offers a cutting edge art and music scene, hip international dining experience, world-class sports teams and more. For tour operators, wholesalers and travel professionals, Oakland is the solution to planning an idealistic Northern California experience. This Bay Area destination is accessi- ble by the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, ferry service, buses, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), and Amtrak. The city has been deemed as the "Sunny Side of the Bay," home to some of the best weather in the country with an average of 260 sunny days per year. Located in the heart of downtown Oakland, the Oakland Convention Center is just minutes from San Francisco. Featuring 64,000 sq. ft. of convention, exhibit, social gathering and meeting room space, the facility is connected to the Oakland Marriott City Center, offering an additional 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and 483 deluxe guest rooms. Oakland Convention Center is a world-class exhibition hall within walking distance of Jack London Square, China- town, Oakland Museum of California, Preservation Park and Oakland City Center. It is also surrounded by beauti- fully restored Victorian buildings and the finest shops, restaurants, art galleries and museums that this exciting city has to offer. The iconic 363 room Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel is an oasis by the airport with 12 manicured acres in a resort-like setting conveniently located less than a mile from Oakland International Airport (OAK) and two miles from the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system with sub- way access to downtown San Francisco. This lodging facility offers 16,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space and is fully equipped with a 24-hour Business Center, a ballroom and 16 meeting rooms as well as com- plimentary shuttle service to and from Oakland International Airport. Other reputable hotels in the Oakland area that provide conference attendee's top level hospitality are The Oakland Marriott City Center, The Claremont Hotel and The Clarion Hotel Oakland. Oakland, well known for the diverse cultural influence, offers quite a variety of cultural centers and festivals to par- ticipate in. The Ebony Museum of Art, located in the City Center area, is a spectacle to see. This downtown muse- um preserves both African-American and African art and promotes greater appreciation of African-American her- itage. The hours of operation are Tues.- Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Also located in the City Center area, AREA GUIDES O A K L A N D Lake Merritt in Oakland, California Photo Credit: Andrew Zarivny

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