Black Meetings and Tourism

Jan / Feb 2015

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Page 34 of 40

VIRGINIA'S "MOST CULTURED CITY" OFFERS CONFERENCE ATTENDEES TOP LEVEL HOSPITALITY IN A DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT BY DON LITTLETON Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk- Newport News, VA-NC MSA. Nor-fok, or Naw-fok, no matter how you pronounce it, the experience will always be the same: fun, vibrant enter- tainment and culture, delicious cuisine and 144 miles of shoreline waiting to be explored! With the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and countless rivers in the backyard, you are never far from the water. The Waterside Convention Center is located in the downtown waterfront area and is attached on three floors to the Waterside Marriott Hotel. The center contains 36,365 sq. ft. of function space, 19 meeting rooms and is elegantly deco- rated with fine furnishings and antiques. The largest exhibit hall is 14,400 sq. ft. and can accommodate 2,400 guests in a reception, 2,000 in a theater set-up and 1,400 for a banquet. Along with providing Meeting Planners outstanding options for holding confer- ences and meetings of various sizes Norfolk provides individuals with just the right ambiance and setting to hold other types of group events. With its mild year- round climate, convenient airport and easy driving distance to two-thirds of the U.S. population, Virginia's "Most Cultured City" is the perfect destination for reunions of all types and sizes. Norfolk celebrates the rich ethnic diversity of its population with sights, sounds, attractions and special events that pay tribute to the city's long multicul- tural heritage. Fun-filled festivals on the downtown waterfront offer up the music, art and culinary delights of the city's diverse Asian-American, African- American, Pacific Island, and Latin American communities, while the tradi- tions of the region's first citizens – Virginia's Native American tribes – are celebrated through numerous exhibits and festivals throughout Hampton Roads. You'll even find a bit of Cajun each sum- mer at the well-loved Bayou Boogaloo and Cajun Food Festival. Norfolk's thriving arts community will welcome you into their studios, their gal- leries, and their performance venues. From the working artists' studios located within downtown's D'Art Center, to the beautiful Tiffany glass collection at the Chrysler Museum of Art, to live perform- ances at the Harrison Opera house, Chrysler Hall, Wells Theatre, historic Attucks Theatre, Generic Theatre or NARO Art Cinema in Ghent, you'll find a multitude of opportunities to enrich your creative spirit. One of the many reasons travelers flock to Norfolk in the summer is because of its beautiful beaches and water activi- B M & T ••• January/February 2015 ••• 34 AREA GUIDES N O R F O L K Norfolk city skyline over the Elizabeth River Photo Credit: Wangkun Jia

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