Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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Page 38 of 80

MEETING, INCENTIVES & TRAVELING IN THE SOUTH BY SONYA STINSON How do you know when you've had an authentically Southern travel experience? You've probably received a warm welcome from some friendly folks who are eager to make you feel right at home. You've filled up on some soulful cooking. And you've witnessed the indelible imprint of African- Americans on the history and cul- ture of the place. The South has a wealth of great cultural and recreational attrac- tions.Meeting groups will find state- of-the-art facilities and lodging catering to a wide range of needs. One of the region's biggest selling points is a mild climate that makes outdoor activity and events avail- able most of the year. Here is a selection of destina- tions that are beckoning visitors with their Southern charm.With so manyAfrican-American cultural and historic sites found throughout the state, stay and extra day (or two) and see OURAmerica. Virginia-rural valley, One of the 11 lakes that make up the new statewide ALABAMA Alabama BassTrailmightmake an ideal setting for an incen- tive trip for an avid angler or the reunion of a family of fish- ing enthusiasts. Huntsville's historic park and mansion Burritt on the Mountain has a new meeting facility under construction that will accommodate about 300 people, just right for a small con- ference or corporate retreat. Mobile is ready to impress visitors with its rich, multicul- tural history on arrival:The city'swelcome center is housed in a recreated 1735 French fort.TheNationalAfricanAmerican Archives & Museum is a great place to learn about the African-American heritage of this Gulf Coast destination. Visitors toAlabama's capital city should be sure to check 38 out the new Freedom Rides Museum, housed in the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station in the Court Square Historic District. Ol' School music lovers traveling to Tuskegee might get a kick out of seeing stage costumes and other memorabilia on display at the Commodores Studio. Tours are available by appointment only through the Tuskegee Human and Civil RightsMulticultural Center. BIRMINGHAM Birmingham is gearing up for a 2013 celebration at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center commemorating the city's landmark civil rights events. Birmingham's renowned Civil Rights District is a must-see attraction, home to such historic sites as the Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012:

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