Black Meetings and Tourism

May / June 2016

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PROVIDES PLANNERS WITH A MIXTURE TOP LEVEL HOSPITALITY AND AN ENDLESS! BY SOLOMON J. HERBERT II Whether you are a meeting planner looking for the next great place to book a conference for a client or if you are a leisure traveler planning a fun filled family vacation, the Southern California region holds some of the country's largest meet- ing venues as well as some of the most exciting attractions and activities. Conference attendees have a plethora of options when it comes to hotel accom- modations. With airports like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Diego International Airport, transportation throughout the Southern California Area is easy. For those leisure travelers wanting to explore SOCAL and visit the most promi- nent landmarks, a beautiful scenic drive is suggested. Follow one of the world's most celebrated routes on this coast- hugging drive. You can start this trip at either end. You can begin in San Diego, at the southern end of the state, then travel north to beach towns, the bustle and excitement of Los Angeles, through ele- gant Santa Barbara and surrounding wine country. ••Long Beach•• Located in the heart of sunny Southern California, Long Beach blends urban sophistication with the relaxed atmosphere of a beachside community. Discover unique hotels, world-class attractions like the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary, cut- ting-edge museums, award-winning restaurants and a thriving, multi-faceted arts and culture scene. Save your favorite places to your itinerary and share your discoveries with friends on Facebook and Twitter. The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center offers more than 400,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, with new wiring for the latest tech- nology as well as wireless capability. There are two VIP lounges, a full-service concierge/restaurant reservation desk, hospitality catering and an on-site audio/visual supplier. With 34 Meeting Rooms and A Grand Ballroom, three dynamic Exhibition Halls, Long Beach Arena and the Terrace Theater, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is ideal for all types of special events, conventions and tradeshows and is within walking distance to everything. Conference attendees are going to have no problem finding something fun and exciting to get into on down time from a busy day of rigorous meetings and seminars. Leisure travelers can also find interesting family friendly activities to delve into. Come aboard the legendary Queen Mary! Book the Behind the Scenes Guided Tour of the historic ocean liner and World War II troopship, and see restored areas that have been under wraps since the final voyage in 1967, including the Isolation Wards and the aft Machine Rooms. Enjoy a meal, shop and even plan to spend the night in an original First Class Stateroom. The historic cruise ship serves as an excellent venue to hold medium to small sized meetings and party/celebrations. The Queen Mary has a convenient location to the Convention Center, downtown shopping and dining, airports and other Southern California attractions. The Aquarium African-American Festival is an annual event at the Aquarium of the Pacific celebrating the richness and diversity of African and African-American Culture. The event fea- tures live entertainment that typically includes gospel singers, hip-hop music, break-dancers, drum circles, jazz, and African music and dance. Big Red Bus is pleased to offer Double Decker English Buses, Trolleys, and the new single story Surf Bus for all occasions! Whether you're looking for a mobile venue for your party, a fun parade B M & T ••• May/June 2016 ••• 48 AREA GUIDES S O U T H E R N C A L I F O R I N A • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS The Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center 398 Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport & Conference Center 222 Courtyard by Marriott 216 Hyatt Regency Long Beach 528 Long Beach Marriott 311 EXHIBITION FACILITIES The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center Total Exhib it Space 400,000 sq. ft Meeting Rooms 34 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Long Beach Area CVB (800) 452-7829 (u) Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center Photo Credit: Long Beach CVB

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