ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.
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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 44 G E O R G I A respected Travel + Leisure magazine recog- nized Savannah as third-best travel destination in the country and the ninth best in the world. It's no wonder Savannah is known as The Hostess City of the South. The moniker fits well for convention and conference attendees. "Savannah impacts all your senses at one time," said Jeff Hewitt, Visit Savannah's senior vice president. "It's visually stunning, framed with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The sounds of local musicians echo from the gar- den-like squares and the aroma of fresh candy being made or the coastal cuisine being pre- pared in our innovative restaurants are all ways that the destination touches your heart." Corporate and association groups are dis- covering that Savannah not only meets but exceeds their expectations, added Hewitt. "From affordable lodging options to increasing numbers of direct flights to the offering of legendary hospitality, the Savannah experience cannot be duplicated elsewhere." Brunswick & The Golden Isles Brunswick is the mainland gateway city to Georgia's Golden Isles, including Jekyll Island, Saint Simons Island, Little Saint Si- mons Island and Sea Island. Brunswick is a city blessed with historical ambiance in its downtown squares and historic buildings, all of which are on an ongoing schedule of renovation and restoration. Two of the most prominent buildings are the 1888 Old City Hall, which has a distinctive clock tower, and the historic Ritz Theatre, originally built as an opera house in 1898. Today, the Ritz Theatre offers high-quality exhibits and performances. Golden Isles Meeting Space: • Oceanfront Convention Center: 128,000-square-foot Oceanfront Convention Center on Jekyll Island; 78,000 square feet of function space; 45,000-square-foot ball- room/exhibit hall; 11 meeting rooms • The Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center: 10,000 square feet of meeting space on St. Simons Island; 125 guest rooms • The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort: 10,000 square feet of meeting and function space; 200 guest rooms; award-winning golf • Villas by the Sea Resort & Conference Center: 9,000 square feet of meeting space; "Macon is a desirable destination for meetings because of our central location, beautiful architecture, affordability, at- tractions and our walkable downtown with close to 30 eateries – creating a great sense of place," said Kimberly Payne- Ward, director of sales and services for the Macon-Bibb County CVB. "The CVB's Visitor Center is a great starting point to learn about what Macon has to offer for meetings and for leisure visitors." The attractions in Macon include The Tubman Museum, dedicated to the art, his- tory and culture of African Americans; The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the largest state sports museum in the United States with more than 4,000 artifacts; The Mu- seum of Arts and Sciences, offering a wide variety of exhibitions including "Science on a Sphere," a global display system that shows planetary data on a giant animated globe and a full-dome planetarium; and last, but certainly not least, The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, home to members of The Allman Brothers from the seminal years 1970 – 1973, and to the largest collection of ABB memorabilia in the world. Macon has 300 hotel rooms downtown with 5,000 more concentrated along I-75 in Bibb County, including TownePlace Suites Macon Mercer University, Home2 Suites by Hilton Macon I-75 North and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Macon-West. Macon Meeting Space: • The Middle Georgia State College Conference Center: 20,000 square feet of meeting space; banquet hall, board- room, classrooms • Anderson Conference Center: 15,000 square feet of meeting space; atrium can host up to 850 for a reception ■ B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Macon-Bibb County Contact: www.maconga.org Tubman Museum Matt Odom Photography