MAR 2018

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 ⎜ M A R C H 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 20 ANNUAL CVB ISSUE serving up some seriously delicious seafood staples, meetings attendees will not go hungry." Beyond the coastal feast waiting for you, Gendler emphasized a plethora of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach itinerary ideas: Go Fishing and Catch Your Own Dinner: Charter fishing is a great way to see the destina- tion from a new perspective. "The deckhand will clean your catch and many local eateries offer 'hook and cook,' preparing your catch in multiple ways for a discounted price," Gendler said. The Arts Scene: The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach showcases and sells artwork from more than 120 local artists. Sunset Sail: Groups can board Sail Wild Hearts for a sunset sail and happy hour. Nightlife: Big Beach Brewing Company offers craft beer and a relaxing, coastal chic atmosphere with intimate live music. Charlottesville, Virginia "We regularly customize itineraries for planners based on their interests and timelines, including visits to the destination's booming winery scene; the region's plethora of historic sites, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello; and Charlottes- ville's historic pedestrian Downtown mall, which is one of the longest of its kind in the entire coun- try," said Bri Warner, director of sales, marketing and media relations for the Charlottesville Albe- marle CVB. "We collaborate regularly with local tour operator, Cville Tours, which offers a wide variety of group experiences and team-building activities." Athens, Georgia "Athens is the ultimate destination for visitors - an unparalleled live music scene, award-winning dining experiences throughout the city, and the resources of The University of Georgia, the birth- place of higher education," said Aimee Cheek, PR coordinator for the Athens CVB. "Athens' largest convention space, The Classic Center, with a 6,000-person capacity and newly con- nected Hyatt Place Hotel, is the perfect place for your meeting. With over 1,700 hotel rooms in a walkable downtown area, Athens has incredible amenities to enhance your meeting, whether you are looking for amazing cuisine, live music, edu- cational and historical experiences, or a custom- ized itinerary." Columbia, South Carolina An advantage to working with the team at Expe- rience Columbia SC is insider access to hidden gems and lesser-known tours and experiences for attendees," said Della Carmichael, convention service manager of Experience Columbia SC. Some options for itinerary fun include: Bierkeller: Witness pop-up beer gardens. Sip on locally made, German-style brews down by the river, over at City Roots Farm, where private events can be arranged. Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Zoo: Get up close and personal with penguins, elephants and tortoises at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Book a group zip-line tour across the Saluda River. Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours: Sample your way through the Congaree Vista's finest culinary offerings. Columbia Brew Bus: Hop aboard the bus and indulge in a tour and tasting at each location. St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida "St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S. and Ponte Vedra Beach is surrounded by pristine natural areas," said William McBroom, director of conference sales for the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau. "Both offer opportunities for team-build- ing and educational programs that can be worked into a group or meeting agenda." Check out the list of fun itinerary ideas, for this historic seaside retreat: Team-Building Workshops at the St. Fruits of the vine: Wineries along the Monticello Artisan Trail offer group tasting events in the Charlottesville, Va. area. Coastal Feasts: Venues in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala. take outdoor meals to a new level.

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