Small Market Meetings

JAN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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January 2017 15 Courtesy Mackinac Island Tourism A parade celebrates Scottish heritage on Mackinac Island. enjoy the sweeping view of Lake Huron, dine at one of the hotel's various restaurants or host a lavish reception in the Grand Hotel Theatre. Another fun attraction is the Original Butterfly House and Insect World, the third-oldest live butterfly exhibit in the United States, where guests can walk into a tropical garden teeming with hundreds of but- terflies from four continents. Sailing and biking are two of the area's most popular outdoor activ- ities. There are numerous sailing excursions from which to choose, among them the Sip n' Sail cocktail cruise. Every year, thousands of cyclists visit the island to take advantage of the 70 miles of natural and paved trails along wooded areas and 300-foot-high bluffs. Puerto Rico As a breathtaking Caribbean island, Puerto Rico is well known for its mouthwatering cuisine, high outdoor adventure and vibrant nightlife, particularly in the historic capital of San Juan. Planners will find everything they need here to prepare their event. With 600,000 square feet of space, the Puerto Rico Convention Center is the largest convention center in the Caribbean, containing world-class facilities and accommodating staff to ensure the success of meetings and conferences. Reminiscent of the early Spanish Empire, San Juan features stunning architecture, walking tours and art museums. Travelers will also find no shortage of exquisite restaurants throughout the area, with favorite local dishes like "asopao," a soup similar to gumbo with chicken, shell- fish, rice and other ingredients, or "arroz con dulce," a sweet, sticky rice cooked with spices, ginger, coconut milk, raisins and rum. "Puerto Rico is very diverse, and visitors always talk about the vari- ety and excellence of the cuisine," said Joyce Martinez, vice president of sales at Meet Puerto Rico. With the rain forest as a dramatic backdrop, Puerto Rico gives visi- tors the ultimate outdoor and adventure experience. In addition to stunning waterfall hikes and day cruises in the Caribbean, thrill- seekers can try their hand at the world's highest and longest zip line or take a trolley tour into the depths of the Camuy River Cave, the third- largest underground cave system on Earth. Though some meeting attendees may be uncertain about the dis- tance and logistics of traveling to a U.S. territory, the island is easily reached, with no flight from the States lasting longer than a couple of hours. American travelers can use their cellphones as well as U.S. cur- rency, and no passports are needed.

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