Small Market Meetings

MAR 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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March 2017 17 Many Olympia visitors make a point to visit Tumwater Falls. By Doug Walker, courtesy Olympia Lacey Tumwater VCB and the Evergreen Lavender Farm. For a taste of local wildlife, the nearby Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge features a 700-foot boardwalk where visitors can spot bald eagles and herons, among 200 other species of birds. Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Nestled between Blue Mountain and South Mountain, Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley provides a lovely fall setting for meetings, with museums, wine tours and historic bridges. The Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center offers a full view of the valley, along with ski slopes, hotel rooms, on-site restaurants and a heated pool. The resort includes four elegant meeting sites: two ballrooms, a lodge and a fireside suite that accommodate 30 to 300 guests. To complement the rustic landscape, planners can take advantage of the Glasbern Inn, a picturesque bed-and-breakfast with capacity for 150 guests; the Sands Bethlehem casino and hotel serves larger groups with a 14,000-square-foot event center. For an afternoon excursion, groups can cruise down the 50-mile-long Lehigh Valley Bridge Tour, which takes travelers back in time as they cross through historic bridges and pristine countryside. "On the drive, you pass through seven bridges that are still covered in the area," said Kaitie Burger, social media and communications manager at Discover Lehigh Valley. "It's a great way to unwind after a meeting." The C.F. Martin Guitar Factory provides an ideal after-hours venue where meeting attendees can see the craftsmanship of Martin Guitars firsthand as they tour the factory floor and the Martin Guitar Museum. Housed in a renovated barn, Eight Oaks Craft Distillers is one of Lehigh Valley's most distinct craft distilleries. A farm-to-bottle craft distiller, the company grows its own grains and pro- duces artisan rum, vodka, gin and applejack. Private tours are available. Groups can also follow the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail to nine family-owned wineries in the region that often debut new lines in the fall.

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