Small Market Meetings

MAR 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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R i v e r f r o n t A c t i v i t i e s D o w n t i m e F u n www.smallmarketmeetings.com Destination Showcase 20 A skywalk connects an onsite parking deck to the Peoria Civic Center. looking at a drive time of 10 to 15 minutes max from the outlying hotels to the civic center and the downtown core," Welch said. "That's unlike larger cities where you have all of the traffic con- gestion. We also have ample parking in the down- town area." Riverfront Activities Peoria has a lively riverfront that entertains thousands of meeting attendees and other visitors each year. The Caterpillar Visitors Center is quite popular and has eight exhibit galleries, four the- aters, and videos and photos that help tell the fascinating story of this 90-year-old company. It's hands on, too, with cool technology and simula- tors that let you feel as though you are single- handedly operating a big piece of earth-moving equipment. There is also plenty of meeting space inside the center. "You can actually have a meeting in the bed of a giant mining truck," said the CVB's Allen. "You walk into a huge meeting space, and you think you're in the back of one of their giant Caterpillar creations." Where else can you spend your Fall season hiking or rockclimbing in a National Forest, perusing a local Farmer's Market or boutique, sipping cider on a Wine Trail or nestled in a cozy bed and breakfast? a a 126 S Illinois Ave Carbondale, IL 62901 618-529-4451 info@carbondaletourism.org The Peoria Riverfront Museum is another pop- ular attraction. It blends science, achievement, art, history and more into an experience that will educate and stimulate people of all ages. The museum features an Imax screen and a planetar- ium. It has abundant meeting space, and when the meeting ends, attendees can tour the museum. The museum also brings exciting national and international exhibitions to its halls. One recent example was "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," which included interesting pieces recovered from the debris field beneath where the ill-fated ocean liner sank in 1912. Speaking of boats, the Spirit of Peoria is a pad- dleboat that offers fun hour-and-a-quarter-long trips on the Illinois River; it also travels farther for up to five days when it cruises the Mississippi River to places like St. Louis and Hannibal, Missouri. The longer excursions include overnight accommodations, entertainment such as music and theater, and delicious buffet meals. The riverfront is also the scene of festivals nearly every weekend in the summer and fall. Live music is a hallmark of these gatherings. The riverfront has fun themed eateries and several fine-dining restaurants in the district. Downtime Fun Wildlife Prairie Park, just 10 miles west of downtown Peoria, is an 1,800-acre park dedicated

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