Though rich with history, Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee is imbued with a young and energetic vibe fueled by its high percentage of young adult residents.
“Tallahassee is not only one of the youngest cities in Florida but also the most educated,” said Rachel Jeter, public relations and marketing specialist at Visit Tallahassee, referring to the 2017 study by WalletHub that ranked the city the 10th-most-educated city in America.
The city’s record number of college degrees earned per capita is largely due to the presence of two major universities in town — Florida State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University — both within minutes of downtown.
“The area around both of these universities has experienced significant growth in recent years,” said Janet Roach, marketing and conventions director at Visit Tallahassee. “From Railroad Square Art Park to Gaines Street, all of those places have walkable restaurants and shops that attraction students as well as visitors.”
The 64,000-square-foot University Club Center on the Florida State University campus serves as the largest event venue in town, encompassing three and a half floors at the Doak Campbell Stadium. Planners can make use of various areas in this upscale facility, such as the private dining space, boardroom areas and outdoor decks overlooking the field.
Attached to the basketball arena, the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center presents a spacious exhibition hall with 35,000 square feet of uninterrupted function space as well as six carpeted meeting rooms. For smaller events, the Florida State Conference Center contains 11 meeting spaces, including a 350-seat auditorium, a 280-seat dining room and seven breakout rooms.
Syracuse, New York
Built around the Erie Canal in upstate New York, Syracuse offers meeting planners a scenic, central getaway from some of the larger cities in the state.
“Our location is really ideal,” said Danny Liekda, president and CEO of Visit Syracuse. “We’re right in the middle of the state, with Albany less than two hours to the east, Buffalo less than two hours to the west and Canada less than an hour north. We offer world-class amenities with the affordability of a smaller destination.”
Just a few minutes from Syracuse University, the Oncenter Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center comprises 200,000 square feet of meeting, exhibition, arena and theater space. The center’s adaptable arena can accommodate ice, basketball and turf sports, and the multifunction theater space includes a black-box theater, a 458-seat theater and a 2,100-seat theater.
The Sheraton University Hotel and Conference Center is conveniently located in the heart of campus, offering 10,000 square feet of meeting space throughout 10 meeting rooms and two elegant ballrooms. On campus, groups can also take a free tour of the 49,262-seat Carrier Dome, the only domed stadium in the Northeast and the largest structure of its kind on a college campus in the nation. The university recently announced plans to implement a $118 million renovation of the facility.
To learn more about Syracuse’s colorful background as a port city, travelers can visit the Lake Erie Canal Museum, which chronicles the history of the 363-mile waterway that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.