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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Mid-Atlantic Power Player: Hampton, Vrginia

Travel south across the bay from Newport News to discover the town of Hampton, a place so steeped in history that even the trees have significance. The Emancipation Oak, the oak under which the Emancipation Proclamation was read, is still alive and growing today on the campus of Hampton University.

Hampton is also home to the Virginia Air and Space Center, the official visitors site of the Langley Research Center, an outpost of NASA. The center also makes a fantastic meeting venue, complete with the region’s only Imax theater, which can be booked for educational or recreational purposes.

“There’s obviously many reasons to visit Hampton, and the reasons to hold meetings here are just as many,” said Mary Fugere, director of media and community relations for the Hampton Convention and Visitors Bureau. A certified meeting planner (CMP) herself, Fugere understands that more and more meeting professionals are seeking out unusual venues, trying to break out of the expected hotel-and-conference-center model. She said although the area is best known for its large facilities, such as the Hampton Roads Convention Center, Hampton has just as many smaller, historic venues.

In the heart of historic Hampton lies the American Theatre, an elegant venue that can seat up to 392 guests theater-style and that also has convertible art gallery and lecture hall space for smaller sessions. After hours, planners might choose Marker 20 for a networking hour punctuated with fresh seafood and local craft beer; that nearby local eatery can be booked for parties of up to 75.

A look at Hampton would be incomplete without viewing its big-box venue, the Hampton Roads Convention Center. The center, though composed of the typical showroom-style amenities, breaks the mold with its distinctly maritime architecture; a real sail is canopied over the front entrance, and fountains throughout the space incorporate the constant sound of water.




Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Norfolk Airport; Interstates 64 and 664.

Meeting Spaces:

Hampton Roads Convention Center, Virginia Air and Space Center, American Theatre, Embassy Suites Hampton Roads

Hotel Rooms: 2,800


Bar Louie, CineBistro, Marker 20, Conch & Bucket, and War Memorial Stadium, home to the Peninsula Pilots Minor League baseball team

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