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North Central: Where everything comes together, naturally. (Florida).

In the area of Florida known as "The Nature Coast," plantations replace palms and sand succumbs to fresh springs. Visitors to this region nestled between Georgia and the Gulf of Mexico are sure to be spoiled, even though the terrain is not.

Capital city Tallahassee mixes history with high tech as the home to two state universities and impressive convention facilities totaling 350,000 square feet. The Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, admired for its first-class facilities and size, seats 14,000 and features nearly 70,000 square feet of convention space. A 40,000-square-foot exhibition hall has six connecting meeting rooms, which can be configured in a variety of floor plans to accommodate gatherings large or small.

Adjacent to the civic center is the Tumbull Conference Center, which is operated by Florida State University. Located just steps from the capitol, the center's convenience, beautiful design, and stunning surroundings make it an idyllic site for conferences, meetings, workshops, and special events. It offers 36,000 square feet spanning 10 large meeting rooms, two computer training labs, an executive boardroom, 375-seat auditorium, and large dining room that accommodates up to 300.

Not far from town is the newly renovated Wakulla Springs Lodge and Conference Center, a tranquil alternative for executive gatherings. Other nearby spots for smaller meetings include the Brokaw-McDougall House, a restored downtown antebellum home; Helen Lind Garden, a sculpture park in the heart of Tallahassee's historic district; and Bradfordville Hunt Club, an authentic 1900-era farmhouse surrounded by oaks and pines.

To the east is Gainsville, home to the University of Florida and plenty of possibilities when it comes to meetings. The university's Center for the Performing Arts has a total floor size of 62,000 square feet, featuring a 6,000-square-foot exhibit area and two meeting rooms. The largest, at 23,000 square feet, can be configured to seat 1,753 theater-style.

The Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center on the university's campus is one of Gainesville's premier facilities, with 25,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space and 245 luxury guest rooms, all with high-speed Internet access. When it comes to meetings, you will love the exceptional educational environment found here.

But in addition to its university connections, Alachua County's appeal lies in its collection of quaint towns: Micanopy, the oldest inland town in Florida; Hawthorne, long considered the "Heart of Freshwater Fishing"; and High Springs, a railroad town turned rustic paradise that beckons birdwatchers to bask in its beauty. Any one of these towns would be the perfect place for a pre- or post-conference retreat.
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Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Previous Article:Northwest: Heaping helpings of southern hospitality. (Florida).
Next Article:Northeast: Productive days, peaceful nights. (Florida).

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