Catalina Island, just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, has long been a favorite Hollywood getaway. Stars like Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood and John Wayne vacationed here, and a young woman named Norma Jean Baker, who’d become far better known as Marilyn Monroe, lived here with her first husband. The island, accessible by ferry or a 15-minute helicopter flight, has updated its Descanso Beach Club and launched a new spa and Catalina Aerial Adventure; it features both beachfront and ocean-view meeting venues that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. This 1940s photo shows a “jaunting” car on a scenic tour. 

Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a city rich in history. It’s here, in 1775, that Patrick Henry famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death.” And while the extensively renovated Hilton Richmond Downtown can’t trace its roots back quite that far, it is housed in the historic former Miller & Rhoads department store, which dates back to the end of the 19th century. 

 

Every planner wants to create experiences that make meeting attendees feel they’re on top of the world. If you’re planning a meeting in northwest North Carolina, you can achieve that with a visit to Grandfather Mountain. Soaring 5,946 feet and estimated to be 300 million years old, with some rock formations dating back 1.2 billion years, the peak off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, is accessible by vehicle and by a paved road.

 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel has introduced a new outdoor event space under its new event programming, Dare to Outdoors. The hotel’s catering team has partnered with Pacific Plaza Park, a 3.7-acre green space in Downtown Dallas. The park features a 31,950 square-foot lawn space and permanent seating, as well as night-sky friendly lights for star-watchers. Three food truck power outlets are available and standard outlets are located throughout the park.