2004 Black Enterprise African American Travel Guide presented by Allstate.

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As member of a remarkable group of people who have overcome many obstacles in the quest to gain financial independence and full participation the free market system, you are in constant need of quality information. Your goal has always been to build wealth and financial success for you and your family. However, success is a journey--not a destination. Therefore, it's important to enjoy this journey in every phase of your personal, professional, and financial growth. As you keep an eye on the future, always remember the past and celebrate the rich culture that has made you the strong people you are today.

To help you celebrate and plan for a fantastic journey this year, Allstate sponsored this African American Travel Guide specifically for you. This is a compilation of 20 destinations, each inviting you to visit. Introduce yourself to the many diverse and cultural selections that make each city unique. Each city's convention and visitors bureau is offering a sampling of the best restaurants, entertainment hot spots, and cultural places for you and your family to enjoy.

This African American Travel Guide is designed to assist you in your journey across the United States. And as you use this guide to connect with family and friends, know that your partner Allstate appreciates you.

atlanta

Atlanta in a nutshell ... world-class restaurants, festive nightlife, major-league sports teams, and diverse cultural events help make Atlanta a No. 1 destination for African American travelers. From the Civil War to Civil Rights, Atlanta promises visitors a trip filled with entertainment and cultural heritage.

Restaurants--City Grill (50 Hurt Plaza, 404-524-2489), originally the Federal Reserve Bank for the Southeast, built in 1912, Southern-style fine dining. Commune (1198 Howell Mill Rd., 404-609-5000, www.communeatlanta.com), American and classic fare with a twist. Nava (3060 Peachtree Rd., 404-240-1984), Southwestern flavors and modern hacienda decor at Buckhead's hottest crossroads.

Entertainment--Club 112 (2329 Cheshire Bridge Rd. NE, 404-261-0155), hip hop's hottest spot. Club Vision (1068 Peachtree St., 404-874 4460), 25,000-square-feet, premier spot to show up and show off. Sambuca Jazz Cafe (3102 Piedmont Rd., NE, 404-237-5299), jazzed-up supper club and posh Buckhead hot spot.

Cultural Sights/Events--National Black Arts Festival (7/16/04-7/25/04, www.nbaf.org), event recognizing the achievements of artists of African descent. Georgia Power Atlanta Football (September), known as the "Super Bowl of Black College Football," more than 52,000 fans travel to the Georgia Dome. Atlanta University Center (440 Westview Dr., SW, 404-522-8980). Most of the six schools date back to right after the Civil War, and include Morris Brown College, Clark-Atlanta University, Spelman, Morehouse, Interdenominational Theological Seminary, and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Little-Known Fact--Mayor Shirley Franklin is the first female African American mayor of Atlanta and the first female African American mayor of any major city.

baltimore

There's so much to discover in Baltimore ... Famous for its Inner Harbor, proud neighborhoods, and devotion to delicious crabs, Baltimore offers visitors amazing experiences in African American culture. Around every corner are unique, emotional stories of African American contributions to life in Baltimore and beyond. Baltimore is rooted in African American culture, offering visitors one-of-a kind social, historical, and educational experiences.

Restaurants--Downtown Southern Blues (889 N. Howard St., 410-728-4889), fine dining, Southern soul food with a twist. Charleston (1000 Lancaster St., 410-332-7373) Bon Appetit named Charleston "the city's finest restaurant." La Tesso Tana (58 West Biddle St., 420-837-3630), African American owned, features Italian cuisine and seafood.

Entertainment--Harborplace (200 E. Pratt St., 410-332-4191), 101 unique shops, 16 sit-down restaurants, and 40 diverse eateries, live entertainment. Power Plant Live! (34 Market Pl., 410-727-LIVE), premier dining and entertainment district, restaurants and nightclubs, outdoor seating. Jaspers Restaurant (9640 Lottsford Ct., Largo, MD, 301-883-9500), interactive entertainment with guest celebrities, 45 minutes south of Baltimore

Cultural Sights/Events--Lexington Market (400 W. Lexington St., 410-685-6169), historic public market established in 1782, more than 140 merchants selling foods of every description. African American Heritage Festival (June 18-20), jazz, R&B, rap, and gospel; food and family events; largest celebration of African American artists on the East Coast.

Little-Known Fact--The $33 million Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History will open in late 2004 and house the East Coast's largest collection of artifacts and exhibits chronicling the African American experience.

charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a city that celebrates its diversity and comes together to create a great atmosphere for African Americans. It is a historical, world class city with Southern hospitality that has earned the well deserved description "The New Accent of the South." It gives you an outstanding collection of arts and cultural venues, fine dining, and good down-home cooking. Get ready for flavor, excitement, and shopping as you explore the "Queen City."

Restaurants--Mert's Heart & Soul (214 N College St., 704-342-4222), low-country and Cajun cuisine, excellent dessert menu. Anntony's Caribbean Cafe (2001 E. 7th St., 704-342-0749), ethnic and Caribbean, chicken, pork chops. Simmons' Restaurant (516 N. Graham St., 704-334-5640) soul food, BBQ ribs, fried chicken, smothered steak.

Entertainment--Varga Lounge (305 W. 4th St.; 704-338-1441), source for sophisticated, upscale night life. Excelsior Club (921 Beatties Ford Rd., 704-334-5709), historic black nightclub since the 1950s. The Savoy (3930 Brookshire Blvd., 704-394-5505), Big Band, live classic jazz, R&B, and Latin.

Cultural Sights/Events--Afro-American Cultural Center (403 N. Myers St., 704-374-1565), home to the Hewitt Collection of African American Art; changing exhibits of painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media shows. Levine Museum of the New South (200 E. Seventh St., 704-333 1887), exhibits tracing the history of African Americans through the cotton plantations, Civil Rights, and segregation. Juneteenth (www.juneteenth.com, 6/19/04), food, music, dancing, storytelling, family fun, and more.

Little-Known Fact--In 1867, Mrs. Henry Biddle contributed money and Colonel W.R. Myers donated land to help establish the Biddle Institute, a school to train black ministers.

chicago

Chicago is a waterfront city of unsurpassed beauty that offers year-round fun. From world-class museums, great jazz and blues clubs, and award-winning theaters to many free cultural events, world-famous sport teams, and unforgettable shopping, Chicago is a great leisure destination.

Restaurant--Buddy Guy's Legends (754 S. Wabash Ave., 312-427-0333) Cajun and soul food, blues featured nightly. One Sixtyblue (160 N. Loomis St., 312-850-0303), contemporary French influence, co-owned by Michael Jordan. Wishbone (3300 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-549-2553), soul food, "best food value in Chicago." Pizzeria Uno (29 E. Ohio St., 312-321-1000), Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Entertainment--Andy's Jazz Club (11 E. Hubbard St., 312-642-5805), finest live jazz. Funky Buddha Lounge (728 W. Grand Ave., 312-565-1695), world's best DJs, organic juices, and a nonsmoking room. Shark Bar (212 N. Canal St., 312-627-0800), Southern food, bar, and dance floor.

Cultural Sights/Events--Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave., 312-595-PIER), more than 50 acres of parks, shops...

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