Need a Good Place to Meet? Take it to Main Street

Need a Good Place to Meet? Take it to Main Street

The American Planning Association's 2012 list of great streets includes thoroughfares both big and small.

As any event-goer will tell you, a great event is made better by great surroundings. And the American Planning Association’s 2012 list of great streets, including one of the busiest streets in the world as well as a couple of small-town options, might help you narrow the list for your next conference — perhaps landing you in an unexpected spot. Among the list’s highlights:

The highly diverse Fifth Avenue in New York City is a top urban pick. (photo by Dougtone/Flickr)

Big-City Haunts

New York City’s Fifth Avenue isn’t exactly a shocker on this list, but it’s nonetheless a great choice. “The 11 neighborhoods located along these 117 blocks of Fifth Avenue are unique yet contribute to a uniform feel of the avenue and provide key amenities that, if missing, would present a completely different atmosphere,” the group writes. Other urban picks? Pittsburgh’s Grant Street, the Cleveland area’s Shaker Boulevard, and Kansas City, Missouri’s Ward Parkway.

It may be a tourist hot spot, but Key West’s Duval Street is also full of surprises. (photo by y entonces/Flickr)

Touristy Hot Spots

With Key West, you’re guaranteed warmth and a classic look that’s been faithfully preserved for decades, but with Duval Street, you get something else. “Duval Street, the undisputed ‘Main Street’ of Key West, is the only place in the U.S. where one street allows you to walk from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico,” writes APA. Charleston, South Carolina’s Broad Street, with its colonial vibe, is also a great bet.

Bozeman, Montana’s East Main Street. (photo by Mike Cline, via Wikipedia)

Regional Vistas

In case you find yourself looking toward the Upper Northwest for your next event, you might want to consider Bozeman, Montana, where efforts to restore and revive the city’s Main Street in the wake of a 2009 fire have paid off handsomely. “Through the 20th century,” the APA writes, “the commercial district grew into a regional crossroad given its designation as a portion of the Yellowstone Trail, the first transcontinental automobile highway through the country’s upper tier of states and, eventually, U.S. Highway 191.” Knoxville, Tennessee’s Gay Street and two New York state thoroughfares — Saratoga Springs’ Broadway and Kingston’s Wall Street — also get a nod.

Any streets you’d recommend for an upcoming conference? Let us know in the comments.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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