backYARD at Waller Creek is Austin’s newest restaurant, bar and outdoor venue in downtown. The concept, which had a soft opening during SXSW 2017, is new to the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. The backYARD offers American cuisine with a Texas twist and cocktails using house-infused spirits, and has a spacious outdoor space perfect for events.
Meeting planners are always looking for fun and creative ways to entertain guests, and the latest trend is heating things up in a big way.
Sit-down, plated meals have evolved into active culinary events, thanks to a variety of chefs and creative entrepreneurs who are making dining at meetings fun again.
In the summer issue of Texas Meetings + Events, you’ll read all about this hot trend, which you might describe as “Eating as Entertainment.” In the meantime, meet Michell Huber, founder of Austin-based culinary event company and cooking school Freda's Kitchen.
A recent Gold medalist at the 2017 Denver International Spirits Competition, Devil's River Whiskey is officially the newest small-batch bourbon to be available in Texas.
The namesake Devils River, located in southwestern Texas, is part of the Rio Grande drainage basin. The river earned its name when renowned Texas Ranger John Coffee Hays first saw the river and learned that it was called the San Pedro, named for St. Peter.
San Antonio is one of Texas’ top meeting and convention destinations—and now there is another great option for planners. Hotel Contessa has partnered with The Briscoe Western Art Museum to create a Texan experience for groups that want to incorporate local flavor into their meetings. The Briscoe is one the newest museums in San Antonio, located directly on the Riverwalk, and focuses on the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions and educational programs reflective of the region’s rich traditions and heritage.
San Antonio’s Riverwalk is one of my favorite places to visit. Even if I’m in San Antonio for meetings, I always find time to stroll along the Riverwalk and take in the sites: a sidewalk café, a passing riverboat, public art glimpsed from under a Riverwalk bridge. Another favorite stop is Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. For the past 14 years of the boutique hotel’s operation, I’ve come to know its sleek and modern style—and this is all about to change. The hotel is being redesigned by internationally acclaimed architect and designer, Lauren Rottet.
From beautiful birds to giant gems, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas provides a truly unique venue for any meeting or group event. This holiday season, the museum is sweetening the deal with a lineup of festive events, including the “Birds of Paradise” and “Giant Gems of the Smithsonian” exhibits, the Winter Wonderland Sleepover and extended hours over winter break.
The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center is built to impress. With 194 miles of hiking and biking trails, 21 tennis courts and a water attraction sure to rival any resort in the nation (including a 1,005-foot lazy river and four swimming pools), meeting attendees will love you for selecting it.
Eculent, a new restaurant at Clear Creek Vineyard, Winery and Resort in Kemah, uses all the senses to immerse guests in the dining experience. The restaurant’s transformative environment changes around the specific course being presented, says Executive Chef David Skinner. There are lights that vary in color and intensity, ambient scents that trigger memories, artwork that morphs to emphasize the moment and a soundtrack that harmonizes with targeted senses.
The company offers everything from place tags to personalized gifts.
Nestled in the heart of America is one of the meeting industry’s most affordable gems: Kansas City, Missouri. This diverse, metropolitan city spanning the Kansas-Missouri border is less than a day’s drive from 55 million Americans, and Kansas City International Airport is just a three-hour flight away from each coast. Pair this convenient location with all-around affordability and a downtown revitalization, and Kansas City quickly becomes a must-book destination.