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The Tarheel State awaits you! North Carolina has long been known as a great place to live, but it is also a terrific place to visit! Durham, NC is the City of Medicine, USA. This identity is built on its outstanding hospitals and major national and international healthcare companies. It is built on the city's cutting-edge research companies, its specialty clinical services and its nationally recognized medical teaching facilities. Durham has become synonymous with medicine. Nearly one in four people in Durham work in a health-related field, making medicine the city's leading industry. Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest university-related research park in the world, is based in Durham County and encompassed by the City of Durham.

Appealing to a wide variety of interests, there are many sights and activities available in the greater Raleigh-Durham area. Probably the best way to plan your free time is the visit the Web sites of the area cities to see just what appeals to you. For information about Durham, the City of Medicine, check our www.durham-nc.com. This year's conference will be held at the Sheraton Imperial Center, located in Research Triangle Park, NC. For more information, their website is www.sheratonrtp.com. The Sheraton is just minutes away from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and the hotel provides complimentary shuttle service. The Sheraton Imperial features Cascades Restaurant, a piano bar, and also offers a 34,000 square foot athletic club, a 2.5-mile fitness-jogging trail, outdoor tennis courts, and a café featuring Starbucks coffee.

Just minutes from the hotel, Triangle Factory Shops houses many outlet stores, and a large food court with choices ranging from Taco Bell to Davey's All American Grill. Since the coast is just about two hours away, seafood choices are plentiful, and the hotel concierge will be able to provide you with information on area restaurants. No visit to the Carolinas would be complete without sampling North Carolina Barbecue. Not for the faint of heart, NC BBQ is the best enjoyed in a "pig pickin" setting where the whole hog is roasted with a mustard and vinegar based BBQ sauce. Although we do not have a commitment from a famous "pork Chef," we do plan to arrange an opportunity for our guests to enjoy this great feast. Most of the folks who cater pig-pickins pull a grill behind their pick-up trucks, and nobody is sure yet just what they will be doing in August.