Home of cowboys and the classic King of the Hill cartoon show, Garland is 15 miles northeast of Dallas. Despite being in the state's 10th-largest city (which is also a manufacturing hub for the region), planners will find that the meeting venues in Garland showcase a bit of small-town hospitality.
Dallas is approximately a 4-hour flight from the East or West coasts, and Garland is a 30-minute drive from the region's two main airports. Dallas-Fort Worth International sees almost 2,000 flights daily and is serviced by most major airlines, and Dallas Love Field is served by Continental, Delta and Southwest Airlines. Conveniently, the DART rail line from DFW makes two stops in Garland.
Garland event venues are ideal for mid-sized conventions. The Garland Independent School District's Special Events Center is a modern conference center and arena. This versatile Garland event venue includes two theaters, a 14,400-square-foot atrium, a 7,500-seat arena, a 3,253-square-foot hospitality suite, a grand ballroom that accommodates 400-600 and a tiered 112-seat lecture hall. Breakout rooms, the concourses and meeting rooms can host 10 to 4,400 for major extravaganzas. The Patty Granville Arts Center includes two theaters, a 14,400-square-foot atrium that accommodates 450 in a theater-style setting and a 4,800-square-foot landscaped courtyard. The Pace House, a restored 1895 Victorian home, has two meeting rooms for groups of 50. The elegant, 350-seat Plaza Theatre features Art Deco splendor as well as state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.
Hotel venues in Garland include the 134-room Holiday Inn Garland, which has banquet facilities for up to 400; and the 153-room Hyatt Place Dallas/Garland, adjacent to the Special Events Center, which includes a 12,000-square-foot conference center with 6 meeting rooms and a 7,000-square-foot grand hall for 800. The 236-room Radisson Hotel Dallas East, 3.5 miles from downtown, weighs in with 10,000 square feet, two elegant ballrooms, a 50-seat amphitheater and an executive boardroom.
Groups can have a Tex-Mex fiesta for 70 at Desperados Dos, home of Garland's "best margaritas," or enjoy finger-licking, Texas barbecue during a buy-out of Baker's Ribs, which also has a private room for 60. Elsewhere, the quirky Flying Saucer at the Lake can host casual events for 50.
A reception or a post-conference visit to Southfork Ranch, of Dallas fame, is always a hit. Year-round tours include the extensive memorabilia collections, the Ewing mansion and the ranch. Chuckwagon dinners can be arranged for the full Texas experience.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons user: William Addington