The largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester sits on the Merrimack River 53 miles northwest of Boston, and has a population of a little more than 100,000. It contains the famous Currier Museum of Art and has, like all of New Hampshire, no sales tax. For this reason (and others) Manchester event venues offer value, along with culture.
Seven miles from downtown, Manchester-Boston Regional (MHT) is served by Southwest, United, Delta, Continental and US Airways. The closest international airport is General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS) in Boston, approximately 50 miles to the southeast. All major airlines serve Boston. Taxis are expensive, but several shuttle companies make the run.
There are no dedicated convention centers in Manchester, but the 10,000-seat Verizon Wireless Arena and 3,000-seat John F. Kennedy Memorial Coliseum can host large seminars.
Hotels in Manchester itself include the 250-room Radisson Hotel at the Center of New Hampshire, with 18 meeting rooms; 125-room Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown, with two, and 88-room Highlander Inn & Conference Center. In Bedford, directly across the Merrimack River, are several other chain hotels, as there also are at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, including the 120-room Sheraton Four Points Hotel-Manchester and 96-room Holiday Inn Manchester Airport.
Event facilities are plentiful: The campus of Manchester's Southern New Hampshire University has banquet space for 192 persons and theater space for up to 282; it also has 200 guest rooms. The Palace Theater, which hosts a strong line up of plays and other entertainment, has a function space for up to 110 persons; the Executive Court Banquet Facility sits on 18 acres of parkland and has space for functions of up to 500, and the Belmont Hall & Restaurant has two rooms for up to 100 persons.
Manchester's real jewel is the Currier Museum of Art, an internationally recognized attraction that has a permanent collection of more than 12,000 American and European paintings, many by heralded geniuses; the museum contains on its grounds the Isadore J. & Lucille Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There are also an 180-seat auditorium, two 60-seat meeting rooms and a 20-seat boardroom, and evening events will have attendees gazing at paintings by Monet, O'Keeffe, Picasso and Matisse.
The hungry will not go that way for long. Cotton has a modern American menu, while lovers of Italian food will hanker for either of Piccola or Fratello's. All three can cater to groups. Two other choices run to Mint Bistro, which also has a nouvelle-American menu but also has a sushi bar, and, for more conservative palates, the Hanover Street Chophouse, with oaky surroundings and three Native American-named function rooms - Amoskeag, Indianhead and Merrimack.