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Set the Scene

Don't want to have your next meeting in a hotel? There are plenty of stunning spaces in museums, parks and municipal buildings that break the stale conference room mold.

Philadelphia: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania has a gorgeous conference facility in a restored carriage house. Visit upenn.edu/arboretum.

Chicago: The Museum of Contemporary Art has an attractive, modernist meeting space with a 300-seat theater and a terraced sculpture garden that offers a sensational view of Lake Michigan.

Seattle: Big Picture combines an intimate meeting space with state-of-the-art digital/internet technology and the ambience of a hip restaurant.

Parker, Texas: Southfork Ranch--a real ranch, not just the former set of Dallas--has a 63,000-square-foot conference center. And the on-site entertainment coordinator can help you arrange exciting activities.

Tucson, Arizona: Trail Dust Town is a former movie set, complete with wooden boardwalks, band shell, carousel and gaslights. Meetings and corporate events are held in the Savoy Opera House.

Julie Moline is a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant in New York City.

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This article was originally published in the May 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Set the Scene.

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