2. Hartford, Connecticut
Home of the largest convention center between Boston and New York City, Hartford is no stranger to association and specialty groups like Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which held its 85th annual conference there in March 2016. Not resting on its laurels, the state capital is in the midst of many projects benefiting planners. Connecticut Convention Center looks refreshed after a $2.5 million makeover; Front Street District is expanding to include more off-site dining and venue options; the 6,100-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Park is targeting opening day 2017 for Minor League Baseball games—also adding a large venue for an off-site event or a place to catch a game on a free night; the historic Goodwin Hotel will reopen after eight years in 2017; and Marriott Hartford Downtown and Hilton Hartford both completed renovations.