Destination: California Meeting & Event Planning City Guide
303 Water St., Suite 100, Santa Cruz, California, 95060
25,000 sq ft
Welcome to Santa Cruz County - where the redwoods meet the sea! With majestic forests, sun-splashed beaches, and rolling vineyards, Santa Cruz is a convenient and memorable destination for coastal conferences, retreats, meetings, reunions, parties and picnics. View the Meeting & Event Guide here and connect with us on Twitter!
By Carolyn Koenig
August 29, 2014
Dear Readers: After this story went to press, a 6.1 earthquake struck the Napa area on Aug. 24. Most of the businesses that suffered damage have recovered and are open and operating. Several hotels are closed, including Andaz Napa (through Sept. 30) and the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. The Westin Verasa Napa reopened Aug. 29. Visitors are advised to call in advance to confirm reservations at hotels, restaurants, tasting rooms, etc.
The exhale when arriving in Napa Valley or Sonoma County Wine Country is palpable. The hills and valleys are lush with soft, undulating vineyards, immediately giving a sense of place and a promise of what’s to come. Seen at a distance, tucked among the vines like oases, are their wineries, built in a medley of architectural styles as individual as the vision of their winemakers.
By Carolyn Koenig
July 31, 2014
Conventional wisdom says that when you have a huge, imponderable project, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
The same goes for destinations: When you look at Los Angeles—that seemingly amorphous city/county combo that spreads over 4,083 sq. mi. of cities, districts and neighborhoods—consider it in terms of individual niches based on each one’s character and you’ll immediately get a handle on it.
By Carolyn Koenig
May 23, 2014
The Monterey Bay area, on California’s Central Coast, holds a timeless appeal for visitors, with its natural beauty, picturesque coast-side towns and vineyard-laden hillsides. The prospect of meeting in Monterey and Santa Cruz, the two counties that hug the crescent-shaped Monterey Bay, creates a sense of anticipation in attendees, who may be familiar with diverse attractions such as the barking sea lions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the clattering wooden roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
By Nikki Gloudeman
April 23, 2014
How does something go from good to great? It’s a tough question to answer, but also essential for planners to ask. Because increasingly, getting attendees to stay engaged with the content of a meeting requires an experience that is more than serviceable—it must be extraordinary.
By Nikki Glouderman
March 25, 2014
Here’s an important thing to know about the San Francisco Bay Area: It’s a place where people really like to dress up in costumes. Each year, thousands of locals and visitors wear Santa suits, fish hats, zombie costumes, PJs and anything and everything in between to enjoy traditions and special events that embrace the zany.
There are plenty of destinations that offer excellent cuisine, cultural attractions, natural beauty and meetings infrastructure, and San Francisco and its neighbors—including Berkeley, Oakland, Napa, Sonoma and San Jose—feature all in spades. But few, if any, destinations can rival the area’s healthy appetite for the offbeat.
From costumed races to public pillow fights to lolcat festivals, the destination invites guests to let loose, have fun and be free to be who they want to be. For buttoned-up business attendees, this is an enticing quality that invites both laugh-filled team bonding and big-idea thinking. Hold a meeting here and expect business to receive a welcome boost of fun—just make sure attendees pack some silly costumes with their business suits.
Above: Exploratorium, San Francisco, courtesy of Amy Snyder © Exploratorium
By Diego Vallejo
January 28, 2014
“…at last the Lake [Tahoe] burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea…As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”
–Mark Twain, Roughing It
The first glimpse of Lake Tahoe’s crystal clear water and mountainous surroundings can be intoxicating. Mark Twain fell under the lake’s spell when he first laid eyes on it in 1861, as have many other visitors before or since. Whether summer or winter, rain or shine, 2 million years of perfection manages to make an impression.
Learn about California for Event Venues, Services & Meeting Destinations
California: Meetings, Conferences and Conventions
California: What Makes California the Perfect Conference, Convention or Meeting Destination
Globally recognized as much for being a beach capital as an environmental awareness hub and cultural hot spot for young Hollywood—the golden state of California offers the ultimate in possibilities for destination meetings. Whether planning a conference near its sandy coasts or scheduling a corporate event amidst the striking desert or towering mountains, California leaves corporate attendees and vacationers longing to return.
The regions that make up this state are as varied as they are intriguing, and this leaves meeting planners with a great problem to have – choosing between so many great options. One way to narrow down the destination meeting choices California offers is to visualize the type of corporate event being planned.
For a hot and sunny, laid-back beach locale, try San Diego on the southern coast, which boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year. For a more active urban scene, nearby Los Angeles lives up to the hype—the electricity and spectacle of Hollywood will keep attendees charged, in and out of the boardroom.
For something more low key, take the meeting to the great outdoors—a commodity that California has a lot of. Tahoe is a true four-season meeting destination, offering ample meeting room options alongside winter snow activities and summer water sports. For an even more remote option, Yosemite National Park is rife with hiking trails for all levels, perfect for team building activities or corporate retreats.
As you can see, each region in California has perfected a specific flavor and personality to suit any conference or meeting. With so many destinations outfitted to accommodate events large and small, planning a meeting in California becomes a natural choice. The hard part is choosing which region!
Plan Your California Meeting Today!
If you’re thinking of planning a meeting or corporate event in California and need help finding the ideal meeting venue, conference room, or convention center, explore our meeting planning properties in California.
Smart Meetings – Your Guide to Meeting Planning in California
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