Destination: California Meeting & Event Planning City Guide
4100 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, California, 94019
2,000 sq ft
Located within an hour’s drive of any Bay Area locale, the Beach House Hotel Half Moon Bay offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Pillar Point Harbor.
By Nikki Gloudeman
November 20, 2013
Sacramento, California’s thriving capital city, provides a master class in creative event planning. Want to book a memorable reception? Consider an event held under suspended aircraft or on board a docked riverboat. Need to add entertainment? Cheer on the NBA Kings or mellow out to live jazz. Seeking cultural cachet? Mingle among fine art at a renowned museum or explore an expansive historic district with dirt roads, horse-drawn carriages and a preserved one-room schoolhouse.
Add in the appeal of Sacramento’s surrounding regions, including Gold Country and Yosemite National Park, and the options expand to include Indian casinos, Gold Rush artifacts, wine country, a bike museum and more. And that’s to say nothing of the area’s expansive meeting venues and hotels ranging from small boutiques to well-equipped name brands.
When coordinating an event in this California hot spot, it’s hard to know where to begin. To help, we’ve devised a list of top meeting attractions and amenities—all the way from A to Z.
By Dan Johnson
October 28, 2013
The stretch of land from San Mateo to Greater San Jose is known throughout the world as a hotbed of high-tech activity, yet few are aware of another compelling feature—amazingly gorgeous and soothing gardens that provide much-needed balance to the area, as well as a respite for meeting groups.
“Many groups love wandering through our gardens because the beautiful surroundings create a sense of calm and well-being—a nice wind-down after busy meetings,” says Anne LeClair, president and CEO of the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Gina Rossi, visitor services employee for world-renowned Filoli in Woodside, sees the immediate effect the gardens have on visitors. “I’ve always considered this a healing place. There is a good feeling at our gardens, and visitors sense it from the moment they arrive,” she says.
People are often surprised that many of the gardens are attractive year round. “Spring, summer and fall are the seasons when the gardens are most popular, but they can be beautiful in winter, as well,” Rossi says. “For instance, the Japanese Tea Garden in San Mateo attracts many visitors in the winter, particularly late winter, when cherry blossoms begin to appear.”
Meghan Horrigan, director of communications for Team San Jose, echoes Rossi’s comments. “The gardens in our surrounding areas are viewed at all times of the year, depending on visitors’ seasonal preference,” she says. “San Jose has near-perfect weather, averaging 300 days of sunshine per year. Summer remains a favorite season among visitors because all the gardens are in bloom.”
Dozens of gardens are scattered throughout Silicon Valley, ranging from the understated but elegant Japanese tea gardens to brilliantly colorful rose gardens. The refuges beckon to meeting groups staying in San Francisco, San Jose and all places in between, and many are responding to the call.
Main image: Dinah’s Garden Hotel, Palo Alto
Related story: "Half Moon Bay: An Oceanside Paradise"
By Dawna L. Robertson
September 18, 2013
From the moment you hit California’s central coast, you’re stirred by the blissful sensation that urban frenzy is light-years away. The 300 miles of Highway 1, which stretch from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties just north of Los Angeles to Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties south of the San Francisco Bay Area, merge laid-back sensibility with sophistication and style.
By Jennie Nunn
August 15, 2013
Orange County (commonly referred to as “the OC”) is known for one major thing: surfing. This sunny region dotted with board-short-wearing and flip-flop-clad-locals is home to some of the best surfing spots and surf competitions in the world, especially in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.
By Holly Woolard
August 15, 2013
There’s competition, make no mistake about that. But Napa and Sonoma counties and the players in their flourishing wine, hospitality and travel industries also fervently believe in teamwork. There are partnerships at every turn throughout northern California’s wine country, from luxurious hotels teaming up with vintners for private tastings to Michelin-starred restaurants relying on local farms to help them create the freshest seasonal dishes possible.
By Alex Schechter
July 24, 2013
Dating back to the 1940s, when Arts & Architecture magazine first began commissioning the now-famous Case Study Houses (the most celebrated of which remains Charles and Ray Eames’ CSH #8 in the Pacific Palisades), Los Angeles has been at the center of innovative design in the United States. Mid-century modernists such as Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, and Ray and Charles Eames all left their mark here, and in doing so helped establish the city as a promised land for young designers and architects eager to try out new forms and ideas.
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
Other Popular Event Destinations: