Visit Santa Cruz County, California
Lots of “hidden gems” can be found throughout Santa Cruz County, including one that pays homage to the bespoke community of microbreweries popping up throughout the region. A nice complement to our boutique array of wineries and farm-to-table movement, these local brewpubs and pour houses are attracting a loyal following of meeting attendees and visitors who come to the area to soak up our cool California vibe. Brew Cruz is a unique way for small groups to want to experience our microbrew scene. “Betty Jane” is a renovated 1989 school bus, with a midcentury modern interior and knowledgeable Brew Cruz Captain Annie Pautsch at the helm. She’ll take you on a customized tour of local breweries, in signature Santa Cruz style. Ride on!
–Maggie Ivy, CEO
Visit Oakland, California
Oakland is the place to be for your meetings! The waterfront along the Oakland estuary is convenient and relaxing, ideal for gatherings and networking outside of conference hours. It’s accessible within walking distance of public transportation, including a ferry stop to and from San Francisco. Your attendees will love the variety of attractions within the Jack London Square, from plank, Oakland’s only all-in-one bowling, bocce ball, arcade and beer garden, to the USS Potomac, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s White House, to our own Oakland Urban Wine Trail. Relax at Rosenblum Cellars with a glass of wine and immerse yourself in Oakland’s industrial side, with a beautiful view of our iconic cranes. Make your next meeting a success in Oakland, the “Sunny Side of the Bay.”
−Mark Everton, president and CEO
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
This photo could very well be the last existing selfie of its kind! It’s not often you get to take a selfie in front of an imploding building. On this night I did, while also witnessing history. The white buildings you see lit up behind me, were the last of the structures on the former Riviera Hotel and Casino site. They were demolished in the early morning hours of Aug. 16, 2016. In just seconds, they crumbled to the ground, making way for an exciting new project. While we bid farewell to a special part of Las Vegas history, this implosion marked the next evolution of the Las Vegas Convention Center District. The project includes the expansion and renovation of the existing Las Vegas Convention Center, which is expected to broaden the convention center by 1.2 million sq. ft., including 600,000 sq. ft. of additional exhibit space. It’s always an exciting time to be in Las Vegas and we look forward to showing off our new additions very soon.
–Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
A stunning Los Angeles sunset is one of our must-see experiences, and there’s no better place than OUE Skyspace LA to witness this beautiful, relaxing moment. The city’s newest unique event venue, Skyspace LA is perched nearly 1,000 feet above downtown Los Angeles, boasting panoramic, 360-degree views of L.A. You can find Skyspace LA on floors 69 and 70 of the iconic US Bank Tower and trust me, the outdoor observation deck’s view—from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean—cannot be beat. Its 6,000 sq. ft. of flexible event space offers modern, sophisticated design and can host an array of events accommodating up to 500 guests. Skyspace LA has it all: a full-service bar, catering prep kitchen, and onsite parking and valet service.
–Darren Green, senior vice president of sales
Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, California
The equine mascot of the Longines Masters equestrian competition (one of Long Beach’s premier events) prances through the Terrace Plaza fountains at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in the only city with a waterfront downtown between San Francisco and San Diego. Long Beach offers the best of California culture, entertainment, shopping and dining, plus 11 miles of beachfront, inland waterways and bays. You’ll find the excitement of a big city alongside the relaxed atmosphere of a beachfront community and the warm welcome of a small town. This photo features the Long Beach Arena with its iconic Wyland mural, Planet Ocean, the largest mural in the world when completed in 1992. The arena was recently converted into a turnkey, fully customizable ballroom for meetings and events.
–Loren Simpson, digital communication manager
Visit Anaheim, California
Get ready to do an about-face on what you think you know about Anaheim as we take you up-close in discovering what’s new in this evolving destination. Anaheim’s craft brewery scene is booming; within minutes of the Anaheim Convention Center, 12 craft breweries have opened up with more on the way, making for ideal offsite venues for events or team building. Iconic Anaheim locations are also expanding. Construction on a Star Wars-themed land, Disneyland Resort’s largest themed expansion in history, is underway, so soon attendees will be able to visit a “galaxy far, far away.” Anaheim’s downtown scene has seen a revitalization; clients will enjoy networking at the Anaheim Packing House, our contemporary food hall where innovative chefs are serving up one-of-a-kind dishes.
(Pictured left to right: Charles Harris, senior vice president of marketing; Jay Burress, president and CEO; Junior Tauvaa, senior vice president of sales and services)
–Jay Burress, president and CEO
Visit Billings, Montana
Welcome to the Beartooth Highway—a National Scenic Byways All-American Road. This 68-mile byway winds its way up to nearly 11,000 feet above sea level as it leads into Yellowstone National Park. Just one of Billings’ many “trailheads” to unforgettable adventure under the “big sky.”
–Stefan Cattarin, sales manager
Visit Dana Point, California
This picture was taken at Harbor Point Park, with panoramic views of the Dana Point Harbor. It shows a perfect blend and meld of the natural and beautiful harmony of the cliffs, beaches and harbor, and views from the stunning world-class resorts.
–Sean Keliiholokai, executive director
Eugene, Cascades & Coast Tourism, Oregon
Discover the real Springfield at the Simpsons’ mural in downtown Springfield, Oregon. A nice, walkable area full of shops, eateries and murals, this mural captures the imagination of all who see it and encourages them to explore the area and see how we compare to the Simpsons’ version. Follow a Simpsons-based tour of the Eugene-Springfield metro area in your free time to see taverns, statues and other landmarks that inspired the Simpsons; or break from the mold and explore the nearby natural wonders of waterfalls, hikes and more. This makes the Simpsons’ mural a perfect starting point for attendees to start exploring what makes the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region so memorable to all who visit (or live here, like the Simpsons).
–Janis Ross, vice president of convention and sports marketing
Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, California
Grant Park, known as “The Cross” to locals, is a favorite spot for reflecting and showing appreciation. I love to jump-start my week with a community yoga class that is held up here on Sundays; it really embraces our community. Come, connect with us and donate what you can…maybe by helping us clean the park or giving some yummy Haas avocados from your tree. Just come and share your good energy. A bonus is the beautiful Ventura Botanical Garden, with stunning views of the coastline as you climb with your friends and family, including our furry friends.
–Marlyss Auster, president and CEO
San Diego Tourism Authority
A day at the races where the “surf meets the turf“ is always a great way to mix and mingle with colleagues and network with industry partners. The North Coastal region of San Diego is home to picturesque beach towns, championship golf courses, five-star resorts, award-winning attractions and the legendary Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is also a great venue for meetings and events. It’s home to Kaaboo Music Festival, San Diego County Fair and year-round trade shows and concerts.
(Pictured left to right: Margie Sitton, senior vice president of sales and services; Kerri Verbeke Kapich, chief operating officer)
–Margie Sitton, senior vice president of sales and services
San Francisco Travel Association
Some of San Francisco’s most beautiful new spaces for parties and events are now at the newly expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Your guests enjoy triple the gallery space and one of the world’s greatest collections of modern and contemporary art, plus a newly renovated and state-of-the-art theater. A configurable white box space and a beautiful indoor-outdoor pavilion frame a spectacular view of the new Snohetta-designed expansion (I’m standing in front of it in the picture.) Now the largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the United States, SFMOMA is the jewel of the Bay Area arts community and is right across the street from Moscone Center.
–Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO
Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alaska
Fifteen minutes from work, and I am in the middle of Chugach State Park—Anchorage’s 495,000-acre backyard. Unbelievable hiking for all levels and even more unbelievable views!
–Julie Saupe, president and CEO
Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, California
Monterey County has an extraordinary moment for everyone. Imagine a destination that invigorates and inspires attendees inside and outside the meeting space, that’s unmatched in terms of nature’s design, with a vast array of unique places and extraordinary spaces to create life- and business-enriching moments. It’s a natural stimulus for a heightened level of thinking, feeling and doing. Monterey is an extraordinary setting for impactful meetings. The area’s distinctive beauty and scenic wonders inspire the mind and invigorate the soul. It’s the perfect place for new thinking and break-out ideas, where attendees talk about their experience for years. With so many incredible spaces and memorable places, the imagination is the only limit on venues and accommodations for all group sizes and budgets. Monterey’s diversity of options sets the stage for creativity and success.
–Tammy Blount, president and CEO
Visit Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, California, is nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and is only 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Sweeping ocean views, Spanish-style architecture and small-town charm with big-city amenities provide a truly unique and memorable experience for groups. Organize a welcome reception, wine education seminar in one of the tasting rooms or day excursion to the Funk Zone, a storied area home to artisanal restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, award-winning craft breweries, distilleries in renovated warehouses and tucked-away galleries. This area also serves as the epicenter of the Urban Wine Trail—a self-guided trail of more than 20 tasting rooms pouring Santa Barbara County wines. Groups will enjoy walking this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in close proximity to hotels, the waterfront and shopping.
–Kathy Janega-Dykes, president and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism, California
Susan Montes, national sales manager for Sonoma County Tourism, takes to the croquet lawn at the county’s Sonoma-Cutrer winery. It’s hard to believe that this winery, famous for chardonnay and pinot noir, is just five minutes from the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, meaning your group can go from airport to unique activity faster than most travelers can walk from the terminal to baggage claim at larger airports. The winery offers croquet for groups as well as meeting areas and catering. It is one of many unique places to host a meeting offsite in Sonoma Wine Country, just one hour north of San Francisco.
–Susan Montes, national sales manager