Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in


Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in California.

Why California for Your Next Meeting or Event?

The Golden State offers limitless possibilities to planners, from San Diego north to San Francisco and beyond. Read on for updates in these cities and more.

San Diego

New & Coming Soon

On a beautiful beachfront on the island of Coronado in San Diego Bay, the iconic Hotel del Coronado wrapped up an extensive $400 million renovation and expansion project this past fall. Among the newest additions are the Southpointe Center event facility, which opens onto the 14,000-square-foot Great Lawn. Also new is the luxury Shore House at the Del, which adds 75 residential-style units to the property, now with 679 guest rooms and 65,000 square feet of meeting space.

Following a $25 million makeover and rebrand, the former Hotel Palomar is now the Kimpton Alma San Diego. The 211-room Gaslamp District property has 20,000 square feet of meeting space, three new dining options and a revamped lobby, within walking distance of the San Diego Convention Center. 

Travel Essentials

Looking to Plan a California Meeting?
Learn everything you need to know about this exquisite locale at Destination California, Northstar’s premier event for meetings and incentive pros looking to book biz in the area.

Meeting Hotels: The largest meetings-friendly properties include the 1,628-room Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1,360-room Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, 1,190-room Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, 1,053-room Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 679-room Hotel del Coronado and 671-room Town and Country Resort.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s venue finder.

Convention Center: San Diego Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 615,701 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 72

Art Works
Art Works
The stunning Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa can host groups of 10 to 400 in a variety of venues, among them a rooftop terrace with panoramic views.

Transportation: San Diego International Airport, about 4 miles from the convention center. Transfer cost by taxi, from $17

Taxes: Room tax, 12.5%; sales tax, 7.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.5%

Event Venues: Two oceanfront event spaces recently debuted at the 128-room La Jolla Shores Hotel, each offering terrific views of the Pacific. The 2,000-square-foot Shores Lawn is just steps from the sand, while the 1,320-square-foot Acapulco deck is an indoor/outdoor space on the hotel’s second level that accommodates up to 120 people for receptions. 

Contact: San Diego Tourism Authority

San Francisco

Up on the Roof
Photo Credit:Jean Bai
Up on the Roof
Rise Over Run, a sleek new rooftop solarium bar at the Line SF hotel, looks out on the  city skyline from both the enclosed restaurant and the expansive heated terrace. Up to 150 people can gather in the 3,000-square-foot spot atop the trendy 236-room hotel, which provides artful canapes and cocktails, as well as a unique vantage point from its location at the edge of the Tenderloin at Market Street.

New & Coming Soon

The luxurious, sustainability-focused 1 Hotel San Francisco opened in June 2022 on the Embarcadero. The 200-room property offers more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 1,750-square-foot ballroom and a variety of indoor/outdoor options that feature terraces with spectacular views of the bay.

The 686-room Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SoMa, a rebrand of the former Park Central Hotel, debuted in spring 2022 following a $70 million renovation. The property, just two blocks from Moscone Center, has 20,000 square feet of renovated meeting space.

Travel Essentials

Meeting Hotels: Among the largest properties in the vicinity of Moscone Center are the 1,921-room Hilton Union Square, 1,500-room San Francisco Marriott Marquis and 1,195-room Westin St. Francis.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s venue finder.

Convention Center: Moscone Center; exhibit space, 502,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 82

Seaside Retreat
Photo Credit:Stephanie Russo
Seaside Retreat
Perched above the soft sands of Carmel Beach, near the town of Carmel by the Sea in Monterey County, the newly restored Villa Mara offers 16 luxurious rooms overlooking the ocean. Built in 1929, the storied inn hosted luminaries from Frank Lloyd Wright to Gerald Ford before being reimagined and reopened last year.

Transportation: San Francisco International Airport, about 13 miles south of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi to the city, $35–$55

Taxes: Room tax, 14%; regional taxes, 8.63%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%

Event Venue: Among the dramatic interiors and soaring ceilings of the beautifully designed Contemporary Jewish Museum are half a dozen spaces perfect for private groups of up to 350.

Contact: San Francisco Travel Association


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