Make a visit to San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast, and you’ll likely find yourself scanning Zillow listings for a possible home, or second home. (Trust us, we’ve done it.) But even if you can’t move to this vibrant college town, home to Cal Poly, you can host a meeting here. Our pick: the recently opened Kinney SLO, a 100- room property that describes itself as a “social experience hotel.” That means an open lobby featuring complimentary vintage games like Skee-ball; communal dining tables; self-serve wine and beer on tap at Leroy’s, the hotel’s in-house restaurant that offers elevated pub fare; an outdoor quad with fire pits, string lights, bean bag chairs and more games; a heated outdoor pool, and free parking and Wi-Fi. The intimate meeting space can host groups of up to 100, and there are plenty of other options downtown, which is just a short walk away (or guests can take one of the house bikes), including Luna Red, a lively restaurant with globally inspired fare (including a paella menu) and a sprawling patio that sits adjust to the Mission de Tolosa and San Luis Creek; Old SLO BBQ, and local favorite Big Sky Café. Wineries, including Chamisal Vineyards, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley, and Biddle Ranch, featuring small batch wines, are within 10 miles. If your attendees are millennials, be sure to make a stop at Bubblegum Alley, which is decades old but was made for the Instagram era.

Perhaps your attendees have hopped on those electric bikes and e-scooters that are scattered all over metropolitan areas throughout California. That’s old news, no question. Yet it’s a sure bet they’ve never been on a Vintage Electric Cruz Bike, because only 250 of them ever have been made. Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Carmel has a fleet of these smile generators, as well as a fleet of knowledgeable guides to lead scenic group tours. 

 

 

The wildly popular Magnolia Brewery in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood has a new addition: Magnolia Hall, a 6,500-square-foot private event space
connected to the always-bustling brewery and taproom. Just a 10-minute walk from Oracle Stadium, where the Giants play, it’s perfect for a pre- or post-game function and for more formal events, too.

 

Simply the best city hotel I have ever experienced, the Moxy San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter is fun and different in so many ways. You check in at the bar and the super friendly staff hands you a cocktail. What could be more welcoming than that?