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Santa Barbara, CA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 81
Total Sleeping Rooms 4,897
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 360
Committable Meeting Rooms* 41
Largest Exhibit Space 34,375 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 31,500 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $200
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $66
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $317
*Maximum for a single hotel

Santa Barbara, CA Meeting Planning Overview

Meetings shouldn't put you to sleep. They should excite and engage, leaving your attendees energized and refreshed. Equal parts earthy and glamorous, The American Riviera is truly a place to revive. From outdoor adventures to wellness, arts and culture to food and libations, and stunning beauty to a chic beachy vibe, meetings here are a welcoming escape. So say goodbye to boring. Miss missing out. Miss nothing in Santa Barbara.

A large part of Santa Barbara's meeting charm is an unending list of unique activities that infuse meetings with fun and creativity. Take a tour of 25 distinctly different but gracefully connected exotic gardens throughout Ganna Walska Lotusland. Refresh with an only-in-Santa Barbara adventure such as sea kayaking through the Channel Islands. And rejuvenate with a hyper-local food and wine scene fueled by local fisheries, farms, ranches, and artisan purveyors.

Santa Barbara is also home to a number of hotel and non-hotel meeting and event venues. For large-scale events and conferences, the ideal venue spaces are Bacara Resort & Spa, The Fess Parker – A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort, and ss. Sitting on 34 acres (137,593 square meters), the multi-use Earl Warren Showgrounds offers 35,000 square feet (3,251 square meters) of event space, in such spaces as the 22,000-square-foot (2,044-square-meter) Exhibit Building and 13,000-square-foot (1,208-square-meter) Warren Hall. The beachfront, 354-room Bacara Resort & Spa offers 25,000 square feet (2,323 square meters) of meeting space in such venues as its dedicated high-tech Executive Conference Center and 211-seat Screening Room. Located one half-mile from downtown Santa Barbara, The Fess Parker – A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort offers 360 rooms and 25,000 square feet (2,323 square meters) of indoor and outdoor event space.

The Santa Barbara Airport—located just 8 miles (12.8 km) northwest of downtown—serves seven domestic nonstop destinations, as well as more than 300 one-stop destinations. You can also get here via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is located 90 miles (145 km) southeast of the city. LAX serves 69 international destinations and 87 domestic destinations, offering flights on virtually every major carrier. Your meeting attendees will find it easy to get from one activity or venue to the next with accessible public transit, as well as an open-air trolley that cruises along the city's coastline.

Santa Barbara's attractions, museums and historical sites also double as convenient and unique venues perfect for group gatherings and events. Regarded as our chief cultural and historic landmark, Old Mission Santa Barbara is home to a community of Franciscan friars, an active church and a museum, as well as a renewal center, complete with guest rooms and private event spaces. In the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, you'll find the iconic Santa Barbara County Courthouse. This pillar of Spanish Colonial architecture is a main attraction, and doubles as a beautiful venue facility. Consider holding an event in the Mural Room—a 4,200-square-foot (390-square-meter) space that features stunning hand-painted colonial recreations and can seat up to 100.

Santa Barbara's museums, including the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI), and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum also offer private event opportunities. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History features a number of indoor and outdoor spaces, ranging from a Spanish-style building to an outdoor stone amphitheater, while the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf welcomes private events in its two-story reception hall with spectacular ocean vistas. Situated in the heart of a working harbor, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum can accommodate private events in such spaces as its 88-person Munger Theater.

The real allure of Santa Barbara lies in the endless invitation to explore, where nothing ventured means nothing experienced.

About Santa Barbara, CA / Additional Info

Santa Barbara embraces sun-up to sun-down experiences. Expansive beaches and protected bays are full of stand-up paddle boarders, pick-up volleyball games, pop-up yoga classes, and splashing families year-round. And you'll quickly miss forgettable with a trip to Channel Islands National Park, which is widely known as "North America's Galapagos" for its abundance of exclusive flora and fauna—and one of the largest aggregations of blue whales in the world.

Santa Barbara County's unique geology, geography, and topography (influenced by the Pacific Ocean and two mountain ranges) produce prominent wines, including our world-renowned pinot noir. Get a taste of the Santa Barbara wine country with a guided tour of the surrounding wineries, or along Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail—an easily walkable wine tour that includes nearly 30 tasting rooms, all located right downtown. Santa Barbara's energy is palpable day and night. State Street offers a special mix of excitement and escape with notable shopping, dining, libations and nightlife. Keep walking and you'll soon come to Stearns Wharf. California's oldest working wooden wharf is one of Santa Barbara's biggest attractions.

Santa Barbara's coastal setting and rich history make it a heavy hitter of culinary excellence. Loquita, a Spanish Restaurant, offers a private patio and mouth-watering Spanish cuisine. Book a private dining room at Wine Cask in the downtown historic El Paseo complex. See what all of the crafty buzz is about with a visit to Telegraph Brewing Co., Hollister Brewing Co., or Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Indulge in some French flavor with a visit to Stella Mare's, which serves French country cuisine in a historic landmark house along the local bird refuge. The Lark restaurant highlights local flavors with a menu of artisanal dishes and seasonal ingredients. For traditional and fun wharf fare, head to Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant—an iconic place for fresh local seafood and great views of the Santa Barbara Harbor.

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