Welcome to Cvent's meeting and event planning guide to Santa Rosa, the largest city in picturesque Sonoma County. It is a warm, friendly, and vibrant meeting and tourism destination nestled in the heart of the world-famous Sonoma wine country. Boasting an urban blend of art and culture, food and wine, and year-round outdoor recreation, Santa Rosa is an ideal location for meetings, conventions, retreats, and social events, thanks to its prime meeting space, excellent hotels, and unique venues accommodating up to 5,000 guests. The beautiful countryside, gentle rolling hills, mild climate, and convenient proximity to such highlights as the Pacific Coast, Russian River, and towering California redwoods awe delegates, travelers, and residents alike. What's more, Santa Rosa sits just 55 miles north of San Francisco and within 30 minutes of more than 400 Sonoma County wineries and tasting rooms, including seven within Santa Rosa itself.
Delegates can easily reach Santa Rosa via the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, which is located 8 miles outside Santa Rosa. As the only area airport with scheduled air service into the North Bay region, it offers daily nonstop service to and from Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and Orange County via Alaska Airlines; service to Phoenix with American Airlines; and service to San Francisco through United and Sun Country Airlines. Airport passengers can hop aboard Sonoma County Transit and Mendocino Transit Authority service, which provide regular buses to Santa Rosa. Additional regional public transportation providers include Golden Gate Transit, which provides weekday bus service between San Francisco and Santa Rosa, and the Santa Rosa CityBus, which runs daily bus service throughout Santa Rosa and the surrounding area. The San Francisco Bay Area's newest transportation option, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) train service, began in August 2017. It offers passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin counties. SMART's initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael.
Santa Rosa is home to a variety of meeting and event venues, ranging from hotels to cultural attractions. The 200-acre Sonoma County Event Center multiuse complex serves as the largest event venue in Santa Rosa, as it features a total of 105,838 square feet of event space, including six meeting and exhibition halls, one open-air amphitheater, an upscale barn, and two open-air arenas. Delegates also enjoy an on-site restaurant, RV park, 18-hole golf course, 5-acre lawn area, shaded parks, and even an off-track betting facility. Event venue options include the 26,934-square-foot Hall of Flowers, which accommodates 2,400 people and boasts painted murals and an adjacent patio, as well as the 11,200-square-foot Finley Hall, which accommodates 1,200 people and features large windows and surrounding lawns. Grace Pavilion is the largest exhibit space at 40,500 square feet.
Unique event venues in Santa Rosa include an exotic wildlife preserve, the former home of a world-renowned horticulturist, the North Bay's premier arts center, a nonprofit performing arts theater, and a vintage aircraft museum — just to name a few. Groups can hop aboard private safaris, reserve an animal encounter, or even book an overnight stay at the 400-acre Safari West, which offers African adventure in the heart of the California wine country. Home to more than 900 exotic mammals and birds, this wildlife preserve and African tent camp welcomes 60,000 guests annually to view its animals. They have the option to stay in one of the camp tents, which feature pillow-top mattresses, private bathrooms, hardwood floors, and private decks. Safari West also features two meeting rooms: the 100-person Elephant Room and 35-person Gazebo, which is surrounded by exotic bird enclosures. Groups can also get up close and personal with nature at the spectacular Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, a unique city park and the former home and workplace of horticulturist Luther Burbank. Groups can reserve private tours of the specialty gardens and modified Greek Revival house, as well as hold private events for up to 100 people.
Santa Rosa arts and cultural venues doubling as event locations include the popular Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, which hosts music, dance, theater, comedy, family, and arts education programming. Recognized as the North Bay's premier arts center and one of the world's top 100 performing-arts venues, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts features a number of event-capable spaces, including the 1,681-seat Ruth Finley Person Theater, the largest fixed-seat venue in Sonoma County; the 399-seat East Auditorium; the 43,200-square-foot Pavilion, which is set amid California redwoods; the 9,000-square-foot Atrium; and three conference rooms, among other spaces. Santa Rosa's 6th Street Playhouse, located in the Railroad Square historic district, hosts the Actors Theatre company and the Santa Rosa Players, Sonoma County's oldest community theater company — and it offers private event capabilities in its 184-seat auditorium and 110-person lobby. The Pacific Coast Air Museum at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport welcomes groups to climb aboard and view 30 vintage aircraft, mainly hailing from the Cold War and Vietnam War eras. The museum offers private group tours and event space rentals.