There are meeting locations. Then there’s an invigorating crescent of California coast cradling beaches, mountains, vineyards and eclectic enclaves. A walk-able, culturally radiant city with accommodations from luxe to cost-conscious. That’s more than beautiful, it’s Santa Barbara Brilliant.
This singular atmosphere offers unique gathering spaces, epic experiences, exceptional accommodations and a calming coastal ease to every moment. 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.
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 cave kayaking through the Channel Islands. And rejuvenate with a globally recognized local food and wine scene fueled by the area’s 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, inspiring venue spaces include The Ritz Carlton Bacara Resort and Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Elsewhere, a welcoming variety of group-friendly hotels and resorts cater to a broad spectrum of needs. From the elegance of Belmond El Encanto or Rosewood Miramar Beach to the unique charm of Kimpton’s two Santa Barbara properties or glamping at El Capitan Canyon, there’s hospitality and then there’s Santa Barbara’s refreshingly diverse portfolio of properties.
The Santa Barbara Airport—located just 8 miles (12.8 km) northwest of downtown—serves twelve domestic nonstop destinations, as well as more than 300 one-stop destinations. You can also arrive via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 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 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. In the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, you'll find the iconic and breathtakingly beautiful Santa Barbara County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This pillar of Spanish Colonial architecture is a signature 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 intriguing private event opportunities. The Museum of Natural History features a number of indoor and outdoor spaces, ranging from a Spanish-style building, housing the newly renovated Fleishman Auditorium, to an outdoor stone amphitheater. While the 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.