The beauty of the Bay Area doesn’t stop at San Francisco’s city limits, and neither do the helpful services for meeting professionals provided by San Francisco Travel. A short trip north from the city, planners will find a variety of distinctive destinations offering unique settings for meetings, retreats, incentive travel and more. And best of all, San Francisco Travel’s Convention Sales and Services teams can help you make all the necessary arrangements — whether you want to add a day in wine country to a San Francisco-based meeting or book an entire event in a nearby community. Here are a few destinations north of the city that are worth considering.
Contra Costa County
Richmond is an idyllic bayside setting just north of Berkeley that offers a memorable experience for attendees and planners alike. Richmond combines history (The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park), creativity (a thriving local arts and culture scene), natural beauty (bay views and outdoor activities), and state-of-the-art meeting venues (Richmond Memorial Convention Center and Craneway Pavillion, among others). San Francisco Travel and the Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau provide meeting professionals with everything they’ll need to execute a successful event at this community nearby San Francisco.
With breathtaking coastal beauty at Point Reyes and the Marin Headlands, as well as creative dining opportunities in waterfront communities, Marin County is the perfect location for attendees who think big ideas are best discovered with fresh air and fun. Plan an outdoor excursion, a reception with local oysters on the half-shell, and discover venues that make meetings productive and memorable. Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Travel partners with the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau to provide exceptional service to meeting planners interested in this destination.
Within Marin County, Sausalito features a beautiful waterfront promenade, steep and breathtaking hills, and a vibrant arts scene. You can get out on the water with Bay Adventures. The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a great place to either host an event or let any attendees' families explore. As for dining, Scoma's of Sausalito is just one of many excellent options available to you. San Francisco Travel works in partnership with the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce to connect you with all the possible experiences the seaside town has to offer.
Nearby Tiburon offers incredible views, plenty of sunshine, easy access to the water and lots of fun activities for groups — all within easy access of San Francisco (by car or boat). Plan a team outing to a cheese-making class, wine tasting or a sailing adventure on the bay to round out a long day of meetings. Destination Tiburon and San Francisco Travel collaborate to offer local expertise, assistance and leads to meeting professionals interested in planning an event here.
The destination that practically invented wine Country in America offers luxurious experiences for before, during or after your meeting. From wineries with meeting and event space to world-class resort properties like Auberge du Soleil, attendees can enjoy wine tasting, famed dining, scenic beauty and unique activities like hot air ballooning and cooking classes. San Francisco Travel partners with Visit Napa Valley to ensure that all your logistical needs are met hassle-free.
Planners should also consider Yountville, the “culinary capital of Napa Valley.” Yountville gives attendees a true taste of Northern California, with world-class restaurants and celebrated wineries in a unique, small-town setting. Groups of 5 to 500 can be accommodated at a variety of venues and meeting facilities with plenty of activities for team building or incentive groups. San Francisco Travel works with the Yountville Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center to provide seamless assistance to planners.
Across the Carquinez Strait from Richmond, Vallejo offers meeting planners low rates with plenty to entertain attendees' families. The biggest attraction is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which features multiple, heart-pounding roller coasters. San Francisco Travel works with the Vallejo Convention & Visitors Bureau to help you plan events in this North Bay destination.
Situated between San Francisco and Sacramento, Fairfield offers all the charm of Northern California’s wine country in a budget-friendly package for meetings and events. Offering championship golf, charming wineries, delicious dining and a landmark Jelly Belly factory, San Francisco Travel and the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau work together to help meeting planners discover the perfect balance of work and play in this wonderful destination.
Stretching from the craggy Pacific coast of Bodega Bay to the lush redwood forests of the interior, Sonoma County offers meeting professionals a variety of settings in close proximity to more than 400 local wineries — and only about 30 miles north of the City by the Bay. San Francisco Travel partners with Sonoma County Tourism to provide meeting planners with one-of-a-kind venues like wineries, locavore-friendly restaurants and cultural arts facilities, like the stunning Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, as well as service providers and other leads.
Santa Rosa is the county seat and it offers many hotels, fine dining, charming public spaces, and great venues. The Charles M. Schulz Museum is ground zero for all "Peanuts" paraphernalia. The nearby Graton Resort & Casino guarantees excitement for your attendees.
Sonoma Valley includes the historic town of Sonoma and its award-winning restaurants, including the girl & the fig; artsy communities like Glen Ellen; a handful of American Viticultural Areas; and plenty of scenic beauty. The Sonoma Valley Visitor’s Bureau partners with San Francisco Travel to offer meeting professionals local expertise for planning events at more than 100 local wineries, ranches, outdoor spaces and creative eateries as well as service providers and other logistics.
With its charming, historic downtown, Petaluma is the quintessential Northern California community. From artisanal cheeses to celebrated craft breweries like Lagunitas, there’s plenty of local flavor to enjoy during or after your meeting. A bit further down the road, you'll find the Sonoma Raceway, which is home to more than just auto racing. San Francisco Travel works closely with the Petaluma Visitors Program to ensure meeting professionals have the tools, information and access they need to create a perfect event here.