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#MeetInSF: Civic Center and Hayes Valley for Meeting Planners

These neighborhoods offer a captivating combination of both classic and cutting-edge San Francisco, complete with architectural gems, historical landmarks and top-notch dining and shopping.

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One of San Francisco’s hubs for culture, the Civic Center and Hayes Valley neighborhoods are home to renowned museums and theaters, grand public plazas and a variety of distinctive venues and meeting spaces. Attendees will be wowed by the magnificent Beaux-Arts architecture epitomized by City Hall and the War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue. Along with cultural cachet and convenient proximity to The Moscone Center and Union Square, Civic Center and Hayes Valley also boast several culinary hot spots and exciting retail districts for attendees to explore.  

Hotels

Cova Hotel features 96 spacious, well-appointed guest rooms, a complimentary shuttle to The Moscone Center for convention attendees, and a gorgeous rooftop perfect for a reception. The rooftop is included in the hotel's 5,000+ square feet of meeting space. 

The Holiday Inn Civic Center is located half a block from BART and Muni stations and five blocks from The Moscone Center. The hotel's SoMa Ballroom can seat 200 people, who can be expertly served by the hotel's on-site catering staff. Hotel amenities include a fitness center with a heated outdoor pool.

Hotel Epik on vibrant Polk Street offers a modern-luxe setting that captures San Francisco’s independent spirit. Attendees will appreciate the high-tech amenities and enjoy perusing the local artwork on display, playing vintage games in the 1980s-themed arcade, and grabbing a caffeine fix from the oversized Nespresso machine in the lobby. Several theaters and music venues are within a two-block walk, along with dozens of excellent food and nightlife options.

The historic Hotel Whitcomb is a marvel of early-20th century elegance—think marble columns, cathedral ceilings and stained glass—blended with just the right amount of contemporary charm. With 459 rooms and more than 17,000 feet of flexible meeting space, Hotel Whitcomb can accommodate groups from eight to 600. It’s located just steps from the BART and Muni train stations, so attendees can easily make their way around the city.

The neighborhood's newest hotel, the San Francisco Proper, opened late last year in the historic Flatiron building on Market Street.  The hotel has 131 guest rooms and suites, four food and beverage outlets (including 4,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge with a stunning views of the city), a boardroom and meeting rooms.

Coming in 2018, the city's first YOTEL will open on Market Street.  The hotel will have large open areas specifically designed for co-working, social gatherings, and relaxing, along with a rooftop terrace with 360 views of the city.

Venues

With its striking balance of Beaux-Arts opulence and clean, contemporary lines, the regal building that houses the Asian Art Museum is as captivating as the art inside. The Museum can accommodate a wide variety of events within five flexible event spaces, and the robust schedule of special exhibitions provides built-in entertainment. The Museum is expected to open a 13,000-square-foot exhibition pavilion and art terrace in the summer of 2019. Private gallery tours are perfect for incentive and spouse programs.

Immerse your attendees in the spectacular historic ambience of The Regency Center. Built in 1909, this San Francisco landmark includes three separate venues, each with individual architectural characteristics and accompanying rooms. This versatile facility can host up to 2,000 guests for events ranging from cocktail receptions to product launches to banquets to corporate meetings.

Plan a memorable cocktail hour or party at Whitechapel SF, where your guests will step into a fantastical re-creation of an abandoned 1890s London Underground station and delight in a creative collection of libations and tasty bites. For a thrilling touch, rent the gin cart, equipped with a liquid nitrogen container that freezes glasses for the coldest-possible martini.

The Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a nationally-recognized facility that offers meeting space that gives back to the community. With rental space proceeds supporting their mission of advocacy for the blind, the Lighthouse's multi-purpose spaces are perfect for presentations and workshops, with views of the city.

Special events can also be planned for some of the neighborhood's largest and most impressive venues, including San Francisco City Hall, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and the many performing arts spaces, including the War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, and the Herbst Theater.

Dining

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Straw is a neighborhood spot serving carnival-inspired food so over-the-top that it could only be made a reality in San Francisco. Must-order dishes include the Ringmaster (a bacon cheeseburger between two donuts) and sweet potato tater tots. Try the creative cocktails by the glass or by the bowl to share with the group.

Espetus Churrascaria gives you the chance to experience the authentic flavors of Brazil and the unique service concept of rodizio (espeto corrido - continuous service). Attendees will have fun choosing from the parade of more than a dozen delectable grilled meats served tableside, as well as appetizers, gourmet salads, and hot side dishes.

Treat attendees to an iconic San Francisco meal at Zuni Café, which has been sticking to what it knows best since 1979: an incredibly well-executed menu of local, sustainable food. In 2003, Zuni Cafe was awarded the Outstanding Restaurant award by the James Beard Foundation, the top award for any American restaurant.

Shopping

Hayes Street is a sunny stretch where attendees can get a taste of the city’s one-of-a-kind, trendy boutiques, including Azil Boutique (451 Hayes St.) for handmade jewelry, and UKO (350 Hayes), which specializes in women’s clothing from European and Japanese designers.

Running parallel to Van Ness Avenue and catering to a diverse population, Polk Street is one of San Francisco’s oldest shopping districts. It’s packed with interesting galleries, vintage shops and book nooks to browse.

Festivals

During the last weekend of June, the whole city of San Francisco explodes into a rainbow burst of excitement for Pride. Hundreds of thousands of people line the streets for the annual parade down Market Street and festival, making it the largest LGBTQ celebration in the country. A two-day festival takes place in front of City Hall at Civic Center Plaza. 

Also in June, SFJAZZ hosts the San Francisco Jazz Festival. This globally renowned event features more than 40 different shows over 13 days at various venues around Hayes Valley, any of which would be an exciting experience for meeting attendees.

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