Make a visit to San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast, and you’ll likely find yourself scanning Zillow listings for a possible home, or second home. (Trust us, we’ve done it.) But even if you can’t move to this vibrant college town, home to Cal Poly, you can host a meeting here. Our pick: the recently opened Kinney SLO, a 100- room property that describes itself as a “social experience hotel.” That means an open lobby featuring complimentary vintage games like Skee-ball; communal dining tables; self-serve wine and beer on tap at Leroy’s, the hotel’s in-house restaurant that offers elevated pub fare; an outdoor quad with fire pits, string lights, bean bag chairs and more games; a heated outdoor pool, and free parking and Wi-Fi. The intimate meeting space can host groups of up to 100, and there are plenty of other options downtown, which is just a short walk away (or guests can take one of the house bikes), including Luna Red, a lively restaurant with globally inspired fare (including a paella menu) and a sprawling patio that sits adjust to the Mission de Tolosa and San Luis Creek; Old SLO BBQ, and local favorite Big Sky Café. Wineries, including Chamisal Vineyards, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley, and Biddle Ranch, featuring small batch wines, are within 10 miles. If your attendees are millennials, be sure to make a stop at Bubblegum Alley, which is decades old but was made for the Instagram era.

The home of Rockford’s new entrepreneurial event space may date back to the 1920s, but Rockford City Market is primed to showcase future creatives and makers of all kinds.

 

Want to add a literary flavor to your next event–literally? Host a gathering at a library to add a scholarly tone to your fête. You could even go all-in with a literature-themed dress code. Here are some suggestions for a “novel” approach to event planning.

Houston
Houston Public Library

 

When you're in the mountains, it’s truly difficult to be bored. From skiing and snowboarding to hiking and climbing, the U.S. Mountain West and western Canada know how to keep things interesting when it comes to outdoor activities. But sometimes, the best way to enjoy the mountains is to sit back and take in the expansive views. Take your meetings to the mountains without the heavy snow gear and winter boots by hosting your next event on a rooftop venue surrounded by breathtaking mountains.