Meeting Planner Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where is Santa Cruz County located?
Santa Cruz County is located on the California coast,approximately 70 miles south of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and 30 miles from the San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC). Santa Cruz County is made up of several towns and cities including: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, San Lorenzo Valley, Bonny Doon, Watsonville, Pajaro Valley and Scotts Valley. See our Getting to Santa Cruz page for more information.
2. What is the climate like?
The climate is mild, with summer temperatures in the mid 70s, and winter temperatures in the mid 50s. Humidity is low for a coastal area, with the rainy season typically between November and April. Occasional fog occurs due to changing Pacific currents. Santa Cruz offers about 300 days of sunshine per year.
3. When is PEAK season in Santa Cruz County?
Due to its temperate climate, Santa Cruz County is a destination enjoyed all times of the year. However, Santa Cruz is known to have peak visitation during the summer months. Memorial Day Weekend (May) through Labor Day Weekend (September), the destination sees its most visitors, but can also see higher visitation before and after these holidays as well.
4. What makes Santa Cruz County a good meetings destination?
Santa Cruz County offers an amazing sense of place to inspire your meeting attendees and get them out of their day to day environment. Its location is within a day’s drive from most Northern California cities, yet feels a world away, thanks to the redwood forests, beaches, vineyards, and unique cities and towns. With a multitude of venues to choose from, Santa Cruz County provides a wide variety of settings to best fit your meeting planning goals. And where ever your meeting is taking place, you’re sure to be just minutes from amazing outdoor teambuilding opportunities or leisure activities. Visit Santa Cruz County is happy to offer support to meeting planners. We can provide local referrals, venue and service selection assistance, and informational resources for you and your attendees, such as local activity brochures, area maps, or our Official Santa Cruz County Travelers Guide.
5. What are the largest meetings spaces?
Santa Cruz County offers several distinct meeting, conference, and event venues. There are 9 “full-service” venues in the county, meaning each has self-contained lodging, meeting and catering services. For detailed information regarding these “full-service” venues, please see this flyer. Santa Cruz County also offers several large indoor and outdoor facilities for conventions, tradeshows, concerts, or sporting events. Please contact our Sales Department for customized assistance in locating your perfect venue for any size meeting or special event.
6. What kind of teambuilding activities does Santa Cruz County offer?
Santa Cruz County provides some of the best and most unique team building offerings around. Our expert conference services partners create fun group activities that elicit valuable lessons your team can take back into the workplace and apply to day to day functions. From traditional ropes course and zip-line activities in a beautiful redwood forest, to a one of a kind sand-castle building contest on the beach, or a group drumming session in any setting, Santa Cruz offers teambuilding experiences that are memorable and will add lasting value to your meeting by strengthening your team bonds.
7. What special events are happening while our group is in Santa Cruz County?
Santa Cruz County has a plethora of wonderful arts, sports, family, music, and theater oriented events and festivals throughout the year. The area is a magnet for cultural happenings of all types and offers an eclectic array of talent, in a variety of creative formats. Whatever your interest, there’s an event that your group may want to partake in, such as the popular Thursday night summer beach parties, Wednesday night sailboat races, and the locals’ favorite - farmers markets. Visit our events calendar to look up what’s happening next time you’re in Santa Cruz.
8. What about group dining?
Santa Cruz County offers plenty of catering and banquet options for your primary functions, but you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the exciting dining scene as well. Santa Cruz restaurants have access to some of the best and freshest natural ingredients and you will notice the sustainable and artisan influence on many menus. Offering stunning views, unique patios, and creative interior design, several Santa Cruz area restaurants offer casual group dining and semi-private spaces for small to medium sized groups.
9. What is the shopping like in Santa Cruz County?
Santa Cruz County has distinctive shopping opportunities which reflect the character of the locale. The downtown areas of Santa Cruz, Soquel, and Capitola Village specialize in boutique stores and unique items. Many stores are locally owned small businesses, but we also have a local mall and larger chain options as well for those last minute items needed for your meeting.
10. Is there nightlife in Santa Cruz County?
Santa Cruz County has a significant student population and is home to a new NBA Development League team, so you’ll find many restaurants, lounges, coffee and dessert shops have extended evening hours. The area also offers abundant spaces to watch broadcast sports, enjoy live music, and dance.
11. What else is there to do in Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz offers incredible leisure opportunities... Golf, Spas, Wine Tasting, Cooking Classes, Kayaking, Surfing, Wildlife Watching, Art Galleries, Natural History Museums, State Parks and Beaches, Hiking, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Roaring Camp Railroads, and more. So many Santa Cruz Things To Do!
12. How do I book an event?
Visit Santa Cruz County can assist and expedite your request for proposals to the local meeting venues. Please submit your RFP to get started!