Venue for a Conference or Retreat

Parent Q&A

Retreat Venue for educators in July May 15, 2019 (3 responses below)
Rentable vacation-like outdoorsy retreat venue for conference? May 6, 2019 (11 responses below)
looking for a venue for a conference Mar 23, 2017 (6 responses below)
  • Retreat Venue for educators in July

    (3 replies)


    I have been asked to coordinate a retreat for 35 elementary educators for this July. This is so last minute, and I would like some recommendations. The venue must have meeting space (one large meeting room to accommodate 40 adults for two days), and we prefer for the venue to have on site over night stay. We are looking to arrive July 25th and check out on July 26th. We would also need to have meals on site. 

    Can anyone suggest a place? We have been to the Marconi Center for the past 3 years and would love to try another venue. Livermore, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, and such areas would be great. 

    Do you know suggestions? 

    Thank you in advance. 

    Some places I've been to a group "retreat", which meet your criteria, though I've no idea whether they'd be available on short notice:

    YMCA at Point Bonita. Dorm accommodations with rooms that have 4-12 bunks, dining hall, two meeting rooms (one might have a capacity near 40, the other is quite large and can hold at least 100).  Beautiful setting on the hill overlooking the ocean near Rodeo Beach.

    NatureBridge, formerly known as Marin Headlands Institute.  Down the hill from Pt Bonita, near the lagoon and the beach. Dorm accommodations mostly in large rooms, a few smaller. Dining hall has truly excellent food.  Three (?) meeting rooms of various sizes.

    Walker Creek Ranch, west of Petaluma in a forest setting that feels quite remote from any kind of traffic or ordinary city life (but does take longer to get to from the urban Bay Area than the places in the Marin Headlands!).  Cabin/lodge style accommodations mostly 4-6 people per room in separate buildings with separate exterior entrances rather than on a hall or in one big dorm room. Camping available. Dining hall and large meeting space.

    Good luck!

       Have you considered Asilomar in Monterey?  

    Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg has meals, large meeting areas and overnight stays. They do camps in the summer though, so not sure about availability.

  • I would like to host a nature-based conference for 10-20 people in my profession next year and have started searching for locations to rent to host the event.  We must be near nature, have various sleeping options (outside in sleeping bag, shared room, or individual room), and have good healthy food prepared for us on site.  We will need to have access to outdoor spaces for some experiential components.  I'm really open to any location in the US, but California-based centers would be ideal.  I want it to be a destination retreat...meaning: people will come to learn something but they'll also come because it will be a beautiful and relaxing place to stay!  Do you know of any places like this?

    I've been to a conference at Asilomar near Monterey which is operated by the state. It was originally designed by Julia Morgan as a girl scout camp.  It's beautiful, with dorm-type rooms as well as hotel rooms. Trees, deer, beach, sand dunes, footpaths, fireplaces, etc. Not sure about sleeping outside though. Probably not.  There is a cafeteria-style dining hall and the food is not that bad.

    Check out EarthRise Retreat Center at Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma. I haven't been there myself but I hear it's a beautiful facility.

    I also suggest Asilomar. It's right near a beautiful beach with tidepools

  • looking for a venue for a conference

    (6 replies)

    Hi, I'm looking for a venue in the East Bay to host a conference.  Ideally, there would be several rooms (with projector, screen, and AV) so that we can hold seminars concurrently and it needs to be large enough to accommodate 300+ people.  We hosted this conference last year at the Oakland Scottish Rite, which worked out perfectly, but it seems we are running into problems securing a date for this year.  Are there venues that are equivalent to the Oakland Scottish Rite?  I am going to look into hotels in the area as well.  We are open to any and all suggestions.  Thanks, BPN!

    Maybe the Lawrence Hall of Science?

    El Cerrito High? newly rebuilt, nice large theater. Albany Community Center has very helpful staff (recently had a seminar there), but not sure if main room can accommodate 300. East Bay center for the Performing Arts? (downtown Richmond) - again not sure of max capacity in the biggest room, but lots of breakout rooms. Gaia building downtown Berkeley? And then any of the local colleges/universities (Cal, Mills, St Mary's, Contra Costa College, Maritime Academy CSU in Vallejo...).  Churches? UCC, Arlington Comm Church... I feel confident you'll find something!

    I had one more thought - DeJean Middle School in Richmond. I have been to a conference there organized by the district (WCCUSD) and it worked well. The main room is also HUGE. Supporting a local school district by using their facilities is also a nice gesture. But it's not very BART accessible, if that's a concern (does have a couple small parking lots). ECHS (one of my earlier suggestions) is a short, safe walk from EC Plaza BART.