10 California Ballrooms That Are Anything But Boring

These California ballrooms are anything but ordinary.
sacramento ballroom wedding reception
The Goodness
Natalie Gontcharova
by Natalie Gontcharova

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin St., San Francisco;

(415) 581-3777; AsianArt.org

History and art buffs alike will adore this unique architectural space located in the heart of San Francisco's Civic Center. The grand Samsung Hall -- formerly the card-catalog room of the main public library -- comes equipped with high ceilings, ornate chandeliers and marble walls for a reception experience that's both elegant and one of a kind. The venue even boasts more than 2,500 works of both contemporary and ancient Asian art and antiques that span over 6,000 years -- impressive.


880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego;

(619) 814-1300, Coasterra.com

Set to open in summer of 2015, Coasterra is an event space floating on the water of Harbor Island in San Diego. With sweeping views of San Diego's downtown skyline from its waterfront vantage point, the venue will accommodate more than 1,000 guests on its outdoor floating event deck and over 300 seated in the indoor ballroom. Solar panels power the space and its adjoining restaurant (also its caterer). Inside, the space has a clean design -- a blank canvas for any sort of wedding style, from bright and bold to subtle minimalism.

The Grand Hall at Valhalla Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe;

(530) 541-4975; ValhallaTahoe.com

Nestled on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, this charming, historic hall offers a wraparound porch for outdoor dining complete with unprecedented views of the water. The venue also offers a 20-foot tall, cozy fireplace (with a walk-in hearth!) and a stone wall that serves as the perfect ceremony backdrop for an indoor wedding. With availability from mid-April through mid-December, it's the rustic reception venue you've been searching for.

Grand Island Mansion

13415 Grand Island Road, Walnut Grove;

(916) 775-1705; GrandIslandMansion.com

If a storybook wedding is more your speed, say "I do" in this classic, spacious ballroom housed in a waterfront estate. This ultra-private venue features gorgeous Italian statue gardens and fountains for a seriously chic courtyard ceremony along with a shaded gazebo and complimentary parking for guests. Aside from the ceremony site, you're even treated to an on-site mansion event coordinator to ensure your dream day goes off without a hitch.

Hotel Shattuck Plaza

2086 Allston Way, Berkeley;

(510) 845-7300; HotelShattuckPlaza.com

Built in the mission style at the beginning of the 20th century, this downtown Berkeley boutique hotel boasts a modern ballroom with graphic accents, mirrored walls and historic chandeliers. Sit back and host up to 200 guests in this jewel of a venue while an executive chef and his team create a fresh wedding menu made with local, seasonal ingredients.


701 S. Central Ave., Glendale;

(818) 241-5432; MetropolBanquet.com

The light fixtures in this futuristic venue are worth a thousand Instagrams. The 800-square-foot Modern Ballroom has a dance floor illuminated with LED lights that changes colors and patterns, two large projection screens and a stage for entertainment -- meaning you and up to 400 guests can dance the night away to your heart's content. For a modern look that blends with more classic décor, check out the venue's Millennium Ballroom, which accommodates up to 300 guests.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles;

(213) 624-1011; MillenniumHotels.com

The Academy Awards were founded in the hotel's Crystal Ballroom in 1927 and legend has it that the first Oscar statue was sketched on a napkin here. For all your movie star needs, the ballroom comfortably seats 800 for a reception and features a hand-painted, 30-foot ceiling, carved columns and stately balconies. Just a short walk from Walt Disney Concert Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown LA, this 1923 beaux arts-inspired building is a work of art itself.

Sacramento Grand Ballroom

629 J St., Sacramento;

(916) 444-2709; EventArchitects.net

Looking for a unique venue with plenty of historic flair? Throw an elegant city fete in this former bank, built in 1912. The ballroom, which accommodates up to 420 guests, features art deco chandeliers, 45-foot ceilings and a bar that used to be a bank teller station. For warm-weather weddings, you and your guests can even enjoy the patio rooftop and its stunning views of downtown Sacramento.

Scott's Garden

1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek;

(925) 934-1300; ScottsWC.com

Designed around a 400-year-old oak tree, Scott's Garden room has a uniquely intimate patio atmosphere, offering space for a ceremony of up to 150 or a reception that includes up to 325 guests. And with its rustic water wheel, waterfalls and never-ending supply of string lights, this secluded walled garden exudes charm.

Wine Cave at Calistoga Ranch

580 Lommel Road, Calistoga;

(707) 254-2890; CalistogaRanch.com

Carved into bedrock on a hillside overlooking Lake Lommel, this secluded wine cave with stone walls, sconces and wrought-iron chandeliers is about as intimate as it gets. Located within a 157-acre luxury resort in the middle of wine country, it comfortably sets the scene for the cozy, rustic reception of your dreams. Cheers!

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