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8 Unique Venues for Special Events in Orange County, California

Enchanted garden event setup inside AV Irvine

Famous for its luxury, gorgeous weather and iconic attractions like Disneyland Resort, Orange County, California, is a major draw for leisure travelers and meetings alike. The region is home to the largest convention center on the West Coast, Anaheim Convention Center, but for smaller groups not occupying the massive venue or convention breakouts that want to go offsite for a night, there are a host of unique venues to choose from in Anaheim and beyond.

Take advantage of Orange County’s location, history and innovation by hosting your next event at one of these unique venues, from a reimagined citrus-packing warehouse to exclusive oceanfront clubhouses and more.

Anaheim Packing House

Interior of Anaheim Packing House
Anaheim Packing House interior. Courtesy of Visit Anaheim

Located in the heart of Anaheim, the Anaheim Packing House anchors the Anaheim Packing District, which includes a two-acre Farmers Park and four historic landmarks. The Packing House is one of them and housed in one of the last remaining citrus packing warehouses in Orange County—formerly the Sunkist orange packing house—which has been historically preserved and retrofitted as a market and food hall.

More than 20 vendors reside in the Anaheim Packing House, making it a great spot to host a casual team dinner. The venue can also accommodate buyouts for large events. Surrounding buildings, the Packard Building and MAKE Building, are available for full private buyouts, too, accommodating groups of 30 to 3,000.

ARTIC, Anaheim

ARTIC entryway in Anaheim
Archway at ARTIC, Anaheim. Courtesy of Visit Anaheim

While it’s true that the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (commonly referred to as ARTIC) is the essential home base for rail, bus, taxi and other services for daily commuters, visitors and leisure travelers, it’s also easily recognizable for its striking, modern architecture, and has thus become an event venue option.

ARTIC is also part of what will be a robust new entertainment district in Anaheim dubbed OCVIBE, a 100-acre development that will include urban parks, concert venues, restaurant and retail vendors, two hotels and more.

The venue itself can host anywhere from 20-1,400 guests for events. Have your event in the stunning Archway or in one of the upper-level spaces. The venue is so unique, it has even served as the backdrop for films and shows such as HBO’s True Detective.

THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon, Anaheim

Saloon at The RANCH in Anaheim
The Saloon at THE RANCH in Anaheim. Courtesy of Visit Anaheim

A restaurant, saloon for dancing and live music and private events center all in one, THE RANCH offers a wealth of possibilities for events in Anaheim. In its restaurant, local cuisine is emphasized, with many ingredients used in the dishes sourced from THE RANCH farm in the foothills of the city of Orange and the Santa Ana mountains. The restaurant can be used for intimate private dining experiences for up to 80 guests.

Next door is the saloon, which provides an intimate setting for performances by local and primary country music artists, and can also be used for events of up to 260. Two full bars, a concert stage and a dance floor combine to make a perfect atmosphere for large-scale dinners and other lively events.

The events center on the sixth floor offers six private dining rooms, the largest of which can seat up to 250 guests. Impressive views from the spaces on the sixth floor include of some of Anaheim’s most iconic landmarks like Disneyland Resort, Honda Center and Angel Stadium.

[Related: Visit Anaheim Becomes Certified Autism Center as Part of City-Wide Accessibility Initiative]

[AV] Irvine

Banquet and stage setup at Sound Security Summit event at AV Irvine
Event setup at [AV] Irvine. Courtesy of Destination Irvine

With AV in its name, event planners can expect high-tech capabilities, exceptional production and gatherings that wow at [AV] Irvine. Well versed in corporate events and branding, the modern venue provides planners with many custom options to show off a corporate brand, like wall graphics and unique lighting configurations. Galas, charity events and other non-profit-type gatherings are common at the venue, too, along with others.

Multiple spaces within serve as a blank slate for your event. The Showroom is the largest space, featuring an 8,500-square-foot open-concept layout with 28-foot ceilings and access doors that can accommodate large installations for oversized decor and vehicles. It can host up to 1,000 standing or 600 seated and has a built-in concert-quality sound system, state-of-the-art intelligent lighting and a 30-foot LED wall.

Meetings and small conferences are suited well in The Gallery, featuring two floors, multiple lounge areas, creative breakout spaces, a 26-foot wall of windows and plenty of clear walls and video screens for custom branding. Suites, breakout rooms and other unique spaces are also available, including The Yard, the 4,000-square-foot outdoor space that can accommodate 240-275, depending on configuration.

Segerstrom Shelby Event Center, Irvine

Segerstrom Shelby Event Center, Irvine
Segerstrom Shelby Event Center, Irvine. Courtesy of Destination Irvine

At Irvine’s Segerstrom Shelby Event Center, attendees with an affinity for the auto industry will marvel at the collection of Mustangs, Fords, Cobras, neon signs, vintage gas pumps and other automobile artifacts.  

Event planners have little to worry about in the way of decor, as meeting among the collections is possible at the event center. The venue is accustomed to a variety of events, from corporate teambuilding to black-tie banquets and others. Spaces include a conference room, two suites, an outdoor patio and the Grand Salon—the biggest event space at 7,000 square feet—that can host up to 300 and comes with a grand staircase, wet bar, projector and projection screen, flat-screen TV and foot stage with a podium.

[Related: 4 Group Teambuilding Activities Under the Sun in Newport Beach]

Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Beach

Balboa Yacht Club outdoor dinner setup
Balboa Yacht Club event setup, Newport Beach. Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Meeting in Orange County isn’t complete without an event on the water, thanks to its signature outdoor weather and beautiful ocean views. For these reasons, Newport Beach should be on your radar. One of the most exclusive venues in town, the Balboa Yacht Club has been a fixture in Newport Beach for more than 100, supporting its members who have participated in highly acclaimed yachting competitions such as America’s Cup, the Olympics and Transpac, among others.  

Though the Balboa Yacht Club clubhouse is typically only accessible to members, planners that work with Visit Newport Beach can book the venue for stunning private events with a water view, both indoors and outdoors.

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach outdoor event
Outdoor event at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach. Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Along the shores of the Back Bay, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina offers a flexible location in Orange Country for corporate or teambuilding events of 50-3,000 people, along with the perks of ample parking and water views. Lawns, terraces and pavilions are at the ready for anything from laid-back company picnics to organized teambuilding programs. Obstacle course challenges, cornhole competitions and more can be arranged by the Newport Dunes team. Or, give your attendees the opportunities to dive into some watersports like standup paddleboarding, kayaking or pedal boating.

Newport Beach Country Club

Newport Beach Country Club is another members-only accessible venue that can be opened up to private events when planners work with Visit Newport Beach. The state-of-the-art California Coastal Craftsman-style clubhouse boasts a generous amount of event space and offers panoramic views of green fairways and the sparkling blue Pacific via floor-to-ceiling windows and various veranda and patio spaces.

The 4,000-square-foot Newport Ballroom features 17-foot ceilings and can accommodate 250-300 guests. For more intimate events, book the Ocean Boardroom with its own private terrace. Outdoors, there’s the Oasis Lawn, which can host a variety of events for 1,000-plus guests.


Destination Irvine

Visit Anaheim

Visit Newport Beach 

Read more meeting and event news in California.

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.