What's New

We’ve got the scoop on what's new in California, so check back often to read up on the latest and greatest in the Golden State. It’s a big state and our tourism product is constantly evolving. Find out about new hotels, food and wine experiences, major events, special promotions, cultural happenings and much more.

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4/13/2016

Westin St. Francis Completes Renovation

The Westin St. Francis, located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, recently completed an extensive renovation in January. Thirty rooms were renovated during the project, totaling 50,000 square feet of meeting and special event spaces in both the Landmark and Tower building. A few of the upgraded rooms include the Grand Ballroom, Colonial Room, Italian Room and St. Francis Suite. Designed by Whitespace Interiors, the new meeting and event spaces feature a “new classic” aesthetic that naturally aligns with the historic qualities of the hotel while adding a fresh, modern feel. Whitespace Interiors paid tribute to the property’s history throughout the project, using sophisticated color palettes and elegant décor in each of the renovated rooms. The Westin St. Francis, which opened over a century ago in March 1904, remains the only hotel situated directly on the famed Union Square. For more information, visit www.westinstfrancis.com.

Media Contact:
Gena Egelston
The Westin St. Francis
www.westinstfrancis.com
gena.egelston@westin.com
415-774-0118


Public Contact:
Gena Egelston
The Westin St. Francis
www.westinstfrancis.com
gena.egelston@westin.com
415-774-0118
 

4/8/2016

Mendocino Area Gets "New" Historic Hotel

Following a massive multi-million-dollar restoration, The Harbor House Inn—which turns 100 in 2016—will reopen early this year in Elk with newly restored deluxe-cabins, wraparound decks and a wine cellar. The historic property was built from the neighboring redwood forests and provides guests with a luxury lodging experience on the rugged Mendocino Coast. While dining at the Harbor House Seaside Dining Room, visitors can enjoy dramatic views of the property’s magnificent botanical gardens and the Pacific Ocean. For more information, visit www.visitmendocino.com.

Media Contact:
Bethany Deines
Cinch PR & Branding Group
www.cinchpr.com
bethanyd@cinchpr.com
415-392-2210


Public Contact:
Alison De Grassi
Visit Mendocino County
www.visitmendocino.com
Alison@visitmendocino.com
707-485-1084
 

4/8/2016

Sneak Peek of The Brambles

In summer 2016, The Madrones owners Jim Roberts and Brian Adkinson will offer a sneak peek for travelers searching out a wilderness experience at their new sister property, The Brambles. The first accommodations available on the property are located in the historic homestead which has been recently restored. The stick and shingle-style architecture, typical of the late 1800s and the heyday of the timber boom, is crafted out of the original old-growth redwood boards. Over 100 years later, the owners nod to the valley’s historic past while creating a vision for the future and conserving the area’s natural resources. Located next to The Madrones and adjacent to the hamlet of Philo, this 12-acre ancient redwood grove is bordered by Indian Creek. The Brambles is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to restore the water flow to a sustainable level which will create a beneficial habitat for local salmon and steelhead to spawn. The greater property is currently slated for a 2017 mid-summer opening and accommodations will be a mixture of tree houses and vintage-style bungalows. In addition, there will be a Victorian Stumpery, central campfire pavilion, future natural swimming pool with vegetation filtration, event barn and orchard meadow as well as a historic train car used for dining and private parties. Early summer bookings for the homestead guest quarters will be available this spring. For more information, visit www.visitmendocino.com.

Media Contact:
Bethany Deines
Cinch PR & Branding Group
www.cinchpr.com
bethanyd@cinchpr.com
702-715-1556


Public Contact:
Alison De Grassi
Visit Mendocino
www.visitmendocino.com
alison@visitmendocino.com
707-485-1084
 

4/6/2016

Minnesota Street Project Opening in the Dogpatch District

Founded by entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport, Minnesota Street Project is intended to foster a dynamic arts hub in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district. The Project—located at 1275 Minnesota Street—will encompass over 100,000 square feet and provide affordable space for art galleries, artists, and related nonprofits and retail. The Rappaports began Minnesota Street Project with the belief that San Francisco’s contemporary art community could benefit from a self-sustaining enterprise that shares its economic success with arts businesses and professionals. Phase 1 of Minnesota Street Project is expected to open in March, providing a permanent home for the exhibitions currently housed in the temporary space on 3rd Street. For more information, visit minnesotastreetproject.com.

Media Contact:
Laurie Armstrong
San Francisco Travel
www.sanfrancisco.travel
larmstrong@sftravel.com
415-227-2615


Public Contact:
Laurie Armstrong
San Francisco Travel
www.sanfrancisco.travel
larmstrong@sftravel.com
415-227-2615
 

4/4/2016

BAMPFA Now Open in Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) officially reopened at its new building in January at the intersection of Oxford and Center Streets. Integrating the 48,000-squarefoot Art Deco–style former UC Berkeley printing plant with a 35,000-square-foot new structure, BAMPFA boasts a total 83,000 square feet including 25,000 square feet of gallery space. While visiting, guests can enjoy two film theaters, a performance forum, four study centers for art and film, a reading room, a café, an outdoor viewing plaza and more. The new $112 million building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has a versatile exhibition gallery that can accommodate a wide range of artwork in a variety of formats. Annually, BAMPFA is expected to house over 400 film screenings and up to 20 art exhibitions, thereby taking its place as an anchor for Berkeley’s downtown arts district. For more information, visit bampfa.org.

Media Contact:
Dan Marengo
Visit Berkeley
www.visitberkeley.com
dmarengo@visitberkeley.com
510-549-7040


Public Contact:
Peter Cavagnaro
BAMPFA
www.bampfa.org
pcavagnaro@berkeley.edu
510-642-0365
 

4/4/2016

Historic Landmark Reopens in Santa Rosa

After a multi-year closure, Mark West Lodge Event Center and Restaurant recently reopened in the hillsides of Sonoma County. Originally built in the 1840s, the lodge was destroyed by fire in 1979 and rebuilt in 1981. Now under new ownership and management, the historic landmark has been refreshed with a new restaurant that offers shareable small plates based on seasonal ingredients, accompanied by craft beers on tap and wine by the glass. Surrounded by lush greenery—including 160-year-old grapevines that wrap the arbor spanning Mark West Road—the property features a rustic ambiance, an unrivaled rock wall waterfall and breathtaking views. Although the property does not include public accommodations, the venue is available for wedding ceremonies, receptions and other private events for up to 175 guests comfortably indoors and up to 200 guests outdoors. For more information, visit www.themarkwestlodge.com.

Media Contact:
Amanda Gallegos
Mark West Lodge Event Center and Restaurant
www.themarkwestlodge.com
amanda@markwestlodge.com
707-528-0933


Public Contact:
Amanda Gallegos
Mark West Lodge Event Center and Restaurant
www.themarkwestlodge.com
amanda@markwestlodge.com
707-528-0933
 

4/4/2016

Berkeley Welcomes The UC Theatre

After closing in 2001, the UC Theatre is finally expected to reopen spring 2016. The 1,400-seat space, owned by David Mayeri— the former chief operating officer of BGP, the concert company started by Bill Graham—was built in 1917 and famous for its ongoing screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Upon completion of the $5 million renovation, the space will welcome 75-100 shows annually, including concerts, comedy shows, cultural events and more. The UC Theatre is intended to reopen as an all-ages venue, complete with a full-service bar, tables and chairs, and a Meyer Sound system. For more information, visit www.visitberkeley.com.

Media Contact:
Dan Marengo
Visit Berkeley
www.visitberkeley.com
dmarengo@visitberkeley.com
510-549-7040


Public Contact:
Dan Marengo
Visit Berkeley
www.visitberkeley.com
dmarengo@visitberkeley.com
510-549-7040
 

4/4/2016

Bewildered Pig Now Open in Anderson Valley

The Bewildered Pig was welcomed into the Anderson Valley culinary community with its opening on Jan. 21, offering a setting and dining experience that strives to further the deeply rooted connections in this very special place by collaborating with its farmers, ranchers, foragers, fisherman, artists and neighbors. Located in an old loggers’ bar and general store “At the Townsend” of Philo, California —which is situated in the Anderson Valley in Northern California’s Mendocino County—The Pig is a comfortable gathering place where the best of the season’s food bounty is featured on the table with a uniquely refined rustic style. For more information, visit www.visitmendocino.com.

Media Contact:
Bethany Deines
Cinch PR & Branding Group
www.cinchpr.com
bethanyd@cinchpr.com
707-715-1556


Public Contact:
Alison De Grassi
Visit Mendocino County
www.visitmendocino.com
alison@visitmendocino.com
707-485-1084
 

4/4/2016

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. Debuts New Speakeasy-Themed Taproom

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. expanded its reach on Jan. 8, opening a 2,000-square-foot space in the heart of San Luis Obispo’s historic downtown. The speakeasy-themed taproom boasts a classic 1920s vibe, located below a working barbershop in the basement of a building constructed in the 1800s. Downstairs, visitors can enjoy a range of beers from light blonde ales to barrel-aged stouts and unique sours, some of which BarrelHouse has been working on for the past two years. All brewery operations will continue to occur in Paso Robles at the brewery’s home location. For more information, visit www.visitslo.com.

Media Contact:
Molly Kern
San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce
www.slochamber.org
molly@slochamber.org
805-781-2670


Public Contact:
Pam Roberts
Visitor Center, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce
www.visitslo.com
pam@slochamber.org
805-781-2777
 

4/4/2016

New Equestrian and Sports Park Coming this Spring

This spring, the City of Norco (a.k.a. Horsetown USA) will celebrate the grand opening of SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park, a world-class multi-purpose recreational venue located on 130 acres along the Santa Ana River. The center aims to capture the underserved amateur youth sports market, with a primary emphasis on youth soccer and the amateur and professional equestrian market. Although the park will mainly host sporting events, visitors can also enjoy concerts, conferences, corporate events and outdoor gatherings. The premier $40 million facility will feature 25 full-size soccer fields, five equestrian arenas, a 1,500-horse-stall capacity and a lit stadium field with a 5,000-seat capacity. While in town, tourists can join a guided trail ride that takes riders through the bamboo tunnels of the Santa Ana River and Hidden Valley Wildlife Reserve onto the bridle trail that surrounds the SilverLakes property. For more information, visit ci.norco.ca.us.

Media Contact:
Kelli Newton
City of Norco
ci.norco.ca.us
knewton@ci.norco.ca.us
9512705645


Public Contact:
Roger Grody
City of Norco
ci.norco.ca.us
rgrody@ci.norco.ca.us
9512705644
 

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