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Sense of Place

Three recently restored Golden State properties will serve as perfect big-day backdrops

 Inside the Halter Ranch Caves

The Palm Court room at The US Grant Hotel

 

 Timber Cove’s outdoor reception area overlooks Jenner’s rugged coastline.

Halter Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles
When it comes to rustic refinement, there are few locations better than a winery, which is why we’re besotted with the newly renovated wedding venue at Paso Robles’ Halter Ranch Vineyard. Boasting a recently restored silo barn with an uplit glass-topped dance floor (complete with views of the grain storage area), the vineyard also offers a landscaped ceremony site, including multiple vantages and access points, as well as an open-air silo patio, a historic old barn and a Victorian garden—all perfect for intimate ceremonies or smaller sit-down affairs. (The silo barn has a capacity of 120, while the ceremony site and silo patio top out at 175.) The winery itself, meanwhile, produces 100 percent sustainably farmed Bordeaux and Rhone-style wines. Bridal suite and groom’s lounge packages from $13,000 (includes tables, chairs, two mobile bars and Italian string lights on patio), complete package, including old barn and Victorian garden, $15,000, halterranch.com

The US Grant Hotel, San Diego
Located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District, The US Grant Hotel was built in 1910—by the son of President Ulysses S. Grant—and has recently undergone a $13 million refresh, including guest rooms and suites, the lobby, and meeting spaces. The stately property, which calls to mind Jazz Age excess and elegance, has hosted 15 U.S. presidents, as well as five first ladies. Those looking for an over-the-top affair can rent the 9,300-square-foot Presidential Ballroom, which holds up to 900 guests for a cocktail reception or 300 for a sit-down banquet, while the Bivouac Ballroom can hold 500 and 300, respectively. Smaller wedding parties can choose the Chairman’s Court, which served as part of the Bivouac speak-easy during Prohibition and holds intimate ceremonies of up to 75 people. Presidential or Bivouac ballrooms Vintage Packages from $110 per guest (includes specialty linens and Chiavari chairs, a prosecco toast and wine with dinner), Crystal Ballroom rental fee $3,000, usgrant.net

Timber Cove, Jenner
In Northern California on panoramic Highway 1 is Timber Cove, which finished an extensive eight-month renovation in August and boasts a catering team led by executive chef Phillip Kaufman. Its intimate Ansel Adams Room overlooks dramatic coastal cliffs and can hold up to 60 people, while other options, including the South Deck, North Deck and events lawn can hold 75, 120 and 200 respectively. The resort is located on the Sonoma Coast, close to Fort Ross State Historic Park, and guests looking for a break from wedding festivities can daytrip down to San Francisco, only 90 miles away, or head east to explore the Redwoods and Healdsburg. Ansel Adams room packages from $7,000, full resort 48-hour buyout for $25,000, timbercoveresort.com