5 Great Rehearsal Dinner Ideas around San Luis Obispo

A fun rehearsal party with panoramic views of Avila and Pismo Beach from this private rooftop, Seacrest Hotel

A fun rehearsal par­ty option with panoram­ic views of Avi­la and Pis­mo Beach on the Seacrest Hotel rooftop

As a cen­tral coast wed­ding venue own­er, our engaged cou­ples often ask for ideas to show their guests anoth­er side of our cen­tral coast. Our hill­top estate shows off the local winer­ies, their vines, and San­ta Lucia Moun­tains with inland views. Their wed­ding recep­tions here typ­i­cal­ly car­ry a more ele­gant, classy feel, so I typ­i­cal­ly like to sug­gest some­thing dif­fer­ent and often casu­al in nature. I think this offers your guests a real­ly great feel for why our cen­tral coast region is so spe­cial and what many say is still a hid­den gem.

Rehearsal Party option to see another side of San Luis Obispo's nearby beaches

A casu­al rehearsal par­ty option for wed­ding guests to enjoy,  San Luis Obis­po’s near­by beaches

Here are 5 fun loca­tions (or venues) around San Luis Obis­po that we like to sug­gest to our booked cou­ples for their rehearsal par­ty or dinner:

1 — The panoram­ic Rooftop deck (or patio) of the Seacrest Hotel, Pis­mo Beach

Many of our cou­ples have their wed­ding guests stay at this hotel or near­by Dol­phin Bay but they don’t always con­sid­er that each of these hotels offer great rehearsal par­ty options so their guests aren’t drink­ing and dri­ving. It’s super con­ve­nient and fun before they are shut­tled the fol­low­ing day to our Estate (as part of our wed­ding recep­tion pack­age) for the wed­ding and reception.

Rooftop is lovely for daytime or evening events with full ocean views

Rooftop is love­ly for day­time or evening events with full ocean views

2 — A beach bar­be­cue bon­fire on Grover Beach

Beach Butlerz offers affordable and fun rentals for your wedding rehearsal party or event at the beach

Beach But­lerz offers afford­able and fun rentals for your wed­ding rehearsal par­ty or event at the beach

This option fits many bud­gets based on your guest count from sim­ple fin­ger food to passed appe­tiz­ers or din­ner. One of our des­ti­na­tion wed­dings held here in August want­ed to make their rehearsal par­ty casu­al for their chil­dren to enjoy.  Since their wed­ding guests were vis­it­ing from Chica­go and St. Louis, time at the beach to play games and hang out was real­ly impor­tant when they planned their event on the cen­tral coast. Great ven­dors to call on who cre­at­ed this event? Aut­en Boys Bar­be­cue & Cater­ing, Shenani­gans for game rentals, Ele­gant Details Flo­ral, Sand­cas­tle Cel­e­bra­tions (design), and Beach But­lerz to help have all the chairs and bon­fire wait­ing for you is a great option!

3– A cozy din­ner at sis­ter restau­rants Luna Red or Novo, in down­town SLO

Luna Red, pictured, and sister restaurant, Novo, offer creative cuisine and outdoor seating for your rehearsal dinner

Luna Red, pic­tured, and sis­ter restau­rant, Novo, offer cre­ative cui­sine and out­door seat­ing for your rehearsal.

Even though our estate is locat­ed in San Luis Obis­po,  just 10 miles from down­town, it’s still a coun­try set­ting with vine­yard views and moun­tains. For this rea­son, I also like to rec­om­mend a cou­ple of our favorite restau­rants in down­town SLO, so wed­ding guests can get a feel for our coun­ty seat. The area has bou­tique shop­ping, many col­lege hang­outs (with Cal Poly adjoin­ing) and each of these restau­rants exude charm, paired with won­der­ful ser­vice and menu options.

4- The tru­ly enchant­i­ng his­toric town­site of Old Edna in Edna Val­ley wine region

My friend, Pat­tea Tor­rence, is the cre­ative force behind this love­ly farm­stay site where she offers two lodg­ing hous­es and walk­ing tour of many inter­est­ing pre­served build­ings that she has lov­ing­ly restored and beau­ti­fied. It must be a love­ly set­ting for a inti­mate gath­er­ing (Pat­tea shared that 40 guests or less work best) and again, this set­ting pro­vides some­thing very dif­fer­ent from a restau­rant or our tus­can hill­top estate wedding.

Consider Old Edna, a historic townsite near Edna Valley vineyards for your party or rehearsal dinner

Con­sid­er Old Edna, nes­tled near Edna Val­ley vine­yards, for a par­ty or rehearsal dinner

5 — The Sta­tion  in San Luis Obis­po offer­ing a unique set­ting & great vibe

Launched in June, 2015, The Sta­tion will close for pri­vate events and can offer great sug­ges­tions to assist you in cre­at­ing a won­der­ful rehearsal par­ty set­ting (or even bridal or baby show­ers for locals!). What are they? “A care­ful­ly curat­ed wine bar, wine shop, mar­ket and event space in San Luis Obispo…“with wines select­ed from around the world.”

A delightful spread offered at The Station for an event with Fromagerie Sophie

Just drool­ing over this spread offered at The Sta­tion for an event with Fro­magerie Sophie

Their cal­en­dar is already packed with fun oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy when you are vis­it­ing San Luis Obis­po and find­ing your wed­ding venue, but con­sid­er stop­ping in for a glass of vino and con­sid­er­ing it for a rehearsal par­ty loca­tion. We think you might fall in love with what this cozy wine bar offers.

A sweet spot that may not be on the rehearsal party radar yet!

A sweet spot that may not be on the rehearsal par­ty radar yet!

So there’s five that Tony and I think are great options for your 2016 or 2017 wed­ding rehearsal par­ty. We’d love to hear where you end up and oth­er non-tra­di­tion­al ideas to share in the future with oth­er new­ly engaged cou­ples. Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.


  1. We have 5 rehearsal din­ners in our gar­den sched­uled for this year so far.

    • Pat Goetz

      Thanks Judi, San Luis Obis­po coun­ty def­i­nite­ly has so much to offer wed­ding guests as a won­der­ful des­ti­na­tion wed­ding loca­tion. So glad to have you as a fel­low venue owner!

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