Need a place for a wedding, meeting or party?

Neil Wiley


Surprisingly, many facilities are available, but you wouldn’t know it. Under-publicized and under-marketed, these venues are among the mountain’s least known resources. Although their management and promotion are “mountain casual,” they offer convenience and value when you are looking for a place to hold your meeting or event.

These facilities come in all sizes, styles and shapes. Big and small. Indoor and outdoor. From intimate conference rooms and suites to gymnasiums.

When compared with Santa Clara Valley facilities, they are a bit rustic. But when you consider the natural beauty that surrounds them, the short drive from your mountain home and their relatively low price, they look better and better.

Laurel Mill Lodge
16770 Redwood Lodge Road

Perhaps the least known mountain facility is Laurel Mill Lodge. Located deep in Laurel Canyon, Laurel Mill Lodge gives you the feeling of being in a remote wilderness but it’s only a short drive from Laurel Road and Highway 17. A large meadow nestled in a deep valley with a mountain stream and redwood covered slopes offer a natural setting for retreats, weddings and concerts.

The main building features a large banquet/meeting room that seats 100 at tables, or up to 200 for a buffet or theater presentation. Piano, electronic organ, big screen TV/VCR and projection equipment are available.

The kitchen features a commercial gas range with ovens and a griddle, walk-in refrigerator and a full complement of appliances and utensils. You can even arrange for complete table settings.
Other amenities include recently refurbished A-frame cottages for overnight guests, large hot tub, sauna, large fire pit and barbecues. Off-street parking is provided for approximately thirty to forty cars.

Radonich Packing House
25240 Highland Way

Although the Packing House is relatively small, the grounds are a great site for private parties, picnics, small concerts and small parties. It’s easy to get to. Drive east on Summit Road until it becomes Highland Way. Continue east past the Burrell Fire Station. Watch for signs on the right. Events held there have included traditional music concerts, Skyland Run, Loma Prieta Club annual picnic, Ormsby Fire Brigade barbecue, Summit Fest (rock music and barbecue) and a wonderful New Year’s Eve party.

The main building has an equipped kitchen, tables, chairs and bathrooms. Outside grounds offer a large barbecue pit, picnic tables, pond and barn. The barn has been restored to provide additional interior space. Parking is available for more than fifty cars, but it is unpaved.

Whitaker Hall
Skyland Church
25100 Skyland Road

Here is a good site for meetings, luncheons and receptions serving up to 100 people. The kitchen is small but a serving window improves efficiency. Off-street paved parking provides for approximately thirty cars. The drive up Miller Hill Cutoff is a bit daunting for valley dwellers, but the views are excellent. Hard liquor is prohibited.

To get there, drive east on Summit Road to San Jose-Soquel Road, turn left on Miller Hill Cutoff, and turn left on Skyland Road.

For under fifty people, the maximum cost is $335. For fifty to one hundred people, the maximum cost is $570.

Redwood Estates Pavilion
21450 Madrone Drive
Redwood Estates

The newest mountain facility, the pavilion features a beautiful interior with hardwood floors. Maximum capacity is 250. Seated capacity is 162. Although off-street parking for 64 cars is usually adequate, bigger events may create parking problems. Food services and equipment are limited.

The pavilion is an especially good resource for the residents of Redwood Estates. Others may not like the narrow road, complete with speed bumps, up to the Madrone facility, but the road up from Highway 17 has been recently resurfaced.

Loma Prieta Community Center
23800 Summit Road

Our biggest mountain facility has lots to offer, including a full court gymnasium with stage, a commercial kitchen and four smaller recently refurbished rooms (community meeting room of 700 square feet, art room, music room with comfortable chairs and sink, and a dance room with sprung wood floor, dance barre, full mirrored wall and piano). Behind the main building, the “Garden Terrace” provides lawns, paved area, benches, gazebo and barbecue pits.

The center is conveniently located on Summit Road, a few miles east of Highway 17. There is plenty of parking in a large paved lot immediately in front of the center. 


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