Wow. This place is gorgeous. And it might be exactly what I am looking for. Levyland Estates is located in Carlsbad, CA, about 45 minutes north of San Diego. My pictures absolutely do not do it justice, but Jeff and I are going back next week, so I'll remember to bring my real camera with me!
This is the view of Levyland as you're coming down the driveway from the street. The property is very close to downtown Carlsbad, with very cute shops and tons of restaurants, but it's tucked away and surrounded by a nature preserve, giving it a very private feel.
The main driveway can be transformed into this. With the tables set up on the driveway, there's room for up to 200 guests. You can also set the tables up on the back lawn, but I think there's less space there, 80 maybe?
Here's a better view of the actual buildings on the property, although not a very good one. Excuse the mess as I tour you through the house. The bride and groom of the previous weekend were just packing up as I was walking through. They had very positive reviews of the venue and had the post wedding glow to the max :)
As you can see, there are two buildings, the main house sleeps 6 and the 'treehouse' sleeps 4. Both are very open, loft style, so not a lot of privacy... but excellent party homes!
The garage (where the cleaner is currently mopping) can be done up too. I was told a lot of people choose to hold their dance floor here, or inside the main living room. The garage opens up on both sides, but the doors are made of glass so in case of inclement weather, you still have yourself a nice view. There is also a wet bar in the garage, meeting Jeff's one requirement of having alcohol at the reception.
The beach is a short, short walk away, making it the perfect space for the ceremony. I love the idea of a beach wedding but I'd hate for my guests to have to find two different locations. With the beach and the venue literally a stone's throw away, there's not much of a chance of getting lost.
Another thing that I absolutely love about this place, is that it rents for the week. The whole week! No mandatory event ending by 10, no uncles trying to pay $500 for just one more hour of dancing, just one place for your family to find and hang. One place for the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, the reception, the farewell brunch. I can imagine my entire family hanging out together, decorating the place the day before, enjoying our time together and really taking in the whole experience.
With a full kitchen and lots of outdoor living space, it really feels like hanging out at grandma's house.
Except that Grandma's really rich, lives incredibly close to the beach, surrounded by lagoons and a nature preserve. Yeah. That's more like it.