When planning a corporate or group retreat, it's not just about having nice accommodations or a good AV system (though obviously you'll need those); it's about the whole experience! After all, what good is a retreat that offers fine dining and a beautiful room, but leaves you bored to tears between presentations? You could go to meetings and spend evenings watching TV at home! That's why the best venues offer on-site activities, a coordinator who will arrange your group's visit to local attractions or both.
So what kinds of activities are we talking about here? Here are some of the most enjoyable and unique activities that retreat centers have to offer:
- Hiking – Many retreats are intentionally located in serene, isolated areas that are scenically beautiful and present opportunities for lots of outdoor recreation, hiking being one of the most common activities. With broad tracts of land and convenient access to a slew of state parks and trails, retreats make hiking easy for guests.
- Yoga/Meditation – Many locations may offer a gym, but how many can say that they offer yoga or meditation? For those who hope to find some serenity and wind down during their free time at a retreat, there's nothing better than taking a stimulating yoga or meditation class at a place like Spirit Fire Retreat Center. Namaste!
- Horseback Riding – Some retreats are actual ranches that offer horseback riding on the properties, such as 4 Eagle Ranch and Quaker Ridge Camp & Conference Center, while others will be able to arrange lessons at a location nearby. There are often trails and lessons for many levels of expertise, so whether it's a person's first time on a horse or 500th, they'll be able to get out there and have the experience of a lifetime.
- Wine & Food Tasting – Think that the group would enjoy the regional gastronomic and vinous offerings? Local wine producers are more in demand than ever, and each area will have unique foods that visitors may never have experienced. Several retreats such as Spillian – a stunning Gilded Age manor house – will offer to arrange for tastings that will let everyone sample the local flavors and enhance their palates. What better way for the group to enjoy their free time?
- Cooking Classes – And speaking of food, who says that the group should have to eat other people's cooking for the entire trip? Whether individuals would like to brush up on their skills or learn how to cook the basics so they can stop ordering fast food, everyone in your party will enjoy a cooking class.
- Zip-lining – Zip-lining is one of the newest crazes to hit the outdoor sporting world, and for good reason. What could be more exhilarating than gliding down a mountain or over the canopy and down into the trees? For the thrill seekers at the retreat, this will be the activity of the trip! You can explore this option at Sunstream Retreat Center as well as Pine Creek Retreat Center and 4 Eagles Ranch, where you can arrange zip lining for your whole team.
- Rafting/Kayaking – For those who prefer to remain a little closer to the ground, rafting or kayaking offers all of the fun and excitement without the vertigo-inducing drops. Speed along a set of rapids or drift along a slow-moving river at a leisurely pace. These water activities are always refreshing to guests and will work out all tensions before the next set of group meetings! Check out Painted Boat Resort, where they offer kayak rentals on site!
- Dance Classes – Maybe the people in your group would like to get active indoors. Dance classes are just another of the possible offerings at retreats, and will loosen your members up and get them to socialize in a way that almost nothing else can!
The list of possible activities offered at retreats is nearly endless, though they will vary somewhat by location. Check out our retreat center venues and see what kind of recreational options your group can have today!