10 Amazing Destinations to Hold Your next Company Retreat
Thinking of hosting a retreat for your company? These retreats “present a rare opportunity for group members to come together in person for work and relaxation,” writes Inc. contributor Kelsey Meyer in her recent article.
Some benefits are obvious: getting teammates on the same page, hashing out near- and longer-term goals, boosting morale by giving everyone some much-deserved time away from the office.
Others are less so: teasing out teammates’ hidden talents, helping them overcome latent fears, galvanizing everyone in the pursuit of a shared objective or mission beyond those mundane quarterly or annual goals.
Determining that a periodic company retreat is a net positive for your company is important. Figuring out where to hold your next company retreat may be even more so. Among other factors, your choice will turn on your company’s resources, scheduling flexibility, size, location, industry.
Only you can choose the venue for your next corporate getaway: a spa resort, golf club, tourist ranch, high-end urban hotel, rustic meditation retreat. Each of these 10 beautiful North American destinations has plenty to choose from.
1. Flathead Region, Montana
Northwestern Montana is a stunningly beautiful place — a heavily forested montane paradise riven by deep gorges, rushing rivers, and clear blue lakes.
The region’s tourist centerpiece is Glacier National Park, arguably the most scenic swathe of the northern Rockies south of the Canadian border. Vast Flathead Lake, anchored by the quaint but bustling community of Polson, is one of the largest bodies of water in the interior Northwest.
Accommodations run the gamut here, from high-end dude ranches to rustic cabin retreats and everything in between: proof that a true outdoor paradise doesn’t need to be completely cut off from the outside world.
2. Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba
Lake Winnipeg is enormous: the 12th largest lake on the planet and the third largest entirely within Canada’s borders. Fed by the mighty Red River, it drains — along with a handful of other major lakes nearby — a huge swathe of southern and central Manitoba.
The shallow lake’s innumerable islands and pristine shores harbor bountiful wildlife and endless recreation opportunities. The town of Gimli, the de facto hub of the region’s Icelandic-Canadian community, comes alive during the short, warm summer. Further north, on otherworldly Hecla Island, upscale resorts like Lakeview Hecla Resort coexist with smaller properties like Gull Harbour Marina, recently renovated and refurbished by David Janeson. And Winnipeg’s international airport is just two hours away.
3. Sedona, Arizona
At first glance, Sedona appears to have a case of split personality: part Old West cowboy culture, part crystal-fueled New Age mysticism. Somehow, the mix works. Whatever cultural experience you’re after, you’ll find it here — amid stunning red-rock crags and gorgeous high desert peaks.
4. Kamloops Area, British Columbia
South-central British Columbia isn’t all that different from northwestern Montana: dense forests, alpine meadows, towering peaks.
The range of corporate retreat accommodations here is no less impressive. The undisputed crown jewel is the astounding, all-inclusive Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, run by “accidental” hoteliers Norm and Nan Dove in a remote valley some 100 kilometers northwest of Kamloops. Though towns like Kamloops (and resorts like Echo Valley) have air service, this rugged region is remote — the perfect place to truly disconnect from the outside world.
5. Big Sur, California
Big Sur has long been an exclusive, if under the radar, destination for seekers of all stripes. The towering coastal mountains and misty redwood forests provide a worthy backdrop for quiet reflection and team-building revelry alike. Drive beautiful Highway 1 in either direction — you can only go up or down the coast, after all — to get better acquainted with this region’s end-of-the-world vibe.
6. Tucson, Arizona
Arizona’s second city is quieter and — some would argue — more scenic than Phoenix, its much larger cousin to the northwest. Upscale resorts dot the tony Catalina Foothills, just north of town. Beyond them lies imposing Mount Lemmon and the rest of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Visit during the winter, when the desert floor (usually) remains temperate enough to swim and snow coats the higher peaks — where you’ll find the continental United States’ southernmost ski resort.
7. Lake Ontario Wine Country, Ontario
Many non-Canadians have no idea that parts of southern Ontario have an ideal climate for growing cold-tolerant wine grapes.
The top destination for amateur oenologists must be the pastoral countryside around Niagara-on-the-Lake, an affluent community wedged between the Niagara River (the border with New York State) and the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The quaint bed and breakfasts dotting the fields and forests here are ideal for small teams, and the cosmopolitan city of Toronto — Canada’s financial capital — is less than an hour away.
8. Traverse City Area, Michigan
The scenic Traverse City area, arrayed around a series of deep Lake Michigan bays, is another prime (and unexpected) destination for wine lovers. Dozens of vineyards, some associated with bed and breakfast inns, dot the hilly countryside here. Higher-end resorts commingle, especially on the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. Head up to Torch Lake, or beyond it to Boyne Highlands, for a true northwoods retreat experience.
9. Naples Area, Florida
Southwestern Florida doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. Overshadowed by glitzy Miami, Naples and Fort Myers are considerably lower-key — and far cheaper for thrifty corporate teams. Don’t worry: There’s a Ritz-Carlton in Naples too. But its generous swathe of oceanfront is way less crowded than its Miami Beach counterpart.
10. San Diego, California
A few hundred miles south of Big Sur lies the sunny, laid-back city of San Diego. First-time visitors are surprised by just how big San Diego is — depending on how you define it, the region stretches more than 50 miles along the Pacific Coast, from Carlsbad in the north to Imperial Beach on the Mexican border. For an urban experience, book a block of rooms at a Gaslamp Quarter hotel, downtown — or opt for a quieter, beachier resort in Coronado or La Jolla.
Where Are You Going Next?
These aren’t the only places worthy of a few days away from the daily grind. North America is littered with beautiful destinations ideal for corporate R&R. If you’re planning a getaway for your team, you have an astounding array of options to choose from. Narrowing them down is half the fun.