Most of the time, when companies turn to Flok for help planning their corporate retreat, they don’t have a destination in mind...that’s where we come in. Continue reading for a run-down of the factors that we consider when advising on where to go — plus a list of the 15 best destinations across the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.
How to select a corporate retreat destination
- First, align on the goals of your retreat
If team building is high on your list, it’s important to consider locations with ample activities either in the resort/hotel or in the surrounding area (think hiking, boating, skiing, water sports, yoga, etc). If you’re hoping to have the team work in the morning and enjoy downtime later in the afternoon, locations with work-friendly venues (fast wifi, suitable table space, etc) are critical.
- Pay close attention to budget
Unsurprisingly, price is typically the biggest determinant of location. If you’re budgeting $2000/person, for example, European locations would be off the table since an average flight from the U.S. would run you around $1200, give or take depending on what coast you’re on. However, domestic flights can come in at under $500, meaning there’s more room for upgraded lodging and additional activities.
Time of year (with regards to peak/off-seasons) also factors into the budget. Traveling to Jamaica in February will cost you a whole lot more than July.
- Don’t discount duration
Even if your budget allows for an international trip, your allocated retreat duration may not. As a rule of thumb, we recommend stays of at least one week for international trips to account for travel time, jet lag, etc. For domestic trips, 3 nights/4 days can work well.
- Consider proximity to major airports
Otherwise, you’ll be spending more time (and money) on transportation — think shuttle buses, trains, jumper planes, etc.
- Don’t forget about the language barrier
Some teams don’t mind going to a destination where English isn’t the primary language; however, it is something to consider since it can complicate things such as in-destination transportation.
15 best corporate retreat destinations
In the United States
1. Austin, Texas
The capital city of Texas has much to offer for large and small teams alike, including a vibrant food scene, outdoor boating activities, and endless opportunities for live music (nothing brings the team together like learning the Texas Two-Step!).
- Barton Springs Pool: a 3-acre, spring-fed pool in the center of the city
- South Congress: a hip neighborhood with boutique shops and endless restaurants
- Lady Bird Lake: perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding
- Sixth Street: a go-to for a team bar crawl
Best time to go: September - November or March - May
2. Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucked away in east Maricopa County, Scottsdale — which is part Greater Phoenix — is an ideal corporate retreat destination. The airport sits just a short 9 miles north of downtown Scottsdale, which means less time spent in taxis/buses and more time enjoying the pools, deserts, spas, and restaurants of the city.
- McDowell Sonoran Preserve: with more than 225 miles of trails across 30,500 acres, this is the largest urban preserve in the nation
- Old Town: charming walkable neighborhood filled with art galleries, shops, and restaurants — you can even take a team tour on golf carts!
- Sonoran Desert: perfect for horseback riding, off-roading, river rafting, hot air balloon rides, and more
Best time to go: Late September - November or March - May
3. Denver, Colorado
If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, it doesn’t get much better than Denver. Because it sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level, it’s affectionately known as the “Mile High City.” You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking trails and craft beer breweries. Plus, its walkable downtown will make onsite transportation that much easier.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater: made entirely of red sandstone rocks, this hub for live music and entertainment is a perfect place to bring your team
- Larimer Square: the bustling downtown area (think shopping, dining, and nightlife)
- Denver Zoo: this 84-acre zoo with more than 3,000 wild animals works to protect species threatened by human encroachment and habitat loss around the world
- Craft Brewery Tour: take your pick from a wide variety of options, including the Coors Brewery Tour, Denver Microbrew Tour, Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours, and more
- Adams Falls: a scenic round-trip hike in Rocky Mountain National Park
Best time to go: April - May or September - October
4. Los Angeles, California
This sprawling city in Southern California offers all the outdoor activities your team could want — from relaxing beach time to hikes in the Hollywood Hills. Bonus points for the fact that it averages just around 200 days of sunshine a year. Do keep in mind, though, that traffic in LA can get bad, so we recommend finding a resort, rental home, or Airbnb with activities nearby so you can minimize time spent in Ubers. (Flok can help out with this.)
- Griffith Park: the hike is worth it for the quintessential, postcard-perfect LA view
- Santa Monica Pier & Beach: located west of downtown LA, Santa Monica is perfect for a relaxing beach day, a bike ride along the 22-mile path, or a ride on the iconic Ferris Wheel
- Zuma Beach: a 1.8-mile beach that’s perfect for swimming
- Sunset Boulevard: arguably THE most famous thoroughfare in the U.S.
Best time to go: March - May or September - November
5. San Francisco, California
Thinking about California but not sure LA is right for your team? Look no further than San Francisco, a 7-mile city that’s jam-packed with diverse activities to entertain everyone on your team. Plus, it’s close to Napa (for the wine vineyards) and Monterey (for the rugged, picturesque coast)—both great day trips for a group.
- Golden Gate Bridge: be sure to take a team photo against the backdrop of the city’s most popular and majestic tourist attraction
- Alcatraz: a former federal prison located on a rocky island in the middle of San Francisco Bay (fun fact: it once housed Al Capone!)
- Cable Cars: for a true San Francisco experience, commute via cable car with your team — it’s the last of its kind in the U.S.
- Twin Peaks: a go-to hiking spot
- The Castro: the vibrant center of the city’s LBGTQ community, formerly home to Harvey Milk
Best time to go: September - November
6. Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah
Located in the northeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley, the capital city of Utah is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake to the northwest, the Wasatch-Cache Range (and Park City!) to the east, and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. Its unique geography makes for spectacular outdoor adventure opportunities for your team’s getaway, including hiking in nearby national parks, mountain biking, and horseback riding. And of course, if you visit during the winter, there’s skiing and snowboarding, plus snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
- National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, and Capitol Reef
- State Parks: Great Salt Lake, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Goblin Valley, Antelope Island, Jordanelle
- Park City: less from an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City is Park City, home of the Sundance Film Festival, Utah Olympic Park, and 400 miles of maintained trailers for mountain biking and hiking
- Great Salt Lake: largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River
- Liberty Park: 80 acres of pristine wilderness with bike paths, concession stands, picnic areas, and tennis/volleyball courts...the perfect spot for team-building activities
Best time to go: September - October (just before ski season but after peak summer) or mid-November - early April (for skiing)
7. Miami, Florida
Miami is a great company retreat location for several reasons. For one, you can count on the weather being pretty much beautiful all year round. Plus, there’s no shortage of world-class dining options, event spaces, and beachfront hotels with meeting rooms — all of which make this vibrant metropolis the perfect destination for your offsite.
- Little Havana: the cultural capital for Cuban-Americans (make a bee-line for Calle Ocho — aka 8th Street — and bring your team to Versailles Restaurant)
- Everglades National Park: the largest subtropical wetland in the U.S., located just 30 miles west of downtown Miami
- Miami Beach: home to the bustling, vibrant, Art Deco-inspired South Beach neighborhood
- Wynwood Walls: one of the largest open-air street art installations in the world
- Crandon Park: this coconut plantation-turned-public park has a tennis center, golf course, marina, and beach
Best time to go: mid-February - May (hurricane off-season)
Looking for a more cost-effective destination in Florida? Fort Lauderdale is your best bet. Not only is it easy to get to with its own airport, but it has 24 miles of sandy beaches and enough restaurants and shops to keep your team busy during the entire retreat.
8. Nashville, Tennessee
Nicknamed “Music City,” Nashville is one of the most well-known music destinations — not just across the U.S., but the world. Streets are lined with bars, concert halls, clubs, and recording stations, but that’s not all this big city with a small-town feel has to offer. Because of its location along the river, Nashville boasts beautiful natural landscapes that make it the perfect location for your next corporate retreat.
- Broadway: the bustling downtown neighborhood filled with clubs, bars, restaurants, and saloons. The old-fashioned trams will whisk your team from one spot to the next, no Ubers required.
- Cumberland Park: 700-mile waterway complete with bike paths, rock climbing, an outdoor amphitheater, and a HUGE splash pad
- Music Row: the most famous music street in Nashville, home to radio stations, record labels, and recording studios — we recommend organizing a team tour with an expert travel guide (which Flok can totally handle for you)
- Warner Parks: lush hills with walking/biking trails, golf courses, tennis courts, and more — great for outdoor team bonding
Best time to go: April - October
9. New York City
Don’t discount The Big Apple when planning your company retreat. Not only will you find state-of-the-art meeting spaces and event venues, but you’ll also have the unrivaled culture of one of the world’s most iconic cities at your fingertips. Here at Flok, we love planning team scavenger hunts in NYC — there’s nothing like a little competition to break the ice.
- Central Park: 843 acres located between the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan
- Statue of Liberty: we recommend a boat tour to give your team the best view of Lady Liberty
- Empire State Building: head to the top of this 102-story Art Deco skyscraper for unrivaled views of the city
- Brooklyn Bridge: bring the team on a sunrise or sunset walk across Brooklyn Bridge for an experience they won’t soon forget
Best time to go: April - June or September - early November
With its dramatic natural beauty, enviable amenities, and laid-back pace of life, Hawaii can’t be beat. If you’re hoping to do nothing but perch you and your team on a beach for some well-deserved R&R, you’ll find ample opportunities for that. But unlike some other beach destinations, there are also opportunities to mix things up with easily accessible outdoor adventures. Not sure which island is best for you or whether should visit one or multiple? Flok can help.
- Waikiki Beach: the most famous in Honolulu (if you’re going to try surfing, this is the spot since the waves aren’t too rough)
- Diamond Head Crater: a challenging hike that’ll reward your team with sweeping views of the ocean, Honolulu skyline, and mountains
- Manoa Falls Trail: a scenic hike that’ll take you past the waterfall featured in both Lost and Jurassic Park
- Pearl Harbor: historical site with two museums, a handful of outdoor exhibits, the Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center, and the USS Arizona Memorial Tour
Best time to go: March - September
11. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole may be best known for its skiing — and for good reason, considering it’s home to three ski areas: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort — but that’s not all it has to offer. It’s also within driving distance of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the ultimate setting for an unforgettable company retreat. If you’re hoping to spend time away from your computer on this retreat (and instead spend it biking, fishing, zip-lining, horseback riding, and hiking), Jackson Hole is your spot.
- Jackson Town Square: historic downtown area lined with wooden boardwalks that lead you to some of the city’s most well-known bars and restaurants
- Grand Teton National Park: known for its wildlife, lakes, hiking trails, and majestic Teton Range
- Yellowstone National Park: the world’s first national park, known for its geothermal pools and largest concentration of geysers in the world
Best time to go: April - May or September - October
In the Caribbean
12. Cancun, Mexico
When considering a more tropical locale for their company retreat, many immediately think Hawaii...and for good reason. But don’t discount Cancun. Known for its pristine white sand beaches, turquoise water, vibrant Mayan culture, and range of all-inclusive resorts, this Mexican city — which sits on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula — is practically made for company retreats.
- Mercado 28: for Mexican souvenirs and crafts, as well as food stalls
- Beaches: Playa Norte, Isla Contoy, Playa Delfines
- Xcaret Park: Eco-archaeological park
- El Meco Archaeological Site: to tour Mayan ruins
Best time to go: December - April (for the best weather but peak season crowds/prices) or July - October (for better deals but potentially rainy weather)
Caribbean Airlines, JetBlue, United, and Fly Jamaica all offer direct flights to Jamaica from cities across the U.S., making this island country in the Caribbean an easily accessible destination. Plus, there’s nothing like jerk chicken, rum cocktails, and reggae music to help your team reset and recharge.
- Rick’s Café: a Jamaican mainstay, offering laid-back Caribbean fare with a side of cliff jumping
- Blue Hole: natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios that’s perfect for swimming and cliff jumping
- Ocho Rios: former fishing village-turned-resort hub with hotels, rainforests, waterfalls, and more
- Blue Mountains: a hiker’s paradise, offering stunning vistas of the Jamaican countryside from the island’s highest peak at 2,256m
- Beaches: Doctor’s Cave Beach, Cornwall Beach, Seven Mile Beach
- Bob Marley Museum: escape the heat with a tour of the former home and recording studio of reggae legend Bob Marley, which is located in the capital city of Kingston
Best time to go: November - mid-December (to avoid hurricane season and sky-high holiday prices)
14. Porto, Portugal
Located along the Douro River, Portugal’s second city has much to offer in the way of cultural activities for your team — from the UNESCO-designated historic center to the stunning Romanesque architecture, bustling food scene, and proximity to one of the world’s leading wine regions. Plus, unlike other smaller cities in Europe, Porto is relatively easy to access with major airlines offering direct flights from the U.S.
- Ribeira Square: picturesque plaza by the Rio Douro with narrow streets and homes in the city’s characteristic warm-colored tiles
- Clérigos Tower: a Baroque masterpiece that offers up some of the best aerial views of the city
- São Bento Train Station: celebrated for its blue and white azulejo ceramic tiles and French Beaux-Arts facade
- Mosteira da Serra do Pilar: former monastery that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996
- Liberdade Square: Porto’s main square and the former political, economic, and social hub of the city
Best time to go: May - September
15. Athens, Greece
There’s a reason Athens is as iconic and storied as it is. Known as the southern capital of Europe, this bustling Greek city of 3 million people is quite popular for international company retreats. Not only do you have attractions like the Parthenon — the birthplace of democracy — at your fingertips, but you also have spots like the Monastiraki neighborhood, which is filled with vibrant markets and gardens. And if you want to split your time between the city and an island, it’s easy to do so with Athens as your base...just leave the planning to Flok.
- Parthenon: an ancient temple built by the Athenians in honor of their goddess, Athena
- Acropolis: ancient citadel that houses the Parthenon
- Plaka: shopping district for food, souvenirs, and clothing
- Monastiraki Square: former monastery-turned-bustling square in the heart of the flea market neighborhood of old Athens
- Syntagma Square: known for the hourly changing of the guards ceremony
Best time to go: March - May or September - November
Considering a destination not covered on this list (say, Las Vegas or Washington D.C.)? Flok can help. We’ll find your ideal destination based on your budget and team goals, book your work-optimized venue, and coordinate flights so you can finally get your team together.