Virginia is home to several great resorts for group retreats and outdoor team building exercises. Grab the crew and visit some of the following places that are sure to raise morale and productivity. Below is just a sampling of all there is to choose from:
1. Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke
From their Treetop Adventures Aerial and Zip Line Course; 20 miles of hiking and biking trails; disc golf course; to orienteering courses with GPS as well as off mountain activities on the New River, it’s a great place to meet and develop team skills. The newly reopened Mountain Lake Lodge is a getaway featuring cottages; a stone lodge; luxury cottages with fireplaces; and a grand historic Hotel built in 1936 out of native sandstone. The hit movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed at Mountain Lake in 1986. Enjoy hiking, biking, tennis, wagon rides, outdoor recreation, family entertainment and educational programs for children.
2. The Tides Inn, Irvington
Located in the charming, picturesque community of Irvington, Virginia, the Tides Inn is a destination beyond compare. Nestled on a private peninsula overlooking Carter Creek with a view all the way to the Chesapeake Bay, the Tides Inn is highlighted by lush, manicured grounds and gardens. The Tides Inn offers a wide variety of unique activities to build camaraderie, improve communications and create cohesion within your organization or group. Team-building activities include sailing race, Carters Creek treasure hunt, GPS geocache, glow in the dark golf challenge, horse racing, build-a-boat and more.
3. Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs
The Omni Homestead is a luxury resort and spa surrounded by the four-season splendor of the Allegheny Mountains. The Homestead offers an array of indoor and outdoor activities including two championship golf courses, tennis, shooting club, horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, archery, falconry, mountain biking, Jefferson Pools and carriage rides. Winter activities include skiing, tubing, ice skating, snowboarding and snowmobile tours. A variety of team building activities are also available including a ropes course, fire quest, and Homestead Scavenger Hunt.
4. Primland, Meadows of Dan
Spectacular views, mountain-top chalets, elegant dining, conference facilities, and a wide array of recreational activities await you at Primland Resort, located on a beautiful estate in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The activities offered at Primland include fly-fishing, ATV tours, horseback riding, disc golf, geocaching and more. New at Primland Resort is an 18-hole championship golf course.
5. Bryce Resort, Bayse
Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, Bryce Resort is a 400-acre member-owned resort that is open to the public and is known throughout the mid-Atlantic region as being the most family-oriented resort in Virginia. Bryce Resort offers an exciting ride, consisting of 10 zip line platform stations, connected by more than 3,500 feet of cable traversing down the ski slopes and through the woods. With speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, riders will experience the thrill of flying through the trees and sailing across the open ski slopes, as high as 80 feet above the ground, as they work their way from the top to the bottom of the mountain.
6. Camp Roanoke, Salem
Nestled within 700 acres of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Roanoke is conveniently located off Interstate 81. Available for corporate retreats, outdoor adventure and team building activities; Camp Roanoke is the perfect place for your next meeting. The camp features a high and low ropes course; a 44-foot climbing tower; presentation-ready meeting rooms for up to 300 guests; and heated/air conditioned overnight accommodations for up 80 guests. On-site meal preparation and off-site outdoor trips are available. Staff members are university graduates with accreditations in outdoor recreation programming, wilderness first aid and CPR.
7. Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen
Wintergreen Resort is a four-season mountain retreat on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This beautiful hideaway is the ultimate vacation and conference spot, with 45 holes of championship golf, seasonal skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and more. For your team-building needs, Wintergreen Resort also offers activities such as The Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt, Wintergreen Golf Race, Midnight Madness – Night Light Golf Putting Contest and Cardboard Boat Regatta.
8. Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg
Lansdowne Resort is a full-service resort located eight miles from Washington Dulles International airport and 35 miles from Washington, DC., in scenic and historic Loudoun County. The resort offers team building activities such as cooking challenges, scavenger hunts, corporate Olympics, volleyball, horseshoes, racquet ball and more. They also offer options for off-site activities such as go-kart racing.
Wilderness Adventure is totally surrounded by the national forests, with a beautiful 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They cater to hundreds of groups 12 months of the year; including school groups, church youth groups, corporate retreats, family reunions and more. They offer activities including a high ropes adventure trail; team building and problem solving course; group dynamics workshop; 50′ climbing wall and rappel tower; canoeing; instructional pond kayaking class; river kayaking; off-site rock climbing; caving; mountain biking; fly fishing; outdoor living skills and adventure classes; a giant’s ladder; tubing on Craig Creek; a natural water slide and waterfall hike; and a 900′ zip line.
10. Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg
Set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse country and lush vineyards, Salamander Resort & Spa features 168 luxurious rooms including 17 suites; a 23,000-square-foot lavish spa and unique “treehouse” treatment rooms; a full-service equestrian center with a 22-stall stable and practice ring; and more. They have many exciting group activities from which to choose, including a Tree Top Zip Tour, Survival 101, The Great Cook-Off and various lawn sports including croquet, chess, horseshoes, bocce, and a putting green.
Additional Venues for Team Building
This tree-top adventure park is the largest and first of its kind in central Virginia. Participants independently traverse obstacles suspended between trees. There are 52 obstacles including 13 zip lines, separated into four different courses/trails, similar to those found on a ski mountain. The courses are different levels of difficulty, ranging from beginner to challenging. Each trail consists of elements like rope bridges, logs, cargo nets, swings, ladders, and zip lines.
The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium, Virginia Beach
Located in the majestic trees of the Aquarium, between the Marsh Pavilion and the Bay & Ocean Pavilion, you will find an amazing “aerial forest park.” You’ll see a series of platforms in the trees connected by cable, wood, rope and zip lines to form bridges. Each bridge presents a different challenge of how to get to the next platform. Experience “adventure in the trees” on your own or with friends, family, coworkers and parties.
The EDGE, Prince William
A variety of team simulation obstacles and ropes courses help promote a memorable team building experience when guided by The EDGE’s trained program coordinators. They work on a “Challenge By Choice” model so those who are uncomfortable doing certain activities do not have to, yet can still be a part of the group experience.
Newport News Park Ropes and Initiatives Course, Newport News
This course is designed to provide organized groups with an exciting way to discover more about themselves, others and their environment. Defined as “an obstacle course type adventure that provides both the individual and their group with exciting physical and mental challenges,” the Course offers both low and high event programs and is specifically designed to help your group think outside the box and communicate as one cohesive unit.
Prince William Forest Park, Prince William
Tucked away from all distractions the rustic setting at Prince William Forest Park helps focus the attendees on organizational goals instead of checking email or calling clients. Athletic fields are nearby for a friendly game of kickball, softball or races too.
Travel tree to tree over 4000 feet and through 42 obstacles including 16 zip lines above the Metro Richmond Zoo. Experience the zoo and outdoors from a whole new level. Courses are self guided and require participants to complete an orientation training before proceeding onto the course. Participants can traverse all of the elements of the course at their own pace while always in view of Treetop Zoofari staff.
© Stephanie Kenney for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2014