When it comes to hosting business meetings, unusual destinations offer unique and memorable experiences for attendees. Unconventional destinations provide an opportunity to break away from traditional settings and create distinctive environments for networking, collaboration, and idea generation.

Choosing an unexpected destination for a business meeting can help create a memorable experience, foster creativity, and provide an opportunity for participants to explore different cultures and environments.

Lesser-known destinations are increasingly serviced by major airlines, making travel logistics easier than ever before. Smaller towns offer increased safety, affordability, and opportunities
for venue buy-outs.

Let’s visit a few of our favorite destinations that offer distinct experiences for your next event.

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Known for its vibrant art scene and adobe architecture, Santa Fe offers a unique blend of Spanish and Native American influences. The city’s rich cultural heritage, art galleries, and outdoor recreational opportunities create an inspiring and memorable backdrop for business meetings.

Planner Fun Facts:
Santa Fe is renowned for its vibrant art scene, featuring over 250 galleries and hosting the world-famous Santa Fe Indian Market.

Meow Wolf, an immersive and interactive art installation, offers a unique team-building experience and sparks creativity and imagination.

Santa Fe’s unique cuisine is influenced by Native American, Spanish, and Mexican flavors including iconic green and red chili dishes.

Consider these Santa Fe favorites:
Hotel Santa Fe – www.hotelsantafe.com
La Fonda – www.lafondasantafe.com

Quaint southwest streets, Santa Fe

2. Asheville, North Carolina
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville combines natural beauty with a thriving arts and culinary scene. The city’s bohemian atmosphere and proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offer a refreshing and creative environment for business meetings.

Planner Fun Facts:
Asheville is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures including hiking, ziplining, and whitewater rafting.

The Asheville Pinball Museum offers a unique offsite venue, allowing attendees to play vintage pinball machines while enjoying local craft beers.

Asheville is home to the largest privately-owned house in the United States, the Biltmore Estate—perfect for meetings, offsite dinners, and wine-tasting events.

Consider these Asheville favorites:
The Biltmore Estate – www.biltmore.com
Grand Bohemian Hotel – https://www.marriott.com/grandbohemian

Natural Beauty, Great Smoky Mountains

3. Austin, Texas
Austin, known for music festivals and vibrant nightlife, provides a fun, unconventional setting for business meetings. The city’s thriving tech scene and entertainment culture create a dynamic, energized environment for activities once the meeting day concludes.

Planner Fun Facts:

Often referred to as “Silicon Hills,” Austin is a thriving tech hub with a thriving start-up scene and hosts major conferences including SXSW Interactive.

Known for its motto “Keep Austin Weird,” and known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin boasts more than 250 live music venues.

Austin’s flourishing food truck culture offers numerous mobile eateries showcasing a diverse range of cuisines.

Consider these Austin favorites:
Four Seasons Austin – https://www.fourseasons.com/austin
Omni Barton Creek – www.omnihotels.com/bartoncreek

The Mighty Colorado River, Austin

4. Bar Harbor, Maine
Situated on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a picturesque coastal town near Acadia National Park. Its rugged coastline, quaint towns, and fresh seafood options offer a picturesque and serene and rejuvenating setting for smaller, intimate business meetings and corporate retreats.

Planner Fun Facts:
The region’s proximity to the Gulf of Maine affords a memorable sunrise experience and provides a serene and inspiring start to the day.

Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park, a stunning destination with diverse landscapes and offers excellent team-building and recreational opportunities.

Bar Harbor is known for its delicious lobster rolls and vibrant food scene, perfect for memorable group dining experiences.

Consider these Bar Harbor favorites:
Harborside Hotel – www.opalcollection.com/harborside
Atlantic Oceanside – www.barharbormainehotel.com

Idyllic serenity, Bar Harbor

5. Key West, Florida
Known for laid-back vibes and stunning sunsets, Key West offers a relaxed and tropical atmosphere for business meetings. Attendees can enjoy water activities, stroll the lively atmosphere of Duval Street and experience eclectic Caribbean influences.

Planner Fun Facts:
Key West is the southernmost city in the continental United States, offering a unique tropical setting and a vibrant island atmosphere.

Key West hosts a daily tradition of celebrating the sunset with a nightly festival known as the “Sunset Celebration” at Mallory Square.

Key West hosts an annual event called “Fantasy Fest,” a vibrant and eccentric ten-day celebration known for its elaborate costumes and parades.

Consider these Key West favorites:
Opal Key West – www.opalcollection.com
Key West Marriott Beachside – www.marriott.com/KeyWest

Tropical paradise, Key West

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