Did you know that you can get a temperature estimate from the frequency of cricket chirps? The next time you hear those common Bay Area snowy tree crickets chirping up a summer storm, pay attention. Notice if it feels warmer around you all of a sudden.

But why would I need that if I’ve got my phone always nearby to tell me about the weather and anything else I might want to know? Because it’s special. Because it’s simple and instinctual. Because it’s a perfect pathway to reconnecting with the natural world that is always around us and yet so often out of reach.

With the miraculous and generous environments that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, it would be a shame to go through life and not tune into its immense energy and inspiration. Sure, we tap into its resources all the time—but rarely are we in touch with true gratitude for its unparalleled gifts. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to reconnect. A weekend, a day, a moment—to remember the crickets who are behind the noise—is all it takes to tap our sources of life and peace and possibility. Let’s explore the various retreat locations in the Bay Area as you narrow in on the fitting spot for your upcoming event.

Choosing a Bay Area Retreat Location to Strengthen Your Unique Goals

Because the Bay Area is so rich in vibrant natural environments, it can be overwhelming to try to narrow in on a single perfect venue to host your next retreat. So, we’re going to help you narrow it down by location type once you’ve identified your event goals. Whether you’re planning a company retreat, a yoga or wellness retreat, a church retreat, a family reunion, or any other variety of gathering, there are a few things you’ll want to commit to before you even scope out your venue.

  1. What is the experience you intend to create for the participants of this retreat?
  2. As you retreat from regular life and routines for a time, what do you intend to retreat to? Is the purpose to reconnect with nature; to reconnect with the group or the team and its goals; to have quiet, personal journeys of reflection; to create new healthy habits? What is your retreat’s purpose?
  3. What are some activities necessary to fulfill these objectives?

In a lot of ways, your venue will help to shape your planning and the overall architecture of the retreat. But the clearer you are about these basic intentions, the clearer your decision will be when you’re visiting venues and imagining the on-site possibilities. Your perfect retreat location will do more than simply host your event; it will enhance your goals and the value of the time you spend there.

Which Retreat Locations Are Suited to Your Plans?


Our Bay Area coastline, from the Monterey Bay up through the Sonoma County winds and wilds, serves as a retreat even if it’s only a short drive away. It can be immensely refreshing to stand at the cliff’s or water’s edge and feel the cleansing rhythms of the waves and the wind. The sensory nature of the dramatic coastline and waves can be incredibly healing, but it might also be a little overwhelming. It can be a challenge at times to hear and work together in this landscape, and you may find yourself needing to head indoors to pull out a journal or other tool for quiet reflection.


Our ancient redwoods provide shade and color and fresh air. In fact, redwood groves form an altogether natural venue of their own. Here, you’ll find peace and quiet and direct connection with vibrant plants and other wildlife. If your venue is woven in among the trees, then even your indoor time will be influenced by their patience and steadiness.

Or, if your goals steer in a more active direction, you may find that a ropes course at a forest retreat venue can introduce a thrilling, out-of-the-ordinary experience for personal and team growth.


The Bay Area’s ultimate retreat is tucked away, high in the mountains. Again, the drive from home doesn’t have to be significant, but the lengths/depths of rejuvenation and refuge are extensive. A mountain retreat center introduces challenges if you are depending on a caterer and other vendors to come out and support your event. But an all-inclusive mountain venue eliminates those challenges and leaves you free to focus on those meaningful objectives and your retreat-goers’ experiences.

All of the Above, and More

In the wide Bay Area world of possibilities, you can find all of these retreat location types rolled into one. After all, the mountain perspective offers clean views of the crashing coastline, and much of our mountain land is undeveloped and full of robust forest life.

Are you starting to get a better imaginative sense of the type of Bay Area retreat location that would help you pull off your goals? Determining the type of natural setting will help you to narrow down your list of potential venues. Then, it’s time to schedule visits. Retreat venues aren’t just about the natural landscape; the success of your event will also rely on the event coordinators and venue staff who will be supporting you. So, take advantage of tour opportunities. Let the retreat locations speak to you of the possibilities—and listen to the human-inspired ideas as well. Your best-case scenario is that this retreat turns out even better than you envisioned and planned thanks to your venue’s guidance.

We’re happy to offer ocean views, forest respite, and mountain insight all at once. At Kennolyn, we offer an all-inclusive experience with creative catering, cozy lodging, and activities for all different kinds of groups and goals. Give us a call to learn more.

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