5 Eco-Friendly, Nature-Based Meetings Venues to Consider for Your Next Event

August 8, 2023

With only a few weeks left of the summer season, now is the perfect time to step outside of the traditional urban conference center environment and take your event into the great outdoors! Besides allowing participants to connect with nature, hosting meetings and events at national and state parks and other natural environments offer an array of benefits to meeting planners and attendees, including reducing stress, improving overall well-being and increasing focus, creativity and productivity. 

At venues surrounded by natural wonders, meetings attendees can take advantage of breaks and free time to appreciate and explore the surrounding environment, enjoy outdoor activities and network with their fellow participants in a more relaxed and informal atmosphere. As an added bonus, by booking events at national and state parks, planners are helping to contribute to the preservation of protected areas and their natural beauty for the enjoyment of future generations. 

Delaware North Parks & Resorts offers a variety of properties that are ideal for immersive and engaging events in nature-forward destinations. All of their resorts have committed to Delaware North’s GreenPath initiative, a set of shared guidelines across properties designed to minimize the environmental impact of events by maximizing the use of sustainable resources and environmentally-responsible practices for event management. 

Here are five eco-conscious resort properties to consider for your next nature-inspired meeting or event! 

Tenaya at Yosemite – Fish Camp, Calif.

A remote eco-resort situated just minutes from the entrances to Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest, Tenaya at Yosemite and its expansive grounds are home to a 249-room main lodge, beautiful cottages, private Explorer Cabins, a full-size pool with cabanas and several dining options. Providing immediate access to nature, the property features several walking trails on the grounds, while hotel staff run guided nature walks, archery, rock-climbing, gold-panning and more from the resort. 

Meetings Amenities: 

  • 14 flexible meeting rooms and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom that seats up to 850
  • Complete Meeting Packages with all-inclusive event prices, including all expenses and materials needed for day events 
  • Full-service catering recognized by the American Culinary Federation and Culinary Institute of America and led by Certified Executive Chef Frederick Clabaugh 
  • Five onsite restaurants 
  • Customizable group activities including guided hikes, Yosemite 360 tours, whitewater rafting, mountain biking/e-bikes and more
  • Centrally located near the Fresno-Yosemite airport
Tenaya Lodge meeting space


Don’t miss: Experience the vast beauty of Yosemite National Park from a comfortable tour bus on Yosemite360 Tours. Showcasing the grandeur of the 1,200-square-mile protected area of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the tours leave Tenaya Lodge in the morning, include lunch and arrive back on property in the late afternoon. 

Ridgeline Hotel – Estes Park, Colo.

Located at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, The Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park provides an inspiring backdrop for corporate events or conferences. Offering 147 guest rooms and more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, the property features endless mountain vistas and an onsite pool, hot tub, movie theater and outdoor fire pits. Groups can enjoy freshly prepared American fare and local brews at the onsite restaurant and bar, Latitude 105 Alehouse. 

Meetings Amenities:

  • Attached directly to the hotel, Estes Park Conference Center features three main meeting rooms, including the Grand Ballroom that holds up to 650 people and can be broken into six separate rooms 
  • Onsite catering service that can stage delicious buffets, elegantly plated banquet meals, outdoor dining events or snack/drink service for happy hours
  • The 5,600-sq.-ft. Aspen Courtyard with a large event tent for outdoor receptions or meetings
  • The Rocky Mountain Retreat Rewards program, offering perks and discounts for large-group bookings, ranging from waived bar set-up fees to discounts on Rocky Mountain National Park tours with a local outfitter
Ridgeline Hotel at Estes Park ballroom


Don’t miss: For meeting planners who hold events on-property, the Ridgeline Hotel at Estes Park offers its unique Rocky Mountain Retreats program, which includes a discount towards excursions with local ATV outfitter WildSide 4x4 Tours. Attendees can experience the wild side of Rocky Mountain adventure as they traverse rugged terrains and winding trails on an ATV.  

Peaks of Otter Lodge – Bedford, Va.  

Based around the three “Peaks of Otter” mountains overlooking Bedford, the Peaks of Otter Lodge has been operating along the historic Blue Ridge Parkway in the Virginia Highlands since the 1960s. Ideal for a rejuvenating Blue Ridge Mountain getaway, the resort sits alongside pristine Abbott Lake and offers easy access to dozens of miles of hiking trails within the Appalachian landscape. Guests can hike to the top of one of three surrounding peaks, take in the scenic views by the lakeside fire pit or take a drive on the nearby Blue Ridge National Scenic Byway. 

Meetings Amenities:

  • Two onsite meeting rooms fully equipped with wifi, teleconferencing, white boards and all other AV needs. Holds up to 100 people
  • Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Views offers a regional tour package designed for groups that showcases nearby historical sites from colonial history and Shenandoah National Park
  • Onsite catering service offering a full-service menu for meals and happy hours
Peaks of Otter Lodge


Don’t miss: Take in the stunning view from the 4,000-foot Sharp Top Mountain, one of the three “Peaks of Otter,” via the Sharp Top Mountain Shuttle, which brings guests within 1,500 feet of the summit. Leaving from the property, guests have the option to take the ride up and hike back (or vice versa), or take a roundtrip shuttle ride to enjoy the scenic Appalachian wilderness. 

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake – Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio

A picturesque lakeside resort situated on the shores of Lake Erie in the heart of Ohio wine country, The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake offers 109 rooms in the main lodge, some with lake views, and 25 lakeside cottages with covered porches and upscale décor and amenities. Guests can dash through the trees onsite and take in lake views from above with a Lake Erie Canopy Tour, the onsite zipline network running through the property’s small, forested area. The property offers golf cart and bike rentals in the summer and snowshoe and ski rentals in the winter, as well as scenic bus tours of the region visiting local vineyards and Northern Ohio’s iconic covered bridges. 

Meetings Amenities: 

  • Onsite conference center with 8 meeting rooms spread out across 8,500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space
  • An Executive Retreats team that can build packages for groups wishing to experience zipline tours and wine country excursions before or after meeting sessions 
  • Renowned onsite culinary team that can prepare customized banquet menus, from breakfasts to informal buffets and full-plated dinners  
The Lodge at Geneva meeting space


Don’t miss: Meetings groups can truly immerse themselves in the region’s wine country via the property’s Ohio Wine Shuttle, which takes travelers to three wineries/vineyards in Ashtabula County showcasing the best flavors of Ohio.  

Squire Resort at The Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon Village, Ariz.

Located just miles away from one of the seven wonders of the world, Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon offers 322 rooms, four onsite food and beverage outlets, a bowling alley and an indoor and outdoor pool. With convenient admission to Grand Canyon National Park, only 7 miles away, groups can enjoy hiking, aerial tours, donkey rides and whitewater rafting. The resort’s ideal location provides visitors with admission to the park’s top attractions, including the Desert View, the Trail of Time, Mather Point, Yavapai Point and other sightseeing adventures. 

Meetings Amenities: 

  • Four meeting rooms totaling 4,745 sq. ft., with capacities ranging from 35-250 with flexible room setups
  • In-house catering providing meals and snacks for groups and events
  • Business center with full A/V capabilities on premises
  • Discounted group rates for organized group excursions such as hiking trails, jeep tours, helicopter rides and rafting expeditions for 5-50 people
Squire Resort at The Grand Canyon guest suite


Don’t miss: Meetings at Squire Resort aren’t complete without a group expedition into the world wonder that is the Grand Canyon. Arranged by concierge staff, the resort’s Group Adventure Tour offers hiking expeditions, jeep tours, helicopter rides and rafting trips for groups of five to 50 people.


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