Finding a recommendation for a warm weather escape in the dead of a Minnesota winter is quick and easy. Ask a neighbor, post the question on facebook, scan a newspaper. Think Cancun or South Beach. And hordes of people. And chances are a co-worker can talk your ear off about great ski mountains with blissfully barren back bowls or a great place to stay in Tuscany.

But when it comes to seeking solitude and finding the quiet within, do you really want to trust the guy at the water cooler or the virtual thumb’s up from “I’ma- world-traveler” on Trip Advisor? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. Vacation time is precious. Like sand sifting through your fingers, it slips by quickly. If it’s soul-seeking and time away to clear your head and perhaps heal your heart, do your research and choose wisely. Think about the type of experience you are really looking for. Silent retreat? A week away with a theme such as Compassion? Or time away to get your diet back on track and be thoughtful about what you put into your body?

Retreats abound these days. Take your time to really think about the type of experience you want. And let the journey unfold from there. Following are some suggestions to help you explore the possibilities. Brew yourself some chamomile, and read on.

Arts Retreats

Anderson Center
Rooms available from November-April in historic house on 330 acres in the bluff-land region of the upper Mississippi.
Red Wing, MN651-388-2009
The Grand Marais Art Colony
Began in 1947 as a summer refuge for artists seeking study in the wilderness. Workshops in print-making, book arts, sculpture, drawing, and watercolor, acrylic, oil, and sumi-e painting.
Grand Marais, MN218-387-2737
Tofte Lake Center
A creative retreat center for artists, scholars and thinkers of all disciplines located on the shores of Tofte Lake, a beautifully secluded lake near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. From June through September, TLC offers creative residencies for individuals, artistic groups, and organizations who seek to create work in residence in a natural setting with arts facilities and comfortable cabins.
Ely, MN218-365-7769

Families Coping With an Ill Child or Loss

Faith's Lodge
A unique retreat center for families who have a seriously ill child or have suffered the loss of a child. Located on 80 acres, about two hours from the Twin Cities.
Danbury, WI612-825-2073

Nature Retreats

Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center
In January 2020, the Audubon Center of the North Woods formally changed its name to Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center. A private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) residential environmental learning and conference & retreat center in east central MN, providing environmental and outdoor education programs since 1971.
Sandstone, MN320-245-2648
Boundary Waters Canoe Area
The BWCA is a 1,098,000-acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest.
Northern MN218-626-4300


ARC Retreat Community
Nestled in 90 acres of pine forest and wetlands, ARC is an interspiritual retreat community. ARC's mission is to serve individuals and groups seeking time apart for rest and spiritual renewal. ARC is nurtured on sacred land, promoting environmental sustainability, and exemplifying a just and inclusive world where every voice is valued and respected. ARC is a powerful place to do your healing work. We welcome you. Labyrinth, fire circle, library, chapel, meeting rooms.
Stanchfield, MN763-689-3540
Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
Contemporary monastic environment of Benedictine Sisters.
St. Paul, MN651-777-7251
Christ the King Retreat Center
Oblates of Mary Immaculate offer accommodations in a retreat house that overlooks Lake Buffalo. Each day, besides the celebration of the Eucharist, the retreatant meets with a director to talk about his or her personal journey and experience of God. The rest of the time is spent in solitude and silence relaxing, praying, reading and reflecting.
Buffalo, MN763-682-1394
Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
Each year more than 3,000 men from all walks of life participate in retreats at the Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House. Retreats at Demontreville have one theme: to know, love, and serve God in this world. Strict silence is maintained throughout the weekend, except for an optional recreation period after dinner on Friday and Saturday.
Lake Elmo, MN651-777-1311
Dan Anderson Renewal Center
Retreat lodge for those living the 12-Step recovery program. Retreat participants will enjoy a variety of group and speaker sessions, recovery yoga, evening fellowship, healthy meals and access to the pool, fitness center, meditation center and more.
Center City, MN1-866-398-2746
Center for Spirituality and Enrichment / McCabe Renewal Center
The Center for Spirituality and Enrichment provides opportunities for holistic spiritual and personal growth grounded in the Catholic Benedictine tradition of St. Scholastica Monastery.
Duluth, MN218-724-5266
The Fields at Rootsprings
Personal and small group retreats centering healing for BIPOC and LGBTQ. 36 acres with 3 cozy hermitages. Sauna, massage, and reflective space in Wellness Center. Walking paths in woods, labyrinth through the prairie, and small spring-fed lake.
Annandale, MN612-888-6445 (call or text)
Lakeplace Retreat Center
Provided by The Fellowship Foundation, The Lakeplace Retreat Center is a family owned business operated by three generations, as well as a dedicated staff, all sharing their strength, hopes, and experiences. Located on a remote lake in Northern Minnesota, all living facilities are surrounded by acres of birch, pine, and hardwoods. Lakeplace is an ideal setting providing a non-institutional atmosphere reminiscent of a resort where time for reflection, fellowship, and sober recreation is a key element.
Isanti, MN218-245-1395
The Retreat / McIver Center
We believe spirituality is critical to a successful and fulfilling life and recovery. The McIver Center is available for use by private groups and is also available to Twelve Step Groups, spiritual communities, outside groups, and organizations. Our 18 bed facility can accommodate groups of 24 for daytime events. Our staff is available to work with each group to help shape and personalize their retreat experience.
Wayzata, MN866-928-3434
The Spirituality Center at St. Benedict's Monastery
Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict offer rooms at their Spirituality Center, Studium and two hermitages located near a labyrinth, walking paths and woods. Due to COVID-19, some programs have been canceled.
St. Joseph, MN320-363-7112
St. John's Abbey Guesthouse
Benedictine monks offer 30 rooms in their guesthouse that also has a meditation chapel, library, meeting rooms, and dining room. On the campus at St. John’s University. Plans to re-open June 1.
Collegeville, MN320-363-2573
Waldheim Resort
Vacation destination in Minnesota’s Northwoods on the sandy shores of Big Pine Lakes, halfway between the Twin Cities and Duluth. Cabins, RV camping, events. Two lakes are known for crappie, bass, northern, walleye and both sunfish and bluegills. Local proximity to trails, rivers, state parks and forests offer an extension of activities to the resort.
Finlayson, MN320-321-9096

Online resources

FindtheDivine, an online directory of spiritual retreats, religious retreats and conference centers. Includes articles and blog.

Loyola Press. Experiment with a three-minute online retreat. “Three-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. www.

Minnesota specific retreat links:

Last Updated on May 27, 2021