Soul Soothing Retreats

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
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
For over thirty years the Benedictine Center has been helping guests find their way to quiet, prayer, and renewal. Contemporary monastic environment of Benedictine Sisters.
St. Paul, MN651-777-7251
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.
Buffalo, MN763-682-1394
The Christine Center
For over 40 years the Christine Center has provided a spiritual home to visitors of all spiritual paths. A woodland sanctuary with a beautiful circular meditation hall, chapel, library and bookstore. Programs offer healing and personal development. Private hermitages and group housing, always open art studio, great home cooking, hiking trails and sauna.
Willard, WI715-267-7507
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
Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago
The Jesuit Retreat House (JRH) is located 6 miles south of Oshkosh on 20 beautiful acres along Lake Winnebago. JRH offers six 12-Step Recovery Weekend Retreats for women and men starting Thursday evening with dinner and ending Sunday after Mass and lunch. Weekend conferences based on 12-Steps offered each day. Mass, private reflection, devotions, spiritual direction, private reconciliation, a healing service, and a 12-Step meeting is also offered.
Oshkosh, WI920-231-9060
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
MN Humanities Center
Surrounded by parkland yet minutes from the downtown St. Paul, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the city. With private overnight lodging, flexible meeting spaces, and onsite catering staff preparing every meal, consider the center for your next retreat. Give your event the attention it deserves at the Minnesota Humanities Event Center.
St. Paul, MN651-774-0105
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center
Surrounded by 150 acres of woods, lakes, and prairies, guests are nourished and restored by connecting with nature, others, and themselves. Our meeting spaces and overnight accommodations welcome groups and individuals for day retreats or overnight stays. Fresh, nutritious meals are served daily. Amenities like the pool, labyrinth, and trails enrich your renewal. Spiritual care and programming support are available.
Farmington, MN952-469-2175
Pacem in Terris Hermitage Retreat Center
Founded in the Franciscan tradition, Pacem serves God’s people through prayer and by providing the opportunity to retreat into the silence and solitude of a simple hermitage environment. Pacem serves both individuals and groups amidst a 240-acre wilderness, including oak woodlands, wetlands, native prairie, and a lake.
Isanti, MN763-444-6408
Dan Anderson Renewal Center
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 (including Legend,the therapy dog).
Center City, MN1-800-262-4882
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
Shalom Spirituality Center
Shalom Spirituality Center has various options available if you are looking for a quiet space or considering time away for a private overnight retreat.
Dubuque, IA563-582-3592
St. Anthony Spirituality Center
Continuing our Franciscan roots we welcome all seeking healing, hope and transformation through deeper connection with the Divine, Self, Others and Creation. In the heart of Wisconsin, St. Anthony’s offers themed retreats, recovery retreats and private, individual retreats. Come experience peace and tranquility in our historical building and acres of beautiful grounds, woods and trails.
Marathon, WI715-443-2236
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. Located in central Minnesota on 2,740 acres of woodlands and lakes, the Abbey Guesthouse provides monastic hospitality to all who call.
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

Day Trips in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Visit Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park to see natural wonders above and below ground. Explore the world of Mystery Cave with its stalactites, stalagmites, and underground pools. Also, take in the history of a lost Minnesota city.
Preston, MN507-352-5111
The Lavender Barnyard
The only lavender farm in the state that is fully dedicated to growing lavender. Between May and October, you can schedule a farm tour or even a photo session if you're a photographer.
Farmington, MN651-226-6166
Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo
The Dr. Paul E. Zollman Zoo houses over 30 species of wild animals native to Minnesota. Many of the zoo creatures have physical injuries that have rendered them non-releasable, while others are surplus zoo animals from other facilities.
Byron, MN507-328-7340
White Pine Berry Farm
White Pine Berry Farm started in April 2012. After 40 years in the dairy farm business, the owners decided to begin a new chapter in life and White Pine Berry Farm was born. Since then, the farm has grown strawberries, raspberries (red, black and gold), and blueberries. Other fruits and vegetables such as currants, rhubarb, asparagus, and some fruit trees have been added. They continue to try new varieties of strawberries, blueberry and raspberries. The farm concentrates on being a U-pick fruit farm, but have jams and jellies and prepicked berries if there is excess fruit beyond U-pick demand.
River Falls, WI715-222-2946

Last Updated on May 17, 2023