7 Best Places for Retreats in North Carolina

By Retreat Guru

With its picturesque landscapes and views of the Appalachian Mountains, one of the best places to go on a retreat is in North Carolina. It is a haven for anyone in search of inner peace, relaxation, and spiritual renewal while being surrounded by such natural beauty and wonder.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best places to visit for retreats in North Carolina, catering to various needs and interests of participants. Each of these retreat centers have their own unique blend of programs, specialities, and healing modalities that can help you disconnect from the busyness of everyday life. 

Whether you are planning your first or 10th retreat, here are a few great places you should consider for a memorable and rejuvenating experience.


Prama Institute & Wellness Center

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For close to 30 years, the Prama Institute & Wellness Center has been a beacon for transformative experiences for retreat goers of all kinds. Drawing inspiration from the Sankrit term for “dynamic balance”, they began with a profound vision to help people find equilibrium within themselves and society. Since then, they have evolved into a sanctuary of holistic healing and personal growth.

They built their geodesic dome in 1996 which helped them evolve into a full retreat center that is a sanctuary for holistic healing and personal growth. From yoga and meditation to wellness and spiritual retreats, each program addresses the diverse needs of participants, nurturing their physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. 

Prama emphasizes lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and the importance of community engagement in their retreats that are designed to nourish the mind, body, and soul. Their mission is to help people find dynamic balance and contribute to broader societal shifts by facilitating and collective evolution. Beyond their own programs, Prama also allows other retreat leaders to rent their space to run some of their programs and also have deep ties to the local community.

On average, their retreats can run from 3 to 10 days and cost anywhere from $600 and $2,500 USD. Prama welcomes retreat goers from all backgrounds who want to embark on a journey of self-discovery through active engagement or silent reflection. They take a holistic approach to provide truly immersive retreats in North Carolina.

Our team met with the great people at Prama to get to know them more and better understand their journey. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

Tell us a little about yourself, how did your retreat center get started and what was the inspiration behind it? 

“The story of our retreat center began in the early 1990s when one individual, Jordan, took the initiative to purchase the land. The initial construction phase commenced in 1996, resulting in the iconic double dome structure that became the cornerstone of our center. Initially, the space primarily hosted group meditations and occasional classes in disciplines like Chigong, gradually evolving into a hub for various retreats and practices.

“By 2006, its completion turned it into a full-fledged retreat center. At this point, myself, Ramesh, and my wife, Pamela Neiman, relocated to Asheville to contribute to the center's development. We relied on volunteer efforts and to launch the center in 2007 where the center began to grow naturally. We were able to attract diverse speakers, hosting retreats and workshops of all kinds both onsite and in collaboration with local universities and other organizations.

“Our involvement extended beyond hosting our own events; we also facilitated programs for external groups, helping them with designing, marketing, and executing their retreats. We worked with many practitioners, from yoga instructors to alternative health practitioners, to enrich our community and expand offerings."

What is the lineage of your retreat center and where does it collect its wisdom from?

"Well, you see, we've been deeply immersed in the practice of Yoga and meditation for decades, drawing from the teachings of Srishna Marti, who has been a significant influence on us. Our practice encompasses various aspects, including Ashtanga Yoga and country Yoga, creating a rich and integrated experience that addresses physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.

"When we designed our retreat center, we made sure to infuse it with this integrated approach. We wanted to create a space where people dealing with physical ailments, psychological challenges, or seeking deeper spiritual fulfillment could find support and guidance. That's why our programs always incorporate these three aspects, and sometimes even more.

"Beyond Yoga and meditation, we also explore the arts, like poetry workshops, and engage in social and environmental activism. We believe that our path involves not just personal growth but also contributing to the betterment of society. That's why we collaborate with various groups to offer a wide range of programs that cater to different needs and interests.

"In essence, our approach is holistic, focusing on health, wellness, spiritual growth, and social change. It's about embracing all aspects of life and using them as avenues for personal and collective transformation."

What made you decide to include packages such as cleanses?

“Our journey into holistic wellness began with our teacher's guidance, where we learned about a natural empathic approach integrating water, Yoga postures, meditation, and various healing modalities. Inspired by this, one of our colleagues developed a wellness program centered around juice cleansing, which they encountered during a trip to the Philippines in 2012. Upon returning, we secured donations to construct a dedicated wellness center, solely focused on health and wellness practices.

“This center has become a significant aspect of our work, attracting many individuals seeking wellness retreats and juice cleansing programs. We intertwine these practices with Ayurvedic analysis and diagnostics, ensuring a holistic experience that blends seamlessly with Yoga and meditation. For us, holistic wellness isn't just about cleansing; it's about lifestyle changes. We strive to empower people to make significant shifts in their diets and overall lifestyles, offering talks and guidance on healthy eating and exercise.

“We believe that by combining proper nutrition, exercise, and meditation, we can guide people back to a state of balance. This concept of balance, or "prama" as reflected in our name, underscores our philosophy of continually adapting and evolving. As we progress through life, our practices evolve accordingly, while maintaining certain foundational principles. Our goal is to support individuals on their journey towards holistic wellness, recognizing that true balance requires ongoing adaptation and growth.”

What sort of people does your retreat center attract and who would you be looking to attract more?

“At our center, we welcome everyone, we don’t target any specific groups. Typically, we tend to attract more women, along with professionals in their thirties to sixties. While this would be our main age group, we've also had younger people in their twenties, as well as seniors, attend our workshops. We've even trained people who work with seniors, expanding our outreach.

“Our pricing is set slightly below standard rates, and we also offer scholarships as well as a sliding scale payment option to accommodate those in tough financial positions. This way, we strive to make our programs accessible to as many people as possible. We aim to create an inclusive and affordable space for anyone seeking wellness and personal growth.”

How difficult or easy is it to travel to your retreat center? Is it easily accessible?

“Our center is easy to reach, attracting people from Asheville and beyond. Asheville's growing popularity means many come by car from nearby cities like Atlanta and Raleigh, or even fly in from places like New York or California. From downtown Asheville, it's just a short drive to our peaceful location, surrounded by nature. While we might seem remote, we're only a short distance from Marshall, offering the tranquility of rural life without being too far from civilization.”

The Art of Living Retreat Center

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Located by the Boone's Blue Ridge Mountains, the Art of Living Retreat Center is a sanctuary for those in search of inner peace, relaxation, and holistic wellness. Their goal is to help participants live a healthier, happier, and more peaceful life by offering a blend of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness retreats.

With 380 acres of natural splendor, they are a refuge for people to disconnect from the world and reconnect with themselves. Through Ayurvedic body treatments, sunrise meditations, and forest walks, guests are invited to create their own path to wellness and relaxation.

They offer a variety of different programs that, on average, run for about 3 days and cost between $500 and $1,500. Guests are taken on a transformative journey by immersing in practices that promote more relaxation, happiness, and recovery.

The Art of Living is a very well-recognized brand and continues to set the bar when it comes to wellness retreats. They have received a lot of praise from major publications such as The Washington Post and USA Today as well as glowing reviews of the thousands of participants they have served over the years. 

This center continues to exceed expectations, offering incredible experiences for their guests and is a perfect destination for anyone looking for some of the best retreats in North Carolina.


Village Yoga

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Located along the incredible shores of Duck, North Carolina, Village Yoga offers a tranquil space to escape for yoga enthusiasts of all levels. They are a social entrepreneurship on a mission to support and lead a conscious community. They believe that yoga is a powerful tool for positive growth for everyone at any stage of their life.

Led by knowledgeable instructors, their programs are tailored to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. Through their retreats, classes, and training, they aim to support and promote the Outer Banks yoga community through creativity, authenticity, and joy.

Village Yoga offers a combination of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, mindfulness, and wellness practices. All of their retreats are catered to meet the needs of participants and are meant for those seeking a peaceful environment for introspection, self-reflection, and renewal.

Village Yoga’s retreats can run anywhere from 4 to 10 days and cost between $1,000 and $2,500 on average. They are committed to providing transformative experiences for their guests making them a great destination for retreats in North Carolina.

Bend of Ivy Lodge

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Bend of Ivy Lodge is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville, North Carolina and is a very serene place for a retreat by the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 63 acres of private land, it is a great setting for a memorable retreat experience.

Once a tobacco barn, Bend of Ivy was founded in 1996 by Doug and Walker Silsbee where it became a beacon for wellness and spiritual retreats. Currently, it is owned and managed by Susan Walters Minker and Alan Minker who took over in 2014. They are dedicated to fostering intentional growth for individuals and communities and have been able to infuse their own passion for holistic wellness while honoring the center’s legacy.

Bend of Ivy's charm lies in what makes it unique. There are ten picturesque trails, a tranquil labyrinth, a serene Koi pond, and a meditation garden, offering opportunities for reflection and connection with nature. Guests can unwind by the river, build rock cairns, or gather around the fire pit to connect and contemplate. 

Bend of Ivy retreats encompass wellness, yoga, meditation, and spiritual exploration. They cater to those looking for inner peace and intentional growth by providing a sanctuary for transformation and rejuvenation. Their retreat center welcomes individuals and families alike while providing a safe space for women.

The duration of their retreats depends on the guest and pricing is available upon request. Whether you are looking for a short getaway or an extended retreat, Bend of Ivy offers great retreats in North Carolina for guests to reconnect with nature and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Our team met with the Bend of Ivy Lodge to learn more about them and their journey. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

How did Bend of Ivy get started and what’s your story?

“We stepped in as the current stewards and owners of Bend of Ivy in 2014 so we’ve been operating it for about 10 years now. Bend of Ivy has been a true retreat center since 1996 and was established by the former founders and visionaries, Doug and Walker Silsbee. I was stepping into his work as the founder's presence faced coaching when I came across his blog post and that they were looking for new stewards.”

What type of experiences do you typically offer guests or people who are looking to use your center?

“Our clientele includes leadership and coaching organizations, wellness teams, and corporate retreats. We offer a campus property with a focus on nature that provides lots of experiences and features such as trails, a labyrinth, a Koi pond, a meditation garden, and access to a lovely river where guests can go and sit for hours building stone cairns.

“We have event lawns so clients can do their own kind of programming along with all kinds of activities they can use. We offer multiple indoor and outdoor breakout spaces and meeting rooms where groups can have deep conversations or do that around the Koi pond where there’s a fire pit. We have a somatic building that we call the Pavilion where a lot of work takes place such as yoga, land grids, circle work, and keto. We have a separate building called the Boat House that has been wired for massage.

“We provide our clients with a list of practitioners that they can reach out to for the different work they want to do.”

How many retreats does Bend of Ivy run per year?

“To be honest, I really don’t know. We have some clients that will do 4 or more retreats per year and others who, oftentimes, can only do one retreat with all of them being a minimum 2-night stay. Our calendar is fairly booked up for many months, especially in the fall. We are taking bookings now until 2026.

“Many of our clients are repeat clients, some of them coming here for more than 10 years. I think the well-maintained container that’s been created with nature, and the different options on the land, calls to people here. We often hear that the energy is very clean and energy is important to us. Guests can have lots of experiences here.”

Do you find there is a type of person or life experience that gets the most out of spending time on the land?

“Hmm I think everybody can benefit from it. Some people are more at a place of being energetically open to receiving more from it but we hear quite often that people are able to unplug in a way they haven’t been able to before. There are places where people can go and take in the magnificent mountains.

“Part of my background is a former landscape designer so working with the land has been huge. I would say that Bend of Ivy is a combination of Asian zen, the rolling landscapes of Italy, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

As the new stewards of Bend of Ivy, what is your current mission for the retreat center?

“Well the name of our company is Intentional Growth LLC. We created that company when we stepped in in 2014. My husband and I are very much about stewarding and creating healthy spaces for the planet, and fostering purpose.”

Southern Dharma Retreat Center

7 Best Places for Retreats in North Carolina5Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Southern Dharma Retreat Center offers intimate retreats rooted in traditional Buddhist practices. With a focus on meditation, contemplation, and silence, their retreats offer a sanctuary for personal and collective awakening while fostering meaningful relationships.

They have a vision to cultivate mindfulness, wisdom, and spiritual growth while supporting communities on their journey towards awakening.  They offer a diverse range of retreats that include meditation, yoga, relationships, and wellness.

Southern Dharma helps their guests embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and inner peace through dharma instruction. Their retreats can span from 3 to 6 days and can cost anywhere from $300 to $900.

Southern Dharma is a great place for retreats in North Carolina for anyone looking to go on a journey of self-exploration, community connection, and holistic wellness.


St Francis Springs Prayer Center

7 Best Places for Retreats in North Carolina6St. Francis Springs is a place for people to go on a profound journey of renewal through specialized retreats. Rooted in a vision of peace and spiritual renewal, this is a sacred space born from Fr. Louis's dream in 1970. He was inspired by his annual silent retreats and envisioned a place where laypeople and the clergy could experience the transformative power of contemplation.

Established in 1998, St. Francis Springs began with a mission to promote justice and peace by offering spiritual, recovery, and silent retreats. Since then, this retreat center has become a beacon of solace and reflection, attracting hundreds of guests in search of their own path, recovery from substance abuse, or spiritual renewal.

Their retreat center boasts 33 rooms and is situated on 140 acres of land. They have multiple meeting spaces and sacred nooks that can be used for rest and reflection along with having a dedicated staff and volunteers. They are a great place for a tranquil retreat experience in the beautiful state of North Carolina.

Their various retreats can range anywhere from 2 to 6 days with lots of flexible pricing options. All of their retreats are easily accessible and open to anyone interested in experiencing a transformative experience that nurtures the body and soul.

Art Wanders Creative Retreats

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Art Wanders offers a unique space for self-expression and creativity. Guests are able to indulge in their creative spirit, free of judgment of rules, with hands-on retreats and activities that encourage stepping out of comfort zones and embracing one’s unique artistic spirit.

Whether you are a seasoned artist or just looking to unleash your inner creativity, their retreats are tailored made for a range of different experience levels. From drawing outside the lines to painting yourself out of tight corners, guests are able to embrace their creative spirit with gentle guidance and support.

On average, their retreats go from 1 to 6 days at pretty affordable prices. Art Wanders Creative Retreats are accessible to everyone who is ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery, inspiration, and artistic growth.


Tags: Retreat Centers

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