These Five US-Based Retreats are Like Summer Camp for Adults

By Jamie Edwards

“What’s Singo?” I ask my sister quizzically. “Is that a typo?”

Tracey looks at the screen propped up in front of us. “Singo,” she reads aloud, “is a musical spin on the traditional game of Bingo. But instead of listening for a number, players listen to music, like the refrain of Bohemian Rhapsody or Hey, Jude.”

My sister and I look at each other and smile. “OMG,” We say in unison, “Mom’s going to love this!”

So begins our trip to The Lodge at Woodloch, an adults-only resort nestled in the Pocono Mountains of rural Pennsylvania. A trip to mark our mom’s 80th birthday that will be filled with spa treatments, nature hikes, exercise classes, arts and crafts, and yes, new twists on old games. If it sounds a little like summer camp to you, you’re not far from the mark. Summer camp for adults is all the rage—a way to relive some beloved childhood memories but in, let’s call it, a more refined way.

Today, properties across the US offer guests the chance to relax and recharge in nature by taking advantage of traditional and time-honored activities. Was summer camp some of the best times of your life? Then you’ve come to the right place. Discover where you can watercolor, practice yoga, kayak, and learn to basketweave in a rustic setting. But instead of PB&J, dine on world-class food. Instead of bug juice, enjoy a chilled glass of Sancerre. Trade rickety bunk beds for California Kings and sparse bungalows for chic, modern cabins.

Where exactly are these magical spots? Read on.

Summer Camp-Type Retreats—Why Now?

Why are so many people relishing the idea of adult summer camp these days? Firstly, we are increasingly uncertain about the world’s fate and the environment. Soaring temperatures prove that climate change is upon us. Overwhelming information is thrown at us daily via 24-hour news cycles and social media platforms. A chance to escape while recapturing the joy and freedom of our childhood sounds ideal. A summer camp experience offers a break from daily routines and responsibilities, allowing us to reconnect with our younger, more carefree selves.

Secondly, in this hyper-connected world, adult summer camp retreats provide an opportunity to disconnect from technology and social media. This digital detox is not only refreshing but helps reduce stress.

Lastly, many camp-like retreats focus on physical activities, mindfulness, and wellness. This emphasis on health and fitness attracts people looking to improve their well-being in a peaceful, tranquil setting. Places like these provide a space for personal reflection and growth. Whether through workshops, outdoor activities, or simply being in nature, adults can find time to contemplate their lives and reevaluate goals.

Jumping on the Adult Summer Camp Bandwagon

More and more properties offer guests summer camp vibes through highly-curated activities, menus that cater to all diets, and swoon-worthy settings with unique wellness platforms. Ready to go back in time? Embrace your inner camp spirit at these five US-based properties.

The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania

The days are long gone when ‘all-inclusive’ meant watered-down drinks, chicken finger-filled buffets, uninspired salad bars, and postage-stamp-sized rooms. Many high-end resorts and hotels have found that guests are far more relaxed when not nickel-and-dimed at each meal or excursion. With a luxurious spin on rustic life, The Lodge at Woodloch’s inclusive packages are intended to help guests concentrate on their wellness journeys. Packages include stately lodge accommodations, three daily gourmet meals, exciting guest speakers, cooking workshops, fitness classes, and experiences to nurture mind, body, and soul.

A day at Woodloch may begin with a vigorous hike followed by a breakfast of farm-fresh eggs before a meditation session to quiet the mind. Later, choose from dozens of spa treatments like cranial massage or reflexology before soaking in the hot tub or entering the invigorating Snow Room. The spa’s floor-to-ceiling windows are so inviting that you may skip Detox Yoga or TRX. But be sure to set your alarm for an afternoon kayak on the lake, where you’ll see fawns teetering on newborn legs and an array of colorful birds.

With a lush garden and an impossibly long schedule of daily activities, this Poconos resort will provide a summer sanctuary to invigorate all your senses. With 59 rooms and suites set over 1,200 acres, Woodloch is the perfect east coast camp-inspired getaway.

Overall Vibe: Rustic traditional

Most Camp-Like Offering: Nightly S’mores by the fire pit

Most Unusual Activities: Honeybee talks with Woodloch’s resident beekeeper and the Craft Margarita Class

Must Do: The reenergizing Snow Room and Tyrolean Bucket Shower

Unique Selling Point: An intimate chef-led ‘Harvest Lunch or Dinner’ located on the deck at the Garden Shed

Primland Resort, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

It’s easy to see why Condé Nast Traveler rated Primland as the #1 Resort in the Southeast US. With its layered mountain views, emerald green fairways, and rollicking streams, Primland is a sight to behold.

Set on 12,000 acres of private wilderness, this Auberge property is a family-friendly, all-season outdoor wonderland in the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, guests will have no problem reminiscing about their summer camp days as many activities like disc golf, croquet, and nature walks are included. Others, like horseback riding and clay shooting, may require an additional fee.

Primland offers 51 spacious suites, treehouses, and mountain homes. Each accommodation is appointed with elegant touches and high-end amenities. Some rooms have large wooden decks, stone fireplaces, and soaking tubs. All have stunning views.

The Auberge Spa is a huge draw to this Blue Ridge Mountain retreat. There are treatments designed to destress and rejuvenate. Choose from traditional healing hot stone, Swedish, or deep tissue massages, or go wild with ‘A Mountain Glow,’ a collaboration with Wildflower Apothecary. This unique treatment involves a hot oil scalp massage from an exclusive blend of herbs and aromatherapy.

The main lodge has the Great Hall with soaring twin fireplaces, a wine room, pub, fitness center, and a spa. The Lodge, the hub of Primland, also has a private observatory where guests can stargaze on a clear night. For those whose summer camp memories consist of dark, star-filled skies, trout-filled streams, and foraging, Primland will be a welcome retreat.

Overall Vibe: Upscale modern country

Most Camp-Like Offerings: Archery and cornhole

Most Unusual Activity: Study the stars through a Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope at the observatory

Must Do: Private RTV Picnic with fine wine and a locally-sourced menu

Unique Selling Point: Wine-paired dinner at the Schlumberger Wine Cellar

Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

Nestled amidst 300 acres of serene countryside, Twin Farms is an exclusive, adults-only luxury resort in central Vermont. Known for its intimate and secluded atmosphere, Twin Farms offers an intimate summer camp-like experience for guests seeking total relaxation and effortless indulgence.

The 28 individually designed cottages, suites, treehouses, and cabins each have oodles of charm and character. Twin Farms prides itself on privacy and personalized service, ensuring a bespoke experience for every guest—an elevated version of adult summer camp, indeed!

Meals are crafted using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. A stay at Twin Farms includes multi-course, farm-to-table dinners with gourmet cuisine tailored to your preferences. The meals often feature seasonal dishes that highlight Vermont’s rich culinary traditions.

Twin Farms’ activities cater to relaxation and adventure, organically evoking summer camp vibes. Guests can enjoy spa treatments, yoga sessions, tennis and pickleball, lake activities like canoeing or SUP, or simply unwinding by the pool. Some amenities might make you consider moving to Twin Farms permanently: same-day laundry service, prepared picnics, in-room meals, cocktails, canapés, and a treasure trove of games and puzzles. Twin Farms is a summer camp for adults who prioritize luxury and creature comforts above all.

Overall Vibe: Luxurious all-inclusive

Most Camp-Like Offerings: Canoeing on the pond and tennis

Most Unusual Activities: Tackle a Stave puzzle, wooden and hand-cut—Stave are some of the best puzzles in the world

Must Do: In the Fall, the Covered Bridge/Foliage Driving Tour

Unique Selling Point: The Onsen, a take on traditional Japanese bathing, in a private, cedar-clad house in the forest

CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa, Carefree, Arizona

The town of Carefree, Arizona, is located in America’s glorious southwest. It’s hard to imagine a more aptly named place for a wellness resort. According to CIVANA’s website, guests will ‘reconnect and reinvigorate their senses in a place of incredible natural beauty, with personalized wellness experiences and award-winning hospitality.’ Well said. Sign me up, CIVANA!

On over 20 acres of the Sonoran Desert, CIVANA has outdoor adventures, world-renowned healers and wellness guides, and a world-class spa. A typical class schedule for the day might include a gentle mountain hike followed by morning meditation and an intention-setting ceremony. Later, try Aerial Yoga or Myofascial Release to get your juices flowing before lunch.

Next, head to The Spa, which recaptures the traditional art of healing in a modern way. It features a hydrotherapy circuit of hot and cold pools, gentle waterfall showers, and a Sanarium that offers humidity and heat from within. Trained CIVANA therapists will help you curate a personalized spa experience based on individual needs. End the day with a blissful Sleep Meditation or Candlelight Yin Yoga—two ways guests can recharge and reset for another day. Carefree is the buzzword at CIVANA, an elevated, spa-focused summer camp for adults.

Overall Vibe: Wellness-Focused Spa

Most Camp-Like Offerings: Hiking and biking

Most Unusual Activities: Sound Bowl Healing and WATSU™ water therapy

Must Do: Enjoy hyper-seasonal food at Seed, CIVANA’s specialty market

Unique Selling Point: Four-night Chopra Health Retreat, which teaches the ancient healing method of Ayurveda

Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel, California

A 500-acre oasis with a focus on fun, there’s no better place on the West Coast to rekindle summer camp memories than Carmel Valley Ranch. This luxurious resort in Carmel Valley, California, offers a unique blend of upscale accommodations, exceptional dining, and many recreational opportunities.

Carmel Valley Ranch is family-friendly, unlike many wellness resorts, with activities catering to children and teens. The Kids’ Club provides supervised programs and adventures, allowing parents to relax and enjoy their stay while knowing their children are entertained and safe.

Making kids and teens a priority, Carmel Valley Ranch has fantastic ways to keep the entire family happy. Teen Geochaching and a QR Code Scavenger Hunt will pique the interest of the techies in your household, while falconry and bird watching will satisfy nature lovers. All this, in addition to spa treatments and wellness activities, makes it a true retreat for all.

Set against the Santa Lucia Mountains, Carmel Valley Ranch is surrounded by lush vineyards, rolling hills, and oak trees—a picturesque environment in which guests can unwind and reconnect with nature and each other.

Overall Vibe: Family Fun with a twist

Most Camp-Like Offerings: Junior-sized Olympic Pool with ping pong and fire pits

Most Unusual Activities: A new take on arts and crafts: make your own bath bombs

Must Do: Feed the farm animals with Salvador

Unique Selling Point: Golf on one of the top resort courses in the country, as reported by Travel + Leisure “World’s Best”

Summer Camp Isn’t Just for Kids

Tracey yells, “Take My Breath Away, Berlin, Top Gun!” and just like that, our team wins movie soundtrack trivia night! The other table looks at us in disdain. We try not to gloat. I mean, it’s a spa weekend, not a competition. But we giggle all the way to our rooms like we did years ago at summer camp. Our mom couldn’t be happier. She’s already asking if we can do it again next summer.

Summer camp for adults? I’m in.

Jamie headshot

Jamie Edwards is an avid traveler, travel writer, and photographer. After 25 years of living and traveling around the globe, she launched I am Lost and Found, her adventure/luxury travel website. Jamie’s goal is simple: to inspire travel.

CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY.  Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.

Where in the World Do You Want to Go?

Inspired to plan your next weekend getaway, vacation or trip of a lifetime? See that form below? That’s all it takes to begin your next epic travel story.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.