My Top Five Writing Retreats

Cedar Key, Florida

A Breath of Fresh Inspiration

The great outdoors inspires me as a writer, especially in a setting by a river or lake. Water trickling over rocks, breeze-swayed evergreens, birds serenading from treetops, and rainbow-hued flowers. The scent of earth perfuming the air.

My muse comes alive in God’s created paradise. Especially for a cave-dweller like me.

Coming from a resort management background, I’m blessed with insider information about great getaways. There are affordable places around the country, to fuel a writer’s creative juices. Where magical meets practical.

So lean in close, and I’ll whisper a few secrets about my top five writing retreats.

5) Mohican Adventures — Loudonville, Ohio
Amenities & Attractions: Cabins, RV campsites, small lake, Miniature Golf, Go-Karts, Canoe Trips, Horseback riding, wooded area and hiking trails, Wi-Fi (extra fees)
Special Notes: The rolling hills around Loudonville bear the mark of Amish influence. I feel like I’m in a by-gone era when I drive through centuries-old quaint towns. And yet, the resort offers modern convenience.

4) Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort — Leasburg, Missouri
Amenities & Attractions: Cabins, motels, condos, RV sites, wooded hiking trails, canoe, raft, kayak, and tube trips, Wi-Fi in designated areas.
Selling Points: I love the choice of three different rivers to roam. This immaculate resort is tucked into lush Ozark hills, twenty minutes from the closest town. Bald eagles often fly overhead, nesting atop trees and massive bluffs in the area.

3) Adventures Unlimited — Milton, Florida
Amenities & Attractions: Historic rental homes, riverside cabins, zip-line, canoe, kayak, and tube trips. Wi-Fi in designated areas.
Writer’s Attraction: How can I resist rooms with names like The American Poet’s, John James Audubon, William Faulkner, Dr. Seuss. Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Mitchell, and Mark Twain? Each unit in the Schoolhouse Inn boasts books and memorabilia for the author it represents. The rocking chairs and swing, on the southern wrap-around porch, allow me to write in a setting fit for the masters.

2) River & Trail Outfitters — Knoxville, Maryland
Amenities & Attractions: White-water rafting, kayaks, tubes, near the landmark village of Harper’s Ferry, WV and the C&O Canal trail, perfect for bikes or an energizing walk.
Creative Triggers: This place feeds my hunger for history and love for America. Located near the confluence of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, rich stories of our nation’s heritage wait around every corner. Access to the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, puts me on the same hallowed waterways our forefathers traveled.

1) Voyageur Canoe Outfitters — Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area, Minnesota
Amenities & Attractions: Rustic cabins, tent camping, outfitted lake trips by canoe or kayak. Secluded areas to make you feel like you have the whole territory to yourself. A distant moose or bear sighting thickens your plots.
Magnetic Draw: Leave no trace — more than a tag-line, here it’s a way of life. I feel like Lewis or Clark, pioneering new frontiers, while watching water trickle off my paddle. Challenging portages cause blood and oxygen to pump to my brain, spurring new imaginations. I call this place Boundary Energy.

Quieter Times & Lower Prices for all resorts: April, Early May, Late September, October, Tuesday through Thursday in summer.

Writers often need quiet space, and outdoor writing retreats offer a breath of fresh inspiration. No matter where you live, there’s probably an economical resort close by. Take advantage of off-peak periods to sweeten the price. But then again, you could pitch a tent in your own backyard.

Where do you retreat to sharpen your focus? How do you concentrate on projects?

Leasburg, Missouri

Meeting the Muse in God's Creation