Everyone knows about the world-famous Hamptons from seeing them on TV, or hearing that it’s where some of the rich and famous vacation. That’s part of the reason why it’s such a big attraction for meetings, corporate outings and events.

“Depending on the time of year, there is plenty to do in the Hamptons,” says Jennifer Rothman, international, domestic & sports sales manager for Discover Long Island. “In summer, enjoy the beach, walk up to the Montauk Lighthouse, horseback ride on the beach, play golf at one of the many golf courses that professionals have played at, visit museums, go whale watching, dine at world famous chef restaurants, or just take in its beauty.”

Some of the best places to host meetings include the Southampton Inn, which boasts a 7,000-square-foot space; Gurney’s Hotel & Marina, which is home to a theater and breakout rooms for as many as 100; and the RoundTree Amagansett, which offers a 20-person conference room. Additionally, Shou Sugi Ban House is a great new spot for health and wellness retreats. 

“The Hamptons offers quiet, beauty, and is just different from a typical venue or area,” Rothman says. “People love coming here for a vacation or just the day. There’s so much to do and so much to enjoy.”

Nearby, Shelter Island  is a secluded, 8,000-acre island on the eastern end of Long Island that is about a 5-minute ride from the Hamptons.

“What makes Shelter Island such a great place is that it’s so pristine in many respects,” says Art Williams, secretary and treasurer of the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce. “The island has not been reshaped by commercialism or development, so there’s a tremendous amount of natural beauty.”

Being right on the water, that opens up plenty of boating, fishing and water sports activities, which visitors can take full advantage of, and there are numerous companies offering these activities that you can sign up for while there. Larger groups can plan boating outings or larger fishing trips.

While large meetings don’t have a lot to choose from, smaller corporate meetings can find several places to host their days.

For instance, Dering Harbor is a 7-acre property which comfortably accommodates a variety of private occasions throughout the year and welcomes meetings both inside and outside. The Rams Head Inn has two meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Not that large meetings are shut out—the Island Boat Yard can accommodate up to 150 people and is a favorite place among planners.

When the meetings are over, there’s plenty of fun things to do.

“One of our big attractions is the Mashomack Reserve, which is part of the Nature Conservatory, and they have fantastic trails on almost 2,100 acres,” Williams says. “There’s diverse habitats, tons of different plant life and animals, and someone can walk all day if they wanted to.” Another site that meeting attendees should check out is the Shelter Island History Center, which has been recently renovated and is home to the historical society.

“It’s one of the nicest history centers anywhere,” Williams says. Shelter Island also boasts the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, which was the original homestead plantation founded in 1652 and today serves as an organic farm and historic manor.

“There’s a reason when people come here, they don’t want to go home,” Williams says. 

Philadelphia was one of just two U.S. locations on National Geographic’s list of best trips for 2020. The magazine describes the city as “a scrappy underdog with a heart of gold” and uses words like “vibrant” and “creative” to describe this formerly industrial city. That’s good news for meeting planners and should certainly boost attendance at meetings. And adding to the excitement are shopping, entertainment and restaurants cropping up around the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), glitzy new hotels and renovated attractions with event space.

 

The Reputation of “America’a First Resort Destination” often precedes itself, with images of the wealthy vacationing in The Palm Beaches, which consists of 39 cities in southeast Florida. But dig deeper and you’ll discover humble roots. Considered the vegetable heartland of the country, agriculture is the area’s No. 1 economic driver and responsible for connecting the southeast of the state to the west.

 

Rochester, New York, is an under-the-radar destination in the Northeast. The city is affordable, accessible and offers meeting attendees the best of both worlds—with a bustling metropolitan surrounded by the picturesque views of the Finger Lakes region.