We’ve all seen the studies on how pushing away from the desk and getting a little bit of exercise helps stimulate your brain, making you work better and more efficiently. The concept is just as important at a meeting or conference. You’re just not at your best if you never get a break. Yet let’s face it, walking around the hotel lobby or the city block is nowhere near as nice as a quick hike on a nature trail or a run by the river.
Minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River, Alexandria, Virginia offers visitors a chance to escape to the great outdoors without leaving town. AAA named Alexandria one of the “Ten Most Walkable Cities” in the country, in part because hiking and biking trails wind along the waterfront with breathtaking views of the river. That makes it ideal to get your group out of the boardroom for a quick activity break, breathing in a little fresh air and taking in the scenery. The city’s easily accessible outdoors also gives your attendees plenty to do after hours with options like sailing, biking and more.
Get active inside
Indoor physical activities abound in Alexandria. No need for attendees to miss that yoga routine or gym workout when there are activities like Beer Yoga at Port City Brewing Co. Whether you’re looking to schedule a group activity that gets your attendees up and moving or you’re simply hoping to inspire greater attendance by choosing an active destination, read on for why Alexandria should be your top choice.
Parks and paths
Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail beckons runners, walkers and cyclists with 18 miles of waterfront vistas, tons of green space and an easily accessible route that runs all the way from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate up to Washington, D.C. through Old Town Alexandria. Bike and Roll offers customized, private bike tours for groups both large and small, and Capital Bikeshare stations throughout Alexandria make it easy to grab a bike last minute and pedal along the Potomac. Port City Brewing Co. also offers a Pedals & Pints activity for those who like biking and beer.
Alexandria also boasts eight waterfront parks, each with ample green space and gorgeous views. Jones Point Park, part of the National Park Service, is home to the last riverine lighthouse in Virginia and one of the original boundary stones for Washington, D.C. The park also has multiple basketball courts and green space for group activities making it easy for attendees to take a break and get their game on!
On the water
Alexandria has numerous boating companies that offer private charters for groups, including Potomac Riverboat Company, Potomac Belle and Nina’s Dandy. Embark DC takes groups of up to six people out for private, custom-crafted cruises. For more hands-on waterfront fun head to the Washington Sailing Marina. In addition to offering sailing lessons they have kayaking and events like standup paddle board yoga on the Potomac.
Insider tip: You can receive a 15% discount off certain water tours in conjunction with a meeting booked at an Alexandria hotel sourced by Visit Alexandria. See all deals here.
Team building adventures
Topgolf is a can’t-miss for a little competitive team building. While nine or 18 holes on the golf course can take a while, your group can have an hour or two of fun on the driving range at Topgolf seeing who can get the best score. Or, try Sportrock Climbing Center, a massive indoor climbing gym for all levels that offers Climbing Parties, which include 90 minutes of climbing with dedicated instructors and all the necessary equipment as well as an additional 45 minutes to relax in a private party room after the climb. To get your group outside, head to Go Ape where you’ll tackle exhilarating obstacles and zipline through a forest canopy. Insider tip: remember those deals we mentioned earlier? You can receive a 15% discount off of your TopGolf event pricing, excluding food and beverage. Get details on all deals here.
Take it to the gym
Attendees don’t have to skip their workout routine while in Alexandria. Pilates ProWorks offers high quality, hard core classes from yoga to kick boxing all under one roof. And you don’t even have to be a member. Sand & Steel Fitness will also come to your event to host a class. Psst…You can receive a 2, 3 or 5 day class pass at a discounted rate in conjunction with a meeting booked at an Alexandria hotel sourced by Visit Alexandria. Learn more here.
Insider Tip: Forgot your workout clothes? Check into The Westin Alexandria and take advantage of their Westin New Balance Gear Lending Program that provides athletic shoes and apparel during your stay, for a nominal fee. To request your gear, simply inquire at check in, call prior to arrival, or ask during your stay. Gear will be delivered to your room all prepared in your requested size. Shoes come with socks that are brand new and apparel is provided fresh and clean. Prefer to go shopping? Stop by regional favorites lululemon athletica, Pacers Running, and Donna Lewis YogaSport.
Header image by R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria