Pittsburgh lands the top spot for team building activities outdoors this summer, says Venture Up, America’s first team building company, entering its third decade hosting team events across the U.S. and abroad. A rich cultural heritage, a strong corporate-community connection, and easy access throughout the city and beyond put Pittsburgh above the rest. Pittsburgh’s pedestrians get a good workout with the 45,000 steps built in the hillsides, allowing access to the historic city. Green space is plenty in town and beyond with many public parks suitable for team events. An hour’s drive to the pines brings breaks way to the eclectic Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Pittsburgh is also home to eight Fortune 500 List firms, including America’s most generous company, Alcoa, which donates more than 12 percent of its profits to local and overseas causes.
Minneapolis ranks second, for its expansive historic sites and event space bordering the mighty Mississippi River. Steps beyond the city, Minnesota offers limitless lakes and wilderness with amenities suiting groups of all sizes. Home to 18 Fortune 500 firms, the corporate-community connection in Minneapolis is strong, as evidenced by numerous ongoing projects funded by home-based corporations that serve the public interests for arts, culture, recreation and special events.
Buffalo – Niagara takes third place, with Niagara Falls an ominous power bridging two great nations. Buffalo offers a taste of Europe at Delaware Park, Buffalo’s answer to springtime in Paris. A region of charming towns lies beyond Buffalo, with quaint family-owned restaurants, historical sites, farmers markets, and antique shops. All of the sites in the Top Ten list are busy spots for Venture Up’s Amazing Race — a year round event, even it colder climes. Strategic Games are always a good option for indoor or outdoor events.
Team Building Activities: (412) 200-5180
Pittsburgh is a city of American substance; a scenic hilly town where three rivers meet, a land of luscious parks and endless pathways bringing families and company teams together. Pittsburgh, or “Steel City,” forged the industrial might that made America a great nation. Pittsburgh is a model American city today, where generosity and a sense of community are strong, among a people of diverse ethnicity, talent and skill.
Team Building Activities: (612) 605-8095
When the weather brightens, Minnesota companies are ready to take on team building activities in Minneapolis . National Geographic has voted the city into the World’s Top 10 Summer Destinations, so it’s no wonder why so many Minneapolis companies stay home for summer meetings, and many Midwest firms out-of-state take the short trip to their sister land to convene. Summer and early fall in Minneapolis are jam-packed with festivities celebrating arts, culture and fun and foliage.
Google Maps Minneapolis
3. BUFFALO – NIAGARA FALLS
Team Building Line: (716) 566-9084
When your neighbor is a big mouth — and in this case, Niagara Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world — it may be easy to fall in the shadow, imbued with envy. Such is not the case for Buffalo. Rich in cultural history, Buffalo has a Olmstead-designed park system that comes fully alive at the breadth of spring. If you can’t make it to Paris, Delaware Park, the crown jewel of Buffalo, is the next best thing. Really, google images don’t lie.
Google Maps Buffalo
Team Building Line: (832) 295-0851
Think of Houston and visions of space shuttles and oil wells come to mind. Houston is also a sophisticated city, rich in arts and culture, with sprawling parks and world class hotels. The Woodlands Waterway is a major draw for locals, visitors and corporate executives who land here for training and team building activities . Festive cultural performances and concerts run year round at the Pavilion.
Google Maps Houston
Team Building Activities: (503) 488-5772
Portland has character, rich in human quality and eco-consciousness. The city is green in more ways than one. The Springwater Corridor is a 21-mile paved path connecting many of Portland’s lush parks. An enchanting collection of old-growth trees, rivers, waterfalls and bridges connect a string of parks within city boundaries. The trail connects to more than 40 trails beyond.
Google Maps Portland
Team Building Activities: (615) 301-8590
The music of Nashville keeps the city in motion year round. Nashville is a non-stop venue of music events, festivals and fairs. Celebrities are at home here at luxury hotels, as are corporate teams who convene for meetings and training events. Nashville parks rock, especially Centennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown, a 19-acre spread with a 2,000-seat amphitheater, and 31 fountains, representing every river in Tennessee. And like the beat, the list goes on.
Google Maps Nashville
Team Building Activities: (602) 955-9100
Arizona’s gateway city and a resort destination, Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun is world class on so many levels. Nearly perfect weather draws corporate meetings to famous five-star resorts year round, including the legendary Arizona Biltmore Resort and the Phoenician, both famous for golf, luxurious amenities and celebrity sightings. When summer temps rise above 100 degrees, meeting planners find resort bargains on a grand scale. Conference groups in Phoenix often add a new dimension to their stay by taking a day trip north, to the red rocks and spires of Sedona (1.5 hour drive) or the Flagstaff pines (2 hour drive). Venture Up’s lodge in the pines offers corporate retreats and ways to be cool in more ways than one.
Google Maps Phoenix
Team Building Activities: (202) 558-2200
Sea-faring vessels-turned-museums floating in the Inner Harbor are a testament to Baltimore’s rich and storied past. Federal Hill looms high above, once a lookout point for the Civil War and the War of 1812. Today it gives a bird’s eye view of the ships and cityscape, and overlooks an event area where street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks and parades celebrate American tradition. Venture Up’s Amazing Race programs run through this historic region, and through neighboring green space where historic landmarks are rife. Strategic Games and other events take place on park grounds or quieter indoor venues.
Google Maps Baltimore
9. Reno – Tahoe
Team Building Activities: (702)-951-9511
Reno’s flashy casino sites and Lake Tahoe’s mountain wilderness and waterways offer extreme options for team building activities and conference venues. Fine hotels line the streets of Reno, and world class resorts mark the Sierra Mountains and shoreline. Incline Village and Crystal Bay rim the hilly north shore, offering an intimate setting for meetings, where pine fresh air and lake breezes inspire teams to dive into the team building experience.
Google Maps Reno
Google Maps Tahoe
10. San Diego
Team Building Activities: (619) 955-6050