19 Unique Company Retreat Ideas in San Diego, CA

By: | Updated: February 13, 2024

Here is our list of the best corporate retreat ideas in San Diego, California.

Corporate retreat ideas in San Diego are bonding experiences teams can share outside the office while on a getaway. For example, groups can play Quicksand Escape Games, hike at Mission Trails Regional Park, or do yoga at The Cat Café. The purpose of these ideas is to provide teams with enjoyable ways to unwind, network, and work toward specific objectives.

These ideas work as company retreat destinations, executive retreat entertainment, and group retreat activities. These activities are similar to company outings in San Diego and San Diego activities for groups.

This list includes:

  • corporate retreat ideas for big groups in San Diego
  • corporate retreat ideas for small groups in San Diego
  • company retreat entertainment ideas in San Diego
  • company retreat locations in San Diego
  • team retreat ideas in San Diego

Here we go!

List of corporate retreat ideas in San Diego

San Diego offers many opportunities to have a fun retreat. From touring the Maritime Museum of San Diego to painting pottery at Mud Lily Paint Studio, here are exciting team retreat ideas in San Diego.

1. Espionage! (Top Choice)

espionage banner

Espionage! will challenge teams to uncover secret identities and earn points! This captivating experience is an immersive game of instinct and social deduction.

Espionage! includes the following:

  • 90 minutes with an expert host who will guide you through each activity
  • hidden teams of spies and agents
  • conversations to discover the true identities of the spies
  • competitive scavenger hunts, word searches, and puzzles

Best of all, we will meet you at the venue of your choice with all the needed materials. If you are looking for an immersive experience that sharpens essential soft skills, then look no further than Espionage!

Learn more about Espionage!

2. The Art of Storytelling (Highly Rated)

With The Art of Storytelling, you can enhance your team’s storytelling abilities and foster deeper connections. This in-depth experience teaches participants how to write engaging narratives.

The Art of Storytelling includes the following:

  • 120 minutes with an expert facilitator
  • the five elements of an engaging story
  • techniques and strategies to intrigue audiences
  • time for participants to practice their new skills
  • valuable feedback from expert hosts

Also, we will bring all the necessary materials to your chosen location. Be sure to explore The Art of Storytelling to help teams learn to connect!

Learn more about The Art of Storytelling.

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3. The Great Guac Off™️ (Popular)

Guacamole making competition

Teams can showcase their culinary skills and unleash their creativity through The Great Guac Off! This unique experience pits teams against each other in an exciting guacamole-making contest.

Here is what to expect:

  • a 90-minute session guided by a highly talented facilitator
  • tasty guacamole ingredients and chips for dipping
  • an optional secret ingredient to challenge participants’ creativity
  • exciting avocado facts, mini-games, and trivia to keep the energy high
  • a fast-paced guacamole mash-off and judging round to determine the winners

To make planning a breeze, we will provide all the necessary supplies directly to your chosen venue. The Great Guac Off is a celebration that fosters creativity, collaboration, and friendly competition.

Learn more about The Great Guac Off.

4. Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego preserves a collection of historic vessels in the United States, including the oldest active ship in the world. You can reserve a group tour to enhance your experience at the museum. An expert docent will lead your group and tell fun historical stories. The tour includes stops at different vessels, including HMS Surprise, Star of India, and San Salvador.

Your team can also go aboard Pilot for a 45-minute ride around San Diego Bay. Besides the exciting tours, the museum provides an opportunity to learn about the United State Navy’s history in San Diego. The museum conveniently sits in an iconic location, making the vessels a nice venue to host corporate events.

Learn more about the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

5. Quicksand Escape Games

Quicksand Escape Games is a fun location for company retreats in San Diego. The company provides several escape rooms where you and your teammates can let out your inner detectives, solve puzzles, and have fun. The escape rooms come in different plots, like:

  • The Dinner: You got involved with the wrong crew and embarked on a mission to rob a diner. If the robbery fails, then you risk going to jail.
  • The Family Cabin: You will race against your cousins to be the first to reach your family’s cabin and retrieve a valuable Nintendo game.
  • Speakeasy Nouveau: You used your valued baseball signed by Babe Ruth as collateral in a speakeasy. Your goal is to locate the speakeasy as soon as you can.

Learn more about Quicksand Escape Games.

6. Sandbox VR

Sandbox VR is one of the most fun company retreat locations in San Diego. This venue offers an immersive and unforgettable 3D experience. The game starts after your group goes through a short training session. The entire experience takes up to 90 minutes.

From Deadwood Mansion to Ambersky 2088, various adventures are available for players of all ages. During your experience, the staff members will record fun videos of your actions inside the VR arena. The rooms can accommodate two to six players at once. If you have a large group, then booking a private event will be a great idea.

Learn more about Sandbox VR.

7. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is an exciting location to explore with your colleagues. Tickets can cover several experiences like a guided bus tour, Skyfari Aerial Tram, and Kangaroo Express Bus. The zoo offers special experiences like Crazy about Cats, Early Morning Cheetah Experience, and Discovery Cart Tour to enhance guests’ adventure.

During the Animal in Action Experience, your group members will hear fascinating tales, get an up-close view of cat species, and capture beautiful pictures. Additionally, you can get a unique and informative experience by booking the Inside Look Tour lasting 90 minutes. Several dining areas operate near the zoo, including Lagoon Terrace, Bamboo Bar, Boardwalk Beer Garden, and Albert’s Restaurant.

Learn more about San Diego Zoo.

8. Smash City Rage Room

The best corporate retreat ideas in San Diego include visiting Smash City Rage Room. Your group can vent anger or frustration within a safe space at the venue. The company will provide the necessities for a successful experience, from breakable items to tools and coaches. After checking in, your group members will wear safety gear and proceed with the session.

Your booking includes items to smash, but you can also bring your own breakables approved by the company. To maximize safety, the staff members will monitor your group while you have a smashing time. In addition, the rage room is wheelchair accessible.

Learn more about Smash City Rage Room.

9. Mattarello Cooking Classes

Mattarello Cooking is an Italian restaurant offering classes to improve attendees’ culinary skills. In the Pasta Class, attendees can learn how to make pasta and slice spaghetti. You can also reserve a session to learn how to make Italian sourdough bread.

Mattarello Cooking offers a class where you can gain insight into making wonderful Italian lasagna. Additionally, the kitchen hosts a Make Your Own Pasta night class, where your group gets to prepare your dinner and dine afterward.

From utensils to food, you will receive everything needed for your experience. All the classes last two hours.

Learn more about Mattarello Cooking Classes.

10. The Gun Range San Diego

The Gun Range San Diego is an indoor shooting facility open to the public on most days. The range features state-of-the-art equipment, including 25-yard lanes and an extensive collection of rental firearms. Shooting at this location is one of the best corporate retreat ideas for big groups in San Diego.

The range provides numerous classes for members and visitors at all skill levels. The lesson teaches the basics of self-defense, one-hand shooting, tactical reloads, and failure drills. If you have ten or more members, then you should consider making a reservation for the best experience. The center will provide your group with everything you need, from eye and ear protection gear to qualified instructors with reliable knowledge.

Learn more about The Gun Range San Diego.

11. Hillcrest Farmers Market

A visit to Hillcrest Farmers Market is a simple yet fun way to enjoy a team retreat in San Diego. The market opens on Sundays and features over 150 vendors offering various products, from prepared food to crafts and clothes. The vendors include Avocado Toast Brother, Lath House Gardens, Superfood Company, Mindful Mushrooms, Kombucha Cares, and Thai Chef Saranya.

You can easily locate the market on Normal Street. Also, Hillcrest Farmers Market hosts a local musician weekly to keep the site’s atmosphere vibrant with great songs.

Learn more about Hillcrest Farmers Market.

12. The Rabbit Hole

Having fun at The Rabbit Hole is one of the best company retreat entertainment ideas in San Diego. Conveniently located in Normal Heights, The Rabbit Hole is a great spot for happy hour. The destination hosts special events like Art & Crafts, Los Tortugas, and Rock of Ages.

On Tuesdays, you can watch an Open Mic Comedy Night Show lasting up to three hours. You can order from the menu with a great selection of cocktails, wine, beer, salads, and small bites. The restaurant also organizes trivia night and awards prizes to the top three players. Your group will have an amazing experience relaxing, drinking, and bonding at The Rabbit Hole.

Learn more about The Rabbit Hole.

13. Aztec Lanes

Located at San Diego State University, Aztec Lanes is a bowling alley with lanes accommodating up to six bowlers. The center organizes bowling leagues open to both beginners and experts.

Guests can also improve their skills by taking a beginner or intermediate bowling class. Aztec Lanes features large TV screens displaying sporting events, movies, or music videos. Aside from bowling, your team members can enjoy a table tennis game, air hockey, and billiards. The center opens on most weekdays.

Learn more about Aztec Lanes.

14. Kroc Center Ice

Located in downtown San Diego, Kroc Ice Center is a skating facility that operates year-round. The center offers adult drop-in hockey sessions weekly. However, participants must come along with full equipment.

You can schedule your visit during a public session for freestyle skating. You can also book a skate party and access an event room for three hours. Kroc Center Ice has qualified coaches that teach interested guests the skating basics within 30 minutes. After, attendees will practice the techniques learned during the lesson. Furthermore, the center offers a Cardio Skate class, where your team can have fun on the ice while listening to music.

Learn more about Kroc Center Ice.

15. The Cat Café

The Cat Café is among the relaxing company retreat locations in San Diego. During your visit, you and your colleagues can chat over cups of locally roasted coffee and enjoy the company of cute cats.

The café offers 90-minute Hatha yoga classes on third Sundays. Cats can come around to keep you company during the practice. After the session, you can stay behind for a drink and cuddle with the cats. The feline friends are also available for adoption if you find a cat that captures your heart and wish to become a fur parent.

Learn more about The Cat Café.

16. Mission Trails Regional Park

Covering over 4,000 acres, Mission Trails Regional Park is a famous destination in San Diego. The park provides an opportunity for walks along 65 miles of trails. Your group can take a free guided tour to learn about the park’s historical and cultural aspects, native plants, and birds.

If you take the Visitor Center Loop Trail, then you will walk through the riparian woodland habitats and coastal sage scrub. You can also get a glimpse of the unique Eagleman Oaks if you take the Oak Groove Trail. Mission Trails Regional Parks is home to the Kumeyaay Lake Campground, which has over 40 campsites. If you hike the park trails any day besides weekends, then you can stop by the campsite to use the picnic tables. In addition, the park features Lake Murray Reservoir, which is a great spot for fun activities like shore fishing, picnicking, and kayaking.

Learn more about Missions Trails Regional Park.

17. Eco Chateau

Eco Chateau is a top-rated wellness spa in San Diego. The center offers services like colon hydrotherapy, massages, and infrared sauna sessions. You can also experience Whole Body Vibration, a treatment with effects similar to an intense exercise within a short timeframe. The spa offers a traditional Japanese treatment called Reiki, which enhances relaxation.

You can locate the spa in Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley. Eco Chateau offers exclusive spa packages for corporate retreats. Plus, you can rent an event space to host a private gathering with your group. Depending on the package you reserve, the session can take up to three hours.

Learn more about Eco Chateau.

18. Vertical Hold

Vertical Hold is a climbing facility and gym in San Diego. You can take a 30-minute belay class if you are a beginner in the sport. If you book an event, then you will access a party space and climb the walls within two hours. You will also have extra time to eat and do other activities besides climbing.

The venue allows climbers to bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages. You can also attend a yoga class that takes place only on select weekdays and includes free mats and blocks.

Learn more about Vertical Hold.

19. Mud Lily Clay Studio

Painting pottery at Mud Lily Clay Studio is one of the corporate retreat ideas for small groups in San Diego. The studio has a program for every guest, whether beginners or experienced potters. You can take a one-time pottery workshop running for two hours. The studio will take care of the necessary materials and instructions to make your beautiful pieces.

You will finish your project on your visit and return to the studio later to pick up your creation. The studio also offers a private party package for groups having up to ten members.

Learn more about Mud Lily Clay Studio.


San Diego is a great location to host retreats, with 70 miles of shoreline, a mild climate, and endless sunshine. The city offers numerous opportunities to enjoy scenic walks and connect with wildlife. Additionally, your group can participate in entertaining and instructive events like gaming competitions, educational tours, and skill-building programs. San Diego is home to locations with an intimate setting for indoor group gatherings. You can also spend the day at a destination like Mission Trails Regional Park to enjoy outdoor activities, from kayaking and horseback riding to fishing and picnicking. With many attractions and amusement centers, your team cannot run out of ways to host a fun company retreat in San Diego.

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FAQ: Corporate retreat ideas in San Diego

Here are answers to questions about corporate retreat ideas in San Diego.

What are some good corporate retreat ideas in San Diego?

Some good corporate retreat ideas in San Diego include relaxing at Ego Chateau, skating at Kroc Ice Center, bowling at Aztec Lanes, exploring San Diego Zoo, having a drink at The Rabbit Hole, and climbing the walls at Vertical Hold.

How do you plan a fun retreat in San Diego?

You should set a realistic budget for the event and prepare for all the retreat essentials like transportation, meals, and accommodation. You would also want to consider your group size to choose locations with a suitable occupancy capacity. In addition, setting a goal for the retreat is a brilliant idea. The species objectives will guide you in picking the best experience to make the event successful.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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