Group Retreats

The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center is a rustic and beautiful place to convene organizations, networks, public agencies, foundations and other groups working towards social and environmental change. Just 70 miles from both Oakland and San Francisco, OAEC is a unique gathering space for effective and transformative retreats, workshops or strategic planning meetings in a truly stunning environment.

photo by Brock Dolman

More Info

More features of the 80-acre site

OAEC is housed within the context of a working farm, research center, and on-site intentional community.  The organic gardens and orchardsWildlands nature preserve, and “Conservation Hydrology” Demonstration Site as described in the tiles below are part of what make a visit to OAEC unforgettable.

Other Amenities

  • Hot tub and sauna are for your use in the community bathhouse.
  • The pond, available seasonally, is great for swimming, quiet contemplation, or for group gatherings on our floating dock.  It’s about a 10 minute walk from the main facilities.
  • There are extensive trails through our gardens and wildlands for walks.
  • The ecology library in the meeting room is available for OAEC courses.
  • Circle around the fire circle in front of the Meeting Hall – complementary smores fixins’ upon request.

Additional/Programmatic Support

We offer tours for all retreat groups to get oriented and learn more about OAEC and the land.

For an additional fee, we can work with your group to design custom sessions lead by OAEC’s core staff for your retreat, including:

  • Permaculture workshops and facilitated resilient community design projects.
  • Group decision-making and facilitation workshops.
  • Hands on wildlands restoration, bio-intensive gardening, or permaculture projects.
  • Depending on the group and our staff availability, we can sometimes provide professional meeting and/or strategic planning facilitation.

Surrounding Area

  • Just half a mile down the hill from OAEC is the small and charming yet well-provisioned town of Occidental.
  • Snacks, alcoholic beverages, and other sundries can be purchased at one of two markets, and there are many gift shops.
  • The town of Occidental also boasts several great restaurants and bars, as well as inns and B&B’s.
  • We are a roughly 15 minute drive from the ocean. Coleman Valley Rd., upon which we’re located, takes you right to the coast and is regularly voted the most scenic drive in Sonoma County.