The Wildacres Guest Experience
Wildacres Retreat has hosted many retreats, workshops, and conferences over the years. All stays at Wildacres include lodging, delicious meals in our dining hall, use of program facilities, and full access to our extensive hiking trail system. Many of our guests come back to Wildacres year after year, relaxing back into the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains and the family atmosphere here at our retreat.
Getting to Wildacres
- Driving directions to Wildacres are located here.
- Traveling by air. Charlotte and Asheville airports are the closest air travel options, and there are car rental agencies available in those locations. Wildacres does not provide airport transportation and currently, there is no public transportation to our area. Groups may arrange for van service to and from the Asheville or Charlotte airports. Please contact your group leader if you need transportation from an airport.
- Guest rooms are available for check-in by 4:00 p.m.
- Guests may check out as early in the morning as they wish. However, we ask that all guests are completely out of their individual rooms no later than 9:30 am the day you are leaving. This allows our housekeeping staff to begin cleaning.
- No late checkouts are available. Unless previously arranged, groups leave the retreat by 12noon and housekeeping staff begin to reset for the next group’s arrival.
Note: Should you arrive a little early, please let us know. You are welcome to enjoy walking around the property until your group is ready to begin check-in.
What to bring / What to expect
- Wildacres does not accept credit cards. However, we do take checks, cash, and PayPal.
- The weather can be cool at night anytime during the season. In the spring and the fall, it can be quite chilly on a windy day. Bringing layers to accommodate the changes in temperature is a good idea.
- Wildacres is not a “dress up place” so bring casual clothes. Include a jacket, sweater, and comfortable walking shoes. Much of the property is hilly and comfortable shoes will make a difference.
- Lost and Found – Can be turned in/located at the front desk. Unclaimed items are donated to a local shelter after 14 days.
- We do not permit smoking or vaping indoors at the retreat. Smoking is permitted outdoors with the exception of on the patio between the Lodges. We ask that guests wishing to smoke be aware of drifting smoke and stay away from locations where smoke can drift in open windows or doors.
- Wildacres has numerous hiking trails both on the main property and throughout the larger property and returning guests tell us their walks around the mountain are something they look forward to each visit. Guests can pick up a trail map at the front desk.
- The Wildacres Canteen is located on the lower level of South Lodge. Our Canteen is a combination shop and community area and carries Wildacres gear such as fleece jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, basic toiletries, and more, along with a selection of ice cream. We also have a vending machine with snacks and soda, an ice machine and a microwave for guests to use.
- We provide pre-breakfast coffee/tea service in the canteen each morning free of charge to guests. In order to support our goal of being thoughtful environmental stewards, we no longer provide disposable cups and instead encourage guests to bring their own mugs or tumblers to use. We have insulated tumblers as well as mugs made by North Carolina potters for sale in our retreat shop if a guest cannot bring their own.
- Within the Canteen we have a Pantry that houses a full refrigerator/freezer, microwave and sink. The Pantry is available to all guests who wish to store food, drinks or medications during their stay.
- Wildacres boasts a pottery studio, lapidary facilities, an open floor plan studio (perfect for musicians and performers) as well as an auditorium with a sound system and internet connectivity for distance learners.
- We have a stonework amphitheater with a built-in firepit that groups may access. The amphitheater has a beautiful view of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, including Mt. Mitchell. Evening campfires are a perfect opportunity for relaxing with friends after dinner. We provide wood and set up the firepit for groups with prior notice.
- Wireless internet service is available on a limited basis. Wildacres is a true retreat, and we discourage the use of electronics as much as possible so that our guests can enjoy the quiet and solitude of the mountains and disconnect from everyday pressures. Internet access is available in our North Lodge lobby, the Auditorium and Library, and in meeting spaces with our North and South Lodges.
- Most cellphones work in the main area of the retreat although some areas have spotty service. In case of emergency, if someone needs to reach you and they are unable to reach you by cellphone, they should call (828) 756-4573, and the staff will get you a message. Please be sure they understand this is only for emergency calls, especially if the calls come in between 8 pm and 8 am.
- Wildacres does not currently have facilities to recharge guests’ electric vehicles. The closest location is in Little Switzerland at Books and Beans, which is in the same building as the Switzerland Cafe. Their number is 828.467.8107. You may call them for more information.
- Guests stay in one of our two lodges. The Lodges have double-occupancy guest rooms as well as several meeting rooms. The Canteen (Wildacres shop) is located in South Lodge, and North Lodge has our spacious upstairs lobby with a fireplace.
- Individual room assignments are arranged by each group. It is important that you let your group leader know of any special lodging needs you may have.
- Guest rooms do not have televisions, phones, or alarm clocks. We ring a bell a half hour before breakfast to wake guests, and 10 minutes before each mealtime.
- Our guest rooms can accommodate at least two people and have en suite bathroom facilities with shower/tub combos. The rooms are basic and comfortable, and all have windows that open to outside views. Each room has a ceiling fan for cooling in the summer and a baseboard heater to keep our guests toasty in the early spring and late fall. Amenities per room include one double and one single bed OR two twin beds, chairs, a vanity, and a nightstand with a reading lamp. We do not provide kleenex, complimentary toiletries or hair dryers.
- We do not have the parking space at Wildacres to accommodate personal campers, trailers, or RVs. There are several local campgrounds nearby, and our office attendant can share contact information for those facilities upon request.
- Wildacres provides all bed linens (including blankets and pillows) and towels.
- For groups staying a full week, we provide a midweek towel change.
- Wildacres does not have laundry facilities for guests. There are laundromats in nearby Spruce Pine and in Marion.
- Three meals a day are provided with your full-day lodging. Breakfast is at 8:00 am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner is generally 6:00 pm, although we serve dinner at 6:30 pm on check-in day. Meals are served family style with a salad bar available at lunch and dinner. Our food service staff can accommodate vegetarian and vegan preferences, as well as lactose/dairy intolerances and, to a certain degree, gluten-free requests. If you have dietary restrictions or intolerances beyond this, it may be best to bring some food items along with you to supplement your meals. We have a community refrigerator and microwaves that you can have access to for simple food preparation. Please let your group leader know of any dietary needs you have, and our food service staff will reach out if they need clarification. We do not serve pork or shellfish at the retreat, and our cooks do not use MSG in any food preparation.
- While alcohol is not available for sale at Wildacres, guests are permitted to bring their own. Several nearby stores sell beer and wine, and there are ABC (liquor) stores in Spruce Pine and Marion.
- Our Wildacres store carries snack and soda options in our vending machine, and we stock ice cream treats as well. There are several stores in nearby Spruce Pine and Marion if you want a wider selection.
Guests and Residents are not permitted to bring personal pets, emotional support animals or therapy animals. Trained service dogs are welcome at Wildacres Retreat with prior notice/documentation. We ask that guests with trained service dogs first speak with their group leader, and then with our resident manager regarding their stay.
- For more information on your group’s program please contact your group leader. While we (Wildacres) can answer questions about our facilities and the local area, your group leader will be your contact person for all program and lodging details.
- We are often asked if a spouse may come along and not participate in the program. Some groups allow this if there is room available, but it works better if guests are participating in programming. You will need to check with your group leader on your group’s policy.
- If you need to have supplies or program materials shipped to the Retreat, you may use our physical address: Wildacres Retreat, 1565 Wildacres Road, Little Switzerland, NC. 28749. Both UPS and FedEx deliver directly to the retreat. Be sure they use Little Switzerland for the town as some systems try to locate Wildacres in Marion. Your package won’t make it if it has Marion on it. We ask that you call the retreat to let us know to expect a package, otherwise delivery may be refused.
- There is an excellent walk-in clinic as well as a CVS pharmacy in Spruce Pine if you need to fill prescriptions or see a doctor while you’re with us. The nearest hospital is Blue Ridge Regional, also in Spruce Pine. Additionally, EMS services are within a 10-minute window to the retreat, and we are served by both McDowell and Mitchell counties.
Please refer to our Wildacres Commitment to Care page for information about our 2023 health and safety procedures with regard to guests and employees at the retreat. We will continue to update procedures throughout our season as needed.