Road Scholar Retreats at IGC Offer a Welcoming Getaway for Adults From Across the Country

Bailey ButtersGeneral

Known for its learning adventures for Baby Boomers and beyond, Road Scholar offers Retreats in more than 40 idyllic locations across the country. One of those stunning locations is at the Intentional Growth Center nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina on the shores of Lake Junaluska. Each Road Scholar retreat features a setting with natural beauty, storied history and access to educational discovery — the heart of all Road Scholar adventures.  

Since 1985, the Intentional Growth Center (IGC) has been the home-base for Road Scholar participants who want to embrace the serenity of the Center’s setting and learn about the culture and history of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding region.

“Road Scholar learning adventures at IGC bring hundreds of lifelong learners to the area each year,” says Leslie Butters, Chief Operating Officer at IGC. “We’re thrilled to offer adventures that cater to a diverse range of interests. We are always excited in particular about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park program, because it allows people who come to the area to really get to know the land we love.”

“Each Retreat provides a welcoming atmosphere and ideal setting for relaxing after energizing experiences in the classroom or outdoors and reflecting on a great day with new friends,” says JoAnn Bell, senior vice president of programs at Road Scholar.

Beyond the access to stunning landscapes, programs feature local expert instructors like Lee Knight, who shares his knowledge of Appalachian culture with the group, and photography instructor Don McGowan, who provides knowledge and a backdrop that make the learning experiences at the Center exceptional.  Recently, Road Scholar introduced a new program that explores the history of baseball in the region, the uniqueness of Eastern Carolina BBQ, and the art of brewing beer.

“People come back to the area because there is so much unique natural beauty and the region is just breathtaking,” Leslie says. “Each one of our programs explores a different aspect of local culture and history, whether it’s the women of Appalachia, hiking in the Smoky Mountains, or the Cherokee culture of the region.”

Each of Road Scholar’s retreat programs across the country includes:

  • Easy, optional morning exercise that unlocks your limbs and motivates your mind;
  • Meeting with community members to get insight into local life;
  • An authentic, farm-to-table meal;
  • Live performance or event; and,
  • Single rooms for only $100 more at many retreats.

Learn more about Retreats at IGC or other Road Scholar Retreats around the country at or

Featured photo: The stately Lambuth Inn looks over Lake Junaluska with a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.