A growing number of fun activities, distinct venues and lodging properties well-suited for hosting groups has landed Aurora in the number 33 spot on Cvent’s list of Top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States for 2019. This represents a nine-point increase from Aurora’s ranking last year and a 23-point increase from 2017, placing Colorado’s third largest city ahead of destinations like Fort Worth, Louisville, Portland, St. Louis and Kansas City. 


The back patio at Pelican Bay at Cherry Creek with a sand and water backdrop is the perfect place for a birds of prey experience with an eagle, owl, falcon and hawk presented by the nonprofit HawkQuest. Kin Quitugua, a master falconer and longtime environmental educator, founded HawkQuest in 1986 and has dedicated himself to educating the public about the role raptors play in our ecology.

Pelican Bay at Cherry Creek, located within Cherry Creek State Park, features a marina, Lake House for events and nautical-themed pub. During fair weather, boats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards can be rented.

Southlands, an outdoor lifestyle mall, functions like a modern main street for the community. There are many opportunities for groups like a dine-in AMC multiplex cinema, restaurant/bar options like the spacious Bar Louie, quaint Wine Experience Café & World Cellar, an ice skating rink in winter, and events like a farmers’ market and outdoor concerts and movies during the summer. One of the newest additions is Bent Barley Brewing Company, which is the brainchild of friends and coworkers Mark Job and Paul Dampier.

At Stanley Marketplace, begin at Stanley Beer Garden, where you pour your own beer, wine, hard cider or cocktail from two large rows of stainless steel dispensers. There are more than 50 locally owned businesses in the market, including eateries, breweries, a wine taproom, boutique shops and more. Fairly new on the scene is Create Cooking School for an ideal team-building and dining experience with talented chefs. On-site restaurants like Comida and Rolling Smoke BBQ also have food trucks that can be booked for off-site gatherings.

Meeting in an idyllic, natural setting doesn’t mean you have to give up a dynamic urban energy –at least not when you’re gathering in The Woodlands, a charming community located less than 30 miles from Houston and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The town boasts a full social calendar, as well as all of the conveniences found in a more metropolitan locale. But it is shaded by acres of heritage trees, surrounded by neighborhood parks and centered around the sparkling waters of Lake Woodlands and The Woodlands Waterway. 


Science has proven what’s long been suspected: Being near water increases creativity and decreases stress levels. The sound of rocking boats moored at a marina, the sparkle and glimmer as the sun hits the lake, the feel of the water as it tickles the toes: It’s the perfect way to relax, recharge and reconnect. So, what better way to engage with your meeting guests and get the creative juices flowing than at a waterside resort!