In 2004 FTF’s annual Top 10 survey of award-winners highlighted the best places to host your family’s next reunion, and they’re still great venues to do so today.
When I was growing up, my grandmother, aunt, uncle and two cousins lived down the block from me. Within walking distance, or maybe a short subway or car ride away lived many other relatives, and it was quite common for us to all get together for dinner on Sundays, especially while my grandmother was alive. While the grown-ups chatted, gossiped and complained, the cousins would play games (usually made-up ones), tease each other and make mischief. When I told my son about these get-togethers, he couldn’t imagine what it was like to have so much family nearby. Of course, many of his relatives live in Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado and California, so visiting with them is a rare event. Today, the concept of nearby “extended families” is somewhat unusual and due to jobs, climate and just personal preference, we find ourselves spread out across the country, or even in foreign lands.
In answer to this phenomenon, family reunions have become increasingly popular and, according to the Travel Industry Association of America, 34% of American adults have traveled to a family reunion in the past three years, and 22% have done so this past year. These events can range in size from a multi-generational trip with a few relatives to a genealogist’s fantasy of a few hundred people. If you choose the right location, everyone can reunite while enjoying favorite activities as well as a break from their normal routine.
Planning such an event can be a large undertaking. While there’s lot of practical information out there about the logistics of organizing the group, dividing the tasks and setting a budget, perhaps the biggest question is “where should it be.” Considering several criteria such as geographic location (35% of reunion attendees travel 500 or more miles from home), available transportation, the variety of accommodations in different price ranges, activities to please every age, unique attractions, dining options and group discounts, FTF has selected the following family-tested options as the “Top Ten Getaways for Family Reunions.” Search the site for these topics, and start planning yours.
Top Dream Reunion Experiences:
Houseboating on Lake Powell
Walt Disney World, Florida
Top All-Inclusive Resorts for Reunions:
Club Med Sandpiper, Florida
Woodloch Pines, Pennsylvania
Club Maeva Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico [Editors Note: This resort was closed after Hurricane Wilma struck.]
Top Mountain Resorts for Reunions:
Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont
Top Recreational Resorts for Reunions:
Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri
Taboo Resort, Ontario, Canada
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