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We know what you’re thinking right now: “Why on Earth am I reading an article about family travel from the same guys who print my t-shirts?”
Well, firstly: Ouch. 🙁 That hurt our feelings. You really should be nicer!
And secondly: Believe it or not, we know what we’re talkin’ about! We deal with thousands of families every year. From busy moms and dads trying to throw the best birthday, sweet sixteen, Quinceanera, bat/bar mitzvah, or graduation party ever, to families in need of commemorative t-shirts for their next vay-cay, we’re constantly working with our customers to help make their event planning experience as painless as possible.
… That includes a massive amount of listening – about things like how awesome Location X is over Location Y, and how the cabins at So-and-So Ranch can more than accommodate a family of 50. We hear it all. And after 12 years of listening, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a great family reunion. It all starts with a location.
Here are five of our customers’ favorite family reunion destinations:
Timberlock Ranch – Indian Lake, N.Y.
We’ve heard stories from our customers for years about how awesome Timberlock is, and those who talk about it have usually been taking their families there for years.
Owned and operated by the Catlin family since 1963, Timberlock is a haven for families looking to spend quality time together while having fun in the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking out for your 95-year-old grandma and her penchant wood-working (Seriously, there is an onsite supervised wood shop), or your younger cousin’s fascination with archery, they have enough family fun to keep everyone smiling.
They also offer everything from fishing, motor boating, and water skiing, to tennis, basketball, hiking, fishing, and *gasp* horseback riding. And, of course, there are the classics like badminton, tether-ball, and horseshoes.
Each family has their own private cabin, which the ranch celebrates as being basic, clean, and comfortable. Cabins come large enough to accommodate a group of eight and small enough to accommodate a couple, and each comes with separate bedrooms, sitting room, and an open deck or screened porch. OH, AND A FREAKIN’ LAKE VIEW. Some cabins include a full bathroom, while others offer shared access to “trail johns,” which are centrally located and include toilets, sinks, and hot showers.
Just don’t look for electricity outlets, ‘cause you won’t find ‘em here!
Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA of the Rockies – Granby, Colo.
Every customer who tells us about Snow Mountain Ranch says that it is – by far – the best value in the Rockies, and that the YMCA staff are some of the friendliest and most hospitable in the business. Aside from being some of the most reasonably priced, the accommodations are very, well, accommodating. Guests are welcome to reserve everything from campground space and 6-person yurts (wooden platform tents lined with lattices and post-and-beam systems) to full-on 8-bedroom cabins for the whole group.
The facilities regularly accommodate large families for weddings and reunions, and have an entire team of conference organizers ready and waiting to help customers plan the perfect family get together. The ranch affords guests breathtaking views of Colorado’s famous Winter Park and Fraser Valley, and comes with all the fixin’s you’d expect (and some you wouldn’t): guided hikes, sleigh rides, archery, swimming, roller and ice skating, along with sleigh rides, cross country skiing, snow tubing, dog sledding, rock climbing, and more – most of which are completely free.
If your family is looking to reunite on the cheap without skimping on the fun, this is the place to do it.
Atlantis – Harborside Resort – Paradise Island, Bahamas
Atlantis Paradise Island is a far-and-away favorite among our customers, and that’s an understatement. For families not exactly looking to “rough it,” Atlantis is a no-brainer. Crystal clear blue water, white-sand beaches, literally hundreds of family-friendly games and attractions, dozens of quality restaurants, and the largest casino in the Caribbean (because a family reunion is about more than just the kids!) all make for one of the best family reunion experiences imaginable.
Of the six Atlantis resorts on Paradise Island, Harborside Resort is most popular for family reunions because the one-, two- and three-bedroom residential-style villas are as close to home as you’re going to get. Additionally, the three-bedroom villas can comfortably accommodate 10 people!
Located a little further away from all of the “action” at the main resorts, Harborside offers larger groups a little more intimacy and quietude, without completely separating them from all the fun. Free shuttle service is provided to all the other areas of Atlantis Paradise Island, and there’s plenty of on-site fun to be had, too.
Kids can go swimming with friendly bottlenose dolphins and sea lions, hang out with sharks, snorkel, and scuba dive in one of the resort’s 20 designated swimming spots, or immerse themselves in the ultimate 141-acre Acquaventure, filled with water slides, river rides, and other aqua thrills.
The spacious villas, coupled with all the fun and entertainment for families of all ages makes the Harborside Resort at Atlantis the perfect place for any size family to catch up and come together.
Hilton Head, S.C.
Our customers always come to us talking about a variety of resorts, hotels, and timeshares on this laid back slice of American pie, but one detail that remains consistent — Hilton Head Island, located on the coast of South Carolina, about 20 minutes northeast of Savannah, GA, is one of the best family reunion destinations in the country.
Just 12 miles long from “heel” to “toe,” the tiny shoe-shaped island is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, national parks, and nature preserves, and offers plenty of spacious fun for families looking for the best reunion possible.
You’ll find any kind of accommodations you could ever want here, from beachfront villas and golf resorts, to plantation-era colonial rentals with wraparounds and draping Spanish moss. With everything from biking trails to golf courses galore, Hilton Head is the ideal locale for a family looking to be transported to a simpler, more laid back time.
New York City, N.Y.
We know what you’re thinking – a big group staying together in the Big Apple sounds like a big… headache. And on the surface, you’re right. But New York City is also filled with heritage, culture, and history – just like your great big family.
And that’s what makes it the perfect destination for a family reunion. Take the kids in your crew out American Museum of Natural History, where they’ll have access to over 45 permanent exhibition halls, a planetarium, a gigantic library, and a literal maze of over 25 interconnected buildings, all housing millions upon millions of fascinating historical artifacts. And when feet grow tired and backs become sore, take the group outside and enjoy an afternoon grazing in the magnificence of central park.
And if your family’s roots extend overseas, what better reason to go on a tour of Ellis Island, where you’ll be able to search through a database of over 51 million passenger records, and help discover and celebrate your family’s past.
Of course, we can’t forget any of the world-famous shopping on 5th Avenue, the entertaining allure of Broadway, the family-friendly adventure of The Bronx Zoo, or any of New York City’s hundreds of other awesome things to do.
If you want to bond and catch up with family and never have a boring moment, New York City is probably a better choice than you think!
Maxwell Barna is a Content Manager at RushOrderTees, one of the nation’s leaders in custom screen printing and embroidery. An avid traveler, he is always on the lookout for cool new places to visit — with and without his huge family!