Seeking Family Reunion Destination Ideas
August 28, 2008 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Seeking family reunion location ideas in the Mid-Atlantic states for crazy Irish clan. There are specific requests that folks are making...

My mom's family is going to try for their first family reunion ever that doesn't involve a wedding. Because folks are scattered from New York to Florida, they'd like to find something in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.

Around fifty people, adults and kids.

This is a very diverse group in age...from newborns to folks in their 70's. While no one needs handicapped access, sprints up a mountain are probably out for some.

Would like a wide variety of activities that would include being near some kind of water (ocean, lake) as well as being near golf. Everything else is negotiable.

Some will rent houses and stay for a week. Some will want to stay only a weekend and just use a hotel or a B&B. Indoor plumbing is a must for these folks. Their version of roughing it is staying in a Motel 6.

This is during the summer.

Restaurants nearby are preferable, but it is possible that they'd consider a "rent a family camp" situation and hire their own cook for the week.

Oh help me Hivemind! And prove to my mom that my internet addiction can actually be useful.
posted by jeanmari to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Sounds to me like a lake with resort-type stuff would be best. Maybe Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, or Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Or perhaps Lake Gaston, which straddles the border between NC and VA. There are a lot of houses for rent (some of them quite large) at all of these lakes (and some hotels as well). Good luck, it sounds like fun!
posted by weezetr at 8:33 AM on August 28, 2008

Some of this is going to depend on how much you're willing to spend. Any rental in the Mid-Atlantic near the ocean is likely to be at least $1000, if not closer to $3000, for a week. That will come with 3-4BR, full kitchen, etc., and if you're willing to pack 'em in can sleep upwards of 8-10 people.

It's also going to depend on whether you're insistent on the ability to walk everywhere you want to go. If you're willing to drive a few minutes, i.e. 5-10, to go to places like restaurants, the beach, golf, etc., then your options open way up.

I'm going to recommend a beach community in Delaware, Rehoboth Beach. My family used to have a place back from the water a good ways, and it was always a good time. It's increasingly trendy, but there are plenty of rentals available, long stretches of beach, great restaurants, a boardwalk, about half a dozen golf (and minigolf) courses, a couple of huge outlet malls, waterslides, go-karts, and a big state park. Most of the rentals are within a dozen or so blocks of places to eat, but you can get just about anywhere you want within a 20 minute drive. You could easily spend a week here, and there's plenty of variety for everyone.

I recommend the Rusty Rudder as a place to eat. It's located just a bit south of town in Dewey Beach. Their brunch buffet is simply spectacular, and their seafood and wine list are top notch.

The official tourism site can be found here.
posted by valkyryn at 8:38 AM on August 28, 2008

Maybe Pipestem in W. Va.? They have a golf course (as well, they're near other golf courses in the area) as well as fun things like a tram. It's near a lake and the New River, as well as lots of other outdoor nature things. W. Va. is a beautiful state with lots of things to do in the summer (whitewater rafting, canoeing, etc.). The area that Pipestem is in is surrounded by parks and Fayetteville, home of the New River Gorge bridge, isn't too far. Beckley is the largest town closest to Pipestem, and hotels/restaurants won't be a problem there.
posted by kerning at 8:56 AM on August 28, 2008

Like valkyryn, I was going to recommend the Delaware beaches... Rehoboth is a good choice, and there are others as well. I've not been enough to have specific recommendations, but Delaware is pretty centrally located.
posted by JMOZ at 9:01 AM on August 28, 2008

Rehoboth (and the Rusty Rudder in particular) are great in the off-season, but can be overrun with Dewey-Beach-overflow 20- and 30-somethings in the peak of the summer. I used to be one of them... and, um, I don't think your grandma would enjoy being around who we were then.

If the Delaware shore is interesting to you as an option, I'd recommend enjoying Rehoboth's many attractions, but making your home base in the nearby community of Lewes, which is a more mellow place.
posted by nkknkk at 9:05 AM on August 28, 2008

nkknkk is right about Dewey being something of a young-person's vacation spot, but there are good ways of avoiding that if you want to. Lewes, just north of town, is an option, but it's across the peninsula, and farther from most of the attractions. It's also on the bay, not the ocean, giving it approximately zero surf, just so you know.

But if you keep to the north part of Rehoboth proper, or simply look for rentals farther from the beach, things can actually be pretty quiet. The younger crowd tends to congregate right on the water, so if you're willing to be flexible about that, and don't insist on hitting too many bars, there are definitely ways of making it work.
posted by valkyryn at 9:26 AM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: These are great ideas, especially since a couple of my cousins used to live in Rehoboth.

Is anyone familiar with the areas around Nags Head, Hilton Head or St Michael's (in Maryland)? We used to go to Nags Head and Hilton Head in the late 70's. I'm sure it's very different now but I thought I'd ask. I know that isn't Mid Atlantic, but maybe I can get them to go farther south.
posted by jeanmari at 9:46 AM on August 28, 2008

I am a big fan of the outer banks. I rented a house near Nags Head, in Duck, that comfortably slept three families of 5 each. (Kids did share rooms.) We went to the beach to kitty hawk, mini golf (duh, its the shore!) go karts, golf etc.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:05 AM on August 28, 2008

You can also try Indian River Inlet - part of the Delaware Seashore Park. A cousin stayed there earlier this summer and really enjoyed it. It was quieter there than the main resort areas but close enough to shopping, ocean and other activities. There is also beach access but it is bay-side not ocean side if that matters.

Here's a page on the cabin amenities. 2008 rate $1800/wk in season & they only rent out for the full week during the season.

My cousin did note that the cabin he rented was very clean, well supplied and right on the water.
posted by jaimystery at 11:46 AM on August 28, 2008

Oh, and St. Michael's is LOVELY. Quaint, mellow, great restaurants and all-ages attractions. I'm not sure they have golf, though...
posted by nkknkk at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2008

My dad and my Uncle rented a house for a crazy Irish family reunion in Ocean City, Maryland. The location was terrific.
posted by plinth at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2008

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