More than a block of hotel rooms, the ideal family reunion location is one where everyone really can be in the same place for quality time and reconnection. The reunion you’ll want to repeat is not the one where impractical numbers of you spent time awkwardly gathered in hotel rooms or where you ate meals at multiple tables spread throughout a restaurant. Rather, you’re going to remember the event where you had an exclusive little resort all to yourselves with comfortable rooms and more-than-generous amenities and personal service—where your primary responsibilities were simply to be present with the family and to let loose as you climbed through the redwoods, splashed around in your private pool, or screened a family photo slideshow under the stars with a campfire and s’mores. Those are always the most memorable moments for the families we’ve hosted.
How to Find the Ideal Bay Area Venue for Your Family’s Best Reunion
The extensive San Francisco Bay Area offers venues on extreme ends of the spectrum: hotel rooms tucked into the dense urban landscape, as well as all-inclusive retreat centers surrounded by beautiful breathing room, and many venues in between. The closer you are to the city of San Francisco, the more crowded and expensive venues will be. But as you get farther from the center, you can expect more bang for your buck, and things start to spread out, making more room for your creative family reunion planning. Up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we have so much space that it sometimes seems we’re the only ones in our peaceful little world. Because all families are looking for their unique and special place, we’ve scouted out some beyond-hotel options for family reunions throughout the Bay Area’s subregions with a handful of family-friendly features in mind.
Click here to jump right down to the venues that check out best in terms of comprehensive features and activities for all ages for the best value.
Considerations for an Ideal Family Reunion:
- Good Value: When you’re bringing together people from different income and family situations, it’s good right out of the gate to plan a reunion based on a good package value. You’ll want to know what’s included up front and what you should expect to pay along the way, so no one heads into the experience with high hopes and walks away disappointed by an unexpected total cost.
- A Beautiful Escape You Can Sink into: Family reunions come around only once in awhile, and you want to be able to retreat fully from your regular concerns and pace of life to focus your love and attention on quality family time. Uncommon locations inspire that kind of escape and focus.
- Plenty of Space to Stretch Out and Be Together: Your family reunion can be whatever you make of it—as long as you have the space and the resources to bring your plans about. Indoors or outdoors, you’re going to want open spaces where you can bring the whole big group together comfortably. Hotel options are limited in this way; even if you reserve a conference or hall space, your time is limited.
- Access to Multi-Generational Activities: When you’re bringing the kids, parents, grandparents, maybe even great-grandparents together, you want to be able to include everyone in the fun—whether all at once or through different activities. Some locations are better suited to accommodate these kinds of activities for all ages. Some venues even offer all the opportunities you need right on site.
- Convenience and Comprehensive Amenities:The more services and amenities that are taken care of for you, the more the whole family can focus on being together. It’s even possible to find a venue that will help coordinate the event and activities.
How do the Bay Area’s Different Regions Shake Out for Family Reunion Events?
|San Fran||North Bay||East Bay||South Bay & the Peninsula||Santa Cruz & Extended Bay Area|
|Fun for All Ages|
San Francisco for Family Reunions
The city is loaded with activities the generations can share, from museums to Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate Park’s many attractions—but for a per-person price at each stop. The hassle of transporting everyone and parking may overshadow your together time. San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US, so your lodging, food, and activities will certainly be at the top of or beyond your family’s price range. Even spacious hotel accommodations that are designed for families may limit your quality time when you’re segmented in highrises.
The North Bay for Family Reunions
In and around the North Bay’s bigger cities, you will find undeveloped spaces and gorgeous views. The North Bay can offer your family room to breathe and stretch and gather together in more private spaces—from the wild coast to redwood rainforests to rolling vineyards. But while there are some great activities for the whole family in Marin and Sonoma Counties, the North Bay’s big draw is the wine industry, so kids and adults who are not so inclined may be left out of the popular touring and tasting activities. Plus, as one of the most popular wine tourism destinations in the world, Sonoma and Napa Valleys, are expensive.
The East Bay for Family Reunions
The East Bay just isn’t geared toward family tourism and a scenic getaway; it’s largely developed and still on the pricier side for lodging and amenities. You will find some opportunities for family fun and sights around the Berkeley Marina, the Children’s Fairyland in Oakland if you have a lot of kids in the group, and “Central Park” in Fremont, but don’t expect much private space to gather or the types breathtaking natural views other regions boast that help you feel like you really have gotten a break from life’s usual pace.
The South Bay and the Peninsula for Family Reunions
On the outskirts of Silicon Valley and the South Bay’s bigger cities, you’ll start to find more space and some better values, but there still aren’t too many options here that offer more than hotel accommodations. There are some great farms you can visit if the family is into that, as well as museums and parks, but you’ll have to travel around quite a bit from your home base to keep the family interested, and all that transportation time may not go over well if your group has a lot of children.
The Santa Cruz and Extended Bay Area for Family Reunions
Your possibilities change dramatically when you get into the Santa Cruz area, which carries a more laid-back vibe than San Francisco and its nearer neighbors. Here, you’re looking at more comprehensive features and amenities designed just for events like your family reunion—and with all-inclusive venue options, your value goes way up. With a lot of these places, you can expect that you won’t have to pay anything after the initial package cost; you can just relax and take advantage of everything offered to you—even meals, in some cases. And if you scope out the right venue, you’ve got all the private space and activities you need right on-site.
Consider Some Venue Options and Packages for Your Family Reunion
All Meals Included
Event Coordinator Included
Family Activities Included