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CVBs Can Help Plan Family Reunions

Family reunions help everyone relive cherished memories and create fresh ones as families strengthen ties that bind their members coast to coast. Convention and visitors bureaus often assist family reunion planners with venues, hotels and ideas for fun things to see and do.


Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York

One difference between traditional group tours and family reunions is that family members know each other and want to be together in arranged activities. The Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau says its region is firmly rooted in family and community values.

Many families use Buffalo as home base and hub-and-spoke out from the city for activities. The amazing Niagara Falls area is a must-see.

“Get a pass for Niagara Park for access to Maid of the Mist, the boat ride past American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls. You’ll get a massive spray of water,” said Leah Mueller, the CVB’s director of tourism sales.

Mueller suggests using trolleys that travel the park. “There’s Cave of the Winds Tour — really fun. You climb a series of stairs as water literally pounds down on you. See a movie at Niagara Adventure Theater; visit the aquarium or Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. All are included on one pass.”

Also great for families are the Buffalo Zoo, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Naval and Military Park, and theme parks like Martin’s Fantasy Island and Darien Lake Amusement Park. Reunion groups can visit Canalside Buffalo, the city’s waterfront; enjoy arts, culture, music, celebrations and festivals; and rent boats, ride a tall ship or water taxi, and go kayaking.


Kissimmee, Florida

Experience Kissimmee, the local CVB, provides reunion specialists and convenient planning calendars for reunion organizers. Kissimmee promotes hotels, vacation homes, time-shares and resorts with multiple bedrooms for reunion accommodations. Kitchens allow for home-style meals and money savings. Experience Kissimmee provides a welcome bag to family members that includes an area and dining guide.

“We’re close to three theme parks: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando,” said Sylvia Oliande, the CVB’s director of media relations. “We’re under an hour from Legoland Florida and not much farther from Busch Gardens and Kennedy Space Center.”

Beyond theme parks are natural attractions families cherish, like exploring marshes and swamps for alligators, birds and other wildlife. People sample zip lining, kayaking, airboat rides and Segways.


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau offers an array of services for family reunion planners, making suggestions for where to stay, where to eat and what to do.

“It’s a great place because it’s a more affordable beach destination, especially for extended families,” said Sandy Haines, the CVB’s group tour sales manager. “Our 60-mile stretch of sandy, white beach is the area’s No. 1 draw.”

Being outdoors may also mean pontoon rentals, jet skis, parasailing or kayaking. Dock, shore and deep-sea fishing is great. Take an ecology tour or enjoy the views on the tour boat Barefoot Princess down the Intracoastal Waterway.

Myrtle Beach is also known for wide-ranging amusements and exciting shows featuring magic, adventurous pirates and medieval knights, Broadway-style entertainment or musical tribute shows with celebrity-look-alike performers.