Your reunion destination should depend on the character of your family. Are there a lot of children involved or more seniors? Are you active or more sedentary? How much money can families involved afford to spend? How far are all of you willing to travel?
One Midwest location I recommend is the YMCA of the Ozarks near Potosi in Mark Twain National Forest (60 miles southwest of St. Louis). You can stay in comfortable lodge rooms overlooking a lake or in loft suites and cabins with fireplaces and screened porches. Activities on the 3,000-acre grounds include fishing, swimming, tennis, canoeing, sailing, hiking and horseback riding. Daily rates, with all meals, start at $97 per person double in summer (discounts for children and seniors). Trout Lodge at the YMCA of the Ozarks, Route 2, Box 240, Potosi, MO 63664 (573/438-2154). For information about other Y centers (in New York, Colorado and North Carolina): YMCA of the U.S.A. (312/977-0031).
We asked Midwest Living readers to recommend locations where they've held family reunions. Here are 10 of their favorites:
Illinois--Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort, a sprawling, full-service golf resort near Galena (85 miles west of Rockford, 800/892-2269). Rend Lake Resort along the water at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park near Mount Vernon (120 miles southeast of St. Louis, 800/633-3341).
Michigan--Crystal Mountain Resort, a full-service family-oriented retreat near Thompsonville (30 miles southwest of Traverse City, 800/968-7686).
Minnesota--Cragun's Resort (800/272-4867) and Maddens (maddens.com, 800/247-1040). Both large resorts with a range of accommodations are along Gull Lake near Brainerd (135 miles northwest of the Twin Cities).
Missouri--Lone Oak Point Resort, a smaller retreat with housekeeping units, in the central Missouri Ozarks near Osage Beach (165 miles southeast of Kansas City and 160 miles southwest of St. Louis, 573/374-7992).
Nebraska--Lied Conference Center and Arbor Day Farm, a nicely decorated newer lodge in Nebraska City (45 miles south of Omaha, 800/546-5433).
Ohio--Shawnee State Park Resort, with comfortable motel-style rooms near Friendship (75 miles southeast of Cincinnati, 800/282-7275).
South Dakota--Palmer Gulch Resort, with a range of accommodations including campsites in the Black Hills near Hill City (25 miles southwest of Rapid City, 800/562-8503).
Wisconsin--Chula Vista Resort, a full-service retreat with kid-pleasing indoor and outdoor pools near Wisconsin Dells (about 45 miles northwest of Madison, 800/388-4782).
By Barbara Humeston, Contributing Editor, Midwest Living