It’s officially the season of fun, sun and endless gatherings, and we couldn’t be more excited. Warm weather, soft green grass and delicious barbecue mean summer and early fall are always prime time for family reunions. Whether you’re looking to jet set across the country for a weeklong getaway with your relatives, or simply want to host a one-night soiree for your loved ones, we’re breaking down five unforgettable estates for that next family reunion of yours. Get to planning now—your relatives will thank you later.
For the Vino-Loving Family: Meadowood Napa
Topping our list today is one of Wine Country’s most sought-after estates—Meadowood Napa. Sitting oh-so-pretty on over 250 sprawling acres of woodsy greenery, there’s no question that Meadowood Napa is the gathering spot for the family chock-full of wine enthusiasts.
The expansive estate boasts 85 pristine guest rooms to choose from, so you won’t have to bunk-up with that newborn niece of yours. It’s also home to, simply put, the best restaurant in all of the Napa/Sonoma area. The Restaurant at Meadowood holds a Michelin Three-Star rating (the rarest and highest Michelin rating attainable). Upon booking your dinner reservation, you’ll be asked to provide your dietary restrictions and palette preferences—the seasoned chefs then tailor a menu specifically for your table, always consisting of plates made from farm-fresh, top-quality ingredients. And, it goes without saying that each plate is paired with a local fine wine. (Or, if your family has lots of little ones and is looking for something a little more laid back—try opting for an arranged Meadowood picnic.)
Once your family has fueled up, there are countless on-property activities to choose from. Sports at Meadowood include everything from croquet to golf to tennis. You’re even afforded the option of enrolling the little ones (ages 6-11) in Meadowood’s Children’s Sports Camp while adults hike, swim or simply imbibe local Vintages under the warm Napa sun.
If you’d like to host a formal family gathering during your stay, Meadowood offers countless customizable options for private events on the estate. Guests can choose from five main event spaces, depending on their needs. Vintner’s Room & Glen—our favorite space for family reunion gatherings—overlooks the pristine golf course and boasts vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and decking that opens out onto its own private lawn. Or, guests can also choose from the Woodside Room, the Madrone Room, the Boardroom and the picturesque Croquet Glen.
Overall, from its endless meeting spaces to its luxurious accommodations to its coveted location in the heart of Wine Country, Meadowood Napa makes for the perfect family reunion venue for those who love nothing more than a little sunshine and a lot of wine.
For the Backyard-Barbecue Enthusiasts: Las Olivas in Rancho Santa Fe, California
Sitting on two pristine acres in sunny Rancho Santa Fe, California is one of our all-time favorite family reunion event venues: Las Olivas. We chose this spectacular, Tuscan-style estate as our pick for the family full of backyard barbecue enthusiasts, as its grounds pack a serious punch when it comes to endless fun. Towering Palms, charming olive trees and meandering ivy set the estate completely apart from the outside world, helping to create a private space for your family to relax and enjoy the California sunshine.
The expansive estate can be rented from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and—with plenty of space to bring in a dance floor, tent, or group activity (think yoga on the lawn)—the property can be completely customized to fit your needs or to reflect any theme you may have for that next reunion of yours.
We especially love the fact that this property is a true entertainer’s dream—so call that ever-organized aunt of yours and have her get to planning. With two built-in bars, an unforgettable theater, a pool table, an outdoor living space AND an outdoor kitchen, your relatives will never find themselves bored while celebrating at Las Olivas.
We are also huge fans of the property’s picturesque pool, which boasts a total of three cascading waterfalls—hello, tranquility—and built-in mood lighting that turns the massive body of water into an oh-so-inviting piece of art after sunset.
Overall, with its perfectly manicured and ever-expansive grounds, Las Olivas makes for a spectacular reunion spot for the backyard-dwelling, pool-splashing, barbeque-loving families out there.
For the Beach-Bum Family: The Atlantic Beach Estate, Atlantic Beach, Florida
Set on 1.7 acres just outside of Jacksonville, Florida, the Atlantic Beach Estate was designed by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1961. We chose it as our top family reunion spot for the family full of beach bums, as it sits just steps from the warm, inviting waters of the Atlantic Ocean—making for a beach getaway like no other.
Events on the property can accommodate up to 125 guests, with a main condo that sleeps six and additional condos that boast two bedrooms and two bathrooms each. A three-day rental is required to book the Atlantic Beach Estate, making it the perfect property for those looking for more than just a single afternoon for their family reunion gathering.
With grounds boasting pristine lawns, towering palms and—only steps away—soft, white sand beaches, you’ll feel as though you’re in a secluded oceanside paradise while staying at this impressive estate.
For those looking for more activity than just beachfront lounging, we recommend heading into the village of Atlantic Beach for a day. The town boasts a waterfront promenade that’s home quaint cafes, bars, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Guests also have easy access to nearby world-class golf courses.
Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach with a cocktail in hand, kayak out over the saturated blue waters of the Atlantic, or cozy up in your condo with a good book, the Atlantic Beach Resort is the perfect place for sun-worshiping, beach-loving families of all kinds.
For the Lake-Loving Crew: Thunderbird Lodge, Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Deemed a National Historic Site, the spectacular Thunderbird Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is known as “Tahoe’s Castle in the Sky.” With storied stonework that dates back to 1936 and an unforgettable house yacht, the Thunderbird Lodge is the perfect family reunion gathering spot for families looking for that laid-back lake vibe without skimping on luxury.
The lodge is available for rent from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m., can accommodate up to 120 guests for an event (though it offers no overnight accommodations) and offers three main event spaces to choose from. The Lighthouse Room seats up to 90 guests for dinner; the main lawn has space for up to 120 for dinner; and the storied Old Lodge requires special accommodations and advanced planning (and a donation) in order to rent, due to its historic nature. Of the three options, we prefer the main lawn for a family reunion, as it offers plenty of space for the little ones to roam and views of the great granite lake for as far as the eye can see.
Arguably America’s most well-known wooden speedboat, we highly recommend taking the house yacht for a spin on the glassy waters of Lake Tahoe—it’s a quintessential part of the Thunderbird experience that you’d be remiss to miss out on. Then, return to the Thunderbird Lodge and pair your unforgettable water-tour with the Lodge’s “Dinner at the Castle” package for a family reunion like no other on Earth.
For the Wild-West Family: Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming
We round out our list today with a family reunion event venue that’s picture-perfect for all of the Wild-West, ranch-loving families out there. Located just 20 miles southeast of beautiful Saratoga, Wyoming, The Brush Creek Ranch is situated on 45 square miles of sprawling, expansive Wyoming wilderness—making for a serene setting that’s as “Great American West” as they come.
With views of thick sagebrush, towering aspens, lush meadows, and layered mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, Brush Creek Ranch offers luxurious accommodations alongside untamed lands, striking a balance your crew won’t soon forget. We especially love that the venue was, at one time, an actual working ranch—so it feels tried, true and oh-so-authentic.
Your family can choose from a number of accommodation options ranging from the property’s two- and three-bedroom Log Cabin Residences, to its Trailhead Lodge rooms, to its fully-renovated cabin suites. Each room, suite and cabin boasts an aesthetic that’s Wyoming-Western and classically refined at once. Think: rustic charm meets high-end luxury, all in a sprawling, secluded setting.
And, while the kiddos embark on a number of "Lil' Wranglers" ranching activities (like arts + crafts, scavenger hunts, zip lining, and hayrides), adults can spend an afternoon at the property's award-winning Trailhead Spa. (We recommend the Wyoming River Stone Massage paired with a Sweet Delights Sugar Scrub.)
We especially love that the ranch has a rich history of hosting events (and great package options to choose from), so you can rest easy knowing that the seasoned staff will take care of your family's every need.