Do family reunions give you a warm, cozy feeling? Do you think of tossing a football with your cousins on a spotless green lawn, or sitting around a campfire with wise elders? If so, you win. Your clan is Norman Rockwell perfect. For the rest of us—whose family gatherings feel more like a messy Adam Sandler comedy—there’s hope. You can upgrade from the old days of sharing bathrooms and sleeping on metal cots by booking one of these incredible homes.
1. A desert oasis in Phoenix
You might want to keep up with the Joneses on your next family vacation. How about blowing them out of the water? This amazing nine-bedroom estate will be the envy of all your frenemies. The pool comes with a waterfall and kid-friendly water slide, and three outdoor patios front gorgeous views of the mountains. You’ll have a hard time choosing among golf, tennis, biking, hiking, and rock climbing. And when not cooking in the state-of-the-art kitchen, you’ll want to check out restaurants and shopping in nearby Scottsdale and Phoenix.
2. Big Times in Branson
Branson has all the shows and attractions a family needs, but just a half mile off the main strip, you’ll find this sprawling seven-acre estate. Boasting six bedrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, and a theater with three levels of seating, this spectacular home has entertainment options for all ages. Soak in an outdoor hot-tub, shoot some hoops on a basketball court, or play pinball, air hockey, and pool in a game room. And once you’ve exhausted those options, ride the rollercoasters at Silver Dollar City or mosey over to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.
3. Your own private island in Orlando
Sure, Johnny Depp has a private island, but could you and your extended family have one, too? You bet. Your clan can live like celebrities on this 62-acre, ten-bedroom estate. More than a spacious home, it feels like a resort in and of itself with four video game arcades, a miniature golf course, basketball court, water slide, carousel ride, ball pit room with climbing wall, and both indoor and outdoor movie theaters. There’s even a Harry Potter-themed bedroom—Gryffindor, of course. If that’s not enough, there’s always the Magic Kingdom down the road.
4. Off the beaten path in Washington
Picture yourself lounging in an Adirondack chair, sipping a cool beverage with family members while the kids pick raspberries in your backyard. It kinda beats horseshoes, doesn’t it? You can have this and more with this beautiful home on the Olympic Peninsula. A four-bedroom rental that sleeps eight, it’s your gateway to outdoor fun, with golf, hiking, and the beach just minutes away. The home’s comfortable living rooms are also perfect for charades, a friendly game of poker, or a six-hour Monopoly showdown with your brother. This time you know you’ll win!
5. Rocky Mountain Reunion
We know you go out on a limb when you pick the family reunion spot—life is full of risks after all. But this spectacular mountain home is a sure bet. You won’t hear anything but “thank you” from your relatives after you arrive here. Every detail is covered in this new four-bedroom home. An upstairs bunk room is perfect for the under-18 set, and a downstairs rec room allows all ages to get their game on. An open kitchen invites the chefs in the family to whip up gourmet meals, and outdoor adventures from biking to whitewater rafting are right outside your door.
6. Rustic Luxury (not an oxymoron) in Vermont
Don’t let the word “barn” fool you. This gorgeous property is five-star fancy while still retaining its rustic charms. Beautifully appointed and newly furnished, this five-bedroom home has what every family reunion destination needs: multiple living spaces. While one group plays cards by the fireplace, another can socialize over drinks and hors d’oeuvres while yet another plays pool in the den. And lest you forget you’re in Vermont, the outdoors will beckon: You can toss a Frisbee on the lawn, hike on nearby trails, or walk five minutes to a local swimming hole.