Welcome to Alabama's Freshwater Coast

Planning a Family Reunion at Lake Martin

The last couple of years have taught us many things.  One of the main things I have taken away from the pandemic is to treasure the time I have with my loved ones.  I have realized that my family and friends are what truly matters, and if anything, that should be priority over everything else in life.  Our relationships with those we care about are priceless, and have to be nourished.  We have to find ways to enjoy our tribe, have unforgettable experiences, great bonding time, and create opportunities to make awesome memories. 

Back in the old days, a family unit looked like a mom, dad, two kids, and maybe a dog. Today, families come in all shapes and sizes.  Maybe that is what yours still looks like, or maybe your family unit is just you and your significant other.  Maybe your family is more of a framily, and consists of a group of old friends that considers themselves a family.  Some family we are given, and some we choose-and that is totally ok.  I’m not here to define what a family unit should consist of, but I am here to encourage you to treasure your time with them.  Now is the time to bring the band back together and make up for the time we have missed together the last couple of years.  Now is the time for a family reunion….. or a framily reunion. 

3 Tips for Planning Your Family Reunion

family on a picnic at heaven hill

As you get ready to start planning your reunion, there are a few things to think about and take into consideration:

  • How many people will be a part of the event?  A reunion can consist of anywhere from 2 people to maybe even hundreds of people.  We love our extended family in the south, and there is no reason you can’t invite the whole gang.  Determining a roughly estimated number is the first step in planning a trip though, because all of the other considerations will be based upon your group size.
  • Where would you like to go for your reunion?  A place where everyone in the group can travel and have a getaway is a great way to have a reunion.  This gives everyone a chance to get away, and nobody is left with the responsibility of hosting at their home. 
  • What time of year would you like to travel?  Let’s face it, it will usually be impossible to accommodate everyone’s schedule, but it is worth including everyone in the conversation and planning with enough notice so that people do have time to plan accordingly, take time off work, etc.  When planning the time of year, think about the types of things you want to do, and check to see if some of those activities are more seasonal for the destination you are considering.  Also check different times of the year for pricing, as you may find deals on shoulder seasons-the times right before or after a destination’s busiest time.

Some of my personal favorite times with my family have been spent in the outdoors.  Being exposed to nature helps us all unwind and just have a great time.  Lake Martin offers an endless supply of outdoor fun, including activities like boating, fishing, horseback riding, ziplining, hiking, and more.  It’s also ok to have options for those within your group to go and enjoy different activities in smaller groups, and then come back together for communal family time.  If grandma wants to go ziplining, and the cousins want to go ride horses, that is totally fine.  You can come back together afterward, tell each other your stories of your day’s adventures, and still have plenty of time to enjoy with the whole family together. 

Places to Host a Family Reunion at Lake Martin 

There are great options for staying together as a family at Lake Martin, and having that space to spread out.  Here are just a few of our favorite lakeside spots for family reunions at Lake Martin:

Wind Creek State Park

people eating and drinking wine by the lake at wind creek state park

Wind Creek State Park is right on the shores of Lake Martin and offers RV camping, tent camping, and camping cabins.  Many families enjoy this space because there is ample room to camp, there are multiple activities within the park, and there are great pavilions to host family meals and such.  Even if you don’t stay here, getting a pavilion for a day and hosting a family day at the park is still super cool.

The Lodge at Cocktail Slough

the lodge at cocktail slough

This lodge is a warm, welcoming space with a large covered patio, lush lawn, and an oversized boat dock for boats and watercraft.  There are 12 guest rooms, a kitchen, wet bar, and a conference center.  The Lodge at Cocktail Slough is a great private area where the family can all stay together, be able to cook meals together on site, and enjoy the lake life.  Your family will have the whole lodge to yourself during your stay. 

Holiday Cove

houses by lake

This is a 4 house vacation rental complex on Lake Martin.  Collectively, the houses can sleep up to 48 people.  All of the homes have fully stocked kitchens, and they share two separate picnic areas with tables, chairs. BBQ grills, and a fire pit. What’s nice about Holiday Cove is that it comes with lawn games, a kayak, boat dock, and its own white sandy beach. 

If you want to offer a variety of lodging options for your family members, that is possible too.  Plan the group activities, and then let them choose their preference of where to stay.  We have plenty of places to stay in the area including hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, a campground, and even glamping (aka glamourous camping.) 

Free Planning Resources for Your Family Reunion 

If you need assistance planning your family reunion at Lake Martin, we are happy to help.  We can offer options for lodging and meeting space, help plan activities, make dinner reservations, mail visitor guides to each member of your family, and even provide free welcome bags for the members of your group.  Reach out to me at Lakemartintourismassociation@gmail.com if we can be of any assistance.