Choosing a locale for a multi-sport family reunion

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of April 9-15, 1998
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Choosing a locale for a multi-sport family reunion

Choosing a locale for a multi-sport family reunion
Question: We are a large family seeking lodge-type accommodations for a reunion. We need it for late December and are looking for a warm climate for fishing, golf, swimming, horseback riding, etc. We'd like to be the only guests. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Bruce Halvorson
Port Ludlow, Washington

A good way to get away from the
relatives you don't want to see

Adventure Adviser: The end of December is one of the busiest and most expensive times of year to travel to warm-weather destinations. Keep in mind that everything from the plane tickets to the lodging will be hopped up in price. If your reunion date isn't set in stone, you may want to consider changing it to an off-peak time of year such as April or May. Bearing that in mind, here are a few spots that provide almost everything for everyone. By the way, if you find a place in the continental United States that offers horseback riding, golf, and fishing, please let me know.

Palm Canyon Resort touts itself as "the perfect site for group functions." Located in Borrego Springs, California near the Anza Barrego Desert and San Diego, there's a little bit of action for everyone, including on-site golf and tennis. For those who want to commune with nature, they can explore Anza-Barrego Desert, the largest contiguous state park in the country and just a stone's throw from the resort. Fishing, however, may be a problem. Room rates vary from $55 to $150 per night and children under 12 stay free. Catering and special events can be arranged. Call 800-242-0044 for details.

Depending on the size of your "large family," you may want to try Bahia Honda Key in Florida. This two-and-a-half mile key of blindingly white, crushed coral sand holds a very well-equipped state park that offers cabins which sleep up to six people for $97 to $125 per night. There's a dive shop and a 19-slip marina which will ensure plenty of opportunity to catch bonefish or snapper, or just enjoy a lazy day on the water. Unfortunately, there's no golf. For more information on the cabins, call Bahia Honda State Park at 305-872-2353.

For a totally Western experience look into one of the many guest ranches in southern Arizona. All of them offer horseback riding, and most offer on-site swimming, tennis, and hiking, and golf nearby. Circle Z Ranch (Patagonia, Arizona; 602-394-2525); Grapevine Canyon Ranch (Pearce, Arizona; 602-826-3185); Rancho de la Osa (Sasabe, Arizona; 800-872-6240); Rex Ranch (Armado, Arizona; 602-398-2914).

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