Where to Go

5 Ways to Plan a Fabulous Summer Family Reunion in Florida

Consider these fun locations and things to do on your next family-friendly vacation in the Sunshine State

The Vacationeer
Paradise Beach at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, palms on white sand on a sunny day

Florida is the perfect backdrop for a summer family reunion: nearly 700 miles of beaches, myriad theme park attractions and year-round sunshine. With so many fun things to do on a summer vacation in Florida, narrowing down your bucket list might seem challenging.

Tailor your vacation itinerary to you and your family. Whether you’re a family of foodies, theme-park hoppers or outdoor adventurers, there’s something for everyone in Florida. Plus, Hilton Grand Vacations has plenty of family-friendly resorts to call your home away from home.

If Florida is on your radar, this reunion planning guide outlines five family reunion locations based on your preferred travel type.

For Curious Kids and Culture-Seekers

There's no shortage of things to do during summer in Orlando, and your itinerary can include more than just the theme parks. There's a world of culture for curious-minded travelers in Orlando's backyard.

A neo-Gothic singing tower at Bok Tower Gardens in Orlando, Florida 

Bok Tower Gardens is a botanical oasis and bird sanctuary designed by the son of Central Park architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The whole family can explore the 250-acre garden, home to a neo-Gothic Singing Tower, where a 17th-century carillon made of giant bronze bells plays concerts daily. There's also a 1930s-era, Mediterranean-style mansion open for historical tours and a children's garden known as Hammock Hollow, where families can check out cool water features and little ones can climb a jungle gym.

Just past downtown, the Orlando Science Center is the place to help you escape the summer heat. Your family can easily spend an entire day here between the interactive exhibits spread across four floors — the animal encounters in Natureworks and the giant-screen films at the Dr. Phillips CineDome. If all that exploring leaves you itching for more, check out these seven things to enjoy in Orlando.

Wondering how to plan a family reunion in Florida? Start by selecting your home base. With Hilton Grand Vacations, you have your choice of Orlando resorts, from Parc Soleil, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, to Mystic Dunes, a Hilton Vacation Club. Whichever you choose, enjoy comfortable suites that can accommodate any family member's needs and preferences and plenty of kid-friendly amenities.

For Adventurous Families

Just an hour west of Orlando in Ormond Beach, history buffs young and old will get a kick out of the free tours at the winter home of millionaire philanthropist John D. Rockefeller. The property is known as The Casements for its hand-cut crank windows called casements. If yours is a family of scouts, you'll love the Boy Scouts of America memorabilia collection at this architectural gem on the National Register of Historic Places.

A boardwalk in Ormond Beach in view of the Ponce de Leon inlet lighthouse in Florida 

Just down the coast from Ormond Beach, check out Daytona Beach and add these 11 things to do to your itinerary. Then take a short drive down to the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, where you can climb the tallest lighthouse in Florida. If you prefer to stay on the ground, check out Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building to see one of the best collections of Fresnel lenses in the world. A few blocks away, families can safely touch stingrays and learn about sea turtles and marine bird rehabilitation at the Marine Science Center, or hop on a boat for a sightseeing adventure to spot dolphins and manatees with Ponce Inlet Watersports.

For the Foodie Family

Treat your taste buds with a family reunion that will satisfy every family member in Miami, an Owner-approved foodie destination. Start at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science for fun for all ages. Young foodies will enjoy the MeLaβ exhibit, where they can learn about the connection between food and bodies. Pack a picnic and head to the Deering Estate, the 1920s estate of Charles Deering, an environmentalist and philanthropist. Walk the grounds and learn about local efforts to protect local ecosystems.

A pile of empanadas on a plate, similar to the ones found in Miami, Florida's Little Havana, a Cuban neighborhood 

Then take a culinary tour of Little Havana, a Cuban neighborhood in Miami, and sample the local favorites like empanadas. The tour is less than half a mile of walking and is accessible by stroller and wheelchair so that the whole crew can taste the best of traditional Cuban food.

If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop & Desserts and try the key lime pie or the other decadent desserts. For pixel-perfect Instagram photos, aspiring food photographers should check out Wynwood Walls for bold backdrops.

Stay close to all the best restaurants in Miami Beach and have beachside views at McAlpin Ocean Plaza, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

For Beach and Nature Lovers

An aerial view of the beach on Paradise Coast on the southwest corner of Florida 

With its 30 miles of powder-soft sand and turquoise waters, it's easy to see why the southwest corner of Florida is called the Paradise Coast. You'll have to ride a tram through a mangrove forest to reach the pristine beaches at Clam Pass Park, a coastal habitat and preserve with waters gentle enough for paddling and wading.

Nestled on a barrier island nearby, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is also considered one of the most unspoiled beaches in the state. Families can book a deep-sea fishing charter from Naples, go treasure hunting on the beach for seashells or take the high-tech route with geocaching.

Nature lovers who don't want sand between their toes can visit Naples Pier. Found at the tail end of 12th Avenue, the pier is Naples' main thoroughfare for shops and cafes. When you need a break, sit back and play a game of dolphin-spotting while taking in the gorgeous sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico.

For Theme Park Fans

A Black family of four holds hands at a theme park in Orlando, Florida 

Central to all of Orlando's well-known theme parks, Hilton Grand Vacations provides an ideal home base for a fun-filled family reunion. If you're planning a trip to Walt Disney World®, family members of all ages can immerse themselves in the Most Magical Place on Earth. Starting in July, indulge in foodie favorites from across the globe during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and try an array of culinary delights both kids and adults can enjoy.

A bit farther north, find SeaWorld® Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort™ for thrilling rollercoasters and exciting experiences at every turn. Whichever theme park you choose, stay just a quick drive away at either SeaWorld® Orlando, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, or Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, for a relaxing retreat to wind down after a jam-packed day at the parks.

Read “Family, Friends and Flexibility: Why One Couple Chose Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare” for how one couple uses their Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare to vacation with their friends and family.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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