In today’s world, people become scattered far and wide across the globe. People move away to seek job opportunities, more pleasant climates, or simply to indulge their restless wanderlust. As a result of that, friends reunions have become increasingly important events. If you’re organizing a friends reunion, picking the right destination for your event can be a tricky task. You need a travel spot that’s accessible and affordable, and can provide fun activities for everyone. Here are some options to choose from.
If you’re into eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture, go to Asheville-and eat, eat, eat. This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers’ markets, and the local restaurant scene is all about taking advantage of the seasonal produce sold there. And don’t miss the area’s microbreweries.
St. John is infinitely more affordable when you choose more rustic accommodations. A great one is the Maho Bay Camps, a solar- and wind-powered eco-compound of 114 ~tent cottages~ plus a dozen cabins built from recyclables. Doubles go from $75 per night, so it’s a pretty affordable deal. There you can bask in deep red sunsets, spot all the fish from Finding Nemo while snorkeling, and hike to abandoned sugar mills. You’ll basically be camping, so you take showers in communal bathhouses (unless you have a cabin) and cook for yourselves on your own propane stoves. Of course you can always go camp out for yourselves in one of the campgrounds within the Virgin Islands National Park.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! In New Orleans the good times are perpetually rolling down Bourbon Street, which, thanks to the city’s annual Mardi Gras celebration, has quite a party animal reputation. Once you’ve soaked up the scenery of the historic French Quarter, tour the elegant Garden District and meet the colorful characters of Frenchmen Street. Experience the city’s supernatural vibe at the Voodoo Museum or by taking a guided ghost or vampire tour through taverns, alleyways, and cemeteries.
Empire is located on Lake Michigan in Northwest Michigan. With its soaring bluffs and breathtaking views, it’s like no other! It is the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where you’ll find helpful rangers who can help you find out all there is to know about the formation of the dunes as well as point you in the right direction for hiking trails, beaches and scenic drives. The Empire Area Museum is a fantastic spot to spend a rainy day, be sure to check out the one room schoolhouse!
Another outdoorsy pick, the Adirondacks are a perfect escape for college friends who are feeling a little cramped in their Northeastern cities. It’s just as much fun in winter as it is in the summer, with the Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex offering the ~bobsled experience~ of your dreams. In the summer, you can relive history class at Fort Ticonderoga, squeeze in plenty of hiking and swimming, and even go whitewater rafting. Plus, there are plenty of vacation rentals that will be super affordable when split among a group of you.
Can’t make it to France? NP, Canada’s right there! Montreal really feels like a little peace of Europe on our side of the pond, with gorgeous 17th-century architecture, a great mix of cultures, and French speakers all of the place. Be sure to check out Old Montreal and the Notre-Dame Basilica for a healthy dose of history; you can even explore the actual foundations of the city. But most important, you guys have to eat – like, everything. Eat poutine, get a smoked meat sandwich, and definitely try a bagel to weigh in on the whole Montreal vs. NYC debate.
7. Denver, Colorado
Skiers, hikers, climbers, eaters of delicious food and lovers of sunshine: Denver has something for all of you. Home to some of the best breakfast eateries and the third-highest number of breweries per capita, your tummies will be more than satisfied in Denver. And to work up an appetite, there are plenty of accessible city and state parks to explore, mountains to ski, and trails to hike – not to mention some truly unique finds, like the Molly Brown House, the legit fossils along Dinosaur Ridge, tons of original street art in RiNo, and the beautiful Victorian homes scattered around the city. For more inspiration, this guide to everything you must do in Denver will keep you guys plenty busy.
8. Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city in Rhode Island. Founded in 1636, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is located in Providence County, and is the third-largest city in the New England region after Boston and Worcester. Also a college town, Providence offers plenty of nightlife options, including watching an indie movie in at the cozy Cable Car Cinema and cheering on a badass sing-off at Point Street Pianos. The RISD Museum has some incredible exhibits of art & design, and the Providence Athenaeum is probably the most beautiful library you’ll ever enter. Try to schedule your visit to coincide with a WaterFire lighting, or take a quick side trip to Newport to stroll along the gorgeous Cliff Walk and marvel at the mansions.