Whether planning a family reunion or friend reunion, it’s important to consider the best hotel, vacation rental or lodging option for you group; the activities that will be best suited to the group based on ages and preferences; and how to approach dining options.
A vacation rental will be the first part of your group trip that you need to address, taking into account individual preferences and the type of group.
Does your group have families with young children who may prefer to prepare their own meals? Are you traveling with people who may want more privacy at the end of the day?
At Blue Coyote Ranch, we have tried to offer options for every type of group and event. For single room occupants, like couples or friends who may not know each other well, the Lodge is a great option and has many benefits over a standard vacation rental. Each lodge room has its own bathroom and rooms are spread out in the house to provide privacy.
Our cozy lodge den features comfy seating, a propane fireplace, games and a record plater.
The Lodge common areas provide spaces to gather and visit, but also allow individuals to retreat to their rooms when they’d like to rest, catch up on work or enjoy a quiet moment alone. We maintain high cleaning standards and provide many amenities normally found only at a hotel.
Our cabin rentals are more than a simple cabin! They feature new furniture, a propane fireplace and board games.
Our cabin vacation rentals are an ideal lodging option for families and friend groups – each cabin has a full kitchen and two bathrooms. The downstairs bedroom is very private and great for family members who may want to avoid stairs.
Upstairs, two queen beds share a loft which is great for anyone in the group who’d like to spend a little more time together.
All rental units are a short walk from one another, so no one is ever too far from the group or gathering areas.
Activities may be one of the hardest parts of planning a family or friend reunion. Generally, groups will have a variety of individuals with different travel and activity preferences. We recommend trying to focus on one activity that will appeal to most of the group, and then to add in various additional activities that individuals can choose to participate in or not.
Salida has a so many activities you may be tempted to jam pack your schedule! But resist the temptation as long days can lead to grumpy group members! One planned activity per day plus information on additional activities that people can do on their own is one of the formats that we have observed as having the most success.
Whitewater rafting is what Salida is known for. There are a variety of trip options with each company, so you can choose the appropriate adrenaline level!
Two of the most popular activities for friend and family reunions at Blue Coyote Ranch is whitewater rafting and visiting the local hot springs. Both of these are suitable for almost any age and ability level. Planning hikes or bike rides can be fun for some group members, but if you’re planning for a variety of tastes, leave out intense physical activities. Although the Rockies are stunning on our hiking and biking trails, some of your group members may be visiting from lower altitudes and even the most physically fit can quickly become ill engaging in physical activities at high altitudes.
Dining with groups in Salida can be a big difficult and should be planned out well in advance. If you have a group full of cooks, make use of them! Our lodge has an extra-large kitchen with place settings for 40 people, double ovens, 4-burner stove, dishwasher, and French door freezer/refrigerator. The Lodge kitchen is only open to guests who book all six hotel rooms in the lodge. A kitchen is a virtual must when planning a family reunion!
A potluck is a great option, and the numerous kitchens at the ranch make it easy for everyone to participate!
Each cabin also has a basic kitchen that is great for preparing meals. If you rent the entire property, a pot luck style meal is a fun and easy way for groups to gather. Each cabin can prepare a dish and bring it to the main lodge where we have a 32-person dining room and outdoor seating options as well.
A catered meal or personal chef can be another great option if it’s in the budget. We are able to coordinate all-inclusive dining to keep things simple and keep the dish washing to a minimum! Our itineraries are able to accommodate any dietary preferences as well as kids’ meals.
That being said, there is no reason to miss out on Salida’s fun dining scene! Some restaurants like the High Side and Moonlight Pizza are happy to take group reservations in advance. Most of the restaurants in Salida do not take reservations. If you’re dying to dig into a steak at Currents or enjoy a hot New York Style pizza from Pizza Rio just prepare to kill some time in Salida’s adorable downtown while you wait for a table. Plan to put your name in and then stroll F Street shops, grab a drink at Bensons or Velveteen or watch the kids take on the rock climbing wall at riverside park.
Because so many of our restaurants are on the smaller side, almost any restaurant is able to provide take out as well. For family reunions and other groups, we recommend calling in your order around 5pm or around open time. Even if you’d prefer to dine later, giving the restaurant a heads up that you’d like to pick up a large order that evening is a nice courtesy and means it’s less likely you’ll be tapping your foot while the kiddos remind you of how hungry they are!
All in all, Salida is a great place for a family reunion, friend reunion or corporate retreat, but it helps to think through the specifics of your groups needs and desires before committing to anything. At Blue Coyote Ranch, we specialize in hosting groups and enjoy helping trip leaders plan the perfect itinerary that leaves group members sorry to say goodbye!
Learn more about Salida at the Chamber of Commerce.
There is nothing quite like getting the family together! Let us help you plan a trip that will wow your family and friends!