Hi Martha Mae,
It can be a challenge to gather together a family that is spread out across the US. I am one of six and we are living in 4 different states now. There is soon to be a wedding in Colorado, which is in itself an ideal destination but it will be mostly full of family stuff so not so much a true vacation.
There are several ways you all could plan this - and geography might be a leading consideration insofar as if you'd all want to consider someplace that might be equi-distant (or close to it) as possible.
If no one is too worried about the distance they travel, then onto something more like a "theme" for the vacation - such as, National Parks - we have SO many in America, Mountains or Water (lakes or ocean), outdoor adverntures (camping, skiing/snowboarding etc.) a beach vacation with water sports, theme parks, "Hollywood" or musical Memphis (that includes Elvis!) or Nashville, Historical US, things like that. Another easy way to bring everyone together and have lots of options and things to do is take a Cruise altogether. Those are wide topics, I know, but I am being general to start with.
Choosing a certain section of the USA to explore can be a very enjoyable, fun and interesting experience for all. There's New England, the Southwest, Texas (it's its own country!) or the deep South, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, NY, California and Florida - also trips unto themselves. Would you rather get together and RELAX, say get a rental and do daytrips, enjoy meals together talking? Or do you want to keep busy? There are a lot of places where I could see my own family choosing - a rental home in a quiet place but where there are interesting things to do not too far away, and maybe pretty places to take walks to, day or night. Virginia has a lot of options, so does Oregon (Eugene) and Santa Fe, NM, Austin, TX or San Antonio, TX, the Outer Banks, NC, Big Sur, CA, New York State's Adirondack Mountain region, Florida Keys, FL...............If you want big city, we can work that out too! But I live in one, and I would not want to come here for a sort of family reunion type vacation. My state has many great places, but the city? Not relaxing, but hey, if you want that, I think everyone should visit here!!
Is anyone thinking international or is that too complicated? For a family trip, I would suggest London. It's a bit pricey but it is loved by most visitors and there are excellent day trips from London. You could even save money and stay just outside of London and take the train in to tour around. But there is a lot to see in the Countryside.
Of course this is me dreaming but if I had my way, and I'm the oldest but still not the "boss" (dad) we'd all be in Hawaii on the island of Kauai or Hawaii, the Big Island. Not at all practical, but I had to toss in a dream. I suppose Alaska would be too!
Shoot us a note back about what you think your adult children might be interested as well as yourself and we can narrow things down a bit, talk to everyone involved, run some of the ideas by them to get a direction and then when you have a few possibilities and want to know more, we'll be here to help fine tune it all with you! We've had some great trips with Dad, from since I was little and then more so when he learned to fly. It was always fun and always happy times. I am so happy to hear that your family wants to plan this - it's just great!! Kids grow up but it's important to still keep the bonds strong so long as everyone can get away.
Keep us posted and let's see what happens!!
And once again, we are so glad to have you with us here on FamilyVacationCritic.com! Enjoy the site.