When it comes to choosing an ideal destination for military reunions, meeting planners typically look for characteristics like affordability, easy access to major airports and local military ties. It can also be important to find a region with a diverse range of attractions so that accompanying spouses or children have the option of exploring the surrounding sights while veterans reconnect.
Fortunately, there are some cities that offer the whole package. For those in search of some of the country’s top military hubs, here are five destinations worth considering.
Dayton, Ohio, is home to an extensive number of military attractions and landmarks, including the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the largest and oldest aviation museum in the world.
“We like to say that every day is Veterans Day in Dayton,” said Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have an excellent track record of hosting many successful military reunions from all branches of the service, and we feel privileged to host those reunions here.”
Larger groups can take advantage of the Dayton Convention Center, which features 150,000 square feet of space and connects to the Crown Plaza Dayton. Likewise, the Carillon Historical Park presents a beautiful space where visitors can organize events while learning about Dayton’s notable contributions to history. The 65-acre park houses the 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane, as well as Carillon Brewing Co., which operates as both a restaurant and a living-history exhibit. The brewery can seat up to 80 guests for private events. Inside, guests can sample beers made with brewing techniques from the 1850s in a vintage-style space with brick walls and charcoal fire pits.
Groups can visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park to see the birthplace of aviation itself, where Orville and Wilbur Wright designed and flew some of the earliest aircraft prototypes. The park contains significant sites like the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the world’s first airport.