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World’s 10 Best Places to Celebrate Your 30th Birthday

Your 30th birthday is a big milestone and a good reason to take that bucket list trip you’ve been dreaming about. If you want to celebrate your 30th birthday in a big way, these destinations are sure to help you mark this milestone in a way you’ll never forget.

Napa Valley, California Vines in Napa Valley
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Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is California’s most famous wine country region and one of the most beautiful in the world. In addition to visiting the variety of amazing wineries and vineyards, you can enjoy a hot-air balloon ride over the valley at sunrise, take a ride on the legendary wine train, or indulge in luxurious treatments and soak in healing waters at one of the area’s many spas. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be overwhelmed by the nearly endless number of high-end restaurants serving gourmet cuisine paired with tasty local wines. If your birthday falls in the autumn season, you may want to include Kenwood on your itinerary, as this nearby Sonoma Valley town hosts the Sonoma Valley Crush, which brings 13 local vineyards together for a grape stomping.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Grand Canyon
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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

If you’re into spectacular natural scenery and outdoor adventures, how about the Grand Canyon? For a view of a lifetime, take a stroll across the heart-pounding Grand Canyon Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that stretches 70 feet out over the rim where you can look right through the platform, 4,000 feet to the canyon floor. For an in-depth look at one of the most stunning natural formations, embark on a mule ride down to the bottom or take a helicopter tour.  At the North Rim, the less-visited and far less crowded region of the park, you’ll discover more amazing panoramic views as well as plenty of twisting trails to enjoy them from. Another option is to travel to the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the park’s southwest region. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green waters” – the famous jaw-dropping waterfalls with turquoise-hued pools at the bottom are sacred to the Havasupai and truly a sight to behold.

Disneyland - Anaheim, California Disneyland
Credit: Disneyland by Sam Howzit via Flickr

Disneyland - Anaheim, California

Just because you’re turning 30 doesn’t mean Disneyland is off the list. In fact, it’s a great way to express your desire to remain a kid-at-heart, and who wouldn’t want to go to the happiest place on earth? Celebrate with your childhood friends, significant other or both. Be sure to tell your travel agent, the hotel front desk clerk, and Disney Cast Members that you’re celebrating a special birthday – while there are no guarantees, sometimes miracles do happen. If you stay at any one of the Disneyland Resort hotels cakes, gift baskets, and floral arrangements can be sent to your room from the Disney Dream Makers, and you can enjoy a special dinner at one of the many standout restaurants, like the Blue Bayou Restaurant, located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

New York City, New York New York City
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New York City, New York

New York City is home to some of the world’s greatest restaurants, museums, parks, and numerous other attractions, with something for just about everyone. As the Empire State Building is open until 2 a.m. every night, with the last elevator going up at 1:15 a.m., go up just before midnight and celebrate your special day as the clock strikes 12 a.m. It’s a great way to avoid the crowds, and if you go on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, you can enjoy listening to the sounds of a live saxophonist too. Taking in the bright lights of Times Square, catching a Broadway show, shopping ’til you drop and viewing the Statue of Liberty are just a few of the other things you might do.

Bend, Oregon Bend, Oregon
Credit: Bend, Oregon by © Stevehymon | Dreamstime.com

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon is an ideal spot for beer lovers and outdoor adventurers. You can hike or bike miles and miles of trails, raft or kayak, and visit all sorts of brewpubs. In fact, you can even get your beer passport stamped at all nine of its breweries on the Bend Ale Trail for a prize. The city also hosts a number of annual beer celebrations like Bend BrewFest and Bend Oktoberfest if the timing is right.  There are lots of gorgeous places to camp here if you’re in the mood to connect with nature, but if you prefer a more luxurious experience, you’ll find a number of resorts that will help ensure you do it up right.

Key West, Florida Smathers Beach
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Key West, Florida

Key West is an ideal destination for those who want to let loose and get a little wild, although it offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and water sports as well. Renowned for its colorful mix of free-spirited, eccentric types, this southernmost spot in the U.S. offers a Caribbean-like feel without the need for a passport. Duval Street is a perfect place to begin or end a day of sightseeing, with everything from legendary eateries and bars like Sloppy Joe’s and Rick’s Café to The Bull and Whistle, as well as an endless array of shops and historic homes. Doing the Duval Street Crawl is a bucket-list activity for some, featuring stops at some of the street’s most famous pubs and bars. Embarking on a sunset sail is truly a must while you’re here too. You can leave your cares behind while sailing off into Key West’s famous sunset while toasting your birthday and another perfect day in paradise.

Queenstown, New Zealand Scenic skyline Gondola in Queenstown
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Queenstown, New Zealand

If you’re all about the big thrills and breathtaking scenery, Queenstown, New Zealand, is the place to go. Here you can take part in everything from hiking and climbing to skydiving and even bungee jumping. In fact, this is the place where it all started – the daring have been throwing themselves off Kawarau Bridge since 1988. Those that thrive on speed can take a jetboat ride along the famous Shotover River Canyon too. The world’s ultimate jet boat experience, this is a unique ride that will take you through narrow, dramatic canyons and exhilarating full 360-degree spins, battling against strong currents, all while enjoying views that are straight from the “Lord of the Rings.”

Ecuadorian Amazon Sloth in the Amazon
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Ecuadorian Amazon

The Ecuadorian Amazon offers another option for the experience of a lifetime – this spectacular region of the world is home to the world’s highest concentration of biological diversity. It also happens to be the cheapest destination for an Amazon experience. There are multi-day camping expeditions as well as a number of eco-lodges that can help you make this dream come true, providing accommodations, meals and practically endless nature-related activities, including amazing bird watching – think toucans and macaws – as well as the chance to glimpse exotic creatures like monkeys, sloths and even jaguars. As you’ll likely arrive in the capital city of Quito, you’ll have the chance to explore South America’s largest preserved colonial center too.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Baja Peninsula of Mexico is the world’s longest and offers everything from sunny skies, clear azure waters, and postcard-perfect beaches to natural hot springs, fantastic surfing, snorkeling, and diving. If you want to party, head to Cabo San Lucas, but if you’d prefer something more laid-back, La Paz or the charming town of Todos Santos may be more up your alley. Whatever your idea of the perfect celebration happens to be, you can make it happen here.  Swim with the sea lions at Isla Espiritu Santo or the whale sharks near La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. Partying types can mingle with celebrities or even live like one of the stars in one of the many luxe seaside resorts in Cabo that aim to please the jet-set crowd with five-star dining, infinity pools, and even private butlers.

San Juan, Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers the chance to enjoy the Caribbean with no passport required. And, in San Juan, you can wander the Old Town area’s cobblestone streets, lined with grand fortresses and pastel-painted colonial buildings. With 500 years of Spanish history leaving its mark, Old San Juan is oozing with charm and character. Rent a boat and view it by water for the best way to see the city’s famous historic forts. Lounge on the sand at Ocean Park Beach, take a dip in the warm waters of the sea or explore the underwater treasures by diving with the Akuazone Dive Center. After dark, you’ll find lots of clubs to dance the night away in and even the opportunity to learn salsa.

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