35 Places To Go For A 21st Birthday In The US
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Turning 21 is a milestone birthday that many people look forward to celebrating in a big way, and the United States offers a wide range of destinations that are perfect for a memorable birthday celebration.
From national parks and scenic beaches to big cities and vibrant nightlife, there’s a birthday destination in the US that’s sure to suit your style.
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City is in our opinion the perfect place to celebrate turning 21 – there’s simply nowhere else like it on earth.
From the Vegas Strip to Fremont Street, Las Vegas is filled with slot machines, alcoholic beverages, dance floors and strip clubs.
However, that’s not all that Vegas has to offer as just a short road trip away you’ll find famous landmarks such as; the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Valley of Fire.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is the perfect destination to celebrate a special birthday, with plenty of exciting entertainment options to choose from.
The city is renowned for its eclectic jazz scene, which provides a sophisticated backdrop for any celebration.
For a unique and nuanced experience, check out Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World in the French Quarter, where you can learn about the history and artistry behind the famous Mardi Gras floats.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back celebration, head to the Garden District for a peaceful picnic, meanwhile for thrill-seeking fun, be sure to visit Carousel Gardens.
3. New York City, New York
The Big Apple is an excellent destination to celebrate a 21st birthday, with a range of exciting activities and nightlife options available.
Spend the day with a visit to Central Park or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or take a stroll through the trendy neighbourhoods of Williamsburg or Greenwich Village.
However, it’s when the sun sets, that the city truly comes alive with a wealth of nightlife options, from rooftop bars and speakeasies to comedy clubs and live music venues.
In addition to its iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty, New York City is also home to a vibrant art and culture scene.
You can explore some of the world’s best museums and galleries, catch a Broadway show or Off-Broadway production, or attend a concert or dance performance.
4. Napa Valley, California
If you’re looking for a birthday destination that’s a little more peaceful and low-key than the big city, Napa Valley is a perfect choice.
This beautiful region of Northern California is famous for its picturesque natural scenery and world-class wine, making it an ideal destination for wine lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
There are many activities to enjoy in Napa Valley, including hiking to the summit of Mount St. Helena, hot air balloon rides, and visiting some of the region’s famous wineries.
The city also boasts a lively music scene, with plenty of opportunities to catch a live jam session or concert.
When it comes to dining, Napa Valley is a foodie’s paradise. You can indulge in comfort food from local cafes and diners, or treat yourself to a gourmet meal at one of the area’s Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Charter Oak and Kenzo Napa are two of our favourite, top-rated restaurants in the region, offering delicious cuisine and impeccable service
5. Los Angeles, California
L.A. is one of the best cities to celebrate your 21st birthday, with an array of activities to suit any interest.
Thrill-seekers can head to Big Bear for adventure, while Disneyland is perfect for those seeking nostalgia and fond childhood memories.
For art enthusiasts, L.A. boasts an incredible selection of museums, including the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Meanwhile, when it comes to dining, the city is a food lover’s paradise, with an abundance of fine dining restaurants serving up cuisine from around the world.
At night, you can explore the city’s many nightclubs, bars, and music venues, or opt for a more intimate gathering at a speakeasy with close friends.
6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California is a great choice for a special birthday trip. The city is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island being just two of the many must-see landmarks.
San Francisco is also a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of international cuisine to choose from, including fresh seafood, Italian, and Chinese food.
However, don’t disregard the city’s nightlife scene which is equally as impressive, with plenty of bars, clubs, and music venues to explore.
The city is known for its thriving LGBTQ+ community, with the Castro district being a hub for nightlife and community events.
7. Palm Springs, Florida
With its warm weather and diverse range of outdoor activities, a trip to Palm Springs is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday.
If you’re a fan of beach and water activities, you’ll be spoilt for choice with options such as snorkelling, a visit to Rapids Water Park, or a peaceful fishing morning.
For those seeking a more serene experience, be sure to explore the area’s stunning nature scene. A walk through the Mounts Botanical Garden or John Prince Park will provide a tranquil escape and an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the region.
As night falls, head to Clematis Street for an array of entertainment options, including galleries, museums, and restaurants.
8. Miami, Florida
With its warm weather, turquoise waters, and white sand beaches, Miami is a paradise for a beach lover’s 21st birthday.
However, that’s not all the city has to offer as Miami is well known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with clubs home to some of the best DJs in the world.
Miami’s rich culture is another draw for visitors. The city’s vibrant art scene includes the famous Wynwood Walls and the Pérez Art Museum Miami as well as Little Havana – the city’s Cuban district.
9. San Diego, California
Known for its exquisite beaches and fun-filled attractions, San Diego is the place to be for your 21st birthday.
Some of our favourite birthday-friendly activities include a speedboat ride around the San Diego Harbor, an escape room or even axe throwing.
However, for those looking for a more laid-back experience a birthday brunch at Medina and a GoCar ride to point Loma may be the better option.
10. Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina has more to offer than gorgeous scenery and natural landscapes. The city features all kinds of fun, especially for those adventurous and artistic.
Speaking of artsy, you can visit the Picture Project CLT Selfie Museum and snap some shots for the gram. Now, if you’re searching for a hair-raising activity, Skydiving is the way to do it at iFly. It doesn’t all have to be activities.
You can spend a laid-back day and enjoy some tasteful delights at Sweet Home Celebrations. Otherwise, bang your head to some awesome tunes at one of Music Everywhere Charlotte’s special events.
11. Key West, Florida
Key West boasts multiple birthday ideas like watersports, beach sites, and a bursting nightlife scene. You can enjoy a spicy night at El Meson de Pepe with a salsa twist or keep it casual at Fogarty’s.
Alternatively, book a charter boat for an exclusive party featuring snorkelling or a classy sunset ride. Key West also offers a unique and family-friendly garden party experience.
You may host your lavish event at Audubon House, whether it’s a close-friend circle thing or a large blowout.
12. Orlando, Florida
Offering a wealth of entertainment options, a trip to Orlando, Florida is sure to make your special day unforgettable.
World-class theme parks including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort make this the perfect destination for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers.
However, if you’re seeking something more laid-back, you can explore the city’s natural beauty at Wekiwa Springs State Park or enjoy the vibrant nightlife at Universal CityWalk.
The city also boasts excellent dining options, with restaurants like Kobe Steakhouse serving up delicious teppanyaki-style cuisine that’s fit for a king.
13. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is an excellent destination for a 21st birthday, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment.
The city is known for its world-renowned museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History. These attractions are perfect for anyone who is interested in art, history, or science.
Chicago is also home to some of the country’s best restaurants, with a thriving culinary scene that offers a wide variety of cuisines. From deep-dish pizza to gourmet hot dogs, the city’s food options are sure to please any palate.
When it comes to nightlife, Chicago has something for everyone. The city boasts a thriving music scene, with venues like the House of Blues and the Chicago Theatre hosting some of the biggest names in music.
For a more laid-back evening, visitors can enjoy a cocktail at a rooftop bar or catch a comedy show at one of the city’s many comedy clubs.
14. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta’s historic scene is unmatched thanks to its olden sites, homes, and museums. Celebrate that history by visiting one of these museums. We suggest heading to the World of Coca-Cola to snag some party favour bundles.
Otherwise, keep things sophisticated with a high-tea event at the Swan Coach House. You can munch on delectable finger foods like shrimp cocktails and ham biscuits.
Now, if you’re looking for an eccentric experience, Fernbank After Dark is a must-visit. The after-event hosts live science demonstrations, outdoor explorations, and exciting exhibitions. Plus, they serve tapas.
15. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is home to a thriving cultural scene. The city is incredibly versatile and offers a variety of options ranging from pasta-making to vintage shopping.
You can plan an island trip to Nantucket or go on an expansive food tour to satiate your venturesome taste.
On the other hand, an arcade day or speakeasy night might suit your birthday vision best. Either way, you’re bound to enjoy your day at the Hub of the Universe.
16. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis holds a treasure trove of musical talent with its head-banging rock’n’roll scene. Subsequently, you can take a tour with Sprock’n’Roll. You get to ride in style on their cool bikes to the most happening bar spots in the city.
Partying hard may not be on your agenda. Luckily, Memphis offers more tame but exciting activities like escape rooms or a horseback trail ride tour.
That said, Memphis has plenty of museums catering to history buffs. In turn, you can head to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum or the Memphis Brooks Museum of Arts.
17. Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is lined with exotic shorelines and beaches bound to make your birthday picture perfect. Alternatively, you can capture this image with a canvas and your imagination at The Painted Cabernet.
Drive by Cold Spring Tavern for a hearty meal and a cosy ambience. Plus, the restaurant is adorned with Old West Instagram-worthy decor.
Otherwise, immersing yourself in Space VR can give you an out-of-this-world experience with its advanced HTC Vive tech.
18. Honolulu, Hawaii
A Hawaii birthday trip is an exceptional way to celebrate your rite of passage to adulthood. You can explore the city’s exotic landscape through fishing trips and waterfall hikes.
If you’re thinking bigger, how about splurging on a helicopter tour? The stunning aerial views of the coast and greenery will remain in your memories for life.
To keep it traditional, you can go surfing or sun tanning while sipping on cocktails on Honolulu’s tropical beaches.
As nighttime approaches, it’s time to go for an authentic luau. The famed Hawaiian parties feature culturally captivating entertainment, food, and dancing.
19. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Rather than hit the bars or catch a brunch, you can celebrate your 21st with a scenic trip to the Grand Canyon.
Your trip will be filled with trail hiking, photo-taking, and panoramic desert views. The Grand Canyon also offers mule trips lining the canyon’s rim.
Additionally, you can go on a raft trip on the Colorado River or catch Ride Canyon Railway. Overall, the trip is geared towards those who seek a nature escape.
20. Laguna Beach, California
With ocean views, and a wide range of tourist attractions, Laguna Beach is a great option for a special birthday weekend.
During your trip, we recommend visiting; Crystal Cove State Park and Heisler Park – the perfect destination to feast your eyes on the enchanting green oasis views.
Laguna Beach is home to diverse marine fauna that you can visit at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. You can take a break from the beach and drive by the Sawdust Art and Craft Festival or Laguna Art Museum.
21. Vail, Colorado
If your birthday is in Winter, then Vail, Colorado is a great place to visit. You can head to the Vail Mountain Resort and book an unforgettable ski trip.
Whether you’re a ski beginner or a pro, the terrains offered are catered to every level. You can also ride the chairlifts to enjoy a wonderful winter view of the mountainous region.
Rather than ride up to the view, you can hike through the mesmerizing meadows and wildflowers during Summer. One of the most common trails is the Hike Booths Fall trail. The walk is decorated with pine trees, aspen groves, and peaks.
22. Savannah, Georgia
The oldest city in Georgia offers more than a rich history and speciality museums. You can walk through ghost tours like the one offered by Sixth Sense Ghost Walking Tour.
Now, if you spook easily, then ditch the creepy tour for some southern-style feasts. Sink your teeth into some fried chicken offered by Sisters of the New South or Mrs Wilken’s Dining Room.
Meanwhile, Savannah’s seafood could be best experienced in Chive Seabar and Lounge or The Wyld Dock. Aside from food and spooky tours, Savannah has an active entertainment presence.
You can check out the Lucas Theatre or book a ticket to the Savannah music festival and find out for yourself.
23. Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia is primarily famed for being George Washington’s hometown. In turn, you can witness lots of colonial history embedded in the city’s walls.
To explore its historic background, you can visit the Gatsby Tavern Museum.
The colonial-themed site hosted several noteworthy faces such as the likes of Thomas Jefferson. If you’re not a fan of the theme, you can take a trail over at Dora Kelley Nature Park. Besides hiking trails, you can find biking pathways and picnic areas to enjoy a quaint celebration.
Otherwise, you may favour a dark tourist kind of trip. In this case, you can choose between multiple ghost tours to wander through the chilling experience.
24. Maui, Hawaii
You might be wondering, how would a Maui trip be different from a Honolulu one. Well, the latter offers a more metropolitan atmosphere. Meanwhile, Maui is more about scenic beach landscapes and water activities.
This brings us to the first thing to do in the Hawaiian city, snorkelling with sea turtles. The Olowalu Reef is perfect for this type of activity. Rather than a dip in, you can take a beach walk on the striking Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach.
Apart from that, Maui isn’t all beaches. You can visit the city’s expansive pineapple farm. You can learn about how the fruit is processed and even get a taste of it.
25. Austin, Texas
Also known as the live music capital of the world, Austin can give you plenty of ways to make your birthday memorable. If you’re a fall baby, then you don’t want to miss the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
The event hosts big names such as Sza, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Paramore. Besides live music, how about some live comedy? You can spend your day laughing away at an Austin comedy show hosted by Creek and the Cave.
In terms of food, Austin is brimming with diverse cuisine. You can experience the unique tastes offered by restaurants like Gabriela’s Downtown and Fonda San Miguel.
26. Seattle, Washington
From hot air balloons to escape rooms, Seattle is exceptionally versatile with its birthday outing options. You can go sailing with your friends on a rented doughnut boat.
Alternatively, a billiards and bowling night might tickle your fancy. If you’re more excited about the food, then we recommend checking out Pike Place Market.
The food tour excursions will take you around the city’s most diverse food spots. You get to visit Bottega Italiana, Pike Place Chowder, and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
27. Boulder, Colorado
If hiking and natural sceneries are on your birthday vision board, Boulder, Colorado is worth considering. The city holds extensive hiking trails that cover all levels of expertise.
For beginners, you can start with a 2.1-mile trail at Flagstaff Mountain. You can also head to Flagstaff House to dine while you’re there.
Meanwhile, you may want to look for a commercial space to shop and walk around in. In Boulder’s case, that’s in Pearl Street Mall. Some restaurants provide you with culturally rich cuisine such as Nepalese and Indian food.
28. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is a tourist spot mostly known for its amusement parks, beaches, and theatre shows. You can let out your inner child and visit Myrtle Beach’s Family Kingdom Amusement Park.
Alternatively, you can keep your party on the shorelines at Surfside Beach or North Myrtle Beach. Aside from that, Myrtle Beach features several theatre shows such as ones offered in the Alabama Theater.
For fiery entertainment, you can check out the Polynesian Fire Luau hosted at the Historic Hawaiian Inn. On another note, the Murder Mystery Dinner Show will get your guests marking their calendars faster than you can say, Mystery.
29. Nashville, Tennessee
Country music and Nashville are inseparable, especially Bluegrass, Gospel, and Folk genres. You can experience Music City by visiting the Grand Ole Opry. The red-barn stage spot gives you a tour of the dressing rooms and stage to see the behind-the-scenes of the show.
Keeping up with live entertainment, Nashville also offers Broadway. As nighttime rolls around, the street sings, dances, and glitters with neon lights.
With all the glitz and glam Nashville offers, you may forget about the city’s enticing natural landscapes. Warner Parks and Cumberland Park are ideal destinations to go for a picnic or bike ride.
30. Portland, Oregon
Portland could be best described as a foodie’s hub. The city boasts a large food truck scene from a number of cultures. You can find Mexican, Italian, Thai, and more food options littering the city.
It’s not only food trucks and stands in Portland. The City of Roses is filled with food establishments for every kind of foodie. For Asian food, you can drive by Thai Peacock or Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen.
Otherwise, you can satiate your sweet tooth at Voodoo Donuts or Salt and Straw. Besides the growing food options, you can celebrate your birthday with a bike ride over a stunning trail view.
31. Washington DC
History museums and cultural tours are two of the main activities offered in Washington DC. The capital is all about exploring the country’s history through all sorts of tours.
Now, Washington may be prized for its immense colonial presence, but it still offers contemporary activities. One of these includes go-karting at Autobahn Indoor Speedway and Events.
Alternatively, you can opt for cooking lessons at Cookology Culinary School. You can learn several techniques in baking and even sushi-making. Now, if you want to have a traditionally fun day, arcade and tabletop games are the way to do it at SPIN Washington DC.
32. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is most known for its Hispanic cultural influence. For this reason, you can visit The Alamo and learn more about the battle that ensued at the historic site.
Apart from that, you can admire San Antonio’s rich landscape by taking a stroll on the Riverwalk. You can stop and appreciate the works of art displayed in the 1.3-mile pathway.
The Japanese Tea Garden is also a worthwhile option to consider for a peaceful celebration. The garden is decorated with koi ponds, exotic flora, sculptures, and bridges.
33. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City situated in the U.S. The city offers a smorgasbord of artistic, cultural, and culinary masterpieces.
The first thing you’re probably thinking about is tasting the infamous Philly Cheesesteak. For that, you can drive by Tony and Nick’s Steaks or Cosmi’s Deli. Aside from that, we recommend stepping into Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
The site is adorned with mosaic art created by American artist, Isaiah Zagar. A visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is also a suitable artsy choice for celebrating your 21st.
Now, if you’re looking for an unconventional and elusive speakeasy party, check out the Hop Sing Laundromat. Unlike the vast majority of restaurants, this secret spot doesn’t have a website, phone number, or sign.
You’ll have to hunt this place down on Chinatown’s Race Street. Look for a brushed-steel door.
34. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, the historic district of Puerto Rico’s capital city, is a unique and exciting destination to celebrate a 21st birthday.
The area is filled with charming and colourful architecture, cobblestone streets, and numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs that cater to all kinds of tastes and preferences.
The nightlife scene in Old San Juan is lively and varied, with options ranging from rooftop bars with stunning views to underground clubs playing reggaeton and salsa music.
In addition to the nightlife, visitors can also explore historic landmarks, art galleries, and boutique shops during the day. The warm climate, friendly locals, and vibrant culture add to the overall festive atmosphere of the city.
35. Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado is a great choice for a 21st birthday celebration as the city offers a vibrant atmosphere with plenty of activities for young adults.
A pub crawl is the perfect activity here as the city is home to a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries and brewpubs to explore.
Meanwhile, for those who enjoy the great outdoors, Denver provides easy access to nearby national parks and ski resorts, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Vail, and Breckenridge.
The city is also surrounded by scenic hiking and biking trails, and it’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre hosts numerous concerts throughout the year.
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