I need some help from fellow insiders! Planning a group 30th birthday trip with some other couples. We can't decide where to go, staying in US, or doing Mexico & Caribbean have came up but nothing specific except budget for this round. Hoping to go in the later spring 2016. Everyone is located in Chicago, so coming from there. Open to any idea that would be under $1,200-1,500 a person including flight, but fun for about 5 nights. May use up my points, or may just pay depending on where we go.
We are all celebrating the big 3-0 so want to go somewhere fun! Leaving the little ones at home, so only adults going. Our group doesn't have any great suggestions & all are very indecisive . No Jamaica & no Vegas but otherwise open! Group loves beaches, cocktails, but also possibly doing something active, sightseeing, history, etc. We all have passports!
Napa wine country. Late Spring (May) is beautiful. Also the weather has warmed enough where you could do a couple of days in Tahoe with worrying about snow on the roads. Spend a day or two in SF, but don't stay there. Given Chicago and SF are both UA hubs you should be able to get some great el cheapo plane fares.
We did Austin for my sister's 30th birthday without the kiddos, and it was a lot of fun! The food is great and the music scene is incredible. I actually had the best sushi of my life there, oddly, at Uchi Austin. Lots of Marriott options, too: Find Austin Hotels by Marriott
I can send many local recommendations if you choose to go. Some of my best friends live there.
There is only one place in the country, I would suggest for your adults to go for a special Birthday occasion:
Something for everyone, and everybody will never forget their time there. Night life, fishing, touring, walking, and et-al.
Hog's Breath, a great place to enjoy!
Good luck, and have a wonderful time.
Key West is considered "The Conch Republic"!
It was a city that desired to succeed from The US, and it is nothing like the rest of Florida!
It is also famous for "The first International flight from The US"! Pan Am, flew from there to Havana. There is a monument on this historic event.
Hope wherever you decide, you have a wonderful time!
Consider Panama, the fastest growing tourist destination in the hemisphere.
The Marriott in Panama City is a nice property (in a quirky part of downtown).... Panama Hotels | Panama Marriott Hotel | Hotels in Panama
Some pics: Panama Canal and Panama City
It looks like there's service from O'Hare (through Houston or Newark) on United for well under $600 round trip most weekends....
Congratulations on turning 30! Another suggestion is Fredericksburg and Austin Texas! There is so much to do and great for friends traveling together. Fun shopping, wine tasting tours, kick up your heels in country western bars, the rolling hills to hike in, and in the spring the bluebonnets will be out in force. We traveled through last summer and spent a weekend based in Fredericksburg, and vowed to come back with friends. Nearby Austin can not be beat for the music scene, Lady Bird Johnson gardens, and the whole towns vibe. Have a great trip whatever you end up doing!
Depending on how late in the spring you may consider Newport, RI. A great little New England town with great nightlife and close to both Boston and Providence. Great for a weekend visit.
ssindc mentioned Panama, but you may also consider Costa Rica. We have had the following two properties on our list a few different times and never ended up making it happen.
@k-o, I just got back from Puerto Rico and the cost was reasonable. I flew ORD-SJU direct on AA, and round trip was $472 which is not too bad. If you are flexible about dates, you can find it closer to $400. Left ORD at 8:45am and got to SJU around 2:00pm so about a 4 hour 15 min. flight. Stayed at Vanderbilt Condado which was $175/night but really seemed more like a $400/night place. Highly recommend. It's right next door to the Renaissance La Concha and just down the strip from the Marriott, in case you want/need to stick with a Marriott branded property. Easy enough to get around and beach, history, rainforest, hiking, snorkeling, bioluminescent bays, caves, etc. Lots to do. And of course no passport, customs, or foreign currency required!
I like the Marriott in San Juan and the location is in a very upcoming part of town. I don´t like the courtyard inn. I´d love to stay their but they had (have?) insane resort fees. I´ve always liked that part of San Juan and getting to the old part is pretty easy. you don´t need a car, but I found a parking for $3.50 to Old San Juan which made it much cheaper than a taxi and I could use it to go other places. I would´t wait around for the buses. I always saw people waiting and never saw a bus picking people up.
Hopefully in the future, there will be an Autograph collection in Old San Juan, if anyone from Marriott is listening.
This time of the year would be great there.
Meaningful 30th birthdays are possible near Knab Utah. It's near the Grand Canyon and also there is an institution for "unadoptable" pets. These are not bad animals. They are just in need of love. Perhaps you are looking for just an experience of the six senses, but an experience with liberal exchange of love both ways is always memeorable to me. Perhaps a flight over the Grand Canyon would be the perfect climax to the trip. At any rate, have fun, be loved and loving, and don't be afraid of being spontaneous!
I go with the suggestion from jerrycoin, Key West as it is Florida however; nothing but fun and more fun. Happy Birthday.
The sunsets from Mallory Square are simply wonderful and very fun, but get there early!!
IAHFLYR a current polling of those that know me best estimates my "maturity age" (on a good day) at fourteen!
I don't complain at that assessment. The reason being if I can maintain that level I can be young until I die!!!!
From my postings and comments you probably think that the level is closer to twelve (LOL)
Consequently my first choice for all birthday celebrations is DISNEYLAND!!!! (been visiting their since the year it opened - 1955)
Great personal experience you share with us, always!
However, my experience at any Disney property is, I will never go back. It is like being in a "Woody Allen, movie, about an attack from strollers"!
Just my opinion!
Jerry, surprisingly I agree with you. There is no one more sensitive to the strollers and the crowds - but for some reason I don't notice these distractions when in DL - might be a Southern California "thing" - my generation of SoCals have been visiting there once or twice a year (minimum ) for as long (especially in my case) 60 years. First as kids, then with our kids and always with out of town visitors.
Disney said the place was for kids between the age of 2 and 92 - so with a little luck I will have a few more visits.
jerrycoin, I'm with ya on the Disney crowds. I can get a FL resident discount at Disney World which makes it less painful, but I don't think full price Disney tickets are a good value. A colleague spent $5000 on a 5-day Disney trip for his family not including the airfare, and I can think of hundreds of better ways to spend $5000!
I can no longer tolerate this disrespect for DISNEYLAND!
I have no other choice but to challenge you to a duel - pistols at 10 paces!!!
(BTW a Southern Californian's visit to DL adds up to gas+parking+admission. If it was $5000 my opinion might be different - but, as I stated earlier - when the attraction is so close and so available for 60 years - we have a totally different view of the experience).
I will forgive you this time!!! (LOL)
misterchk, I think Disneyland is a bit more manageable than Disney World, so maybe not such a hassle. Plus, you probably get a CA resident discount which helps. Honestly, I could get a FL resident annual pass to Disney World for $350 or so which makes it very reasonable, but I still don't quite understand why people fly across the country (or world) and drop thousands on these places!
PS - I'm an excellent shot.
Key West!!! I celebrated my 30th birthday this year in Key West and it was so much fun!!! You could either fly directly to Key West or fly to Fort Myers and take the Key West Express boat (which is also a fun time). Or, fly to Miami and get a rental car to drive down.
It might sound silly, but one of the reasons why I love Key West with large groups of friends is because you can take your drink to-go, so you aren't always waiting on that one person to finish a drink before leaving a bar.
We also did a drinking tour while we were down there, which was a ton of fun. Key West Pub Crawl
Nestled in a beautiful mountain landscape just right outside palm Springs ca is the most relaxing little desert community, after a few short days there it will be hard to let go, I couldn't imagine your 30th birthday being spent any other place then .....HEMET CA....HEMET CA....HEMET....CA....YOU WILL THANK ME.........HAPPY BIRTHDAY....
I´d go to San Diego any time for any reason. I really love the courtyard Marriott by the airport. the location is very convenient to a lot of things and I liked being able to go out of the hotel and find miles of paths along the river. It´s very relaxed (not many services but I don´t use a lot) I even paid for the breakfast there. Not inexpensive for what it is, but I felt like it was worth it. Ditto for LA. We like the Long Beach area.
If you haven't already decided.....come to The Cayman Islands!!!
The Marriott and RC are right on Seven Mile Beach and both properties are spectacular!!!
Cayman Airways has seasonal direct flights from Chicago....two free bags per person and incredible hospitality....
Where ever your celebr take you, I hope you have a fantastic time!
I agree with homoviator San Juan is amazing. No passport needed. Beaches are awesome. Old San Juan has great night life. You can go to the Barcardi factory for a free tour which includes 2 drinks. The LaConcha resort is very beautiful too.