There are birthdays and then there are birthdays. Turning 60 is one of the biggies. For some people, it’s a bit of a panic. Your 50s have come and gone and what’s next may be more of a question mark than an exclamation point. That’s all the more reason to celebrate this milestone birthday with a trip to usher in the new decade.
I’ll be joining the 60 club and can’t decide where to go. I’m not sure of my mood. How do I want to greet my 60s? My dilly-dallying means that I won’t actually celebrate in my birthday month, but surely by the end of this year, I will have come to my senses and gotten on with it! I’m leaning toward something cosmic and soothing to the soul, maybe a repeat Sedona trip or something similar.
But in the meantime, I recently had the pleasure of helping a brother-in-law mark his 60th in Las Vegas. A good time was had by all. You’ll see why it makes the list of places you should consider for your big 60th birthday getaway. The main ingredient for this special fete is to stick with what appeals to you. Whether you love the outdoors, adventure, or culture, or something else is your jam, indulge 100 percent right there.
Best For Party Animals
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. It’s understood that everyone is going to be on their worst (or wildest!) behavior, and it’s not going to be broadcast to the world. You arrive in town with permission to clown, big time. Go ahead, let your hair down, shake off the last five decades, eat, drink, and be merry. You can’t go wrong with places to crash after a night of partying (I recommend the Park MGM). For that one special meal of the trip, reserve a table at The Mayfair Supper Club in the Bellagio. Recall a bygone era amid the elegance, live jazz, and over-the-top cuisine, like Mary’s Organic Chicken, which is fried and grilled and served with sauce remoulade, shishito hot sauce, green bean amandine, and truffle pasta. And of course, you’ll have the view of the infamous Bellagio fountains spraying rhythmically as you dine. The perfect cure for a hangover is brunch at Catch. Go for the smashed organic avocado toast or cinnamon roll pancakes. Between the shows and the clubs, you’ll dance your way into the next decade and have a lot of secrets to keep.
Pro Tip: As much as Vegas is about the Strip, venture off it a bit. I discovered EllaEm’s Soul Food about 30 minutes away from the action. It’s grandma’s cooking and more. Eat guilt-free; work it off dancing the night away.
Best For The Outdoorsy
How fast can you say Giddyap? If that thought makes you smile, this historic Old West town is for you. Horseback riding awaits you on mountain trails. The adventure of riding across gurgling streams and surrounding ponderosa pines and wildflowers will make you feel like you’re in one of those movies you watch on a Saturday afternoon. If you want adventure without doing the work, take a jeep tour during which you can summit a peak at 12,000 feet elevation. However, if you must prove you’ve still got it even at 60, use your time in Durango to go white water rafting on the Animas River. When you’re ready to exhale, there’s SKA Brewery and Fox Fire Farms, a vineyard and winery where you might catch an outdoor concert.
Best For Cultural Immersion Lovers
You may have already accomplished much on your bucket list, but how about a celebration at Agriturismo Casetta, a nearly 300-year-old luxury farmhouse in Tuscany with your close family and friends? And the best part is you can enjoy cultural experiences like truffle hunting with the royal descendants of the Mona Lisa, private art tours, and access to some of Italy’s rarest wine cellars. Imagine zipping around in a Ferrari touring vineyards and wine cellars rarely seen by the public or being in the private woods of a 400 A.D. castle with the descendants of Mona Lisa feasting on a white truffle lunch and wines from the estate’s 1,000-year-old cellars. Top it off with private gallery tours with an art historian.
Editor’s Note: Tuscany bound? Don’t miss our Tuscany Road Trip: The Perfect Itinerary Through Italy’s Stunning Countryside.
Best For A Guys’ Golf Getaway
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Designed for a foursome of golf buddies who want an extra-special place to celebrate their love of the game and the big 6-0, the Guys Golf Getaway package at Pueblo Bonito Resorts is an option worth putting on the list of possibilities. For sure the main attraction is the unlimited golf at Quivira Golf Club, the Jack Nicklaus Signature course carved into a stunning Land’s End site at the place where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean. You’ll be wowed by the granite cliffs, massive windswept dunes, rolling desert foothills, and panoramic views. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica is beloved for its ocean-desert-mountain ecosystem, Quivira offers more oceanfront exposure than any other course in Los Cabos.
Best For Architecture Enthusiasts And Foodies
This is one of my favorite places on the planet. It’s proof that good things come in small packages. The one-square-mile, European-style village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is the stuff of fairytales with its architecture, which has been called a Charles Dickens-inspired wonderland. Take a historic walking tour or go it on your own. Here, it’s all about the food. Make it easy on yourself and take a food tour so you can sample the best of the best. There are some 50 full-service restaurants in this little town. It has more restaurants per capita than any other small city in the U.S. What else makes Carmel special? You’ll love exploring the secret passageways, courtyards, and gardens. There are more than 40 of them. There’s plenty of love for vino here, too, with 17 wine tasting rooms, wine bars, and bottle shops.
Pro Tip: Take a side trip to nearby Monterey. Cannery Row is charming, and the aquarium is one of the best.
Best For Lovers Of Slow Travel
Canyons & Deserts Train Trip With Vacations By Rail
You can’t go wrong with a nine-day tour called Canyons & Deserts that features Sedona. Sedona is my sweet spot. It’s the kind of place where you find your center, clear your head, and leave better than you arrived. This trip starts with a full day to explore Las Vegas. Next up, a trek out to Death Valley National Park, hitting all the main sites including the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin. The itinerary includes Owen’s Valley, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada, White, and Inyo Mountains. A trip like this wouldn’t be complete without the ghost town of Randsburg, where you’ll see the remains of the Old West’s gold rush with preserved museums, antique stores, and saloons. Taking two days across Route 66, you’ll arrive at the Grand Canyon for a motorcoach tour. Then you’ll make your way to Sedona, with its red sandstone terrain, vortexes, and more. Stop in the ghost town of Jerome and board the Verde Canyon Railroad with first-class tickets along the green waters of the river under the lush canopy. With one last day of desert adventure in Sedona, a farewell dinner concludes the adventure before you head to Phoenix the next day for departure.
Best For The Lavish Beach Bum
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
This mountainous island is a sight to behold with its white-sand beaches, green rolling hills, and flora. But St. Thomas stands out for its sophisticated and cosmopolitan vibe, too. Think fine dining, nightlife, and luxurious accommodations. There’s a reason to make your home away from home the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. The views over Great Bay, locally sourced cuisine, a luxury catamaran for sunset cruises, snorkeling tours and private events, and a renovated Club Lounge with updated culinary offerings and marine-inspired decor are just part of the attraction. For the ultimate 60th birthday bash, set sail on one of the property’s three luxury sailing catamarans. The Lady Lynsey II is an exquisite 60-foot vessel that offers island-hopping excursions, snorkeling tours, and champagne sunset sails.
Pro Tip: You’ll cheap yourself if you spend at least a day in nearby St. John with its hipster vibe, fab beaches, and great restaurants. What I fell in love with was all the historical sites, including the Catherineberg Ruins, Annaberg Sugar Plantation, and Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop Trail.
Best For Wine Lovers
There’s more to California wine than Napa. I love Napa, don’t get me wrong, but escape to the Russian River Valley’s luxury boutique hotel, the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma. Set off your celebration with the Farm, Flight & Field two-day getaway. The fun includes a four-hour helicopter tour of the Sonoma Coast featuring stopovers at a remote vineyard and a picnic lunch in an exclusive coastal location as well as spa treatments, a seven-course meal from the inn’s Michelin-starred restaurant, an exclusive wine library, a food-paired wine tasting, and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Keepsakes include handmade ceramic teacups from Cristina Hobbs for use in the spa and to take home, an in-room welcome gift, wine amenity, and a Paul Hobbs Winery takeaway risotto/dashi kit with a recipe from the estate chef.