best beaches to visit in america for 21st birthday

23 Best Places In USA To Celebrate A 21st Birthday (2024)

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Nicole

You’ve done it! You have finally reached your 21st birthday, and now, it’s time to celebrate! What better way to have fun, explore and spend time with your friends than to go on a trip to one of the best places in USA to celebrate a 21st birthday. Whether you are looking for a great time in a big or small American city, lounging on some beautiful beaches, or getting back to nature in one of the stunning national parks in the United States, you will find what you are looking for on a 21st birthday getaway in the USA.

Don’t worry! We know that you got to watch your budget! You are going to be amazed at some of the best things to do for free or a reasonable amount.

Of course, we couldn’t ignore that turning 21 years old is a milestone birthday! Now, you can legally go to bars and nightclubs and order your favorite drinks. That could turn into a way more expensive night if you really want to go a little crazy. Nevertheless, we recommend some awesome nightlife for the best 21st birthday vacation in America.

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Other Options

If you are still looking for birthday inspiration after reviewing this article, take a look at some of these other articles.

If you are looking for a warm winter getaway, check out 50 Best Beach Destinations In The USA For A Warm Winter Getaway.

On the other hand, if you want a snowy destination to enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and more, please see 24 Best Snowy Winter Wonderlands To Visit In The USA.

Finally, if you love the simple things – delicious picnics and beautiful sunsets with those you love – take a look at these fantastic choices: 24 Best Places In USA For Most Beautiful Sunsets.

Amazing 21st Birthday Holidays In The United States

In the following article, I have chosen the 23 best places in the United States to celebrate your 21st birthday. For this special occasion, they include small and big cities, national parks and outdoor adventures, and beautiful beaches.

What makes them amazing and the best is that all of them provide fantastic things to do that are inexpensive and fun. In addition, they all offer accommodation that is budget friendly or easily shared with lots of people.

So, pick your favorites, mark your calendars, get your friends on board, and let’s go!

Best US Cities To Visit To Celebrate A 21st Birthday

best places to celebrate 21st birthday in USA
Las Vegas Strip (Photo courtesy of Stephen Leonardi from Unsplash)

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Nevada, or Sin City, is by far one of the best US places for a fun 21st birthday celebration. This entertaining and glitzy city is home to endless bars, casinos, dance clubs, and restaurants that are open all night long.

Stroll the Strip 

A walk along the strip is a free and fun way to experience the buzzing atmosphere of the town. You can sip giant frozen margaritas from street stalls and spy iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Bellagio Water Fountain.

Make sure you leave time to watch all of the free shows along the way. The Bellagio Water Fountain show runs every 15 or 30 minutes most evenings. More than a thousand fountains sway with music and lights in front of the hotel. Every show is different. Then, head down to watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage.

Have Your First Legal Drink

The Chandelier Bar inside the Cosmopolitan is full of shimmering beaded lights, and a great upscale place to snag a birthday cocktail. Another perfect place for a celebratory drink is the rotating Sky Lounge on top of the Stratosphere, where you get 360 degree views of all of Vegas.

If you want to sit back and let someone else plan your night, then take a Club Crawl by Party Bus! Better yet, you get fast pass entries into each establishment.

If you’re looking to bar hop without blowing your budget, Downtown Vegas around Fremont Street has much more affordable drinks than the Strip at fun bars like Corduroy and Gold Spike.

Pool Party

Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan has one of the best and most affordable pool parties in Vegas, with DJs or live music Thursday-Sunday. Make sure you reserve your tickets in advance.

Another option is take go pool hopping to some of the best pools and party scenes around.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Las Vegas is sizzling hot from May to September. So much so that it is very difficult to spend time outside. Any other time of the year is a great time to go, although if you wish to sit poolside, you may wish to avoid December-February.

Hotel Recommendation

Caesar’s Palace on the strip is the ultimate luxury accommodation that is affordable when shared. Found in the middle of the strip and close to all the action, you can enjoy a super big hotel room, soft comfy beds, and amazing amenities.

Fun Fact – You can get invited to special events and parties by posting on Instagram and Vegas Promoters connecting with you.

Another Fun Fact – You can often get a room upgrade for cheap by simply asking or by slipping a bit of cash to the Front Desk clerk.

For other amazing money saving, safety, and transportation tips for first time visitors, including tons of travel hacks for room upgrades and free things, check out 50 Best Las Vegas Tips For First Time Visitors.

milestone birthday destination celebration in usa
Nashville, Tennessee (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Tennessee, also known as the “Music City”, is one of the best city breaks in the United States to have a memorable 21st birthday celebration.

Line Dancing

Trying your hand at line dancing is one of the best things to do. The Wildhorse Saloon offers free lessons all day long. Learn a few dances, and then show off your new skills wherever you’d like. 

Bar Hopping 

Broadway Street is the heart of Nashville’s country music scene. Everywhere you look, you’ll find 3 story bars with roaring live music.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is a world-famous bar you should visit on Broadway. For a more relaxed atmosphere, you can check out Pinewood Social. They have a robust beer and cocktail list, as well as fun activities you can do like bowling.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour 

For a little sightseeing, you can do a Hop on Hop off bus tour. They’re inexpensive, and you get an all day pass to explore the city at your own speed. It’s a great way to see the city and its iconic sites like the Grand Ole Osprey, The Parthenon, and Union Station.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Nashville is hot and muggy in June, July and August. Spring and fall have the most pleasant temperatures where you can still wear summer clothes but won’t melt from the heat. But, bring a light jacket for evenings.

Nashville is a great place for a winter holiday if you are looking for temperatures in the mid 50s Fahrenheit.

Hotel Recommendation

Music Row Retreat offers 3 beds in a large apartment in the city center. With a pool to lounge around when you need a break from strutting your stuff on the dance floor, and a kitchen to help keep alcohol and food costs in check, this is a great place to stay.

21st birthday party idea in usa
Los Angeles, California (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Los Angeles, California

Between its year-round sunny weather and vibrant nightlife, Los Angeles is a fabulous US city escape to spend your special day.

Santa Monica Beach

At Santa Monica Beach, you can relax on the beach, ride the Ferris Wheel on the boardwalk, explore the boardwalk by bike, or even grab a cocktail at the ONYX Rooftop Beach Bar to celebrate your 21st birthday in style. 

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Wandering the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. You can wander through almost 3000 celebrity stars and take pictures with your favorites. Add some laughs and hours of fun with a Scavenger Hunt.

Bar hopping in Hollywood

Hollywood isn’t just about movies and celebrities- it also has excellent nightlife. Be sure to check out two of the best bars in Hollywood, The Spare Room and Tramp Stamp Granny’s.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

The sunny and warm weather in LA is good all year long.

Hotel Recommendation

Los Angeles Rentals is near Santa Monica with lots of beds and room to spread out. If you are looking for a central location with lots of amenities, this is a great option.

best 21 st birthday vacation in the United States
Denver, Colorado (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Denver, Colorado

Located in the Rocky Mountains, The Mile High City offers not just incredible mountain views, but also lots of amazing inexpensive activities for a special 21st birthday trip in America.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

There’s nothing quite like seeing a performance in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, surrounded by stunning red rocks in the fresh Rocky Mountain air. Even if you don’t go for a show, consider taking a tour of the historic amphitheater, climb around the steps, and take in the views.

If there are no shows scheduled, the amphitheater is open one hour before sunrise and closed one hour after sunset, giving you ample time to explore without spending a dime.

Craft Beer Scene

Denver offers an amazing craft beer scene. In fact, it is one of the “Beer Cities” in the USA. Denver Chophouse & Brewery has some of the best hoppy ales out there, and it’s hard to beat Wynkoop – Colorado’s first ever brewpub. Alternatively, take a craft beer tour led by a local.

Go See a Sporting Event

Denver is home to five major professional sports teams – Denver Nuggets basketball team, Denver Broncos football team, Colorado Avalanches hockey team, Colorado Rockies baseball team, and the Colorado Rapids soccer team.

Denver sports fans are fierce, and watching one of the city’s professional sports teams battle it out against your hometown favorite while surrounded by passionate, screaming fans would be truly exhilarating.

Visit Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 330 species of animals, including bison, black-footed ferrets, deer, coyotes and burrowing owls. Spend an afternoon hiking on one of the many easy trails or take the self-guided Wildlife Drive Auto Tour—and it’s all completely free!

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Winters are cold with snow and the summers are hot with some rain. Make your ideal itinerary and then, figure out which weather best suits it. You will more likely get better hotel deals in winter.

Best Place To Stay

If you are staying in downtown Denver, the Curtis Hotel is a uniquely themed boutique hotel. It has a different theme for each of its 13 guest room floors. The lobby is also themed and very entertaining.  It is a great location for walking around the 16th Street Mall and downtown Denver.”

21st birthday special occasion in united states
New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has a rich history, and is well known for its French influence and live music scene -particularly its jazz. It’s a very exciting 21st birthday destination in the United States!

Explore the French Quarter

The French Quarter is the most historically significant neighborhood in New Orleans. During the day, you can fuel up on beignets (a cross between a donut and a pastry) and delicious Creole seafood, and take in the sights of the colorful colonial architecture. It also has some killer shopping.

For some extra laughs and pulse racing moments, take a haunted ghost, voodoo and vampire tour (garlic not included!)

At night, you can stroll down the lively pedestrian-only Bourbon Street, where it’s legal (and even encouraged) to drink and party on the streets. You can dance at Beach on Bourbon, and listen to live music at Fritzel’s European Jazz Bar.

Visit a Pool Club

New Orleans can get pretty hot, and one of the best ways to cool off is to visit a Pool Club. The Nopsi Hotel has a great pool club, and they do Sunday Fundays with a live DJ from 3-6. 

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

New Orleans can get super hot and muggy in the summer months. You would be best to avoid it from June through August. The spring and fall would both be amazing. Even winter will have pleasant warm temperatures averaging high 50s and low 60s.

Hotel Recommendation

The Astor Crowne Plaza is just steps away from the French Quarter. Many rooms offer two queen beds and there is an outdoor pool for those days that you need a break from the craziness of Bourbon Street.

Fun fact – You can legally drink in New Orleans starting at 18 years old. However, between the ages of 18-21 years old, you must be with a parent or guardian who is 21 years old or older.

Another fun fact – You can have your own parade in New Orleans with police escort!

For other travel tips for first time visitors to New Orleans, including safety, money saving, transportation, and freebies, check out 40 Best Travel Tips For First Time Visitors To New Orleans.

best places to celebrate your 21 birthday in america
Austin, Texas (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Austin, Texas

In recent years, Austin Texas has become one of the trendiest, most fun cities in the South, and as such has become a great 21st birthday getaway in the USA! 

Axe Throwing

One of the most unique ways to celebrate a 21st in Austin is to go axe throwing. At the Brewtorium, you can go axe throwing and order beers, cocktails, and even food. 

Visit Some of Austin’s 500+ Bars

Sixth Street is a colorful, lively central part of Austin where you can find many bars in one place. The Jackalope is a fun dive bar with cheap drinks, and Parlor and Yard is a more upscale cocktail lounge with live music starting at 7:00 nightly. 

Live Music

Austin has so much live music that it’s known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. Some of the best venues to check out are the Continental Club and Gallery and the Saxon Pub, and Antone’s Nightclub. You can also take a Live Music Crawl.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

It can get very hot in Austin from April through and including October. Average highs in April and October are in the low 80s. Temperatures will reach between 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June, July and August. In the summer months, you can also expect almost daily humidity. If you love the heat, you know where to go!

Hotel Recommendation

The Hyatt House Austin is an awesome choice. Right downtown, it offers lot of room, and multiple bed options. It also has a seasonal outdoor pool.

best 21st birthday trip in USA
View of Downtown Chicago, including Magnificent Mile (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Chicago, Illnois

The third largest US city is vibrant, edgy and full of fun ways to celebrate your 21st birthday! It is also located in central United States, with lots of direct flights from all over the United States, making it an easy American destination to reach for most everyone.

Comedy Club

Chicago is full of exciting comedy clubs where you can have a memorable, laughter-filled 40th birthday. Laugh FactorySecond City, and Zanies are just three of Chicago’s many excellent comedy clubs. Most offer lots of shows each night. Normally, the later the show, the racier the material!

Second City, the starting point of dozens of famous comedians such as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Steve Carrell, offers “student” shows most nights (be sure to check their online schedule) for a fraction of the cost of regular shows. They feature students currently involved in its’ acting, writing, improv and stand-up programs.

Sunbathe, Walk Or Bike The Lakefront

One of the best things about Chicago is that it’s downtown is right next to Lake Michigan. In summer, spend the day exploring all it has to offer from enjoying the beaches, restaurants and patios, to walking or biking the Lakefront Trail. The long-winding path is an 18-mile trail that stretches from Edgewater Beach to Jackson Park.

If you want to ride along the lake, it’s easy to rent an inexpensive Divvy bike at a neighborhood station or docks in parks along the lakefront. For an easier ride, rent an e-bike, which uses an electric motor which means you can do a lot more cruising than pedalling.

Pay Tribute to Legends at Chicago Sports Museum

Chicago has racked up a number of sport trophies over the years. If you can’t afford tickets to your favorite professional sporting event, do the next best thing and go to the Chicago Sports Museum, a wallet-friendly stop.

At the museum’s “Measure Up” exhibit, visitors can compare their jump heights to Michael Jordan’s, or their wingspan to Scottie Pippens. It also offers the “Curses and Superstitions” exhibit, exploring the conspiracies around why some people believe the Cubs went 108 years without winning a World Series.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Chicago is very cold and windy in the winter. However, this is low season and you will get excellent hotel deals. In addition, there are lots of exceptional things to do inside to avoid the cold.

Summer can be very hot and humid, and busy with tourists.

Accordingly, the best time to go for good hotel deals, fewer crowds, and pleasant weather is spring and fall. However, Chicago is a popular destination in the midwest so avoid weekends that are also attached to statutory or school holidays.

Hotel Recommendation

For a centrally located affordable hotel check out Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago. Or if you prefer a hostel, HI Chicago Hostel is a very reasonably priced hostel located in a convenient location.

Chicago Travel Tip – Avoid renting a car in Chicago. Parking is difficult to find and can be on the expensive side. Chicago offers great public transportation, and lots of ride shares and taxis.

There are lots of free things to do in Chicago when you want to find budget friendly activities. For example, in addition to the beaches, the Lincoln Zoo is free and within walking distance from downtown Chicago. In addition, Chicago has several world renowned museums that offer free days each month. For more information about things to do in Chicago, please click here.

Best Beaches In The United States To Celebrate Your 21st Birthday

Sometimes all you want to do on your birthday is lounge around by the pool or on the beach, and feel the warmth of the sun. Lucky for you, there are lots of amazing destinations in the USA that offer beautiful beaches. In addition, when you have had enough soaking those rays and working on your tan, these beach locations also offer you cool activities and a great night life.

best beaches to visit in america for 21st birthday
South Beach, Florida (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

South Beach, Florida

Miami has gorgeous beaches, a fun Latin culture, and exciting nightlife, making it one of the best beach holidays in America for a 21st birthday celebration.

South Beach

Miami Beach in the neighborhood of South Beach is the epitome of gorgeous Miami beaches. With white sand and crystal clear blue waters, it doesn’t get much better than this! 

Bar Hop on Ocean Drive

Also in South Beach is Ocean Drive, the neon, colorful, heart of South Beach. It’s littered with fun restaurants and bars. You can’t miss Mango’s Tropical Cafe, a fun Latin lounge where you can enjoy mojitos, margaritas, and salsa dancing. 

You should also check out the Clevelander, where you can order cocktails and hang out by the pool.

Alternatively, hunt for the best bars and let someone else worry about the details.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Miami, the summers are very hot and humid while the winters are comfortable. You can expect 70s and 80s Fahrenheit all year round, with some days in the 60s in December and January.

Hurricane season runs from June to November. If you would like to visit during these months, make sure you pay attention to weather forecasts before you leave.

Hotel Recommendation

Just a couple blocks from the beach, Miami Beach Rooms is a fantastic B&B that is convenient and comfortable, with lots of beds and a separate living room.

best Us beaches for a 21 year old birthday party
Pacific Beach, California (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Pacific Beach, California

Pacific Beach is a lively and youthful beachside neighborhood in the San Diego area. The area features tons of restaurants and bars adjacent to a long beautiful beach that is perfect for lounging. It’s a fantastic US beach vacation spot for a 21st birthday.

Try Surfing

San Diego has a strong surf culture. Pacific Beach is a great spot for seasoned surfers to paddle out or for beginners to learn. The north part of the beach is more mellow for beginners, and the southern part (closer to the pier) is a little more advanced.

Hot Tub Cruising

Pool your funds and hire a private boat rental with hot tub. Hot Tub Crusin offers boats in various sizes with different size hot tubs. Bring your favorite music, lounge on the boat or soak in the tub, for an amazing day.

Bike Along the Boardwalk

Ocean Front Walk (or Pacific Beach Boardwalk) runs about 3 miles parallel to the beach. It is a great spot to go for a walk, jog, or rent bikes and cruise along.

Watch A Sunset

Grab your favorite beverage and picnic foods, and bring them to Sunset Cliffs to watch the sunset. This park is west facing and one of the most magical spots for sunsets in San Diego.


Pacific Beach is very fun. It’s where the younger set from all over San Diego flock to party.

Mavericks Beach Club is a great place to check out as they often throw parties and have live music. If you want to be right on the beach, PB Shore Club is basically in the sand, and another fantastic place to watch the sunset.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

San Diego offers beautiful warm yet mild temperatures all year round. The summer months see consistent highs in the 70s, whereas the winter months may have some cooler days. There is very little rain or humidity any time of year.

Hotel Recommendation

Only moments from Mission Beach, Pacific Shores Inn offers a great location near the boardwalk, in addition to a pool and other convenient amenities and services.

amazing beaches in united states to go for 21 birthday
Waikiki Beach, Oahu (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Honolulu is located on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. With its vibrant beach activity, cool shopping and exciting nightlife, it is without a doubt, one of the best beach destinations to spend a 21st birthday party in the United States! 


The Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu is a must-visit. It’s home to the beautiful and famous Waikiki beach, along with ample shops and restaurants.

While you’re not lounging on the beach, you can try surfing Waikiki’s fun and gentle waves. If you get hungry, try some delicious poke from Five Star Poke or Maguro Brothers


Waikiki offers some fantastic shopping opportunities. Shop all day and into the night while you walk along the main strip in Waikiki.

Alternatively, grab a shuttle and head up to Ala Moana Center. Whether you are looking for that luxury piece to celebrate your birthday or more budget friendly stores, there is LOTS to tempt you.


Just outside of Honolulu is the Manoa Waterfall Hike. It’s a 2 mile hike through the jungle to see the impressive 150 foot falls. You might even recognize them too, as they’ve been featured in both Jurassic Park and the Hunger Games movies!


Thanks to the crystal clear waters and diverse marine ecosystem of the Hawaiian Islands, you can easily snorkel and see tons of colorful fish and sea turtles. You can snorkel right at Waikiki Beach for free, or book a snorkel tour to go somewhere even more exotic like Turtle Canyon.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

The weather is remarkably consistent all year round in Honolulu. Expect between 70 degrees Fahrenheit up to low 90 degrees Fahrenheit at any time of year, with slightly higher temperatures in the summer months. If you crave some fun and excitement on the beach no matter the month, this is the place to go.

Hotel Recommendation

Less than a 1/2 mile from Kahanamoku Beach, The Equus offers large rooms, a restaurant, private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. If you wish to split your time between the beach and a pool at an affordable price, this would be an excellent choice.

best beaches in usa to go for your 21 birthday
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a beautiful beachy resort town along the coast of South Carolina and a spectacular beach getaway in the United States for a 21st birthday.

Beachfront Boardwalk

Take a stroll along the Myrtle Beach boardwalk to browse shops, or visit one of the many beachfront bars like Sharkey’s Beach Bar. You can also visit Pavilion Park and ride on some of the roller coasters! 

Myrtle Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach State Park is just a little south of the main Myrtle Beach area, and it consists of a tranquil beach and nature area. The beach here is much less crowded than by the pier, so if you are looking for some together time with your friends without lots of distractions, this is the place to go. You can also camp here.

Alligator Park

Head to Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach for a heart pumping day witnessing some of nature’s wildest and most ferocious animals at Alligator Adventure. But maybe wait until the last day of your trip. After hearing about where these creatures are found, you may want to catch the next flight out!

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Myrtle Beach, the summers are super hot and humid. Temperatures from June through September are typically in the 80s Fahrenheit.

Winter temperatures are still very mild. They are generally in the low 60s during the day and may go in the 40s at night.

Accordingly, if you are looking for a beach destination in the winter for swimming and water sports, this may not be the best place to go. However, the weather is still good enough to for lounging in the sun and other outdoor activities.

Hotel Recommendation

For those looking for accommodation that offers amazing rooms, but also so many amenities that you might not ever leave, then the Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort is your ideal place to go.

This oceanfront resort features 9 swimming pools, including a water park, indoor lazy river, and 2 indoor hot tubs. When you need a bit of beach time, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is only 5 minutes’ drive away.

best places to visit for a beach holiday for  a milestone birthday
Condado, Puerto Rico (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Condado Beach, Puerto Rico

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, and home to gorgeous Caribbean beaches, colorful colonial buildings, and a fun and vibrant Latin culture. Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, you don’t even need a passport to celebrate this milestone birthday, if you’re coming from the United States. 

Condado Beach

Condado Beach has white sand and turquoise waters, and is the perfect place to relax and hang out. If you are looking to swim and snorkel, go to neighboring Playita del Condado.

Condado Lagoon

This is the perfect place to go for someone looking for a bit of water adventure in San Juan. The waters are calm so that you can kayak, paddle boarding, snorkel, and more. If you are an animal lover, you may even spot a couple of manatees while you’re visiting.

Walk Through Old San Juan

Refreshed from all your beach activities, take a walking tour through Old San Juan where you will spot cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and the San Cristóbal Fortresses.

You can try out some traditional Puerto Rican food and cocktails at delicious restaurants like St. Germain and El Jibarito.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Puerto Rico is the land of eternal sunshine and warmth. Throughout the entire year, you will get between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and high 80s degree Fahrenheit with barely any change no matter the month. The temperature hardly drops in the evenings so you will only have to pack a light jacket or cardigan for emergencies only.

Puerto Rico is subject to hurricanes between June and November. That is not to say they get one every year or that they will be anything more than a bad rain storm. However, you should be aware of this possibility and keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Hotel Recommendation

Hotel Villa del Sol is a great hotel just steps from Isla Verde Beach and only 5 minutes’ drive from San Juan International Airport. In addition, San Juan City is only a 10 minutes’ drive away.

Best Outdoor Adventure Destinations To Celebrate Your 21st Birthday

Nothing invigorates you more, brings people together and connects you more than spending time in nature. If you are feeling outdoorsy and looking for adventure as you reach your 21st birthday, there are lots of amazing places to go in the United States.

As for convenience, budget friendly, and fun, camping with your buddies is an ideal choice. Accordingly, when available, we recommend campsites for the best outdoor adventure spots for your 21 year old birthday celebrations.

best places to visit in usa for your 21 birthday
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming & Montana

With tons of wildlife, geysers, and other epic natural sights, singing “Happy Birthday” for your 21st in Yellowstone is sure to be a blast. 

Visit the Park’s Main Attractions

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without visiting the Grand Prismatic Spring. This giant hot spring is as vibrant as a rainbow, and incredible to see. 

You also have to watch Yellowstone’s most famous geyser Old Faithful erupt. It goes off just about once an hour, so no matter what time of day, you can go and watch it blast water almost 200 feet into the air. 

Hike to Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in all of Yellowstone. To reach the falls, you can park at the Grand Prismatic Spring parking lot and hike about 4.5 miles round trip. 

Look for Wildlife

Bison, wolves, and bears are just some of the wildlife you might encounter in Yellowstone. If you’re lucky, you can spot these animals anywhere in the National Park. However, your best bet to see wildlife is in Lamar Valley or take a wildlife viewing tour.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Yellowstone offers comfortable mild summer weather in July and August. You can expect highs around 75 F. June and September would continue to be pleasant. It will be cooler – expect highs in the mid 60s – but still pleasant.

Winters are tough in Yellowstone. It is cold and snowy. But, you can have some pretty cool winter experiences if you decide to go then, including unique overland transfers to just get into the National Park.

Camping Recommendation

A fantastic campground in Yellowstone National Park is Madison Campground.

best destinations in America to celebrate your 21st birthday
Yosemite National Park, California (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite is a paradise for adventure-seekers and nature lovers alike. From rigorous hikes to massive waterfalls and granite cliffs, you’ll have no shortage of activities to do while spending your special day in Yosemite.

Hike Half Dome

While it’s certainly not for the faint of heart, hiking half dome is one of the most incredible things to do in Yosemite. This 14-16 mile hike includes almost 5000 feet of elevation gain, and ascends 400 feet of granite to the summit via Half Dome’s infamous cables. 

Yosemite’s Best Vistas

Yosemite is full of spectacular lookout points. Hop in your car and spend some time enjoying these awe-inspiring views. From Tunnel View, you get an amazing view of El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and even a glimpse of Half Dome. From Glacier Point, you can see all of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Yosemite National Park offers fantastic weather all year round. In winter, you can expect temperatures in the low 50s and in spring and fall, you will get mild temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s.

Summers are beautiful, but it can reach the 90s in July and August, so if you are not a fan of extreme heat, avoid Yosemite in those months. However, there is no humidity, so if you choose to visit in the summer, you can cool down in the shade.

Camping Recommendation

Check out Yosemite Creek Campground for camping options.

best us national park to visit for 21st birthday
Acadia National Park, Maine (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is another breathtaking place for a 21st birthday vacation in the USA. This Park is located right on the rugged coastline of Maine, and known for its islands, tidal ecosystems and beautiful forests. Sign up for a self guided driving audio tour to make sure you see everything.

Cliffside Hiking

Acadia is famous for its cliffside hiking trails with ladders and iron handles. Some of them go through wooded forests like the Canada Cliffs trail and others take you right above the beach like the Beehive trail. They are all stunning.

Watch the Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain is one of the first places you can see the sunrise from in the United States, and the view is incredible. However, be sure to secure a permit well in advance.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Acadia National Park, the summers are comfortable and the winters are freezing, snowy, and windy. The best time to visit is April to mid October with summer highs in the mid 70s. 

Camping Recommendation

A beautiful campground in Acadia National Park is Schoodic Woods.

best 21st birthday holiday in usa
Lake Powell, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Lake Powell, Arizona

Lake Powell is a bucket list American destination perfect for a 21st birthday holiday. Located at the border of Arizona and Utah, this spectacular lake is actually a human-made reservoir created by the Glen Canyon Dam. The lake is encased with tall red canyons creating a remarkable and unique landscape.

Rent A Houseboat

One of the most popular things to do on Lake Powell is rent a houseboat for a few days and cruise the vast lake, finding little alcoves and canyons to explore, and swimming and tubing around the boat. 

Jet Ski

Jet skis are another great option at Lake Powell, particularly because of the landscape of the lake. The shape of the lake is irregular, with dozens and dozens of little offshoots and side canyons (and often offshoots of offshoots). Some of these side canyons can be fairly narrow and winding, and zipping through on a jet ski is fantastic fun.

Paddleboard or Kayak

And of course, you can also do activities like paddle boarding or kayaking on Lake Powell, as well as just take out a regular speedboat for a day of exploration. 

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Lake Powell is in summer is almost always sunny and dry, and the water temperature is usually a very pleasant 76 F. It can reach 100 F or more but there is no humidity.

Wintertime is cold with snow. Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and low season so you should be able to find good flight and hotel deals.

Hotel Recommendation

If you’re not renting a houseboat for your time in Lake Powell, one of the best places to stay is in nearby Page. It’s very close to several marinas and the southern part of the lake. The Hampton Inn and Suites Page offers large rooms in a fantastic location.

best national parks to visit to celebrate your 21 year old birthday
Joshua Tree National Park, California (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park boasts one of the most unique and beautiful desert landscapes, along with plenty of fun ways to fill your 21st birthday getaway.

Visit Hidden Valley

The Hidden Valley Nature Trail is an easy 1 mile loop where you can spot peculiar looking Joshua Trees and unique rock formations. Hidden Valley is also one of the most popular destinations in California for rock climbing if you want to take a beginner rock climbing lesson.

Take a Desert ATV tour

A desert ATV tour is a coole and unique way to explore Joshua Tree and spot some wildlife! With the help of a guide, you can see animals like deer, rabbits and hawks, and even more reclusive animals like tarantulas and coyotes! 

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Joshua Tree, the summers are sweltering and the winters are cold. It is dry and mostly clear year round. It is best to avoid Joshua Tree from June through September unless you absolutely love sizzling heat. Temperatures easily reach high 90s and beyond during these months.

March, April, October and November are great months that offer warm yet mild temperatures. The winter months are still pleasant, especially for lots of hiking. Expect temperatures in 50s to low 60s, although it will be much cooler at night.

Camping Recommendation

An amazing campground in Joshua Tree is Jumbo Rocks.

best national parks to visit for your 21 birthday
Zion National Park, Utah (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is famous for its red rock canyons, and exhilarating hikes.

Hike the Narrows

The Narrows is a daring hike through Zion Canyon. In the latter half of the hike, the entire trail is submerged by the Virgin River. You’ll wade through the clear blue waters and be amazed at this incredible adventure.

Go White Water Rafting

For even more adventure for your 21st birthday, you can go white water rafting! The Sevier River is the closest place to go rafting located just outside of Zion. 

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Zion National Park, the summer months are hot and mostly clear whereas the winters are very cold with some cloud coverage. It is dry year round.

The best times to visit Zion are in the spring and fall when the temperatures are milder (60F – 80F during day). You can expect temperatures in the 90s in June, July and August. 

Camping Recommendation

A fantastic campground in Zion National Park is Watchman Campground.

Best Small Cities And Small Town Experiences In USA For 21st Milestone Birthday

best small cities to go to celebrate 21st birthday
Park City, Utah (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Park City, Utah

While Park City is best known for its skiing, there are tons of fun things to do in this historic mountain town all year long that makes it a fantastic 21st birthday destination in the USA.

Walk Along Main Street

Main Street is full of fun shops like Atticus Coffee, Books, & Teahouse, and bars like No Name Saloon and Downstairs. 


If you visit in the summer, you can explore the Rocky Mountains with some fun hikes like Three Divide Lake Trail. You can also take the Park City lift and explore the trails on top of the mountain.


If you visit Park City in the winter, you can take advantage of the town’s biggest draw- snowsports! Bring or rent your ski and snowboards and hit the slopes in Park City. For those not interested in skiing or snowboarding, but still feeling adventurous, strap on some snowshoes and find some beginner trails.

Alternatively, grab a toboggan and reconnect with your inner child. It’s free, a hoot, and gets you ready for apres cocktails and hot tub time. 

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Park City, the summers are warm and dry and the winters are freezing and snowy. One of the advantages of a mountain town is summers offer mild temperatures. July and August should only reach the high 70s which is a great temperature for outdoor hikes and other adventures. Between October and April, bring layers for spring and fall, and full winter clothing for winter.

Hotel Recommendation

Barely a hot, skip and a jump to the slopes, Shadow Ridge is an all seasons resort with an outdoor heated pool. Not loving the weather? Continue the fun indoors with a hot tub and sauna!

best places to go in usa to celebrate 21st birthday
Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is a gorgeous desert town in Southern California that would be an utter blast for celebrating a 21st birthday in America.

Happy Hour

Palm Springs has tons of food options, but its happy hour really shines! Boozehounds is great for dog and craft cocktail lovers as they offer delicious cocktails, and a trendy, dog friendly open-air atrium. 

Bootlegger Tiki also has a cool happy hour, along with delicious, tiki-style cocktails in a fun atmosphere. 

Pool party

The desert here can get HOT, and lounging by the pool is the best way to celebrate your 21st in Palm Springs. Whether it’s at your hotel pool, or a pool party at the Hotel Zoso (Saturdays from 12-5pm), you’re sure to have an amazing time.

Hike to a Waterfall

Another fun way to celebrate your 21st birthday in Palm Springs is to hike either the Murray Canyon Trail, or the Tahquitz Canyon Loop. The Murray Canyon Trail is 3.7 miles long, full of beautiful desert scenery, and turns around at the beautiful Seven Sisters Falls.

The Tahquitz Canyon Loop is 1.9 miles long, slightly easier, and turns around at the 60 foot Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Palm Springs, the summers are sweltering hot, dry, and mostly clear while the winters are cooler and partly cloudy. If you are not a fan of extreme heat, you should avoid Palm Springs in June, July and August when temperatures can regularly reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

At any other time of the year, you will find warm to hot weather during the day (from low 70s to to low 90s – the hotter months being closer to summer) with little rain.

Hotel Recommendation

Desert Vacation Villas is surrounded by beautiful desert scenery in the mountain foothills of Palm Springs. Each room offers spacious 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom villas with a patio or a terrace. An outdoor pool and barbecue area are extra amenities that will make this an ideal spot for you and your friends to enjoy.

best places in america to go for 21 birthday
Lake Tahoe, California (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe is a fun place and beautiful mountain town with plenty of spectacular outdoor activities. It’s a great 21st birthday escape for adventure-seekers and nature lovers.


The mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe are full of awesome hikes. The Emerald Point Trail is about 4.4 miles, and offers jaw dropping views of the lake. 

For a more rigorous mountain hike, you can hike up horseshoe falls in Desolation Wilderness. It’s only 4 miles, but there is a lot of scrambling required. It also gives you the opportunity to swim in the gorgeous pools at the base of the falls. 

Rent a Boat

If you have a big group, renting a boat in Lake Tahoe is not that expensive, super fun, and one of the best ways to celebrate your 21st. You can cruise all over the lake at your leisure, listening to music and enjoying the scenery with your friends. 

If you have the chance, drive the boat over to Emerald Bay for a swim as it’s incredibly beautiful, and the shallow water here stays pretty warm.

Snow Sports

In winter, Lake Tahoe offers you epic outdoor winter sports like ski and snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating and sledding. You can even go snowshoeing at night.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

In Lake Tahoe, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are long, very cold, and snowy. Like Park City, Utah, summer temperatures rarely go into the 80s and temperatures from October through April will require layers or outwear suitable for snow, depending on the month.

Hotel Recommendation

Located across from Lake Tahoe, Hotel Azure is only a couple miles from Heavenly Ski Resort. It offers a seasonal outdoor pool and café. There is ski storage and bikes are free to rent. Most rooms offer lake views. There isn’t a full kitchen but you get a small refrigerator and a microwave.

best places to visit in the USA for a milestone birthday party
Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia has a charming southern culture, plenty of great restaurants and bars, and is an excellent city break for a 21st birthday party!

River Street

Like New Orleans, it’s legal to walk on the streets in Savannah with your favorite alcoholic beverage. You can kick off your birthday celebration by grabbing a frozen drink from Wet Willie’s and browsing the various shops and historic buildings.

Riverboat Cruise

There’s nothing quite like taking a riverboat cruise in Savannah. You can listen to live music and watch dancing onboard, and enjoy either a lunch or dinner cruise with a full bar.

City Market

City Market is a four block open-air market operating since the 1700s with shopping, dining, and art in cool restored warehouse spaces. It is great for people watching, catching free live music, and a fantastic night life.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, why not live on the edge and explore Bonaventure Cemetery? Tour this beautiful cemetery on your own, or take one of the guided spooky tours for some devilish fun.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

If you love the feeling of warmth and sunshine, Savannah is one of the best cities to visit all year round. Summer months are regularly in the 80s and low 90s with high humidity. March, April, October and November are very pleasant with temperatures in the 70s.

The winter months are still lovely with temperatures in the 50s and 60s – fantastic for exploring, but not ideal if you hope to sit poolside.

Hotel Recommendation

You can’t beat the location of The Thunderbird Inn. City Market is 11 minutes’ walk and only a 5 minutes’ walk to Savannah’s downtown historic district. Guests also get free Baker’s Pride donuts.

best places to visit in the USA to celebrate 21 birthday
Sedona, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is home to stunning red rock canyons and mountains, and is an entertaining and scenic place in America for your 21st birthday celebration. 


Sedona is well known for its hiking trails. Cathedral Rock Trail will provide you with amazing views of rock formations. The longer Devil’s Bridge Trail also has scenic views and a photo-worthy crossing over Devil’s Bridge. 

Sedona Jeep Tour

One of the best ways to experience Sedona is to book a Jeep Tour! You’ll climb through the backcountry of Sedona in a Jeep, and reach places you never could on foot or in a normal vehicle. Expect some mind bending climbs and descents that will leave your heart pumping and your palms sweaty!

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Expect very hot and dry summers. You will get temperatures in the low 90s in June, July and August. The most pleasant weather is in April, May, September and October with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

If you wish to travel during the winter months, you will get mild temperatures in the 50s and 60s, which is great for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Hotel Recommendation

Hilton Vacation Club is located in the Sedona Plateau with stunning views of the Arizona desert. It offers spacious accommodations and great facilities including 4 outdoor pools and 6 hot tubs. You might never leave!

Last Word

Lucky you! The best places to celebrate your 21st birthday in the United States take you all over the country, and include big or small cities, beaches and stunning national parks. They offer budget friendly activities and accommodation and also, a myriad of activities to appeal to everyone’s taste. So, pick a date and organize your closest friends and family for the best party of your life!

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