40th Birthday Trip Ideas for an Epic Celebration

Any birthday deserves a sparkling celebration, but your 40th is an extra special occasion worthy of an extra special vacation! Want to get away as you hit the big 4-0? Here are some fabulous 40th birthday trip ideas, whether you’re looking for a laid-back road trip or an over-the-top getaway. 

See our recommendations and get ready to make this milestone birthday the best one yet!

Epic 40th birthday Trip Ideas - Groups Are A Trip

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Unforgettable Ideas for a 40th Birthday Trip

1. Anguilla

Anguilla is one of the most stunning Caribbean islands and one of the best places to celebrate a birthday. Relax on a sprawling white sand beach or explore hidden coves. This is a more secluded locale, but there’s still a lot to do. 

Anguilla beach

Everyone loves Anguilla’s delicious food. This is a hotspot for yummy beach bars and upscale dining alike. Embrace Caribbean cuisine and learn about local culture. 

In addition to fabulous snorkeling and hiking, you can also find unique experiences like scuba diving and kite surfing. Plus, Anguilla is home to incredible spas, a fun nightlife, and interesting history. Taking a sunset cocktail cruise in Anguilla is one of our top 40th birthday vacation ideas!

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg, TN 

Looking for something closer to home? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-visit destination for a long weekend. Gatlinburg offers something for groups of all shapes and sizes. 

Couples will love escaping to a secluded mountain cabin and the endearing arts and crafts community. Families traveling with kids will have no shortage of entertainment – from the bustling Gatlinburg strip to nearby Pigeon Forge, there are endless activities for all ages. 

Groups can enjoy wine and liquor tastings, scenic tours, and fun photo ops, Gatlinburg is perfect for a girls’ getaway.

You will find incredible wildlife viewing, scenic lookouts and driving routes, and delicious food in Gatlinburg. 

This is one of our favorite national parks, and we think a 40th birthday is the perfect excuse to visit!

3. Provence and the South of France 

Be inspired as you enter a new decade of life. The South of France is a gorgeous destination, and visiting is the perfect way to enter your 40s refreshed, spirited, and in awe of the world around you. 

Arles France street scene

We recommend you rent a car to explore the many beautiful villages throughout Provence, France. Take in incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea, explore lavender fields and pristine vineyards, enjoy some of the world’s best fine dining, and immerse yourself in the region’s rich history. 

France is an amazing destination for a romantic getaway, but it’s also so fun to visit with any group who’s up for sightseeing and unique adventures. Stay in a posh château, kayak under ancient aqueducts in Pont du Gard, or simply relax on the beach in Nice. There’s something for everyone in Provence, and you will love your 40th birthday trip here!

4. Maldives

The Maldives feels like a true tropical paradise, and it’s perfect for anyone who loves the water. Pretty much any water activity is waiting for you here. You can snorkel with manta rays, scuba dive, parasail, cruise at sunset, speedboat between islands, or even swim with sharks. 

Combine that with the overwater bungalows waiting for you in Maldives, and you have one epic trip. Seriously, the resorts here are amazing. Luxurious and scenic accommodations await and many are all-inclusive and on private islands. 

So, if glistening white sand beaches and five-star accommodations sound like a good way to ring in a new decade, Maldives could be perfect for you. 

5. Alaska

We’re quick to recommend an Alaska vacation to nearly anyone. Whether you head toward the north of the state to see the Northern Lights in winter or enjoy a summertime cruise along the southern coast, you can’t go wrong with a trip to “The Last Frontier.”

For a relaxed, scenic experience, consider a train tour. It’s the best way to see some of Alaska’s top sights without any worry. Of course, Alaska cruises are a good option too. Small, nimble cruise ships reach more remote spots, while larger chain cruises offer more onboard activities.  

LeConte Bay Alaska

You can spend your 40th birthday hiking across glaciers, kayaking in crystal clear water, exploring blossoming summertime gardens, or marveling at snowy mountains. Alaska has stunning national parks, and there is something special about seeing the untamed beauty of America’s 49th state. 

6. Vancouver and Tofino, Canada

How about two fantastic Canadian destinations in one? Vancouver and Tofino make an excellent joint vacation – especially if you love outdoor activities and vibrant urban culture. 

Vancouver is perfect for anyone who loves a fun art and music scene. Enjoy endless nightlife and dining, all surrounded by incredible natural beauty. The city is a lovely place for a birthday trip because there are endless activities and fun adventures without it feeling super touristy. Simply dive in and experience one of Canada’s most bustling cities. 

Explore Stanley Park, cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, check out VanDusen Botanical Garden, and spend an evening on Granville Island. 

Then it’s time to head to Tofino. This small coastal town is an ideal place for hiking, wildlife spotting, kayaking, surfing, and whale watching. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy Canada’s natural splendor after fun-filled days in Vancouver. 

7. Golden Isles of Georgia

Have you ever been to the Golden Isles of Georgia? Even some savvy vacationers haven’t heard of this idyllic stretch of coastline between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida. That’s part of what makes this such a perfect destination. It is full of untold beauty and quiet charm. We think it is a stellar place to celebrate a 40th birthday. 

Georgia Golden Isles 40th birthday trip ideas

Sea Island is one of the barrier islands that make up the Golden Isles. It’s perfect if you’re looking for five-star accommodations and an upscale vibe. 

Meanwhile, Little St. Simons Island is for anyone looking for untamed beauty, rustic charm, and wild exploration. 

Throughout the city of Brunswick and all the Golden Isles of Georgia, there are beautiful beaches, incredible Southern dining, and a relaxed vibe that’s perfect for a unique getaway. 

8. Porto and Douro Valley, Portugal

For the ultimate wine-centered getaway, head to northern Portugal. It’s simply beautiful here, with rolling hillsides, verdant vineyards, and scenic waterways. 

Porto is a lively, walkable city with fun live music and unforgettable dining. It’s also home to the World of Wine, which has multiple museums, bars, and restaurants, along with a wine school. There are also amped-up adventures, like European Football games, surf lessons, and bridge climbing.  

Once you’ve experienced the magic and culture of Porto, it’s time to head deep into wine country and explore Douro Valley. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, and the only home of authentic Port Wine. 

So yes, if you love wine tastings, wine tours, and the hushed beauty of European vineyards, you must visit Douro Valley. Even if you’re not all about wine, there is nothing quite as spectacular as touring this incredible countryside. There are charming villages, relaxed river cruises, and delectable cuisine. 

9. Kauai, Hawaii

Whether it’s your first trip to Hawaii or your twentieth, you will love celebrating your birthday island style. We recommend Kauai for its unbeatable beauty, adventure, and relaxation. 

Waimea Canyon things to do in Kauai with kids

Spend time on Kauai’s beautiful beaches, from sun-soaked Poipu to lush Hanalei Bay. Snorkel in coral reefs, go mountain tubing, visit the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and cruise along the only navigable river in Hawaii. 

Bring along your partner, family, or closest friends and have an unforgettable 40th birthday celebration on Kauai. 

10. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine is the ultimate New England coastal destination. Plus, it serves as the gateway to Acadia National Park, allowing you to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean’s best beauty. 

There are endless outdoor adventures in the area, including kayaking, hiking, whale watching, biking, and white water rafting. 

Back in town, you can visit the many art galleries and restaurants. You can’t beat the local seafood at spots like Geddy’s and Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound.

This will be the perfect trip for anyone who wants a mixture of action and relaxation, as you can relax in a seaside cottage, roam the quaint streets, and then hit Acadia National Park for some untamed beauty. 

11. Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is the perfect place to experience some of California’s most iconic landscapes. Whether you seek natural beauty (like the wilderness at Joshua Tree National Park), or something more manufactured (like shopping and spa days), Palm Springs delivers. 

If you’re planning a 40th birthday trip with a group of friends, you can’t beat the versatility and fun vibes of Palm Springs. Soak in hot springs, spend a day on a golf course, hike through rugged terrain, and wine and dine at fabulous restaurants. 

Joshua Tree National Park feels like another planet. Stargaze, hike, or even camp in this amazing place. It’s possibly one of the best destinations in California for enjoying the outdoors. 

12. San Miguel de Allende

There are some fabulous options for a Mexico getaway, but we especially love San Miguel de Allende. This city is tucked away in the mountains of central Mexico, and there are so many enriching and fun things to do here. 

San Miguel de Allende

Walk through the colorful, cobbled streets brimming with personality. San Miguel de Allende has an amazing art scene, and it seeps out from its galleries and into its lively culture. Plus, there are fantastic restaurants featuring local cuisine and incredible wine. 

Book a stay at one of San Miguel de Allende’s luxe resorts for an over-the-top celebration and be sure to book a hot air balloon ride over the city.

13. Fiji

Now is the best time to visit Fiji, especially if you’ve never been before. The private island resorts throughout this South Pacific country offer the utmost in relaxation and adventure. 

Unwind poolside with a tropical drink in hand, or stroll along its glistening beaches. Fiji is also made for adventure lovers so plan to snorkel, hike, swim, and kayak. 

Another highlight of your Fiji trip? Relaxing in its natural hot springs and mud pools. It’s unique, invigorating, and part of a perfect 40th birthday trip!

14. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is always a top destination, and it’s an unforgettable 40th birthday getaway. Spend time in San Juan, where you can tour the old town, visit the Bacardi Rum Factory, and eat amazing food. 

We also love traveling beyond San Juan. A road trip around the island is a fun way to see its most popular sites and some hidden gems. 

San Juan Puerto Rico

Swim in waterfalls at El Yunque rainforest, revel in the pristine coastline of Cabo Rojo, zipline above the trees, and take a coffee tour. 

Or, simply unwind at your hotel. There are a number of five-star resorts near San Juan (we like Ritz Dorado and Condado Vanderbilt) that feature amazing pools, incredible service, and a luxurious atmosphere. 

15. Belize

A 40th birthday getaway to Belize will be full of unforgettable experiences, fun outdoor adventures, and beautiful scenery. 

This Central American nation has glistening beaches, lush forests, and incredible culture. Explore Mayan ruins or snorkel or scuba in the Blue Hole Natural Monument.

Stay and play on Caye Caulker or Ambergris islands. Ambergris has more of an upscale family resort vibe, while Caye Caulker is popular among young backpackers. 

Belize is made for adventure, relaxation, and admiring its unique beauty – all in a fun tropical environment. 

Planning Your 40th Birthday Trip

Ready to have the best birthday ever? Your 40th birthday deserves a well-planned, adventurous, and relaxing getaway. So choose a fabulous destination, invite your nearest and dearest, and explore some of the world’s best beauty.