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60th birthday destination

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I celebrated my 50th in London with 12 female friends. With my 60th coming up in early 2014 I am very late in making plans. This time there will be spouses and my twenty-something sons and goddaughter traveling along. We are limited to a week due to my professor husband's teaching schedule. I want a good food destination with some activities for everyone to enjoy. We live in St Petersburg FL and have visited New Orleans too recently for that to be an option. Also out are Chicago and Colorado. Some friends have suggested Disney or Las Vegas both of which caused me to recoil, but was I too swift to judge? What are other recommended destinations that are interesting and/or fun and foodie within an easy days travel from San Francisco, NYC, Wash DC, Charlotte and FL?

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  1. In order of preference

    Montreal
    Los Angeles
    Toronto
    Vancouver
    Austin
    Portland
    Nashville

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks. I Was thinking about Portland. Any specific recommendations re: hotels, restaurants and such.

      1. re: cwmcm54

        I travel to Portland more for business than pleasure, so I'm probably not the best resource if you're planning a b-day bash.

        But I usually like to stay at the Nines, partly because they have nice large working desks in the suites, and a really well-equipped fitness center. I've heard good things about the Heatherman Hotel, but have never stayed there. If you are a Kimpton member, you'll have lots of choices in/around downtown Portland, incl. the Nines, Vintage Plaza, Monaco, etc.

        For food, I would definitely recommend Woodsman Tavern, Ox, Ping, Andina, and Gravy. I think Screen Door is good for brunch, but not much else.

        If you go, definitely seek advice from the Portland board (it's not the most active boards but there's good info if you search and ask), and also try to get in on some pop-ups if you can.

        Good luck and and Happy Birthday.

    2. San Francisco is a must, but it is already on your destination. Richmond, Virgina is nice and is close to Washington DC. Philadelphia, PA is close to NYC, and is unique in its own way. Others are kind of out of the way.

      1. Vegas..stay at the Wynn
        Honolulu/Waikiki..Royal Hawaiian..Sheraton Waikiki
        San Francisco/Napa
        Sedona/PHX..Enchantment Resort..Royal Palms/Four Seasons/Princess Fairmont
        Cabo San Lucas..Palmilla/Pueblo Bonito
        Kauai..Marriott Waiohai..2 bdr/2. ba villas that are lovely on best beach and next to Red Salt, Josselins, Merrimans.. Aloha

        Traveling early 2014 means a lot of cold rainy weather to areas like Portland, DC, Seattle..unless that is something you might like.

        When flying to HNL/LIH from East Coast, you can break up trip with 3 days in SF/LAX or SD with direct flights and spend 4-5 days..5 hour flight to islands and fantastic food.

        1. I did 50 and 60 in Playa del Carmen, MX, but I have some history there. And a cat. Great food and winter/spring weather, cheap flights from Tampa to Cancun.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            Thanks. We lived in Mexico for a year 2008-09 - Sna Miguel de Allende - and loved it and we've been to the Yucatan many times. You are correct. Mexico is wonderful despite the American press insistence that there is danger around every corner.

            1. re: cwmcm54

              And really not much that affects visitors. I have nice memories of San Miguel de Allende as well, in particular the magnificent church on the square.

          2. What about Puerto Rico? I've never been, but my friends that have say there is fabulous food everywhere you turn.

            1. Best place in the world to spend a "0" birthday (or any other) is St Barts. Even after almost annual trips there for many years, the beauty of the island is still as amazing as the first time we went. Whether you approach by sea or drop from the sky aboard a tiny plane and watch the sea and hills rush towards you as you land, you will be captivated by the scenery, the people and most of all, the food.

              You can dig you toes in the sand while you have a planteurs in a beach front restaurant (Le Gloriette) where you can take a swim between courses. Sit at On the Rocks and survey St Jean beach where you have some of the best people watching around. Grab a pizza and some rhum vanille at The Hideaway. Get a cheeseburger at the place that inspired the song about having one in paradise. Dance the night away on tables tops at Le Ti. Have a crepe. Get baguettes from the bakery down the road just like you would find in Paris. Sample the highest end of contemporary french cooking at Le Gaiac. For a tiny island, the number of food choices is staggering.

              In between meals, there are picture perfect beaches, sailing, fishing, diving and for shoppers, stores galore filled with all the best stuff from Europe. Walk the beaches in the evening while listening to the music coming from Nikki. Stroll along the docks of Gustavia and look at the boats that will make you blame your parents for not having been born fabulously wealthy.

              If you like to cook, there are french grocery stores filled with things you'd never encounter at Publix.

              From St. Pete, its easy to get to. Fly to SXM and take the 10 minute flight to SBH. Rent a villa with a pool. Pick one on the beach or up in the hills with a view. I guaranty you it will not disappoint. The folks coming from SFO will have a longer trip, but I know plenty of people from the left coast that head to SBH on a regular basis.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bkeats

                Checking flights now. Thanks

                1. re: cwmcm54

                  If you are really considering SBH which I strongly recommend, please check out sbhonline.com for more info. There is a great community forum there where you will gets lots of advice on where to eat and stay. Even if you decide to go elsewhere, check out the site.

              2. Seattle and Portland are foodie destinations

                1. How do you feel about a cruise celebration?

                  Some of the food & wine cruises I've been eyeing are interesting and cover food ports of call, inclusive accommodations, private party rooms on ship:

                  http://www.cntraveler.com/travel-tips...

                  http://www.usatoday.com/experience/cr...

                  1. If you consider Austin, stay at Saint Cecilla off of South Congress. It's a wonderful boutique hotel within walking distance of so many restaurants, shopping, etc. The weather should be nice during that time. Lots of food to sample!

                    My other suggestion would be Virgin Gorda, although IMHO, Anguilla has the best food in the BVI.

                    1. A well-travelled friend loves visiting Victoria, BC, so much that it's now her standard Christmas destination.