16 Destinations You Must Visit in Your 30s

by Julie Sprankles
Nov 6, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. ET

There's a reason they say life begins at 30 — you still have the vitality of youth with the added benefit of experience on your side. You are more self-aware and confident, making your 30s the perfect decade for travel. Plus, real talk: You probably have more cash flow than you did in your 20s, making trips more feasible. Looking for locales with scenery and substance? Add these destinations to your 30s wanderlust bucket list.

This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises. 

1 /17: Charleston, South Carolina

1/17 :Charleston, South Carolina

When you travel to the world's best city in your 30s, you appreciate its beauty and history even more. Sure, the Holy City offers one heck of a nightlife scene, but it's also steeped in culture — museums, art galleries, music halls and amazing architecture. Bonus? Just over the Connector, quirky Folly Beach has personality for days. 

2 /17: Miami, Florida

2/17 :Miami, Florida

Here's a statistic for you: Miami gets 3,200 hours of sunshine a year on average. Naturally, the city's temperate weather means people devote a lot of time to being outdoors, and who could blame them? First, there are the beaches, including the world-famous Miami Beach. But water activities are also big here and range from kayaking to parasailing and scuba diving. And everyone should take a sunny stroll through the Art Deco District at some point. 

3 /17: New York City, New York

3/17 :New York City, New York

By now, you know how to make the most of your time in the Big Apple by avoiding tourist traps. By all means, if you haven't seen the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, you should. But don't miss out on opportunities like seeing the city's world-class museums (MoMA and the Guggenheim!) or traveling by tram to Roosevelt Island

4 /17: Ubud, Bali

4/17 :Ubud, Bali

Now is the time to find your center, and nowhere is better-suited to helping you than serene Ubud. Penciling in a visit to a traditional healer (think Eat, Pray, Love) can prove to be a truly meaningful experience, as can catching a sunrise from atop Mount Batur — the island's most active volcano — where your guide will whip up your egg breakfast in a steaming fissure. 

5 /17: Split, Croatia

5/17 :Split, Croatia

Imagine white sand shores lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and a city full of storied architecture. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Well, what you've just envisioned is Split, Croatia. One of the country's most diverse and popular destinations, Split has it all, from a bustling riviera to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

6 /17: San Juan Islands, Washington

6/17 :San Juan Islands, Washington

Consider these remote and breathtaking islands Washington state's best-kept secret. For starters, the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains against the Pacific Ocean is undeniably arresting. World-class kayaking to spot orcas, visiting historic Lopez Village, hiking Shark Reef Sanctuary to a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and taking a stroll through fragrant Pelindaba Lavender Farm are all highlights of this must-take trip. 

7 /17: The Maldives

7/17 :The Maldives

You'll never see water as blue as you do when you scuba dive in the Maldives. If that in and of itself isn't enough to convince you a Maldives trip is a must, consider that this stunning paradise also allows you to explore deserted Dream Island, play with spinner dolphins or enjoy a relaxing Balinese massage in a glass-floored hut over the sea. 

8/17 :Vietnam

Add Vietnam to the list of locales that will change the way you look at the world. From the floating markets of the Mekong Delta to mammoth cave systems — S?n ?oòng cave is the biggest in the world — Vietnam has a knack for shifting perspective. Don't miss the stunning hill station of Sa Pa or UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay if you can help it. 

9 /17: Maui, Hawaii

9/17 :Maui, Hawaii

Need a reason to visit Maui? Well, there are plenty. Not only does this island paradise boast some of the most beautiful beaches (white, black and red sand beaches, no less!), but it also offers breathtaking landmarks such as the Haleakal? Crater, the Road to Hana, the Molokini Crater and more. Plus, between luaus and fresh, innovative cuisine, Maui has culture to spare. 

10 /17: New Orleans, Louisiana

10/17 :New Orleans, Louisiana

Y'all, there's so much more to NOLA than Bourbon Street! Give this city its proper due in your 30s. Head outside the Quarter and spend some time instead on Frenchman Street or in the Uptown and Warehouse Districts. Instead of trendy Café du Monde, find your way to Coulis for an unforgettable breakfast or to Cooter Brown's for a killer raw bar. And you can't visit this musical city without listening to jazz at Little Gem Saloon, Maple Leaf Bar or Bullet's.

11 /17: Positano, Italy

11/17 :Positano, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is constantly billed as a must-visit destination, and it's easy to see why... especially when you consider the picturesque seaside village of Positano. It has it all: stunning architecture (check out the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta), delectable food (try the baba), sophisticated fashion and of course, stunning stretches of dreamy beaches.

12/17 :Ecuador

It's hard to believe natural beauty like Ecuador's even exists until you've seen it with your own eyes. Cruising the Galápagos Islands? Check. Straddling the equator (or Mitad del Mundo)? Check. Mountain biking down Cotopaxi Volcano, the country's second-tallest? Check. Exploring the Amazon Jungle? Check. 

13 /17: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

13/17 :Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

When it comes to bucket list locales, Rio's gotta be on just about everyone's, right? There's something undeniably moving about viewing the massive Christ the Redeemer statue for the first time. And that's not the only reason to visit — Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach, the Museum of Tomorrow and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra are just some of the sites that beckon. 

14 /17: Mumbai, India

14/17 :Mumbai, India

Known as the gem of western India, Mumbai is an explosion of color, culture and charm. Once a tiny fishing village, the now major metropolis hustles and bustles with travelers and locals alike... not to mention vendors of every kind! If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, you won't want to miss Mumbai's enthralling bazaars. This dynamic destination also boasts some of India's most exciting nightlife. 

15 /17: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

15/17 :San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

If you want to step into some of the lushest natural scenery you'll ever lay your eyes on, you need to head to San Juan del Sur. An enchanting fishing village on the southwestern coast of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is a true oasis. Here, you can surf, eat fresh seafood delivered straight from the docks by local fishermen, charter a boat to reel in your own deep-sea catch and watch olive ridley turtles come to shore. 

16 /17: Mykonos, Greece

16/17 :Mykonos, Greece

Why should celebrities have all the fun? You're in your 30s now; you deserve a little luxury in your life. Known locally as the "Island of the Winds," Mykonos is a study in beauty. Simply taking in the scenery is a treat, but there is plenty else to keep you busy too — like visiting the windmills of Mykonos, exploring the Delos ruins, touring the Panagia Tourliani Monastery, checking out the Armenistis Lighthouse and getting a little R&R at Agios Stefanos Beach. 

17 /17: Places you should see in your 30s

17/17 :Places you should see in your 30s

Pin this list for when it's time to plan your next trip!