Is your friend’s – or maybe your own – 40th birthday coming up? Celebrate this milestone with a destination party in a locale you’ll never forget. We have just the place…

You say it’s your birthday? And maybe your friend’s birthday, too? Forget the days when an outing to Dave & Busters was a perfectly fine place for an adult birthday party. It’s time to upgrade the marking of a big milestone by celebrating at Clearwater Beach, Florida. Instead of ringing arcade game bells and devouring boxes of pizza, envision ringing a special sunset bell at a seaside bar and dining on filet mignon aboard the StarLite Majesty yacht. Swap the Carvel birthday cake for custom candy making at William Dean, and you’ve got a destination birthday blowout to match the number of candles being blown out.

Where to Stay

Set on the soft white sands of Clearwater Beach, Sandpearl Resort offers a seamless transition from pool to beach, creating a comfortable environment for large groups who might prefer swimming laps and reading in the shade over sunning on the sand, or vice versa. More than 250 rooms and suites overlook the Gulf of Mexico and are appointed with cheery tropical decor to brighten the destination birthday celebration. In fact, many of the standard rooms connect while suites have full kitchens, dining, and living room areas. Groups of 10 or less can dine in the swanky wine room of Caretta on the Gulf, Clearwater’s only AAA Four Diamond Restaurant that’s named for the area’s loggerhead sea turtles.

Candy Making at William Dean Chocolates

Founded in 2007, William Dean crafts handmade artisan chocolates in flavors that range from amaretto to tropical caramel. Now, the boutique shop is opening its Belleair Bluffs location (about 15 minutes from Clearwater) to the public. Choose from classic confections, truffles, bonbons, and much more for that special birthday dessert. Or take a class in their on-site kitchen and learn how to make your own chocolates or pastries.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding the Atlantic

It has been on the bucket list of the birthday boy (or girl) for years. Now it’s time to try stand-up paddleboarding on the calm, beginner-friendly waters of Clearwater Beach, where the whole party can cruise around on stable Yolo & Slingshot boards. Find rentals at Clearwater Beach & Paddle Co., which offers free delivery and pickup to and from Sandpearl.

Taking a Dinner Cruise on the StarLite Majesty

Star lite, star bright, how would you like to celebrate a birthday tonight? Perhaps aboard a sleek 115-foot yacht, cruising around Clearwater Bay? The StarLite Majesty can seat up to 280 for sit-down dinners or up to 400 for cocktails. For smaller parties of six or less, a $50 birthday package includes a bottle of house champagne or wine, a Mylar balloon, decorated birthday cake, and guaranteed window table, where you’ll tuck into such entrées as Parmesan-crusted tilapia and pork osso bucco.

Playing Ping-Pong by the Pool

OK, so this is a sport that might not take all the birthday guests’ breaths away. But enjoying it by the zero-entry, lagoon-style pool at the Sandpearl certainly will. The entire group can plan a tournament with prizes or partake in other pool and beach activities, including corn hole, volleyball, sunrise yoga, and family s’mores night.

Ringing the Sunset Bell at Tate’s

Tate Island Grill is one of three dining options at the Sandpearl, serving up pitchers of rum-based Hurricanes, alongside quesadillas, grouper sandwiches, and veggie burgers. The tastiest tradition at Tate’s, however, harkens back to when the resort was just a cottage, and a staff member would ring a dinner bell for the guests. Today, the resort chooses a different person each day to ring a bell right as the sun sets – sounds like the perfect duty for the person celebrating a birthday.

Learning to be a Dolphin Trainer

Go ahead and gift yourself by signing up to be a trainer for a day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The program allows members of the public to shadow a professional in preparing food and playing with the dolphins, along with maintaining exhibits and keeping records. Morning sessions run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; afternoon sessions from 1:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. Guests also train and feed a great white pelican and North American river otters, and get to go home with a photo, bag, T-shirt, and towel. Now that’s a priceless present.

Karaoke at Abe’s Place

Whether a duet is singing “Ebony and Ivory” or a dad is belting out Bon Jovi to mark his 50th birthday, karaoke is the perfect way to celebrate the day, and Abe’s Place hosts nights dedicated to the Japanese entertainment form five nights a week. For those who really can’t carry a tune, Abe’s also has 32 big-screen TVs, 44 beers on tap, and a full bar so that there’s a birthday toast for every taste.

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