For the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the USA, you probably think of the likes of New York City and Las Vegas.
They host some of the biggest and most widely televised New Year’s Eve events in the world. Beyond those glitzy cities, however, the USA is home to some great New Year’s Eve destinations, including theme parks, islands and alpine lakes.
New Orleans, Louisiana
When you think of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the United States, you probably think of New York City and Las Vegas.
They host some of the largest and most widely televised New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. Aside from the flashy cities, the United States has some fantastic New Year’s Eve destinations, including theme parks, islands, and alpine lakes.
Louisiana’s New Orleans
Year after year, New Orleans is one of the best party destinations. Friendly locals, warm weather, late-night bars, and people walking around with their favorite adult beverage in hand create an inviting environment for partygoers. Head to Jackson Square in the historic French Quarter for a true New Year’s Eve celebration. Bands and performers
Fireworks over the Mississippi River in New Orleans
San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s bayfront location allows for a number of one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve events, including a spectacular bayfront fireworks display. Brunch, dinner, and fireworks cruises are among the festivities offered by Hornblower. Other New Year’s Eve balls include the Passport to the World New Year’s Eve Ball, which features several deejays, live music, an open bar, and entertainers. For a more casual experience, head to the high ground, such as Twin Peaks (one of San Francisco’s highest points) or the Embarcadero waterfront, to watch the fireworks at midnight.
Fireworks exploding over the San Francisco waterfront
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
That’s right, Walt Disney World near Orlando knows how to throw a New Year’s Eve party for both kids and adults! Toast to the new year with decadent dining, festive libations, dazzling dance parties, and breathtaking fireworks. Every year on December 31, Walt Disney World offers special packages at various Disney hotels. Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s California Grill while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks is one of the most popular options. Other events include ringing in the new year with music, tasty treats, high spirits, and a dash of Disney magic at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn’s Atlantic Dance Hall.
Watching the fireworks show at Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World
Los Angeles, California
Because Los Angeles is so large, there are great events for people of all interests taking place all over the city. The main event takes place at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles, with food trucks and live music on multiple stages until 1 a.m. Because it is alcohol-free, this is a great family event, though several bars nearby host New Year’s Eve parties. Prohibition at the historic Union Station, a Roaring 1920s-themed event with burlesque dancers, DJs, live jazz music, and an open bar, is another popular downtown event. One of the most unique events takes place aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, about 40 kilometers south of downtown, and includes a number of unique bars, live music, entertainers, and fireworks to cap it all off.
Fireworks projecting off a building at Grand Park in Los Angeles
The peach drop is Atlanta’s equivalent of New York City’s Times Square ball drop, albeit on a smaller scale. At midnight, the 362-kilogram peach falls above Underground Atlanta, a downtown shopping and entertainment district. Local food and drinks, entertainers, DJs, and live shows by big-name musicians are all available in the hours leading up to midnight. The best part is that admission is free. Other great events in Atlanta include neighborhood block parties and festivities at clubs and venues on a smaller scale.
Honolulu offers the best of both worlds, with its urban side in Waikiki and tropical side on the North Shore. Attending a traditional luau, such as Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, is one of the most unique things you can’t do anywhere else. The annual New Year’s Eve “Party of the Year” is held a few kilometers up Ala Moana Boulevard at Aloha Tower Marketplace. It includes rides, food trucks, DJs, and live music leading up to the midnight fireworks display. Take a fireworks cruise on the Star of Honolulu or the Dolphin Star for a different perspective on the New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The Waikiki Beach shoreline leading to Diamond Head
San Antonio, Texas
The weather is an advantage for many of these New Year’s Eve destinations, and San Antonio is no exception, where it will feel like spring at the San Antonio River Walk, the central location for the celebration. To ring in the new year, several restaurants and bars along the River Walk are offering specials and packages, such as prix fixe meals and private seating. The New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown San Antonio includes several stages of music, rides, and food leading up to the grand finale of fireworks.
Moon shining over the San Antonio skyline
Music City Midnight, Nashville’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, is complimentary and features great musicians; after all, this is Music City. Several major bands take the stage before Nashville’s signature “Music Note Drop,” which is accompanied by confetti cannons and fireworks. Many of Nashville’s best bars and venues, including the renowned Ryman Auditorium, host parties and events. M Street, which owns several popular Nashville restaurants and bars, sells one New Year’s Eve ticket to four different parties.
Crowds gathering for the fireworks at midnight in Nashville
Lake Tahoe, Nevada and California
Look no further than Lake Tahoe for a smaller New Year’s Eve that will carry over those winter wonderland dreams from Christmas. Heavenly Mountain Resort hosts the action in South Lake Tahoe, with live music, entertainers, and ice sculpting leading up to the world’s only “Gondola Ball Drop” in conjunction with the Times Square ball drop in New York City. The three-day SnowGlobe Music Festival, which takes place on the south side and coincides with New Year’s Eve, also features some of today’s top artists. The big party takes place on the north side of the lake at Squaw Valley, with live music, fireworks (best viewed from KT Base Bar), and an after-party at the Olympic House. If you want an urban New Year’s Eve with a twist,
Heavenly Holidays display in Lake Tahoe
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