Great Travel Destinations For New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve brings about feelings of excitement and optimism in many of us. It’s a celebration of one year ending and another beginning, an opportunity to set new goals, and a time to start fresh. And there’s no doubt: it’s cause for festivities! There are so many unique celebrations happening across the country and beyond, so we’ve compiled a list of 13 fabulous New Year’s Eve getaways to help you decide where to to ring in this New Year. While it’d be easy to put a place like New York City on the list, we wanted to spotlight some lesser known but equally special spots (but don’t worry—there re a few classic staples here, too). Whether you’re into palm tree paradises, vibrant party towns, or snowy ski villages, prepare for an unforgettable midnight countdown in one of these awesome cities.
When it’s time to book your New Year’s Eve getaway, TripAdvisor can help plan your whole itinerary. We check up to 200 booking sites to bring you the lowest price on hotels, plus we have thousands of bookable tours, excursions, attraction tickets, and more directly on our site. Our new 24-hour cancellation policy (for in-destination experiences) means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.
From the Hawaiian islands to the Florida Keys (and many places in between), here are 13 destinations sure to give you an unforgettable New Year’s Eve escape!
Key West, Florida
The vibrant city of Key West is a New Year’s Eve getaway for those who love to let loose and embrace their inner party animal (responsibly, of course). While there is much to do in Key West on the night of December 31st, our favorite may be the lowering of a drag queen on Duval Street from atop one of the city’s iconic island bars. This boisterous and joyful event is even televised every year on CNN. There are plenty of other fun things to do during your stay, like a visit to Dry Tortugas National Park where you can snorkel around the reefs, swim, or lay out and relax. Experience the beautiful park by catamaran on this memorable day trip.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is pretty much the mothership as far as incredible nightlife goes, making it a New Year’s Eve destination like no other. On NYE, the entire Las Vegas Strip is shut down to traffic and the streets fill up with celebrators. At midnight, the casinos launch an enormous, can’t-miss fireworks show to ring in the New Year. Of course, there is plenty more to do during your stay. The High Roller, a giant ferris wheel and the largest observation wheel in the world, offers a 30-minute Happy Hour with full bar in your own enclosed pod. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring “O” by Cirque du Soleil show at the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Stay in style in one of Las Vegas’s beautiful homes or apartments available for rent.
There’s something magical about the start of a new year, so what better place to spend New Year’s Eve in Orlando than at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? The resort’s “Fantasy in the Sky” celebration is complete with an incredible fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle. While in Orlando, also consider a visit to Universal Studios, home to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and much more). A show by the famous Blue Man Group will make for a fun and memorable night out on Orlando during your New Year’s Eve getaway. Opt for a nearby rental as your accommodation and you’ll avoid the hustle and bustle of staying directly at one of the resorts.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and a New Year’s Eve destination that won’t disappoint. Every year, Queen Victoria Park throws a free New Year’s Eve concert that draws over 50,000 people for a night of music, fireworks, and celebration. During your stay, check out a “Best of Niagara Falls Tour” where you’ll hit the observation deck of Skylon Towers, then visit Journey Behind the Falls, where you’ll walk through windowed tunnels looking out to the underside of Horseshoe Falls. Escape the cold on a Half-Day Beer Cider and Wine Tour led by an experienced and friendly guide.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park is a place of beauty, peace and tranquility, especially during the winter months when fewer tourists are visiting. Zion Lodge offers a great New Years Package including an overnight stay for two and a lodge social complete with a DJ, complementary champagne, and a countdown to midnight followed by fireworks. Make the most of your visit by exploring the park on a guided hike with The Wildland Trekking Company. If you plan on visiting Zion National Park from nearby Las Vegas, consider booking a Zion and Bryce Canyon Small Group Tour, where you’ll experience the immense beauty of both parks with to-and-from transportation included. Nearby cabins and homes are available for rent at Zion National Park for a private and cozy stay.
South Lake Tahoe, California
There is lots to do in South Lake Tahoe during your New Years getaway. Guests can enjoy live music and a three-day-long New Years celebration during the SnowGlobe Music Festival, which takes place from December 28th through 31st. Check out the Heavenly Holiday New Years Celebration for its famous Gondola Ball Drop followed by an incredible fireworks display. This time of year is perfect for skiers and snowboarders, so consider renting some gear from Powder House Ski and Snowboard and ringing in the New Year on the slopes. For an intimate and authentic cabin stay in South Lake Tahoe, consider lodging in one of many available rental properties.
Seattle is well known for its iconic Space Needle, but the impressive and lesser known Columbia Center is actually the city’s tallest building. On New Year’s Eve you can celebrate in “high” style on its observation deck, drinking champagne and watching the fireworks from the sky. During your Seattle New Years getaway, be sure to hit historic Pike Place Market, and consider joining a Food and Cultural Walking Tour of the market to get the most out of your visit. Another can’t-miss Seattle attraction is Chihuly Garden and Glass, a fantastic display of intricate glass sculptures and demonstrations from glass blowers themselves.
New Years Eve falls in the middle of winter, but you can leave your coats and scarves at home on a New Years getaway to Honolulu. Kick off the New Year in Honolulu at its annual “Party of the Year” celebration at Aloha Stadium, where live music will have you dancing all night. The island of Oahu is surrounded by some of the world’s most spectacular reefs, and you can get up close and personal with the colorful sea life on a Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise. Immerse yourself in Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty on a Manoa Waterfall Small Group Adventure, where you’ll be guided by a local hiking expert to Oahu’s tallest accessible waterfall and visit famous movie locations. Honolulu is an awesome destination for visitors desiring the tranquility and ease of a beautiful rental property.
Atlanta’s New Years Eve claim to fame is its annual Peach Drop. The free celebration includes live music, food, and of course, the lowering of a giant peach as the clock ticks down to midnight. The Georgia Aquarium is considered one of the most extraordinary aquariums in the country, making it well worth a visit. For the travelling foodie, experience 15 food tastings and learn about the city’s history on Atlanta’s Southern Food Tour. To make the most of your stay, getting an Atlanta CityPass will save you loads on admissions prices while gaining you access to some of Atlanta’s best attractions.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Year’s Eve tradition in New Orleans is to head to Jackson Square for an epic celebration in the famed French Quarter. . This is followed by a spectacular show of fireworks over the Mississippi, making New Orleans a fabulous New Years getaway for your inner party animal. While in Nola, consider visiting one of Louisiana’s last protected wetlands on a New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Tour, where you’ll explore hard to reach areas and see a Cajun village. New Orleans has an incredible food scene, and you’ll get to experience some of the city’s most delicious eats on a Food and Walking Tour of the French Quarter. Vacation rentals are plentiful in New Orleans, whether you prefer a quaint cabin, stately manor, or something in between.
Portland knows a thing or two about ringing in the New Year. The annual Champagne Ball in downtown Portland is an all night party with live music, DJs, dancing, 18 bars, food, and nonstop celebration. Portland is a beautiful city with so much to see it can be hard to plan an itinerary, so consider booking a Best of Portland City Afternoon Tour. You’ll visit some of the city’s top attractions while your friendly guide handles the details (entry fees, transportation, etc.) Portland is home to incredible local wine and beer, so check out the Willamette Valley Wine-Tasting Tour or the Portland Brewery Bike Tour and enjoy some of the best the area has to offer.
In Savannah, the high energy “Rockin’ New Years Eve” show at the Historic Savannah Theatre, which is followed up with champagne and an all night dance party, making this Southern city an epic New Year’s destination. The fun doesn’t stop after midnight, however, as there is so much more to experience in Savannah. Known as one of America’s most haunted cities, several ghost tours of Savannah are available to experience a thrill while diving into the area’s history and culture. Take a stroll through some of Savannah’s most interesting and historic neighborhoods on a Savannah Walking Tour, a great way for first time visitors to experience the city. Charming homes and convenient downtown apartments are available for rent for your stay in Savannah.
Park City, Utah
Skiers, snowboarders, and mountain lovers, Park City may be the perfect New Year’s Eve destination for you. At Deer Valley Resort, 2018 marks the 55th annual Torchlight Parade, held on the night of December 30th. Sip complementary cider and hot cocoa while watching skiers descend Bald Eagle Mountain, lit up by the gorgeous glow of torches lining the run. The following night marks the annual Roaring Twenties New Years party, with dinner, dancing, and live entertainment all night long. If you left your gear at home, it’s easy to rent what you need to hit the slopes with one of these convenient ski and snowboard gear rental packages. Check out Utah Olympic Park to step back in time to the historic 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. As for lodging, end your day cozied up by the fire in your very own private rental property.