Yes, New York is the city everyone associates with New Year’s Eve: the dropping of the Big Apple, the enormous crowds in Times Square, the TV specials. But there’s a reason why you won’t find many New Yorkers in the Times Square crowd: Being wedged for hours between half a million celebrants packed like sardines is a bit overrated — not to mention the exorbitant prices on hotel rooms and beverages.
So with that in mind, here are 5 great cities other than New York to spend New Year’s. And remember to book all your New Year’s travel plans through DubLi.com for great deals and Cash Back.
The Riverfront is always the place to find action and people-watch in Savannah, featuring plenty of restaurants and bars. City Market has a New Year’s Eve celebration that locals and visitors have enjoyed for years. Live outdoor music continues throughout the evening and restaurants are open to help you celebrate. For a more relaxing New Year’s Eve, you can even take a riverboat cruise down the Savannah River, getting an incredible, unobstructed view of the fireworks. Another option is to take a 30-minute ride to Tybee Island for the annual beach fireworks display.
Another Southern city that really knows how to throw a party, The Big Easy is just as much fun on New Year’s Eve as it is for Mardi Gras. The main event is a thrilling 15-minute fireworks show on the Mississippi River, along with the Fleur de Lis drop, where “Baby New Year” is dropped from the roof of the Jax Brewery in Jackson Square. For the hearty partier, the night doesn’t have to end there: you can stagger on down to Bourbon Street and the Latin Quarter, where music booms from bars and nightclubs, and the streets remain bustling until the wee hours. Just take it easy on the Hurricanes from Pat O’Briens — they pack quite a punch!
The City of Angels’ vast expanse and endless diversity enables it to provide a wide array of New Year’s festivities, from enormous street parties to formal black-tie events and all-night club blowouts. One of the free events taking place in the city covers Grand Park and beyond where numerous stages are set up with live entertainment, along with numerous food vendors throughout.
If you’re a sucker for velvet-rope affairs, then head to Hollywood for the annual Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball at the Egyptian Theatre. DJs spin the hottest tracks, an LED light show takes place and a balloon drop and confetti blast kick off the new year.
You can even head a half-hour south to Anaheim for Disneyland’s family-friendly New Year’s extravaganza. And for those with small children, you can stay for the 9 pm fireworks show and call it an early night!
The Second City might not be the top U.S. metropolis associated with New Year’s Eve, but there are still plenty of things to do, from firework cruises in the Chicago River to family-friendly events at Navy Pier.
The Pier offers all the entertainment, rides and attractions you can handle, along with a kaleidoscope of colorful fireworks that are perfectly synchronized with music, that burst over Lake Michigan. The Chicago Resolution Gala is another place to head if you plan on mingling and dancing the night away. Here you will find over 30 bars, buffet stations and access to the Grand Ballroom and the Lakeview Terrace. Or head to one of the many hotels that host awesome parties with superb entertainment. Yes, it will be raucous, crowded, loud — and you will have a fantastic time.
The West Coast hipster mecca boasts soirees aplenty for New Year’s Eve. If you’re in the mood for a casual celebration, visit the vast array of craft brew pubs for lively conversation and great beer. If you’re more of fancy-pants type, then the Champagne Ball at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower is right up your alley.
Another option: the Rose City’s bustling music scene usually offers a variety of New Year’s eve concerts — you can check out everything from indie rock jams to symphony performances. And for something totally different, you can make your way to the Sobriety Powwow, a non-alcoholic event run by the Native American Rehabilitation Association that features drum groups and traditional Native dancing.