Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in the U.S.
New Year’s Eve is one of the most magical nights of the year. Celebrated the world over, this holiday is full of fun, fireworks, and fancy.
If you are looking for the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the US, then this list should help you narrow down your options. Different cities and regions in the US celebrate this special day in different ways, so find the one that would fit you best.
Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic end to your year, a family looking for something kid-friendly, or a single looking to party the night away, the US has something for everyone. For where to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the best places to go, and things to see, here are 12 locations in the US that will help you ring in the new year just right.
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Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve. Events are happening throughout the city, so there is something for everyone.
If you are looking for a more family-friendly New Year’s party, check out downtown’s Grand Park. The event is alcohol-free with plenty of food trucks and lives music. But for the adults, there are bars open nearby and the event goes until 1 am.
For something a little different, try the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach. Its international theme offers live entertainment, unique bars, and fireworks at midnight. And at the historic Union Station, there is a Roaring ‘20s themed party with live jazz music, deejays, burlesque dancers, and an open bar. Los Angeles is a great city to spend New Year’s, either with family, friends, or your other half.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Hollywood Orchid Suites has received great reviews, in part because of its central location just south of the Hollywood Hills. These converted apartments offer plenty of space, a full kitchen, secure and cheap below-ground parking, and breakfast is included. Check out hotel rates here.
New York City, New York
The iconic ball drop in Times Square – of course, it made the list. New York City has one of the biggest parties in the US on New Year’s Eve. This is the perfect place to celebrate this special night, especially if you like your parties loud and crazy.
But it’s not just the party in Times Square. At this time of year, you can also go skating at Rockefeller Center, take pictures with the huge decorated tree there, stroll Fifth Avenue to window shop and see the holiday storefronts, or head to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to see the elaborate Christmas light displays.
New York City definitely has one of the best New Year’s Eve parties in the US. But it is also a fun place for families and couples who want to enjoy the spirit of the holidays before watching the ball drop at midnight.
New York might have a ball, but Atlanta has a peach – a nearly 800-pound peach that drops in the downtown shopping and entertainment district called Underground Atlanta. If you are looking for a fun place to spend New Year’s Eve, this southern city is a great choice.
Before the peach drop, the downtown area rolls out lots of local foods and drinks, entertainers, deejays, and famous musicians – all for free, which is great if you are looking to be frugal without sacrificing on the fun.
For sports lovers, particularly football fans, Atlanta hosts the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl earlier in the afternoon. There’s also the Bungalow Ball and the Buckhead NYE Block Party. Atlanta is a fun place to spend your New Year’s Eve in the US.
Where to Stay in Atlanta, Georgia
Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel is a good choice if you are looking to stay near downtown Atlanta and within easy reach of the airport. The hotel gets great reviews for its excellent service, modern décor, and value. Check out hotel rates here.
Las Vegas, Nevada
For the best party destination for New Year’s Eve, look no further than Las Vegas. The Vegas Strip is famous for crazy and wild fun, and they provide that on New Year’s Eve, too. This is perfect for singles, couples, and friends who want to party the night away.
The Strip is closed from the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning, making it pedestrian-only – so get there early, or have a hotel room overlooking the boulevard (if you can get one). There are a countdown and fireworks at midnight.
If you want to go fancy, many of the fine dining restaurants offer packages that include a coursed dinner, a view, and champagne at midnight – some even have live entertainment and dancing. For a different type of dancing, head to the nightclubs in the casinos, which often have celebrity deejays and guests. Vegas is the perfect place to party on NYE.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas, Nevada
Vdara Hotel & Spa is a non-gaming, all-suite hotel located right in the middle of the strip, which means you have access to all the dining, nightlife, and views with fewer crowds and noise. This hotel is popular with couples and dog owners because of the special dog-friendly suites and spa services. Check out hotel rates here.
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
New Year’s Eve is definitely not just for adults. If you plan to ring in the new year, then you’re going to need a place that is perfect for both kids and adults.
Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the best family destination for New Year’s Eve. No matter your age, it’s impossible not to be dazzled here. The most popular way to end the last day of the year is to head to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where you can see the amazing Magic Kingdom fireworks from the California Grill.
Disney is known for its elaborate experiences and fun atmosphere, and New Year’s Eve is no different. Check out the Atlantic Dance Party at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort for its yummy food, lively music, and exciting atmosphere. Disney offers plenty of packages to fit every family’s needs.
Where to Stay in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney World Swan is a great choice as it is located in the heart of the Disney resort. With access to shopping, restaurants, private beaches, and rooms with views, families coming to enjoy the iconic park will love the amenities and location. Check out rates here.
San Antonio, Texas
If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in comfort, then you might want to check out San Antonio. Instead of bundling up to watch fireworks in Times Square, you could be enjoying the mild weather of this city in the south of Texas.
The San Antonio Riverwalk is gorgeous year-round, but on December 31st, it becomes even livelier. The celebration starts at 5 pm with rides, food, and multiple stages set up for live entertainment. If you prefer sitting down for a nice meal, the River Walk restaurants and bars usually offer packages and specials. You can enjoy a prix-fixe dinner along with private seating. The evening is capped off with a midnight fireworks show.
San Antonio is a fun place to celebrate the new year with friends, a loved one, or on your own. No parka required.
Where to Stay in San Antonio, Texas
Menger Hotel is located right in the heart of the downtown area, making it a perfect base for visits to the Alamo, River Walk, and other landmarks. This hotel gets very high ratings for its location and is a favorite among couples. Check out hotel rates here.
Woodloch Pines, Poconos, Pennsylvania
New Year’s Eve can be an extremely busy holiday, and sometimes you just want to sit back and relax. Woodloch Pines is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the US and they host an incredible New Year’s Eve celebration. Located in the picturesque Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania, Woodloch Pines offers a four-day package that culminates with festivities on the 31st of December.
This is one of the best choices for spending New Year’s Eve with your family. For four days, you can partake in tons of family-friendly games, including gingerbread wars, reindeer racing, and log hunts. Your package includes accommodations, meals, and all activities.
There are live music and fireworks. If you want to ring in the new year with a fun, relaxing experience that the whole family can enjoy, then Woodloch Pines is the place. Check out the hotel here.
Most New Year’s Eve celebrations have live music, but no one does it better than Nashville, Tennessee – also known as Music City. This city is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve if you want to party with stunning visuals and music.
Nashville offers their Bash on Broadway, which is free of charge and features several great musicians and bands performing. At midnight, you have their unique Music Note drop, along with fireworks and confetti cannons.
That’s not the only party in town though. The well-known Ryman Auditorium, as well as other venues and popular bars, throw their own events and celebrations. Or you can get a New Year’s Eve ticket from MStreet, which owns a handful of Nashville’s best bars and restaurants.
This gets you into four separate parties. Nashville is one of the best towns in the US to celebrate NYE.
Where to Stay in Nashville, Tennessee
Hyatt House Nashville at Vanderbilt is located right in the downtown area, making it easy to explore the city from your hotel. It is highly rated for its value, exceptional staff, and complimentary buffet breakfast served daily. Check out hotel rates here.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
Are you looking for a smaller and more intimate way to spend New Year’s Eve? Lake Tahoe, which sits on the border of both Nevada and California is a great place to spend New Year’s Eve for couples and singles.
Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe offers a more romantic winter wonderland theme. You can enjoy live music, entertainers, and ice sculpting. When midnight comes, you can watch the one-of-a-kind Gondola Ball drop. If you want more of a party atmosphere, then try the north side of the lake. Squaw Valley offers live music, fireworks, and an after-party at the Olympic House.
As another option, you can slip away for a night to Reno, Nevada (about 30 miles away) to see the fireworks show on the Reno Arch or go dancing at the clubs, which have live entertainment. Otherwise, gorgeous Lake Tahoe makes the perfect romantic destination for New Year’s Eve for couples in the US.
Where to Stay at Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
Grand Residences by Marriot-Lake Tahoe is located in the Heavenly Village and right by the ski gondola, giving you great access to the resort’s events and skiing. This hotel is great for couples and a quick walk to dining, shopping, and casino venues. Check out rates here.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Year’s Eve may be in the middle of winter, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be cold. Head down to New Orleans, Louisiana to spend NYE at one of the best party cities in the US.
The famous French Quarter is the place to be. Entertainers and bands perform all night, and at midnight, fireworks are set off over the Mississippi River after the Fleur de Lis drop. Or you could watch the fireworks from the Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez right on the water. Afterward, head over to visit some of the bars and nightclubs that line Bourbon Street.
If you want to visit one of the most famous party destinations in the US for New Year’s Eve, you can’t go wrong with New Orleans. The Big Easy has great weather, friendly people, and bars open late. Their motto: Laissez les bon temps rouler.
Where to Stay in New Orleans, Louisiana
A 5-minute walk from infamous Bourbon Street, Hotel Le Marais is known for its fun atmosphere and location. This French Quarter hotel is great for couples or singles who want to have a base in the heart of the city for easy access to the best attractions. Check out rates here.
Sunriver Resort, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest also has some great New Year’s Eve destinations for families. One of the best can be found in Oregon – Sunriver Resort.
This resort is perfect for families as they have age-appropriate entertainment for everyone. For kids, there are ice cream sundaes, arcade games, and sparkling cider for the East Coast countdown (which is at 9 pm in Oregon, so you can still get the kids to bed at a decent hour). There’s a separate party just for teens, and adults can head to their own celebration.
During the rest of your stay, you can enjoy sleigh rides, dinner buffets, arts and crafts, and snowmobiling. On January 1st, you can start the year off with a polar-bear plunge – if you dare. Sunriver Resort really makes NYE fun for the whole family.
Check out the resort rates here.
San Francisco, California
If you are looking for something a little more urbane and fancy, then your city of choice should be San Francisco, California. Located right off the bay, you’ll be able to see spectacular fireworks show over the water. Cruises are also available that include brunch and dinner before the show starts.
As for fancy, attend the San Francisco Symphony’s fabulous Black and White Ball, or the Passport to the World New Year’s Eve Ball, which offers live music, a variety of deejays, entertainers, and an open bar.
Another great way to celebrate the new year in San Francisco is to head to the highest points in the city, such as the rooftops of Embarcadero or Twin Peaks, to watch the midnight fireworks. San Francisco is a unique and beautiful city to spend New Year’s Eve, especially for couples and singles.
Where to Stay in San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Hotel is perfect for exploring San Francisco. Rated highly for its excellent staff, unique décor, pet-friendly policy, and location, this hotel is a great base for seeing the city’s most famous attractions. Check out rates here.
Everyone wants to have a great New Year’s Eve, so they can start the next year off right. For couples, singles, and families, there is something for everyone – whether you want to party, relax, go all-inclusive, or bar-hop the night away. I hope this list has helped you figure out the best place to go and cities to visit in the US for New Year’s Eve.
Looking for the best destinations in the US to visit in the winter? Then find out about the best getaways here.
About the Author:
This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it.
She works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.