By Kenya Barrett
As the holiday season approaches, people from all across the world are preparing for festive celebrations of all sorts. There are turkeys made from scratch for family meals, secret Santa gift exchanges, and beautiful holiday-inspired decorations.
However, New Year's brings about a certain level of excitement that tops any other holiday. Here are 5 of the best cities to celebrate New Year's in the U.S.!
Ah, the City of Angels. Known for its diversity, culture, and ever-growing young population, Los Angeles has definitely become a place filled with fun and adventure — especially for party-goers. Hip spots such as Santa Monica Pier and West Hollywood serve not only as tourist attractions but also great places to dance and celebrate the coming of the new year. Santa Monica Pier continues its tradition of fireworks during the midnight countdown.
Other areas also include Long Beach, the Griffith Observatory, and Universal Studios. There is also an abundance of NYE dance parties scattered throughout clubs all over the city, in addition to classy soirees nestled atop roofs that overlook Downtown Los Angeles.
New York City
The big apple has become quite famous for its NYE celebrations due to the beloved Time Square Ball Drop. Located on the roof of One Times Square, the ball descends a flagpole just at the touch of midnight. This signifies the new year and is followed by a number of performances from several musicians, singers, and celebrities.
Some popular faces to have performed at the New York City celebration include Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Taylor Swift. This tradition is a staple for NYE celebrations in NYC, as it gathers approximately 1 million spectators annually.
In addition to the tropical weather and Latin-inspired eats of the city, Miami is definitely a hotspot during the holiday season - especially during NYE. A popular destination for snowbirds to flock to during the cold months, Miami maintains its reputation as a party city. Most visitors head straight to South Beach where they can enjoy all of what Ocean Drive has to offer.
With numerous bars, hotels, clubs, and restaurants, Ocean Drive is a solid choice for NYE celebrations. You can grab a frozen beverage at Wet Willies before heading down to the Clevelander for a quick swim at the outdoor pool/bar while listening to live DJs spin. You can also check out Bayfront Park to enjoy the live firework show that occurs right as the new year rolls in.
It’s no surprise that “Music City” made its way to this list as one of the best destinations to celebrate NYE. Similar to the ball drop in Time Square, Nashville also has their own live celebration that features a number of performances from several country music artists. In addition to delightful sounds of country music, the city will host an eclectic firework show and bring in the new year with their signature “Music Note Drop”.
Some great places to hang nearby and take in the fun of the city include the Sambuca Nashville supperclub and the Bicentennial Mall State Park. You could also cruise through the Cumberland River on the General Jackson Showboat while enjoying some fresh authentic southern cuisine.
Good ole’ NOLA - the city that’s filled with good drinks, great eats, and even better music. Known as the birthplace of jazz, “The Big Easy,” is already popular for its annual Mardi Gras celebration, and has since developed a reputation as another destination in the U.S. that is guaranteed to give you a good time. Visitors can head right over to Bourbon Street, where they can indulge in some delicious Southern foods as well as an array of drinks from the surrounding bars.
Several live celebrations also occur within the city as well. Visitors can head to Jackson Square to enjoy the live Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve stream while awaiting the Fleur De Lis Drop. Additionally, people can enjoy the Allstate Sugar Bowl Parade, which is hosted earlier in the day and is free of charge!