Think "New Year’s Eve" and you daydream of confetti, clinking champagne glasses, and midnight renditions of Auld Lang Syne. It’s official: you’re a full-on New Year’s Eve aficionado and you deserve to ring in 2017 somewhere extra special. True, you can find a party in every city but there are a handful here in the U.S. that know how to party so well that they are worth a last minute flight.
So, pull out your suitcase, pack your cocktail party best, and book your ticket because here are six cities for (almost) every kind of partier:
The Traditionalist: New York, New York
There's nowhere stateside that's more iconic on New Year’s Eve than the Big Apple. And nowhere more iconic in The City that watching the ball drop at Times Square. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because The City has countless venues where you can have an unforgettable countdown to 2017. To escape the crowds, head to the NoMad Hotel where you can choose among a four-course menu by chef Daniel Humm, a red sauce-fest at the bar, or a rooftop party to remember. Or, if you want to start the New Year on a healthier note, head to Central Park and join in the NYRR Midnight Run.
The Beach Babe: Maui, Hawaii
It's been a long year and you deserve a break, so you’re looking to ring in the New Year with a Mai Tai and good vibes. We say head west and don’t stop until you land in Maui. Some of the best hotels on the island host some great NYE parties from a swankier celebration at the Ritz-Carlton to a full-on feast at the Drums of the Pacific Luau. But for a truly unforgettable experience, head to the top of Haleakala to see the first sunrise of the New Year.
The Historian: San Francisco, California
Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, Chinatown...there are plenty of reasons for history buffs to head to San Francisco and a New Year’s Eve vacation will let you check out all of the sites while still partying like it’s, well, New Year's. If you want to combine the two, grab a ticket for a New Year’s Eve cruise so that you can enjoy the fireworks beneath one of the country’s most spectacular pieces of architecture: the Golden Gate Bridge. If you want a less “touristy” option, you can gather some supplies and friends and have a New Year's Eve bonfire at Ocean Beach.
The Live Music Lover: Portland, Oregon
It’s no surprise that, in what’s arguably the nation’s hipster capital, you can find great live music on New Year’s Eve. You can also find a slew of craft beer pubs to check out before the countdown starts at midnight. Bridgeport Brewpub is the oldest craft brewery in Oregon, and is a must for any beer connoisseur because of their awesome drink selection to suit any taste – and they offer some seriously delicious food to accompany your beer (with incredible vegan options). For some live music, head to Holocene for a night of dancing and drinks.
The Sophisticated Sipper: Sonoma, California
The truth is, you won’t find all of the glitz and glamour of a big city New Year’s in wine country, but that might just be perfect. Head to the larger wineries for parties hosted in their wine caves and cellars or spend your evening the “Alchemy Party” at the Healdsburg gem, Spoon Bar.
The Party Animal: New Orleans, Louisiana
No surprise here: people like to party in New Orleans. And, in true NOLA fashion, the celebrations are tailored to the city’s culture and symbols. Take the midnight countdown, for example: rather than dropping a glittering ball to mark the midnight toll, New Orleans has its own descending fleur-de-lis. After watching that — and an incredible fireworks display — you can head to the famous Bourbon Street for a party you won’t soon forget. Now there are a few world-famous bars you should check out, but don’t leave without checking out Bourbon “O” and Old Absinthe House. If you’re still partying on after these suggestions, head over to bring in 2017 at the night clubs in the French Quarter.
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Opening photo by Lumina