New Year’s Eve comes but once a year, and since my husband and I travel a lot we are searching for a nice romantic place to go that is fun, but not too wild. And it seems finding the right place to celebrate is always a challenge. So whether you’re of the raucous type, or simply looking to sip on some bubbles under an impressive fireworks display, here are the best cities in the US to ring in the new year.

For A Wild Party

New Orleans

Everyone knows that NOLA can throw a good bash. So when one of the most important holidays of the year rolls around, you can count on the Big Easy to rise to the occasion. The city kicks off NYE with a parade down Elysian Fields Avenue before heading to Jackson Square for live music, fireworks, and a fleur-de-lis drop. And if that isn’t enough, New Orleans’ epic cocktail scene, bar-lined streets, and long list of celebrations – Marché’s New Year’s Eve, Bourbon Vieux New Year’s Eve Bash, New Year’s Eve at the Riverview Room – are sure to satisfy even the liveliest of tastes. We were thinking about going here, and this is on the top of our list, so we will definitely keep you updated if this is our spot we choose.

Los Angeles

In a city dominated by A-list celebs, stylish residents, and world-class cocktail bars, city soirees are nothing new. Swanky black-tie parties, hipster-style shindigs, chic hotel parties – LA‘s list of celebrations run the gamut, so there’s something for everyone. But if you’re the life of the party, there’s more than enough to choose from, including the following: New Year’s Eve Aboard the Queen Mary, New Year’s Ball at The Edison, SoHo Dance 007 Masquerade Ball NYE 2017, Grand Park New Year’s Eve LA, and A Dream Disco at the Ace Hotel. My husband and I are in Los Angeles area 4 times a year, so being here doesn’t really interest us either for NYE.


The club scene in Miami is sizzling year-round; on NYE, this Latin seaside city goes bananas. Spend the night aboard one of the many high-profile yacht parties sipping on Cuba Libres and Mojitos; attend a fireworks gala; or ring in the new year on South Beach. If a bar is more your style, the city hosts a staggering list of celebrations – such as those at The Regent Cocktail Club and The Rec Room. We are not that interested in Mimai, as this is a great place to go, we travel a lot here too.

Las Vegas

If you’re looking to get buck wild with no regard for the morning-after hangover, Las Vegas is your ticket to success. This city’s madness is only amplified during New Year’s Eve, so expect a whole bunch of crazy, packed nightclubs, and parties that will last well past dawn. Las Vegas is on our list, however I just spent a week of work there so I am unsure I would want to go back so soon. I think I am looking for more culture.


In Austin, finding a party is easy. Head down the bar-filled Sixth Street, settle into one of the neighborhood joints for some live music or ring in the new year in style at the W Hotel. Although we usually do not pick Austin as a vacation spot, it does look cool!


New York City

Thinking of NYE in the Big Apple most likely conjures up images of watching the ball drop in Times Square. But that means braving the cold and the crowds. Not your cup of tea? Don’t worry – the City That Never Sleeps is filled with classy cocktail bars, top-notch restaurants, copious luxury hotels, and more NYE parties than one can count. My husband and I a few years ago did this experience, we were very unimpressed to stand it gates for that long, as the gate pens, some were not even close or visible to see the center stage. We are however in New York a lot for work so as when you live somewhere it becomes less impressive, where you just try to stay away from tourists and large crowds.

New Year's Eve in Times Square New York City working with NBC | © Anthony Quintano/Flickr

For A Relaxing NYE


Looking to take it easy this New Year’s? Providence, known for its stellar art scene, is where lovers of theater and performance art come to celebrate – even the town’s NYE party, Bright Night Providence, is centered around the arts. So if you hate the crowds and seek a small-town vibe, this is it. I am not interested in Providence during the winter months, however I have never taking my kids here and would love to sometime as there are places where wild horses run free.


A trip to Dallas is bound to leave your stomach full. Although a go-to spot for big-name restaurants, Dallas lacks in the party sector. So if your ideal NYE means eating at a lovely restaurant and going home early, Dallas might be for you.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe may not be a wild weekend spot, but its old-world charm and cultural scene captivate all who visit. The city is usually defined as peaceful and quiet, so those looking to celebrate NYE can head to Santa Fe Plaza to find a bonfire and hot chocolate. Plus, there are tons of museums, galleries, vintage and antique stores, and cool boutiques.


Santa Fe | Public Domain/Pixabay

For The Best Fireworks

San Francisco

San Francisco‘s New Year’s fireworks display is one of the best – if not the best – in the nation. Thousands of people travel near and far to watch colors explode over the waterfront. Grab a seat south of the Ferry Building for the best view, or take a drive to Treasure Island to see the lights sparkle over the city. You can also book a fireworks cruise – complete with dinner, drinks, and dancing under the stars.



Denver may be cold, but the annual fireworks make it worth the chill. Plus, the city is known for first-rate restaurants and a plethora of microbrews. And in case one fireworks show isn’t enough, catch them both: one at 9pm and the other at midnight.

Happy New Year | © Jakob Nilsson-Ehle/Flickr

For The Family

Salt Lake City

If you’re planning to spend the night with the kiddos, there is no mountain town more family-friendly than the great Salt Lake City. There are three nights of family-fun activities and music in downtown leading up to the new year, without the rowdy club scene. An added bonus? This is one of the most affordable cities in the US.



With Walt Disney World and Universal Studios at your fingertips, heading to Orlando with the fam is an obvious choice. An impressive fireworks display, lessened crowds, and rides make this destination perfect for kids, too. Walt Disney World hosts an annual NYE Party at the convention center – an all-ages event with food, music, and libations for the adults.

Disney World | Public Domain/Pixabay

For A Romantic NYE


Quaint B&Bs, antique shops, horse-drawn carriages, and an elegant cobblestone-lined French Quarter – Charleston radiates charm. This Southern town, even during New Year’s Eve, keeps a low profile. There are plenty of restaurants to ‘cheers’ over a glass of bubbly with your loved one: 492 offers a five-course pre-fixe, 5Church Charleston hosts a three-course, champagne dinner with an open bar until 2am, and Barony Tavern puts on a four-course meal, highlighting dishes like sweetbreads and veal tenderloin.



Another Southern gem, Savannah is upping the ante with a few more celebrations than its sister town, Charleston. Snag a ticket to the classy New Year’s Eve Sultry Masquerade or Diamond Gala, or keep it casual with fireworks at Tybee Pier and live music at City Market. No matter the event, this historic town is blooming with romance.


For couples looking for a relaxing retreat, there’s no better locale than Hawaii itself. Honolulu puts on a number of luau celebrations, accompanied by fireworks over crystal blue waters. Cruise parties are also an option, so set sail with your honey and watch the fireworks over the islands.

Savannah | © Jeff Gunn/Flickr

For An Affordable NYE


For many, December 31st is an over-hyped holiday that leaves a hole in your wallet. But celebrating New Year’s doesn’t have to be pricey. Atlanta, one of the more affordable metropolises, offers plenty of places downtown to watch the peach drop at midnight. While these won’t be the most stylish of hotels, they will keep your bank account happy. Plus, the city hosts a selection of free parties should you need to spice up your night.


Home to honky-tonks and bluegrass, Nashville‘s live music scene makes this city hard to pass up. And with a massive – and free – NYE party hosted at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park every year, even the most budget-conscious partiers have no reason to miss it. There’s a fireworks display, confetti, and a massive ‘music note drop’ at midnight. Did we mention it’s free?

San Antonio

Every year, San Antonio hosts a free New Year’s Eve party that covers the center of the town, and along the iconic River Walk. Restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops all participate, offering a free celebration for all: fireworks, local parties, and live music. The city is also known for having inexpensive hotels, plus there are countless affordable restaurants dishing out everything from down-home BBQ to ethnic eats.

San Antonio | © Pedro Szekely/Flickr


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