Scottsdale-Feature

Walt Disney World's New Year's Eve celebration.

There is nothing more fun than a New Year Celebration! From watching the famous ball drop in Times Square, NYC, to enjoying live performances in cities like Nashville or ringing in the New Year with a small group of friends and family at home to dancing the night away at the best parties in South Beach, there’s so much fun to be had on December 31st. Below is a list of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Here are unique places to spend New Year’s Eve in the world.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best Places to Spend New Year's in the USA

Best Places to Spend New Year’s in the USA:

A woman enjoying New Year's in Scottsdale - one of the best places for NYE in the USA.

Exciting New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve in Major USA Cities

New York, New York:

Ringing in the New Year in New York City's Times Square.

New York City, which never sleeps, offers a magical experience for ringing in the New Year. It’s no secret that it’s one of the best places for New Year’s Eve!

From the world-renowned, glittering ball drop in Times Square to the crowd’s energy counting down the final seconds to the sky lit by dazzling fireworks at midnight in Central Park, there’s no place like NYC to welcome in the New Year. It’s one thing to see the celebrations on television, but it lives up to its reputation to be there!

The fun doesn’t stop with the Times Square ball drop, though! Not only does New York City have some of the biggest parties, but you could also enjoy all the holiday décor, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park, see Broadway shows and sip a warm cocktail at one of the many Christmas bars.

Some of the best places to eat on New Year’s Eve include CUT by Wolfgang Puck, American Brass or a NYE dinner cruise around the East River and Hudson River. There is no shortage of unique venues to ring in the New Year in the city of New York!

For New Year’s Eve, it’s best to stay closer to Times Square, where most of the action is! Great hotel choices are The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, W New York – Times Square and New York Marriott Marquis.

The weather will be pretty chilly at the end of December, but the warmth and excitement of the city will keep you going. Bundle up and prepare for an unforgettable holiday season in NYC and enjoy one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA!

Submitted by Melissa of My Beautiful Passport.

Orlando, Florida:

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom fireworks - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Orlando is another popular destination for ringing in the New Year because there are many fun options no matter what you enjoy. As a bonus, you can spend as much time as you want outdoors for New Year’s since the weather is typically comfortable during late December in Central Florida, with highs in the 70s°F to lows in the 50s°F.

If you like theme parks, head to any Orlando park like Walt Disney World or Universal for festive events! The Magic Kingdom has spectacular fireworks displays at 11:50 pm on New Year’s Eve. Universal CityWalk offers free admission to their Midnight Celebration events with live music and a DJ to party into the New Year.

The Orlando Museum of Art has a more upscale New Year’s Eve event while Old Town in Kissimmee has an all-day celebration with a free fireworks show at midnight. Various hotels, including Marriott World Center, have fireworks you can enjoy from your balcony.

New Year’s is also a popular time for football in Orlando, with a couple of bowl games happening each year around the holidays. If you love NFL football or your team is headed to Orlando, don’t miss the parades and events leading up to the games.

Another reason why Orlando, Florida is one of the best places for New Year’s Eve is because you can still experience some of the best things to do in Orlando at Christmas, including seeing amazing Orlando Christmas lights. A few houses go all out and leave their displays until after New Year’s Day, so don’t miss out on the Clemwood Christmas Lights or the Jeater Bend Drive Christmas Lights.

Overall, Orlando has a lot of great options, no matter what you are looking for in your New Year’s celebration! From relaxing on your hotel balcony and watching the fireworks to partying at one of the parks to enjoying small-town Christmas displays, you’ll find plenty of events for the entire family in Orlando at New Year’s.

Submitted by Christine of Live Love Run Travel.

Las Vegas, Nevada:

Fremont Street Experience on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
Photo by Shannon of Three Days in Vegas.

Las Vegas, Nevada is another of the best places to visit for New Year’s in the United States!

Overall, Las Vegas is one of the most electrifying places on earth to ring in the New Year. The entire Las Vegas Strip comes alive on New Year’s Eve with live entertainment, amazing fireworks and the biggest parties.

Las Vegas has two main areas to celebrate the biggest party of the year – the famous Strip and Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas. The hotels and nightclubs along Las Vegas Boulevard host the best parties, with popular venues like MGM Grand, The Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace leading the way.

Multiple hotels have an incredible fireworks display along with live music and performances by world-class artists; there is no shortage of entertainment in Sin City!

The Fremont Street Experience also offers a unique and exciting time for visitors. With live performances on three stages, a pedestrian promenade filled with open-air bars and a wild circus-like atmosphere, it’s no wonder that locals and tourists flock here to ring in the New Year!

To make the most of your New Year’s Eve celebration in Las Vegas, booking accommodations months in advance is crucial. This holiday draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, so hotel rooms will be booked early. The same goes for restaurant reservations offering open bar packages or special prix fixe menus.

To fully enjoy your New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, it’s important to dress warmly if you plan on watching the fireworks outdoors. Temperatures in the city can be warm during the daytime but will drop close to freezing levels at night, so it’s best to layer. Also, if you plan on visiting nightclubs and special events, remember that most venues have strict dress codes.  

Arriving early to events is also vital to enjoying New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. To make the most of your night, it’s recommended that you arrive at the Strip or Fremont Street around 5 or 6 pm. By getting there ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of finding an excellent spot to watch the fireworks and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Submitted by Shannon of Three Days in Vegas.

Nashville, Tennessee:

Nashville's Big Bash for New Year's Eve.
Photo by Devon of Say Yes to the Trip.

Nashville has been named one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s in the world! This big and free event in the city is “Nashville’s Big Bash” at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, where you can enjoy live music, fireworks and the midnight Music City Note Drop.

There are also plenty of private ticketed events downtown that generally range from $50 to over $350 USD per person, such as The Twelve Thirty Club, Harriet’s Rooftop and many more.

While visiting Nashville, Tennessee, be sure to save time to explore the music scene that has made this city so popular. Consider touring iconic music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, Third Man Records and RCA Studio B.

Locals will tell you that staying in Nashville during New Year’s Eve can be hectic. However, you also don’t want to spend much on rideshares and taxis. Fairlane Hotel Nashville offers the perfect compromise! The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the famous attractions on Broadway but is far enough from the noise and crowds.

Predicting the weather in Nashville on New Year’s Eve can be challenging. You might encounter a “warm front” that pushes average high temperatures towards the mid 60s°F or cooler conditions that can be 10-15 degrees lower than usual. On December 31st, the temperatures in Nashville usually range from 47°F to 35°F. It’s best to dress warm, especially if you plan to be outside.

With a long night ahead of you, refuel with some of Nashville’s staples. Kickstart your day at Biscuit Love (try the bonuts) and then head to Hattie B’s for their legendary hot chicken. Finally, visit Husk to ring in the New Year for an elevated Southern dining experience.

Submitted by Devon of Say Yes to the Trip.

Miami, Florida:

Celebrations in Miami, Florida - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Undoubtedly, some of the best parties on New Year’s Eve happen in Miami. This city makes for an unforgettable New Year’s holiday with its world-famous nightlife, exciting beaches and various celebratory events.

There is a new level of liveliness in Miami during New Year’s. Wynwood, Downtown, the Design District and Miami Beach are the best neighborhoods for festive events and excellent hotel options like the Arlo, Mandarin Oriental and Nobu. Whether you’re seeking a rooftop party, trendy bar events or beach fireworks, Miami has it all for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration!

The most exciting countdown event can be found at Bayfront Park, where there’s live entertainment, New Year’s Eve fireworks and a Big Orange at the top of the InterContinental Miami.

You can undoubtedly find a memorable celebration throughout the entire city, especially at one of the many nightclubs. In addition to champagne toasts and dance parties, many famous live entertainers and celebrities attend numerous nightlife venues in Miami. A few of the guaranteed hotspots are E11even and LIV.

Miami is one of the best cities to visit in December! Hurricane season has passed and there’s less humidity with more comfortable temperatures. You can experience average highs in the upper 70s°F to lows in the upper 60s°F. There’ll also be plenty of sunny days to enjoy the various outdoor activities.

This city is also a great place for foodies. Various street food and trendy restaurants can be found in Wynwood, with some popular places being 1-800-LUCKY and Doya.

If you want to combine dinner and a New Year’s party in one location, there are several restaurants to choose from. These include Kiki on the River and Swan. Make sure you make reservations in advance.

Miami, Florida has plenty of awesome things to do no matter how long or short your trip is. Other great activities are exploring Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, sunset cruising and shopping at Bayside Marketplace.

Submitted by Tamara of My Elated Odyssey.

New Orleans, Louisiana:

New Year's Eve on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

New Orleans is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA because it offers a lot of exciting experiences. Known as the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana is defined by its rowdy jazz-inspired party atmosphere and some of the most kicking Cajun food. It’s a match made in heaven for New Year’s.

The French Quarter is the heartbeat of New Orleans. You can expect the restaurants and clubs in this portion of town, especially along Bourbon Street, to be lively regarding New Year’s celebrations. It will make you feel like you’re part of a massive block party, similar to Mardi Gras!

Aside from having a good time in the French Quarter and taking in all the city’s vibrant culture, there’s more to see in the Big Easy. Be sure to explore the historic Garden District, walk the old neighborhood and behold some classic New Orleans mansions. Don’t forget to check out the holiday decorations in Jackson Square and do a steamboat tour on the Mississippi River.

Some travelers may be surprised to learn about New Orleans’ ties to voodoo and paranormal activities. If you want to check out the spooky side of town, consider visiting The Historic Voodoo Museum or join one of the town’s many cemetery and ghost tours.

Nobody should leave the Big Easy without spending time on the bayou. Explore outside the city and hop aboard a New Orleans airboat tour. You’ll only need a light jacket for the mid 60s°F temperatures. The thrilling adventure in the swamp will guarantee memories that will last with you for years to come.

Beignets are a deep-fried French donut you must try during a New Orleans trip. One of the most iconic places to get them is at Café du Monde!

The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast is a lovely place to stay while ringing the New Year in New Orleans. The historic house is in an excellent location in the Garden District and has a timeless vibe. The authentic furniture in the staying rooms evokes a time long past.

Submitted by Candice of Exploring the Gulf.

Los Angeles, California:

A fireworks show in Los Angeles, California.

Another one of the best places to go at New Year’s is Los Angeles, California. Not only does LA host various parties, including family-friendly events and live entertainment dedicated to the coming year, but it also lets you find thousands of Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city that create a festive mood.

Don’t forget, all the fun in LA takes place in pleasantly cool (but not cold) weather with a fair amount of sunshine daily so you can have a cozy winter vacation on the West Coast!

The holiday season in Los Angeles usually kicks off in early December and includes various tree-lighting ceremonies, Christmas markets in different neighborhoods and seasonal performances.

You can see incredible Christmas lights and holiday decorations in The Grove, Downtown LA or at the Los Angeles Zoo and witness unique holiday boat parades in the harbors and marinas of Marina del Rey and Newport Beach.

For a fairytale New Year feel, if looking for a prominent party place, I’d recommend choosing a historic Queen Mary ship in Long Beach with multiple parties and fireworks over the harbor or the W Hollywood hotel with multiple themed rooms and live DJs. This awesome occasion is a reason why Los Angeles is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Numerous restaurants and resorts in Los Angeles also offer extraordinary New Year’s Eve dining experiences, often accompanied by live music or entertainment. Just make sure to book everything in advance.

Submitted by Anya of Road is Calling.

Best Cities to Spend New Year’s in the U.S.:

San Francisco, California:

A celebration in San Francisco, California - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

San Francisco, California is one of the best places on New Year’s Eve. San Francisco offers an unforgettable backdrop for New Year’s celebrations with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, eclectic neighborhoods, and beautiful waterfront.

This vibrant city is renowned for its cultural diversity, artistic spirit and culinary excellence, making it the perfect place in California to celebrate the beginning of a New Year.

A highlight of ringing in a New Year in San Francisco is watching the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay, best viewed from places like Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero or even a boat cruise offering front-row seats to the sky-lighting spectacle.

For those who prefer an elegant evening, there are also black-tie events, many in luxurious hotels like the Fairmont or The Ritz-Carlton. If you’re after something more relaxed, neighborhoods like the Castro, North Beach or Haight-Ashbury have lively bars and restaurants where you can celebrate in a more laid-back setting.

Beyond New Year’s events, there are plenty of things to do and see in San Francisco. You can visit Alcatraz, explore Golden Gate Park or ride on the historic cable cars. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a must-see for art enthusiasts.

You also won’t have trouble finding a good place to stay, ranging from boutique hotels in Union Square to cozy bed and breakfasts just outside the city. There’s something to fit every budget and preference! The Nob Hill Hotel is a fun and quirky place to stay if you want something unusual.

When it comes to food, San Francisco is a culinary paradise. The city offers a variety of world-class dining options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual eateries serving everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine. Sotto Mare is a top choice and Mourad is another local favorite, especially for a set dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Weather-wise, San Francisco can be chilly and foggy in December, so it’s advisable to pack layers. The occasional crisp air and mist only add to the city’s busy atmosphere, making San Francisco the perfect place to celebrate New Year’s.

Submitted by Victoria of Guide Your Travel.

Seattle, Washington:

New Year's Eve in Seattle, Washington - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Seattle, Washington is one of the coolest and best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Public fireworks can easily be seen and enjoyed shimmering and seemingly exploding from the top of the city’s most well-known building, the Space Needle! Located in the Seattle Center, the Space Needle is one of the most popular places during the holiday season. It’s open for the WinterFest, which includes a mini train city display, ice skating, special performances and more.

The Space Needle is situated just north of Downtown Seattle, within walking distance from many of the popular hotels in the city. Public transportation and The Monorail are available for those who don’t want to walk, connecting the Space Needle to the Westlake Center downtown.

While waiting downtown for the choreographed fireworks, there are many free things to do in Seattle! Wander the Olympic Sculpture Park, browse the shops at Pike Place Market or wander Pier 54 for great views of Puget Sound and the Great Wheel.

The weather is commonly cold and rainy in Seattle during the winter months. It’s suggested to wear layers and don’t forget to bring a durable raincoat or umbrella. To escape the cold, stop into one of the many coffee shops (Elm Coffee Roasters is a prime spot) or warm up with a nice bowl of ramen at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya.

The Kimpton Palladian Hotel is an excellent choice for hotels near the celebrations.

Submitted by Emily and Berty of The Mandagies.

Scottsdale, Arizona:

A woman celebrating the holidays at Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale.

Another one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA is Scottsdale. It’s located in the Sonoran Desert and offers a lot of fun parties and outdoor activities to ring in the New Year!

One of the main reasons why Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year is because the weather is comfortable. You can experience daily highs in the upper 60s°F to lows in the mid 50s°F. Scottsdale has an award-winning spa culture, so this weather is great for booking a well-needed treatment or enjoying one of the resort’s many heated pools and hot tubs.

The best luxury resort in Scottsdale is the Omni Resort at Montelucia. On New Year’s Eve, a prix fixe dinner is hosted at the hotel’s Prado Spanish restaurant. You could also head over to the resort’s Mbar and enjoy ringing in the New Year with a crafted cocktail!

Old Town Scottsdale also boasts many great restaurants and bars to ring in the New Year! It’s best to make early reservations and check which bars allow walk-ins on NYE. A fun and affordable place to celebrate is The Beverly on Main.

Other fun things to do on New Year’s Eve in Scottsdale, Arizona are participating in a fun pub crawl, dancing the night away at Genesis at the W Scottsdale and enjoying a Broadway celebration at Chandler Center for the Arts.

The best things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona are to hike Camelback Mountain, stroll through Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, explore the Gateway Trail and enjoy the best restaurants like The Mission and SumoMaya for dinner and Hash Kitchen for a New Year’s Day brunch.

In addition to New Year’s, there’s nothing more fun than enjoying a girl’s weekend in Scottsdale year-round!

Submitted by Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child.

San Diego, California:

New Year's Fireworks in San Diego, California.

San Diego is one of the best cities in the U.S. to welcome in the New Year! With its stunning beaches, bustling nightlife, unique wildlife, delicious restaurants and mild weather, San Diego has everything you need to make your New Year’s Eve celebrations memorable.

One of the most compelling reasons to visit San Diego for New Year’s Eve is its sunshine! While most destinations are experiencing cold weather at the end of December, San Diego’s climate remains warm, with average daytime temperatures in the 60s°F. Visitors can enjoy the city’s outdoor attractions and explore everything on foot.

Winter is seal pipping season and animal lovers must not miss seeing the seals and sea lions at the La Jolla Children’s Pool Beach and La Jolla Cove. Bring your binoculars and you may even see the gray whales migrating to Mexico or dolphins frolicking in their natural environment during your time in San Diego in December.

From the Grande Colonial in the center of the village, you can walk to the beach and some of the best restaurants in town. Try one of the eateries with some of the best views in San Diego, like Georges at the Cove or Eddie V’s.

If you’re looking for the best parties and nightlife, San Diego’s downtown area will be the spot for you! The Gaslamp Quarter is the city’s premier party destination, with many fun bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s also a great place to take a San Diego food tour.

While you walk between food stops, admire the decorations, see the festive lights, listen to live musicians and enjoy talented street performances and parties. The New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Gaslamp Quarter are exceptional, with fantastic firework displays at midnight, which light up the city’s skyline.

The best hotels to stay at near all the action in the Gaslamp Quarter are Pendry San Diego, Moxy San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter, Andaz San Diego and Omni San Diego Hotel.

Submitted by Denise of Chef Denise.

Charleston, South Carolina:

Charleston during the holiday season.

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the USA. Whether you are looking for formal black-tie events or a massive fireworks display to watch, Charleston offers a lively atmosphere for those looking to ring in the next year with excitement.

Be sure to check out the New Year’s Eve Gala at Forte Jazz Lounge for an unforgettable night filled with swing dancing and great music or head to Marion Square for an epic celebration perfect for families with children.

Charleston is an ideal destination to visit for New Year’s because of its lively atmosphere and remarkable winter weather. You can typically expect average highs to be in the low 60s°F to lows in the mid 40s°F, making it perfect weather to spend time outdoors exploring the area.

For those looking to explore this charming Southern city outside of New Year’s festivities, be sure to check out the best boat tours of Charleston for a memorable excursion that will not only take you around the coast of Charleston but will teach you about the city’s fascinating history and culture.

If you are looking for the best place to stay, The Vendue in the French Quarter of Charleston is an incredible option. This hotel is in a great location near countless restaurants and bars and close to the Joe Riley Waterfront Park. Be sure to check out the restaurant Magnolias for delicious Southern cuisine, which is just a one-minute walk from The Vendue.

Overall, New Year’s in Charleston is a memorable event that will leave you with lifelong memories due to the countless celebrations, Southern charm and endless things to see and do in the area.

Submitted by Abby and Sam of Trekking Prices.

San Antonio, Texas:

The San Antonio Riverwalk - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

If you’re looking for one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA, you must try San Antonio!

It’s one of the best places to go for New Year’s in North America because it is home to Texas’ largest New Year’s Eve celebration! Festivities are family-friendly, including carnival rides, fireworks, live shows, and entertainment.

Temperatures also aren’t too cold, with daily highs in the mid 60s°F to lows in the upper 30s°F.

Suppose you plan to visit San Antonio, Texas for New Year’s, head to the Riverwalk to celebrate at The Moon’s Daughter’s rooftop bar. You’ll enjoy a live DJ, and an open bar while watching the amazing fireworks downtown.

Alternatively, families with children can celebrate New Year’s Eve early at The DoSeum with a special “noon year” extravaganza that features a balloon drop, special desserts and music. You can also explore the museum afterward and enjoy one of the best things to do in San Antonio.

During your December trip to San Antonio, dig into some delicious contemporary Italian cuisine at Paesanos 1604. Menu highlights include Italian specialties and a fun “Pretty in Pink” cocktail that is delicious! Make sure to make reservations in advance.

You can then spend the night at Hotel Emma. It’s a funky hotel that sits inside an old brewery and is well-located near the Alamo. It also has a library, fantastic river views and a rooftop pool.

Submitted by Victoria of Texas Travel 365.

Savannah, Georgia:

Another one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the USA is Savannah.

Not only is the weather mild, with daily highs in the lower 60s°F and lows in the lower 40s°F, but there are a ton of fun things to do in Savannah, Georgia for New Year’s. Plus, Savannah doesn’t get overwhelmed with crowds that many other cities in the USA attract.

Start your New Year’s Eve off at the river, where you should snag an epic view of the local fireworks no later than 9:30 pm. Afterward, enjoy the many celebrations that pop up along River Street.

However, if you love live music, head to the City Market Block Party and enjoy live performances between 7 pm and 1 am. If you’re looking for a boozy New Year’s Eve celebration, book a fun Sip N’ Cycle Tour to drop you off at the party.

Now, for a dinner to remember, book a table well in advance at Alligator Soul. After all, this fine dining establishment is one of the best restaurants in Savannah. They also serve classic dishes like Oysters a la Soul, alligator fritters and shrimp and grits.

Finally, retire in an elegant room at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District for the evening. Not only is this hotel created inside antique buildings from a 1912 power plant, but guests will love the onsite spa and daily breakfast.

Submitted by Victoria of Southern Trippers.

Underrated New Year’s Eve Destinations:

Oahu, Hawaii:

Oahu, Hawaii - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.
Photo by Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel.

If you’re looking for the best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the USA while enjoying a tropical escape, Oahu is the place for you!

One of the best things about a trip to Oahu for New Year’s Eve is the variety of options to make your celebrations truly memorable. It provides the perfect blend of city festivities, laidback beach vibes and even adventurous hikes for the more energic.

Oahu is one of the most underrated New Year’s Eve destinations because there are countless events throughout the island, particularly in Honolulu’s Waikiki neighborhood. Here, you’ll find an abundance of beach parties, special dinners and a spectacular firework display.

You can take a New Year’s Eve cruise for a unique fireworks perspective. During this cruise, you can expect a three-course meal, followed by a midnight champagne toast as you watch the Waikiki fireworks from the ocean.

Staying on the North Shore is an excellent option if you prefer a quieter New Year’s Eve but still want to enjoy the celebrations. Once all the festivities are over, you’ll still have plenty of things to do to fill your Oahu itinerary.

From relaxing on pristine white sand beaches to exploring the real-life Jurassic Park at Kualoa Ranch, diving with sharks on the North Shore, hitting the shops in Honolulu and indulging in Hawaiian cuisine at one of the many food trucks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Oahu.

In December, you can expect warm weather with highs in the upper 70s°F. While it is technically rainy season during this time of year, Oahu still only sees four days of precipitation, with little of this falling in Honolulu.

Waikiki is also the most popular area for visitors to Oahu, with over 90% of the accommodation options on the island. The best place to stay for New Year’s Eve is Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and a great restaurant in the city is Duke’s Waikiki.

Submitted by Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel.

Estes Park, Colorado:

A winter wonderland in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Photo by Couple Travel The World.

Another one of the best places to spend NYE in the USA is Estes Park, Colorado! It’s a charming mountain town considered the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Suppose you are looking for somewhere extra romantic to ring in the New Year with your significant other. In that case, this is an excellent spot as Estes Park is a winter wonderland during this time of year and, for sure, one of the most romantic getaways in Colorado.

You can expect snow to fall and temperatures ranging from highs in the low 30s°F to lows in the mid-teens, so layer up and bring warm winter clothing!

A fun place to ring in the New Year is the haunted Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s book, “The Shining”. You can stay at the Stanley over New Year’s for some great spooky fun (request the 4th floor if you want the most hauntings).

The Stanley Hotel hosts an annual New Year’s ball, including a three-course dinner, comedy show and concert. There is also a Shining Ghost Tour that you can sign up for at the hotel, which is recommended. This fun evening is a leading reason why Estes Park is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Whether you stay at the hotel or not, it’s recommended that you dine at Cascades Restaurant & Lounge at the Stanley Hotel, as the food there is incredible.

Aside from spooky fun, Estes Park has many other memorable activities. Make sure you go snowshoeing over the New Year’s break on Rocky Mountain National Park’s Bear Lake Trail (an easy and flat trail) and Emerald Lake Trail (a slightly uphill trail that passes by three incredible lakes – Nymph, Dream and Emerald). Trying ice fishing or ice skating at Trout Haven Fishing Pond is also suggested.

Submitted by Couple Travel The World.

Portland, Oregon:

Fireworks in Portland, Oregon - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Celebrating the past year while ringing in the new one is always a blast! Portland, Oregon is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.  

There’s no better way to ring in a New Year than watching the fireworks happen in the downtown area of the city and a perfect place to see them is on a party boat called the Portland Spirit! They host fun celebrations with great drinks and DJs. You can also view the spectacular fireworks displays along the scenic Willamette River.

For a fun party, the Champagne Ball is in its third decade! At this event, you could enjoy live bands, dance floors and more. The Portland Art Museum also hosts a fun New Year’s Eve party.

Other fun things to do are visit the different trendy Portland neighborhoods. The Pearl District is a fantastic area with an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants and art galleries. It is also home to one of the most famous tourist attractions, Powell’s City of Books, which is an independent bookstore that is an entire city block.

The weather in Portland in December is quite cool, with highs in the mid 40s°F to lows in the upper 30s°F. It generally rains in Portland but tends to be misty, as opposed to a downpour, so most people wear hoodies versus bringing umbrellas.

There are many awesome places to eat in Portland. This city is famous for its food truck culture, so the best food cart pods to check out are Hawthorne Asylum, Cartopia and Willamette Garage in West Linn (a Portland suburb).

The best hotels in Portland for NYE are Crowne Plaza Hotel Portland – Downtown Center, Staypineapple at Hotel Rose and Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

Submitted by Karen of Moving Memos.

St. Augustine, Florida:

Casa Monica Resort & Spa in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine, Florida is one of the best cities to spend New Year’s in the U.S., on the East Coast. This beautiful city is famous for its unique Southern charm, cultural vibes and vibrant festivities.

There are many fun and festive things to do in St. Augustine, like doing historical town tours, funny ghost tours, festive old home tours, fantastic trolley tours and memorable pirate journey cruises.

You can also visit St. Augustine, Florida for a lovely beach vacation! Stop in one of the many tapas bars in Casa-styled Spanish architectural buildings, like Columbia Restaurant.

In November and December, witness a special event called Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, which is truly splendid! The two-month-long Nights of Lights event sparkles with millions of Christmas lights that brighten every corner of the historic district. You must also see the spectacular lights along the waterfront that lead to the famous tree at the Plaza de la Constitución.

The dreamy display in this Northern Florida city continues to make it a popular holiday destination for vacationers. Nights of Lights is dedicated to the Spanish origin of displaying a candle in windows of homes during Christmastime.

Book a casa-styled hotel in historic downtown like Casa Monica Resort & Spa when staying in St. Augustine during New Year’s.

Submitted by Yukti of Travelwithme24x7 Blog.

Big Island, Hawaii:

Kona, Big Island, Hawaii - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.
Photo by Anu of Destination Checkoff.

Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii during the holidays is a fantastic way to ring in the New Year in a tropical paradise. Though the holiday décor is a little low-key on the Big Island, a trip to this beautiful place makes up for it with its unique experiences, making it a fun and underrated New Year’s destination!

Snorkeling in Kona with the manta rays is a unique Big Island experience and can be done on New Year’s Eve. This night-time adventure is one of the most memorable ways to celebrate the New Year! It’s also one of the top reasons why the Big Island is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Another epic Big Island excursion is exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the awe-inspiring power of nature. While the lava flow can vary, you can hike to viewpoints to see the active Kilauea Volcano, glowing with molten lava after sunset.

The Big Island has perfect clear night skies. Consider stargazing at Mauna Kea, one of the world’s premier astronomical centers! There are often guided tours and telescopes available for public use.

Start your New Year’s celebration by hitting the island’s beautiful beaches during the day. You can relax on the soft, sandy shores or swim in the crystal-clear waters. You might also spot a turtle or two on the beach if you’re lucky!

December and January on the Big Island typically bring pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from average highs in the mid 80s°F to lows in the mid 60s°F. While there may be occasional rain, it’s generally a great time to enjoy outdoor activities on the island.

Hilton Waikoloa Village is an upscale oceanfront resort on the Big Island. The Lava Lava Beach Club nearby is a popular restaurant at the beach for dinner.

Submitted by Anu of Destination Checkoff.

Sedona, Arizona:

The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

If you’re looking for a relaxing place to ring in the New Year in the USA, Sedona, Arizona is a fantastic option due to its beautiful surroundings.

Sedona is a desert town of less than 10,000 residents. It’s known for its incredible red rock formations and mesas. The town is laid back with New Age vibes.

You won’t find much nightlife in Sedona. There are almost no venues that stay open until midnight. However, you’ll find a variety of great bars and restaurants, like the Sound Bites Grill or Mooney’s Irish Pub, that have New Year’s-specific events with live music, dinner specials and a dance floor.

Given that Sedona is famed for its healing and positive energy vortexes, you’ll find several drum or meditation circles to join, where you can ring in the New Year by setting your intentions for the following year. It’s one of the main reasons why Sedona, Arizona is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Suppose you prefer to have a more solo experience. In that case, there are plenty of hikes in Sedona that lead you straight to one of the purported energy vortexes, like Bell Rock or Cathedral Rock. On these epic trails, you can reflect on the past year and manifest for the upcoming future while surrounded by stunning vistas and excellent stargazing.

To round out your celebration, many yoga studios provide New Year’s Day classes to kick off the next year on the right foot!

While you’re in town, consider a stay at L’Auberge de Sedona, an upscale resort and spa, which is a perfect place to indulge and soak in Sedona’s restorative environment. The hotel usually hosts a New Year’s celebration, so you won’t even need to leave the resort, and there is also a hot tub and pool to enjoy.

Sedona, Arizona can be brisk in December, with highs in the lower 60s°F and lows in the mid 30s°F.

Submitted by Jessica and Justin of Uprooted Traveler.


Two women celebrating New Year's in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Discover other great places to visit during the holidays and spend New Year’s in the USA:

Magical December Getaways in the USA

11 Great Places to Visit in January

Things to do at the Natchitoches Christmas Festival

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Below are the top travel companies I use for convenience and cost:

Shop my New Year’s Eve Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

Related posts

Best 14-Day Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer Travel

Most travelers head to the Mediterranean countries during a European summer trip but don’t realize how incredible Scandinavia is in...
check out the post about Best 14-Day Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer Travel

8 Top Things to do in Gothenburg, Sweden in Summer

Gothenburg, or Göteborg, is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in Scandinavia. It’s a fascinating city on the...
check out the post about 8 Top Things to do in Gothenburg, Sweden in Summer

How to Spend 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark in Summer

With a rich culture and history, impeccable dining scene and relaxed pace of life, spending 2 days in Copenhagen is...
check out the post about How to Spend 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark in Summer

1 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on September 15, 2023 at 12:28 am

    Great guide of some really beautiful, fun places to visit on New Year’s Eve. So many awesome cities and so many activities to attend during New Year’s Eve. Thanks everyone for sharing your awesome trips during New Year’s Eve ~these fabulous places are going on my bucket list!

    Love you Taylor, Love mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

Leave a Comment





Scottsdale-Feature

Walt Disney World's New Year's Eve celebration.

There is nothing more fun than a New Year Celebration! From watching the famous ball drop in Times Square, NYC, to enjoying live performances in cities like Nashville or ringing in the New Year with a small group of friends and family at home to dancing the night away at the best parties in South Beach, there’s so much fun to be had on December 31st. Below is a list of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Here are unique places to spend New Year’s Eve in the world.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best Places to Spend New Year's in the USA

Best Places to Spend New Year’s in the USA:

A woman enjoying New Year's in Scottsdale - one of the best places for NYE in the USA.

Exciting New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve in Major USA Cities

New York, New York:

Ringing in the New Year in New York City's Times Square.

New York City, which never sleeps, offers a magical experience for ringing in the New Year. It’s no secret that it’s one of the best places for New Year’s Eve!

From the world-renowned, glittering ball drop in Times Square to the crowd’s energy counting down the final seconds to the sky lit by dazzling fireworks at midnight in Central Park, there’s no place like NYC to welcome in the New Year. It’s one thing to see the celebrations on television, but it lives up to its reputation to be there!

The fun doesn’t stop with the Times Square ball drop, though! Not only does New York City have some of the biggest parties, but you could also enjoy all the holiday décor, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park, see Broadway shows and sip a warm cocktail at one of the many Christmas bars.

Some of the best places to eat on New Year’s Eve include CUT by Wolfgang Puck, American Brass or a NYE dinner cruise around the East River and Hudson River. There is no shortage of unique venues to ring in the New Year in the city of New York!

For New Year’s Eve, it’s best to stay closer to Times Square, where most of the action is! Great hotel choices are The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, W New York – Times Square and New York Marriott Marquis.

The weather will be pretty chilly at the end of December, but the warmth and excitement of the city will keep you going. Bundle up and prepare for an unforgettable holiday season in NYC and enjoy one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA!

Submitted by Melissa of My Beautiful Passport.

Orlando, Florida:

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom fireworks - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Orlando is another popular destination for ringing in the New Year because there are many fun options no matter what you enjoy. As a bonus, you can spend as much time as you want outdoors for New Year’s since the weather is typically comfortable during late December in Central Florida, with highs in the 70s°F to lows in the 50s°F.

If you like theme parks, head to any Orlando park like Walt Disney World or Universal for festive events! The Magic Kingdom has spectacular fireworks displays at 11:50 pm on New Year’s Eve. Universal CityWalk offers free admission to their Midnight Celebration events with live music and a DJ to party into the New Year.

The Orlando Museum of Art has a more upscale New Year’s Eve event while Old Town in Kissimmee has an all-day celebration with a free fireworks show at midnight. Various hotels, including Marriott World Center, have fireworks you can enjoy from your balcony.

New Year’s is also a popular time for football in Orlando, with a couple of bowl games happening each year around the holidays. If you love NFL football or your team is headed to Orlando, don’t miss the parades and events leading up to the games.

Another reason why Orlando, Florida is one of the best places for New Year’s Eve is because you can still experience some of the best things to do in Orlando at Christmas, including seeing amazing Orlando Christmas lights. A few houses go all out and leave their displays until after New Year’s Day, so don’t miss out on the Clemwood Christmas Lights or the Jeater Bend Drive Christmas Lights.

Overall, Orlando has a lot of great options, no matter what you are looking for in your New Year’s celebration! From relaxing on your hotel balcony and watching the fireworks to partying at one of the parks to enjoying small-town Christmas displays, you’ll find plenty of events for the entire family in Orlando at New Year’s.

Submitted by Christine of Live Love Run Travel.

Las Vegas, Nevada:

Fremont Street Experience on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
Photo by Shannon of Three Days in Vegas.

Las Vegas, Nevada is another of the best places to visit for New Year’s in the United States!

Overall, Las Vegas is one of the most electrifying places on earth to ring in the New Year. The entire Las Vegas Strip comes alive on New Year’s Eve with live entertainment, amazing fireworks and the biggest parties.

Las Vegas has two main areas to celebrate the biggest party of the year – the famous Strip and Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas. The hotels and nightclubs along Las Vegas Boulevard host the best parties, with popular venues like MGM Grand, The Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace leading the way.

Multiple hotels have an incredible fireworks display along with live music and performances by world-class artists; there is no shortage of entertainment in Sin City!

The Fremont Street Experience also offers a unique and exciting time for visitors. With live performances on three stages, a pedestrian promenade filled with open-air bars and a wild circus-like atmosphere, it’s no wonder that locals and tourists flock here to ring in the New Year!

To make the most of your New Year’s Eve celebration in Las Vegas, booking accommodations months in advance is crucial. This holiday draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, so hotel rooms will be booked early. The same goes for restaurant reservations offering open bar packages or special prix fixe menus.

To fully enjoy your New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, it’s important to dress warmly if you plan on watching the fireworks outdoors. Temperatures in the city can be warm during the daytime but will drop close to freezing levels at night, so it’s best to layer. Also, if you plan on visiting nightclubs and special events, remember that most venues have strict dress codes.  

Arriving early to events is also vital to enjoying New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. To make the most of your night, it’s recommended that you arrive at the Strip or Fremont Street around 5 or 6 pm. By getting there ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of finding an excellent spot to watch the fireworks and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Submitted by Shannon of Three Days in Vegas.

Nashville, Tennessee:

Nashville's Big Bash for New Year's Eve.
Photo by Devon of Say Yes to the Trip.

Nashville has been named one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s in the world! This big and free event in the city is “Nashville’s Big Bash” at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, where you can enjoy live music, fireworks and the midnight Music City Note Drop.

There are also plenty of private ticketed events downtown that generally range from $50 to over $350 USD per person, such as The Twelve Thirty Club, Harriet’s Rooftop and many more.

While visiting Nashville, Tennessee, be sure to save time to explore the music scene that has made this city so popular. Consider touring iconic music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, Third Man Records and RCA Studio B.

Locals will tell you that staying in Nashville during New Year’s Eve can be hectic. However, you also don’t want to spend much on rideshares and taxis. Fairlane Hotel Nashville offers the perfect compromise! The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the famous attractions on Broadway but is far enough from the noise and crowds.

Predicting the weather in Nashville on New Year’s Eve can be challenging. You might encounter a “warm front” that pushes average high temperatures towards the mid 60s°F or cooler conditions that can be 10-15 degrees lower than usual. On December 31st, the temperatures in Nashville usually range from 47°F to 35°F. It’s best to dress warm, especially if you plan to be outside.

With a long night ahead of you, refuel with some of Nashville’s staples. Kickstart your day at Biscuit Love (try the bonuts) and then head to Hattie B’s for their legendary hot chicken. Finally, visit Husk to ring in the New Year for an elevated Southern dining experience.

Submitted by Devon of Say Yes to the Trip.

Miami, Florida:

Celebrations in Miami, Florida - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Undoubtedly, some of the best parties on New Year’s Eve happen in Miami. This city makes for an unforgettable New Year’s holiday with its world-famous nightlife, exciting beaches and various celebratory events.

There is a new level of liveliness in Miami during New Year’s. Wynwood, Downtown, the Design District and Miami Beach are the best neighborhoods for festive events and excellent hotel options like the Arlo, Mandarin Oriental and Nobu. Whether you’re seeking a rooftop party, trendy bar events or beach fireworks, Miami has it all for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration!

The most exciting countdown event can be found at Bayfront Park, where there’s live entertainment, New Year’s Eve fireworks and a Big Orange at the top of the InterContinental Miami.

You can undoubtedly find a memorable celebration throughout the entire city, especially at one of the many nightclubs. In addition to champagne toasts and dance parties, many famous live entertainers and celebrities attend numerous nightlife venues in Miami. A few of the guaranteed hotspots are E11even and LIV.

Miami is one of the best cities to visit in December! Hurricane season has passed and there’s less humidity with more comfortable temperatures. You can experience average highs in the upper 70s°F to lows in the upper 60s°F. There’ll also be plenty of sunny days to enjoy the various outdoor activities.

This city is also a great place for foodies. Various street food and trendy restaurants can be found in Wynwood, with some popular places being 1-800-LUCKY and Doya.

If you want to combine dinner and a New Year’s party in one location, there are several restaurants to choose from. These include Kiki on the River and Swan. Make sure you make reservations in advance.

Miami, Florida has plenty of awesome things to do no matter how long or short your trip is. Other great activities are exploring Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, sunset cruising and shopping at Bayside Marketplace.

Submitted by Tamara of My Elated Odyssey.

New Orleans, Louisiana:

New Year's Eve on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

New Orleans is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA because it offers a lot of exciting experiences. Known as the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana is defined by its rowdy jazz-inspired party atmosphere and some of the most kicking Cajun food. It’s a match made in heaven for New Year’s.

The French Quarter is the heartbeat of New Orleans. You can expect the restaurants and clubs in this portion of town, especially along Bourbon Street, to be lively regarding New Year’s celebrations. It will make you feel like you’re part of a massive block party, similar to Mardi Gras!

Aside from having a good time in the French Quarter and taking in all the city’s vibrant culture, there’s more to see in the Big Easy. Be sure to explore the historic Garden District, walk the old neighborhood and behold some classic New Orleans mansions. Don’t forget to check out the holiday decorations in Jackson Square and do a steamboat tour on the Mississippi River.

Some travelers may be surprised to learn about New Orleans’ ties to voodoo and paranormal activities. If you want to check out the spooky side of town, consider visiting The Historic Voodoo Museum or join one of the town’s many cemetery and ghost tours.

Nobody should leave the Big Easy without spending time on the bayou. Explore outside the city and hop aboard a New Orleans airboat tour. You’ll only need a light jacket for the mid 60s°F temperatures. The thrilling adventure in the swamp will guarantee memories that will last with you for years to come.

Beignets are a deep-fried French donut you must try during a New Orleans trip. One of the most iconic places to get them is at Café du Monde!

The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast is a lovely place to stay while ringing the New Year in New Orleans. The historic house is in an excellent location in the Garden District and has a timeless vibe. The authentic furniture in the staying rooms evokes a time long past.

Submitted by Candice of Exploring the Gulf.

Los Angeles, California:

A fireworks show in Los Angeles, California.

Another one of the best places to go at New Year’s is Los Angeles, California. Not only does LA host various parties, including family-friendly events and live entertainment dedicated to the coming year, but it also lets you find thousands of Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city that create a festive mood.

Don’t forget, all the fun in LA takes place in pleasantly cool (but not cold) weather with a fair amount of sunshine daily so you can have a cozy winter vacation on the West Coast!

The holiday season in Los Angeles usually kicks off in early December and includes various tree-lighting ceremonies, Christmas markets in different neighborhoods and seasonal performances.

You can see incredible Christmas lights and holiday decorations in The Grove, Downtown LA or at the Los Angeles Zoo and witness unique holiday boat parades in the harbors and marinas of Marina del Rey and Newport Beach.

For a fairytale New Year feel, if looking for a prominent party place, I’d recommend choosing a historic Queen Mary ship in Long Beach with multiple parties and fireworks over the harbor or the W Hollywood hotel with multiple themed rooms and live DJs. This awesome occasion is a reason why Los Angeles is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Numerous restaurants and resorts in Los Angeles also offer extraordinary New Year’s Eve dining experiences, often accompanied by live music or entertainment. Just make sure to book everything in advance.

Submitted by Anya of Road is Calling.

Best Cities to Spend New Year’s in the U.S.:

San Francisco, California:

A celebration in San Francisco, California - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

San Francisco, California is one of the best places on New Year’s Eve. San Francisco offers an unforgettable backdrop for New Year’s celebrations with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, eclectic neighborhoods, and beautiful waterfront.

This vibrant city is renowned for its cultural diversity, artistic spirit and culinary excellence, making it the perfect place in California to celebrate the beginning of a New Year.

A highlight of ringing in a New Year in San Francisco is watching the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay, best viewed from places like Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero or even a boat cruise offering front-row seats to the sky-lighting spectacle.

For those who prefer an elegant evening, there are also black-tie events, many in luxurious hotels like the Fairmont or The Ritz-Carlton. If you’re after something more relaxed, neighborhoods like the Castro, North Beach or Haight-Ashbury have lively bars and restaurants where you can celebrate in a more laid-back setting.

Beyond New Year’s events, there are plenty of things to do and see in San Francisco. You can visit Alcatraz, explore Golden Gate Park or ride on the historic cable cars. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a must-see for art enthusiasts.

You also won’t have trouble finding a good place to stay, ranging from boutique hotels in Union Square to cozy bed and breakfasts just outside the city. There’s something to fit every budget and preference! The Nob Hill Hotel is a fun and quirky place to stay if you want something unusual.

When it comes to food, San Francisco is a culinary paradise. The city offers a variety of world-class dining options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual eateries serving everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine. Sotto Mare is a top choice and Mourad is another local favorite, especially for a set dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Weather-wise, San Francisco can be chilly and foggy in December, so it’s advisable to pack layers. The occasional crisp air and mist only add to the city’s busy atmosphere, making San Francisco the perfect place to celebrate New Year’s.

Submitted by Victoria of Guide Your Travel.

Seattle, Washington:

New Year's Eve in Seattle, Washington - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Seattle, Washington is one of the coolest and best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Public fireworks can easily be seen and enjoyed shimmering and seemingly exploding from the top of the city’s most well-known building, the Space Needle! Located in the Seattle Center, the Space Needle is one of the most popular places during the holiday season. It’s open for the WinterFest, which includes a mini train city display, ice skating, special performances and more.

The Space Needle is situated just north of Downtown Seattle, within walking distance from many of the popular hotels in the city. Public transportation and The Monorail are available for those who don’t want to walk, connecting the Space Needle to the Westlake Center downtown.

While waiting downtown for the choreographed fireworks, there are many free things to do in Seattle! Wander the Olympic Sculpture Park, browse the shops at Pike Place Market or wander Pier 54 for great views of Puget Sound and the Great Wheel.

The weather is commonly cold and rainy in Seattle during the winter months. It’s suggested to wear layers and don’t forget to bring a durable raincoat or umbrella. To escape the cold, stop into one of the many coffee shops (Elm Coffee Roasters is a prime spot) or warm up with a nice bowl of ramen at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya.

The Kimpton Palladian Hotel is an excellent choice for hotels near the celebrations.

Submitted by Emily and Berty of The Mandagies.

Scottsdale, Arizona:

A woman celebrating the holidays at Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale.

Another one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA is Scottsdale. It’s located in the Sonoran Desert and offers a lot of fun parties and outdoor activities to ring in the New Year!

One of the main reasons why Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year is because the weather is comfortable. You can experience daily highs in the upper 60s°F to lows in the mid 50s°F. Scottsdale has an award-winning spa culture, so this weather is great for booking a well-needed treatment or enjoying one of the resort’s many heated pools and hot tubs.

The best luxury resort in Scottsdale is the Omni Resort at Montelucia. On New Year’s Eve, a prix fixe dinner is hosted at the hotel’s Prado Spanish restaurant. You could also head over to the resort’s Mbar and enjoy ringing in the New Year with a crafted cocktail!

Old Town Scottsdale also boasts many great restaurants and bars to ring in the New Year! It’s best to make early reservations and check which bars allow walk-ins on NYE. A fun and affordable place to celebrate is The Beverly on Main.

Other fun things to do on New Year’s Eve in Scottsdale, Arizona are participating in a fun pub crawl, dancing the night away at Genesis at the W Scottsdale and enjoying a Broadway celebration at Chandler Center for the Arts.

The best things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona are to hike Camelback Mountain, stroll through Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, explore the Gateway Trail and enjoy the best restaurants like The Mission and SumoMaya for dinner and Hash Kitchen for a New Year’s Day brunch.

In addition to New Year’s, there’s nothing more fun than enjoying a girl’s weekend in Scottsdale year-round!

Submitted by Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child.

San Diego, California:

New Year's Fireworks in San Diego, California.

San Diego is one of the best cities in the U.S. to welcome in the New Year! With its stunning beaches, bustling nightlife, unique wildlife, delicious restaurants and mild weather, San Diego has everything you need to make your New Year’s Eve celebrations memorable.

One of the most compelling reasons to visit San Diego for New Year’s Eve is its sunshine! While most destinations are experiencing cold weather at the end of December, San Diego’s climate remains warm, with average daytime temperatures in the 60s°F. Visitors can enjoy the city’s outdoor attractions and explore everything on foot.

Winter is seal pipping season and animal lovers must not miss seeing the seals and sea lions at the La Jolla Children’s Pool Beach and La Jolla Cove. Bring your binoculars and you may even see the gray whales migrating to Mexico or dolphins frolicking in their natural environment during your time in San Diego in December.

From the Grande Colonial in the center of the village, you can walk to the beach and some of the best restaurants in town. Try one of the eateries with some of the best views in San Diego, like Georges at the Cove or Eddie V’s.

If you’re looking for the best parties and nightlife, San Diego’s downtown area will be the spot for you! The Gaslamp Quarter is the city’s premier party destination, with many fun bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s also a great place to take a San Diego food tour.

While you walk between food stops, admire the decorations, see the festive lights, listen to live musicians and enjoy talented street performances and parties. The New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Gaslamp Quarter are exceptional, with fantastic firework displays at midnight, which light up the city’s skyline.

The best hotels to stay at near all the action in the Gaslamp Quarter are Pendry San Diego, Moxy San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter, Andaz San Diego and Omni San Diego Hotel.

Submitted by Denise of Chef Denise.

Charleston, South Carolina:

Charleston during the holiday season.

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the USA. Whether you are looking for formal black-tie events or a massive fireworks display to watch, Charleston offers a lively atmosphere for those looking to ring in the next year with excitement.

Be sure to check out the New Year’s Eve Gala at Forte Jazz Lounge for an unforgettable night filled with swing dancing and great music or head to Marion Square for an epic celebration perfect for families with children.

Charleston is an ideal destination to visit for New Year’s because of its lively atmosphere and remarkable winter weather. You can typically expect average highs to be in the low 60s°F to lows in the mid 40s°F, making it perfect weather to spend time outdoors exploring the area.

For those looking to explore this charming Southern city outside of New Year’s festivities, be sure to check out the best boat tours of Charleston for a memorable excursion that will not only take you around the coast of Charleston but will teach you about the city’s fascinating history and culture.

If you are looking for the best place to stay, The Vendue in the French Quarter of Charleston is an incredible option. This hotel is in a great location near countless restaurants and bars and close to the Joe Riley Waterfront Park. Be sure to check out the restaurant Magnolias for delicious Southern cuisine, which is just a one-minute walk from The Vendue.

Overall, New Year’s in Charleston is a memorable event that will leave you with lifelong memories due to the countless celebrations, Southern charm and endless things to see and do in the area.

Submitted by Abby and Sam of Trekking Prices.

San Antonio, Texas:

The San Antonio Riverwalk - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

If you’re looking for one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA, you must try San Antonio!

It’s one of the best places to go for New Year’s in North America because it is home to Texas’ largest New Year’s Eve celebration! Festivities are family-friendly, including carnival rides, fireworks, live shows, and entertainment.

Temperatures also aren’t too cold, with daily highs in the mid 60s°F to lows in the upper 30s°F.

Suppose you plan to visit San Antonio, Texas for New Year’s, head to the Riverwalk to celebrate at The Moon’s Daughter’s rooftop bar. You’ll enjoy a live DJ, and an open bar while watching the amazing fireworks downtown.

Alternatively, families with children can celebrate New Year’s Eve early at The DoSeum with a special “noon year” extravaganza that features a balloon drop, special desserts and music. You can also explore the museum afterward and enjoy one of the best things to do in San Antonio.

During your December trip to San Antonio, dig into some delicious contemporary Italian cuisine at Paesanos 1604. Menu highlights include Italian specialties and a fun “Pretty in Pink” cocktail that is delicious! Make sure to make reservations in advance.

You can then spend the night at Hotel Emma. It’s a funky hotel that sits inside an old brewery and is well-located near the Alamo. It also has a library, fantastic river views and a rooftop pool.

Submitted by Victoria of Texas Travel 365.

Savannah, Georgia:

Another one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the USA is Savannah.

Not only is the weather mild, with daily highs in the lower 60s°F and lows in the lower 40s°F, but there are a ton of fun things to do in Savannah, Georgia for New Year’s. Plus, Savannah doesn’t get overwhelmed with crowds that many other cities in the USA attract.

Start your New Year’s Eve off at the river, where you should snag an epic view of the local fireworks no later than 9:30 pm. Afterward, enjoy the many celebrations that pop up along River Street.

However, if you love live music, head to the City Market Block Party and enjoy live performances between 7 pm and 1 am. If you’re looking for a boozy New Year’s Eve celebration, book a fun Sip N’ Cycle Tour to drop you off at the party.

Now, for a dinner to remember, book a table well in advance at Alligator Soul. After all, this fine dining establishment is one of the best restaurants in Savannah. They also serve classic dishes like Oysters a la Soul, alligator fritters and shrimp and grits.

Finally, retire in an elegant room at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District for the evening. Not only is this hotel created inside antique buildings from a 1912 power plant, but guests will love the onsite spa and daily breakfast.

Submitted by Victoria of Southern Trippers.

Underrated New Year’s Eve Destinations:

Oahu, Hawaii:

Oahu, Hawaii - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.
Photo by Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel.

If you’re looking for the best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the USA while enjoying a tropical escape, Oahu is the place for you!

One of the best things about a trip to Oahu for New Year’s Eve is the variety of options to make your celebrations truly memorable. It provides the perfect blend of city festivities, laidback beach vibes and even adventurous hikes for the more energic.

Oahu is one of the most underrated New Year’s Eve destinations because there are countless events throughout the island, particularly in Honolulu’s Waikiki neighborhood. Here, you’ll find an abundance of beach parties, special dinners and a spectacular firework display.

You can take a New Year’s Eve cruise for a unique fireworks perspective. During this cruise, you can expect a three-course meal, followed by a midnight champagne toast as you watch the Waikiki fireworks from the ocean.

Staying on the North Shore is an excellent option if you prefer a quieter New Year’s Eve but still want to enjoy the celebrations. Once all the festivities are over, you’ll still have plenty of things to do to fill your Oahu itinerary.

From relaxing on pristine white sand beaches to exploring the real-life Jurassic Park at Kualoa Ranch, diving with sharks on the North Shore, hitting the shops in Honolulu and indulging in Hawaiian cuisine at one of the many food trucks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Oahu.

In December, you can expect warm weather with highs in the upper 70s°F. While it is technically rainy season during this time of year, Oahu still only sees four days of precipitation, with little of this falling in Honolulu.

Waikiki is also the most popular area for visitors to Oahu, with over 90% of the accommodation options on the island. The best place to stay for New Year’s Eve is Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and a great restaurant in the city is Duke’s Waikiki.

Submitted by Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel.

Estes Park, Colorado:

A winter wonderland in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Photo by Couple Travel The World.

Another one of the best places to spend NYE in the USA is Estes Park, Colorado! It’s a charming mountain town considered the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Suppose you are looking for somewhere extra romantic to ring in the New Year with your significant other. In that case, this is an excellent spot as Estes Park is a winter wonderland during this time of year and, for sure, one of the most romantic getaways in Colorado.

You can expect snow to fall and temperatures ranging from highs in the low 30s°F to lows in the mid-teens, so layer up and bring warm winter clothing!

A fun place to ring in the New Year is the haunted Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s book, “The Shining”. You can stay at the Stanley over New Year’s for some great spooky fun (request the 4th floor if you want the most hauntings).

The Stanley Hotel hosts an annual New Year’s ball, including a three-course dinner, comedy show and concert. There is also a Shining Ghost Tour that you can sign up for at the hotel, which is recommended. This fun evening is a leading reason why Estes Park is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Whether you stay at the hotel or not, it’s recommended that you dine at Cascades Restaurant & Lounge at the Stanley Hotel, as the food there is incredible.

Aside from spooky fun, Estes Park has many other memorable activities. Make sure you go snowshoeing over the New Year’s break on Rocky Mountain National Park’s Bear Lake Trail (an easy and flat trail) and Emerald Lake Trail (a slightly uphill trail that passes by three incredible lakes – Nymph, Dream and Emerald). Trying ice fishing or ice skating at Trout Haven Fishing Pond is also suggested.

Submitted by Couple Travel The World.

Portland, Oregon:

Fireworks in Portland, Oregon - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.

Celebrating the past year while ringing in the new one is always a blast! Portland, Oregon is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.  

There’s no better way to ring in a New Year than watching the fireworks happen in the downtown area of the city and a perfect place to see them is on a party boat called the Portland Spirit! They host fun celebrations with great drinks and DJs. You can also view the spectacular fireworks displays along the scenic Willamette River.

For a fun party, the Champagne Ball is in its third decade! At this event, you could enjoy live bands, dance floors and more. The Portland Art Museum also hosts a fun New Year’s Eve party.

Other fun things to do are visit the different trendy Portland neighborhoods. The Pearl District is a fantastic area with an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants and art galleries. It is also home to one of the most famous tourist attractions, Powell’s City of Books, which is an independent bookstore that is an entire city block.

The weather in Portland in December is quite cool, with highs in the mid 40s°F to lows in the upper 30s°F. It generally rains in Portland but tends to be misty, as opposed to a downpour, so most people wear hoodies versus bringing umbrellas.

There are many awesome places to eat in Portland. This city is famous for its food truck culture, so the best food cart pods to check out are Hawthorne Asylum, Cartopia and Willamette Garage in West Linn (a Portland suburb).

The best hotels in Portland for NYE are Crowne Plaza Hotel Portland – Downtown Center, Staypineapple at Hotel Rose and Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

Submitted by Karen of Moving Memos.

St. Augustine, Florida:

Casa Monica Resort & Spa in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine, Florida is one of the best cities to spend New Year’s in the U.S., on the East Coast. This beautiful city is famous for its unique Southern charm, cultural vibes and vibrant festivities.

There are many fun and festive things to do in St. Augustine, like doing historical town tours, funny ghost tours, festive old home tours, fantastic trolley tours and memorable pirate journey cruises.

You can also visit St. Augustine, Florida for a lovely beach vacation! Stop in one of the many tapas bars in Casa-styled Spanish architectural buildings, like Columbia Restaurant.

In November and December, witness a special event called Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, which is truly splendid! The two-month-long Nights of Lights event sparkles with millions of Christmas lights that brighten every corner of the historic district. You must also see the spectacular lights along the waterfront that lead to the famous tree at the Plaza de la Constitución.

The dreamy display in this Northern Florida city continues to make it a popular holiday destination for vacationers. Nights of Lights is dedicated to the Spanish origin of displaying a candle in windows of homes during Christmastime.

Book a casa-styled hotel in historic downtown like Casa Monica Resort & Spa when staying in St. Augustine during New Year’s.

Submitted by Yukti of Travelwithme24x7 Blog.

Big Island, Hawaii:

Kona, Big Island, Hawaii - one of the best places to spend New Year's in the USA.
Photo by Anu of Destination Checkoff.

Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii during the holidays is a fantastic way to ring in the New Year in a tropical paradise. Though the holiday décor is a little low-key on the Big Island, a trip to this beautiful place makes up for it with its unique experiences, making it a fun and underrated New Year’s destination!

Snorkeling in Kona with the manta rays is a unique Big Island experience and can be done on New Year’s Eve. This night-time adventure is one of the most memorable ways to celebrate the New Year! It’s also one of the top reasons why the Big Island is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Another epic Big Island excursion is exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the awe-inspiring power of nature. While the lava flow can vary, you can hike to viewpoints to see the active Kilauea Volcano, glowing with molten lava after sunset.

The Big Island has perfect clear night skies. Consider stargazing at Mauna Kea, one of the world’s premier astronomical centers! There are often guided tours and telescopes available for public use.

Start your New Year’s celebration by hitting the island’s beautiful beaches during the day. You can relax on the soft, sandy shores or swim in the crystal-clear waters. You might also spot a turtle or two on the beach if you’re lucky!

December and January on the Big Island typically bring pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from average highs in the mid 80s°F to lows in the mid 60s°F. While there may be occasional rain, it’s generally a great time to enjoy outdoor activities on the island.

Hilton Waikoloa Village is an upscale oceanfront resort on the Big Island. The Lava Lava Beach Club nearby is a popular restaurant at the beach for dinner.

Submitted by Anu of Destination Checkoff.

Sedona, Arizona:

The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

If you’re looking for a relaxing place to ring in the New Year in the USA, Sedona, Arizona is a fantastic option due to its beautiful surroundings.

Sedona is a desert town of less than 10,000 residents. It’s known for its incredible red rock formations and mesas. The town is laid back with New Age vibes.

You won’t find much nightlife in Sedona. There are almost no venues that stay open until midnight. However, you’ll find a variety of great bars and restaurants, like the Sound Bites Grill or Mooney’s Irish Pub, that have New Year’s-specific events with live music, dinner specials and a dance floor.

Given that Sedona is famed for its healing and positive energy vortexes, you’ll find several drum or meditation circles to join, where you can ring in the New Year by setting your intentions for the following year. It’s one of the main reasons why Sedona, Arizona is one of the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Suppose you prefer to have a more solo experience. In that case, there are plenty of hikes in Sedona that lead you straight to one of the purported energy vortexes, like Bell Rock or Cathedral Rock. On these epic trails, you can reflect on the past year and manifest for the upcoming future while surrounded by stunning vistas and excellent stargazing.

To round out your celebration, many yoga studios provide New Year’s Day classes to kick off the next year on the right foot!

While you’re in town, consider a stay at L’Auberge de Sedona, an upscale resort and spa, which is a perfect place to indulge and soak in Sedona’s restorative environment. The hotel usually hosts a New Year’s celebration, so you won’t even need to leave the resort, and there is also a hot tub and pool to enjoy.

Sedona, Arizona can be brisk in December, with highs in the lower 60s°F and lows in the mid 30s°F.

Submitted by Jessica and Justin of Uprooted Traveler.


Two women celebrating New Year's in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Discover other great places to visit during the holidays and spend New Year’s in the USA:

Magical December Getaways in the USA

11 Great Places to Visit in January

Things to do at the Natchitoches Christmas Festival

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Below are the top travel companies I use for convenience and cost:

Shop my New Year’s Eve Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

1 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on September 15, 2023 at 12:28 am

    Great guide of some really beautiful, fun places to visit on New Year’s Eve. So many awesome cities and so many activities to attend during New Year’s Eve. Thanks everyone for sharing your awesome trips during New Year’s Eve ~these fabulous places are going on my bucket list!

    Love you Taylor, Love mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

Leave a Comment





Related posts

Best 14-Day Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer Travel

Most travelers head to the Mediterranean countries during a European summer trip but don’t realize how incredible Scandinavia is in...
check out the post about Best 14-Day Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer Travel

8 Top Things to do in Gothenburg, Sweden in Summer

Gothenburg, or Göteborg, is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in Scandinavia. It’s a fascinating city on the...
check out the post about 8 Top Things to do in Gothenburg, Sweden in Summer

How to Spend 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark in Summer

With a rich culture and history, impeccable dining scene and relaxed pace of life, spending 2 days in Copenhagen is...
check out the post about How to Spend 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark in Summer