When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, where do you plan to be? Whether you’re visiting New York City to watch the ball drop or plan to enjoy fireworks in a warmer climate, be sure you ring in the new year the right away. It’s your chance to celebrate the past year and greet 2014 with a bang. Luckily, their are plenty of places willing to help you party the night away. Here’s a list of the top 10 places around the world hosting the best New Year’s Eve bashes.
1. Las Vegas
Sin City is better than ever when December 31 rolls around. Hotels, clubs, and bars all incorporate special shows, but the best part is the 4-mile-long Strip. Starting at 6 p.m., the Strip becomes a no-vehicle zone, turning into a place where you can drink, party, and watch fireworks shot off from rooftops, according to a list compiled by Gayot.
2. New York City
While a predictable place to visit for New Year’s Eve, it’s predictable for a reason. It is home to one of the most memorable events, the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Witness firsthand the 12-foot glittering sphere that is dropped from a flagpole when midnight hits. If you’d prefer to avoid the millions who will also be there celebrating, Huffington Post advises to book a table at a nearby bar or restaurant that overlooks the Square.
3. Sydney, Australia
Known as the world’s second-largest New Year’s celebration, it also provides spectators with the world’s largest fireworks display. “In years past, Sydney has spent more than $4 million in pyrotechnics expenses for the one night alone,” according to Kristina Luna, a Travel Channel contributor. It also includes events throughout the day leading up to midnight, including firing a cannon every hour from Fort Denison.
What better way to say “Happy New Year” than while watching fireworks illuminate the beachfronts at Aloha Tower, Waikiki and Ko Olina on Oahu; Wailea, Hana and Manele Bay on Maui; and Poipu Beach on Kaua. Throw in celebratory beachside bars and clubs, theme nights, open-air music concerts and boat cruises, and you should have more than enough spirit to ring in the new year.
5. New Orleans
Known for Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, this city also knows how to ring in an entertaining New Year’s Eve celebration. Included in the celebration are 15 minutes of fire-work displays. “Jam-packed Jackson Square is the hub, with live musical entertainment leading up to the countdown, helmed by the drop of an 8-foot-tall, illuminated fleur-de-lis (symbol of the Big Easy) from an illuminated perch that it shares with Baby New Year, set five stories atop the Jax Brewery,” according to Elissa Richard, a Yahoo Travel writer.
Make sure to keep this city in mind — Atlanta’s Peach Drop event is labeled as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Southeast. “Expect carnival rides, vendors, live music (classic-rock band Kansas headlines this year), and its namesake Peach Drop (a play on Times Square’s ball drop), all in the name of feting the new year,” Richard writes. The event is held at downtown’s Underground Atlanta, which is a six-block shopping, dining, and entertainment complex.
7. San Juan, Puerto Rico
This location comes highly recommended by Travel + Leisure. Sip a coquito — a Puerto Rican version of eggnog popular this time of year — or simply enjoy ringing in the New Year with plenty of cocktails, beautiful beaches, and warm weather. Your evening will start off with salsa and merengue in a club near the beach and will end with monumental fireworks. Plus, it’s a cheaper alternative to Miami.
8. Edinburgh, Scotland
Ready to ring in the New Year with a torchlight procession? Or maybe you’d rather watch a parade led by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa vikings with pipes and drums, which leads to an amazing fireworks display. Top that off with multiple bands and endless entertainment, and you’ll be set for a memorable New Year’s.
The city’s Bash On Broadway event, which takes place in downtown Nashville, features huge names in country music. With unlimited music, fireworks, and the midnight Music Note Drop (which is exactly what it sounds like — they drop a giant music note), Nashville festivities will continue into the wee hours on New Year’s. Don’t forget to check out the confetti cannons that are set to rain down on the crowd.
10. Jakarta, Indonesia
“One of the first major cities in the world to welcome in the New Year, Jakarta’s celebrations see people partying on the street, outdoor concerts, and a dazzling display of fireworks,” according to Hostel World. Jakarta is already famous for it’s raucous nightlife. Now imagine all of the festivities that will take place in those bars as you ring in the New Year.
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