7 Best Cities for NYE That Are Not NYC

We have nothing against New York. If you’re going there, have a great time and take lots of pictures. But there are a million other sites out there telling you how to have the “Best New Year’s Eve Ever in NYC”. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before. Maybe you’re sick of the same old routine of building up way too much hype, signing away a quarter of your life savings, and spending half of your night in cabs. Maybe you don’t live that close to New York and you’re looking for something more in your neck of the woods. Maybe you’re even a New Yorker who just wants to do something different this year. Well this is your year! Here’s to new adventures in new places!  So we’re counting down the best cities for NYE not named New York.  Sorry New York. It’s not you, it’s us.

7. Honolulu

Keauhou Bay, Big Island, Hawaii
Keauhou Bay Sunset (photo: Ron Cogswell)

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a cover and $15 drinks, why not put that money toward a plane ticket?  Join a luau with Hawaiian food, choreographed Polynesian dances, and traditional Hawaiian songs.  Check out the New Year’s Eve party in Honolulu with 8 different areas featuring something for everyone with DJ’s, Rock, Reggae, over 25 food trucks and vendors, mechanical bulls, and of course fireworks!  You’ll have an awesome story, beautiful pictures, and a fantastic time.

6. Nashville:

Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee
Grand Ole Opry House (photo: Ron Cogswell)

The country music capital of the world is no stranger to a good time.  This year, Music City’s own Kings of Leon will be headlining the annual Bash on Broadway.  While you’re there, be sure to enjoy some of Nashville’s famous barbecue!  Jack’s BBQ has been on Broadway since 1976.  Stick around the next day and check out the Gaylord Opryland Resort (you don’t have to be a guest to visit) and visit the Parthenon, which is a full-scale replica of the original in Athens.

5. Miami:

Pitbull performing in Miami
The one and only Mr. 305 (photo: NBC Miami)

Kind of like New York, but warmer, slightly cheaper, and with beaches.  Miami hosts a range of parties and celebrations for everyone from the budget traveler to the high roller, making it a great choice for those looking to escape the cold.  This year there are no shortage of options, including Drake, The Weeknd and Steve Aoki, Billy Joel, Questlove, a Yacht Party and more!  But if you can’t make up your mind, why not go with Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull, at American Airlines Arena?  Dale.

4. Orlando:

Fireworks at Epcot
Epcot knows how to light it up (photo: Chensiyuan)

Instead of bar-hopping all night, what if you could spend New Year’s Eve hopping from country to country?  Check out Disney’s Epcot, where you can hop between 11 different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Morocco, France, UK, and Canada.  The parks stay open until 1 am and feature laser shows, DJ’s, parades, and a huge fireworks show at midnight.  It’s also a little less crowded at this time of year.

3. Denver:

Union Station in Denver, Colorado.
Denver’s Union Station (photo: Isaac Kim)

Spend the weekend on the slopes at some of the best resorts in the country, with Winter Park, Vail, Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain all within a 2-hour drive.  Afterwards, enjoy après ski at one of the many microbreweries in and around the city.  Then head downtown to watch the city’s spectacular annual fireworks show available at 9 pm and midnight.

2. Philadelphia:

Philadelphia Mummer's Parade
Philadelphia Mummer’s Parade (photo: Vladimir)

Make a resolution to show a little more brotherly love in 2016 with a trip to Philadelphia: home to the Declaration of Independence, Rocky, and world-famous cheesesteaks (they just call them “steaks”).  What many people don’t know, is that Philly is also the site of one of the nation’s best New Year’s Day parades–the Mummer’s Parade.  It is believed to be the oldest folk festival in the US.  The first official Mummer’s Parade was held in 1901.  However, the tradition is as old as America itself.  The official start time is 10 am on January 1st, however, the festivities will begin even earlier as Philadelphians kick off the new year with an all-day party.

1. Las Vegas:

No, just kidding. We’re doing NYE differently this year remember?

1. Our real number one is New Orleans.

Jackson Square at night
Jackson Square at night (photo: David Mark)

New York may be the city that never sleeps.  But no one knows how to get down like New Orleans.  Enjoy unique cuisine fused from Caribbean, Spanish, French, Italian, and African influences.  Dance all night to an endless supply of live tunes performed by some of the best jazz musicians in the country.  And take advantage of the open-container law (just no glass bottles).  Make sure you venture outside of Bourbon Street and check out the many intimate jazz clubs of world-famous Frenchmen Street, only a short walk away.  Stick around the next night to watch Oklahoma State take on Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome.

Where are you going for NYE?  Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image by Lumpi.

Category: Travel Tips


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