The year is coming rapidly to a close and New Year’s Eve will be here before you know it. Many people choose to take a vacation over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you’re less likely to face the travel crowds and stress if you travel over New Year’s instead. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to go somewhere fun to bring in the new year.
Now is a great time to start planning your New Year’s Eve vacation. According to research, if you want to save money on flights, you should book between 60 and 90 days in advance. As it gets closer to the day of departure, flight prices tend to skyrocket.
Additionally, it gives you time to plan what you’ll do during your vacation. Follow a party planning checklist for New Year’s to make sure you’re all set for the big day. This is particularly useful when you’re traveling and you don’t want to forget to pack something.
While you’re scheming the perfect New Year’s trip and all the partying you’ll do that evening, here are a few places to consider traveling.
St. George Island
There’s a little known secret south of Florida that’s perfect for your New Year’s Eve vacation. It’s called St. George Island, and there’s no better way to experience Florida’s Gulf Coast. You can celebrate the New Year’s holiday with your own peaceful beach getaway.
This gorgeous destination has something for everyone, even at the beginning of January when temperatures on the island aren’t quite as idyllic as the previous months. From breathtaking beaches to tours of local landmarks to shopping, everyone in your group will be entertained.
St. George Island features 22 miles of Florida’s famous white sandy beaches. Some of these beaches are found within St. George Island State Park, which has been named one of the top 10 state parks in America.
This is largely thanks to the lack of commercialism. While Miami and Tampa beaches are backdropped with high-rise buildings, there’s nothing of the sort on this island. Guests often find themselves walking along deserted beaches, which will be particularly true during the New Year’s vacation when the temperatures are slightly cooler. It’s the perfect place to travel for enchanting tranquility.
If you’re into the commercial scene, don’t fret—there’s excellent shopping throughout St. George Island, as well as the nearby port town of Apalachicola. These two places are known for their handmade nautical knick knacks, custom-made jewelry, and other souvenirs found in the noteworthy eclectic shops.
Tourists of the island also rave about the world-famous Apalachicola Bay oysters, shrimp, and fresh fish found in dozens of waterfront restaurants. You can even take the kids ghost crab hunting and catch your own dinner!
There are opportunities to go boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, shelling, beachcombing, and so much more by way of outdoor recreation. The tour of St. George Island lighthouse is a must-visit for history buffs, as well. You can see the gorgeous lighthouse from anywhere on the island, so you’ll likely be itching for a tour before the night’s over.
If you’re looking for an inland New Year’s Eve vacation, Lansing, Michigan is the place for you. It might not be the destination you think of when you first consider traveling for the holiday, but you’ll soon discover it’s a gorgeous treasure of a town with plenty to explore and experience.
Those who visit Lansing, MI can’t say enough great things about the local culture, delicious restaurants, first-class hotels, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The winter is a particularly unique time to visit when a dusting of snow covers the land and creates a peaceful winter wonderland.
For adults, there are dozens of full art galleries, theaters, sporting events, wineries, breweries, distilleries, world-class museums, and fantastic nightlife. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll love the educational opportunities, including the Impression 5 Science Center, State Capitol Building tour, and Michigan’s Historical Museum.
Lansing pulls out all the stops for New Year’s Eve, including the New Year’s Eve in the Irish Hills party. It’s a special event at the Chateau Aeronautique Winery and Blue Skies Brewery. You can enjoy free tastings and a low-key party to welcome in the new year.
There will be many other private events, including New Year’s Eve Ballroom Bashes Around the World, New Years Eve Glow Party, A Night of Elegance: Heaven on Earth Musical, New Year’s Eve Ball – The Great Gatsby Style, and a variety of other New Year’s Eve parties for both adults and families.
Downtown Lansing also puts on a New Year’s Eve Fest, including dinner, champagne toasts, fireworks, and other amenities provided by downtown businesses. It’s a fun way to experience the new year in an American state capitol.
Although the weather will be somewhat chilly, you can’t beat the beauty of the Oregon Coast, even in the winter.
Enjoy the Oregon Coast experience to the fullest at North Bend, OR. This destination off of the S-shaped inlet of Coos Bay is breathtaking, even in the winter. It’s the perfect small-town New Year’s getaway with plenty to do.
Perhaps one of North Bend’s most celebrated attractions during New Years is the Mill Casino. They have a huge Countdown to New Year’s party featuring a series of buffets and events starting the weekend before New Year’s. In the late evening, there are party favors and beads handed out to each guest, as well as an apple cider toast and confetti cannon. There’s live music throughout the event with a small per-head ticket cost.
There’s also plenty of opportunities to win big. Last year, they gave away more than $10,000 worth of giveaways and cash prizes. You can also play in the casino as long as you want for your chance to win.
New York City
At least once in your lifetime, you should visit New York City for New Year’s Eve. This city pulls out all the stops for the holiday, and it’s absolutely gorgeous in the winter, particularly after a fresh snowfall.
Watching the ball drop in Times Square is an absolute must. There’s plenty of entertainment, including celebrity performers and engaging hosts. You might even find yourself on national television! Don’t worry about getting too cold—about a million people crowd into Times Square for the event, generating plenty of body heat to keep you warm. Just be sure to get there early if you want a good spot.
There are also dozens of concerts in New York City’s many music venues, including Lincoln Center, Broadway, and even Central Park. Try to catch a show before heading out to see the ball drop.
Throughout the New Year’s holiday, many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs also offer specials on food, drinks, and desserts, so you can eat your fill and drink the night away. Just remember to drink responsibly and make arrangements to travel home afterwards instead of driving.
If you’re looking for something a little more unique for the New Year’s holiday, hop aboard a New Year’s Eve cruise and tour the harbor. Some are swanky affairs that require elegant evening wear, some are family-friendly sailing trips, and a few are booze cruises. There’s always something for everyone when you visit New York City to ring in the New Year!