Under-the-Radar New Year’s Eve Getaways for a Way Cooler Countdown
New Year's Eve planning can be stressful. Should you throw a party? Attend someone else's with your fave plus-one? Or spend it chilling with a great meal, your closest people, and your Netflix subscription? (No shame in that game.) If you're looking for something different and exciting this year, we've got some great ideas for you. These fun getaways around the world feature everything for a crazy night out, chill night in, or the perfect mix in between. (Photo via Vidanta)
Mexico City, Mexico: Named the #1 trending NYE destination by Airbnb, this city has many meaningful New Year's traditions, including gathering near the main monument, El Ángel (more formally known as Monumento a la Independencia), at the stroke of midnight to make 12 wishes for the new year while eating 12 grapes. One thing to note: Meals start late (even after midnight), and most restaurants require reservations in advance. (Photo via Getty)
Montauk, New York: A few hours away from NYE epicenter Times Square, this laid-back beach town has the perfect mix of relaxing downtime activities and party scene. (In fact, many New Yorkers come out here for NYE.) At Gurney’s Montauk, you can kiss 2018 goodbye at Scarpetta Beach, then continue the party at the exclusive The Beach Club for DJ, bottle service, and dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo via Gurney's Montauk)
Pier Village, Long Branch, New Jersey: The Jersey Shore is finally growing up with this chic new development area along the boardwalk in Long Branch, New Jersey. If you're in search of a relaxed beachside New Year’s Eve, look no further. Newly refreshed Bungalow has chic in-room design by famed photographer and interior designer Nicole Cohen. Book a table at Sirena Ristorante, then watch fireworks along the boardwalk. (Photo via Bungalow)
Charleston, South Carolina: This Southern party city hosts weddings, bachelorette weekends, and girlfriend getaways all spring and summer, but its stroll-friendly downtown and haute low-country food scene make it a charming destination for NYE too. For a seriously cute couple-time getaway, there’s nothing like Zero George, a 16-suite luxury hotel built in an 1804 carriage house. Toast to 2019 with a bottle of Moët and an ounce of caviar with all the accoutrements. (Photo via Zero George)
The Poconos, Pennsylvania: Once known as a classic honeymoon destination, the Poconos are fast becoming a fun — and more affordable — hipster alternative to upstate New York. You’ll find cute, walkable towns with plenty of charm, world-class wineries (like Mountain View Vineyard), and even a celeb-filled NYE party at Mount Airy Resort. Spend the day at the spa or lounge poolside in a daybed, then linger over an elegant pre-midnight chophouse meal at NYC outpost Bistecca by Il Mulino. (Photo via Mount Airy Resort)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico If a below-zero New Year’s party isn’t quite your thing, this beautiful stretch of shoreline an hour south of Cancun might be right up your alley. With four nights of parties planned from December 28 to 31, Thompson Playa del Carmen will host one of the biggest south-of-the-border NYE fests with celeb headliners, VIP cabanas and even a live rooftop concert New Year's night. (Photo via Thompson Playa del Carmen)
Miami, Florida: It's known as a party city 365 days a year, so it's no surprise that Miami hosts a New Year's that can't be topped. Right now, the hottest party on the beach is set to be at The Mondrian — tickets for a four-hour open bar party with DJ start under $100. To throw your own private NYE celebration, book a penthouse suite at the W South Beach, and watch the waterfront fireworks from the comfort of your own rooftop deck and plunge pool. Or for something fun and cheap, Bayfront Park hosts the largest free party in South Florida. (Photo via Getty)
New Orleans, Louisiana: The Big Easy's New Year's celebration is called Big Night, and this year, the Hyatt Regency is claiming that it has the biggest celebration in town. But visitors hoping to play it by ear can find plenty of great music and festivities around almost every corner in smaller cocktail bars, dives, and music clubs in the revel-friendly neighborhoods of Decatur Street and Frenchmen Street. (Photo via Getty)
Los Cabos, Mexico: With a ton of new hotel openings and gorgeous views of the Sea of Cortez to attract partiers, Mexico's fastest-growing resort area is set to rival Vegas this year. At Vidanta, guests get access to OMNIA Day Club, which includes access to a weekend-long lineup of entertainment. Close out 2018 to a list of performers including EDM star 3LAU and legendary Grammy Award-winning producer and artist Jermaine Dupri, all capped off with an epic display of fireworks on the beach. (Photo via Vidanta Los Cabos)
Danube River Cruise: There's still time to book U by Uniworld's Dashing Through the Danube cruise over New Year’s. Take a scenic, torch-lit night walk along the Ilz River while drinking mulled wine and enjoying sweet treats, experience holiday markets in Vienna, ice skate at the Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest, and celebrate the new year with fireworks and a champagne toast on board or out on the town in Vienna. (Photo via U by Uniworld)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The UAE's capital city hosts a huge island-wide NYE party ever year, including fireworks displays all around the city, and a to-be-revealed performance by a big-name performer (in past years, performers have been Katy Perry and Coldplay). It's easier to reach than ever thanks to Etihad Airways' nonstop flights from JFK, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, and with the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, this location is on everyone's hotlist this year. (Photo via Abu Dhabi Tourism)
Western Europe Tour: If you prefer going by bus and rail, Contiki still has room on its Western Rocker tour over New Year's. Bus through London, Paris, Rome, and the Swiss Alps and stay in comfy accommodations while eating your body weight in antipasto and visiting sites such as the Sistine Chapel. It's a total steal and a great way to see Europe during one of the prettiest times of year. Or stay in on NYE to save up for their debut Tanzania tour launching in April.
San Diego, California: Who needs freezing Times Square when you can rent a whole home minutes from the beach and celebrate New Year's Eve in pretty much the perfect climate, SoCal-style? Options for a swank night out or in are endless, including holing up in one of the Gaslamp District's hip clubs, finding one of the many beach parties on the bay, or even renting your own private yacht for a spectacular midnight sail. Airbnb has ranked this sunny city #8 on its trending NYE destination list. (Photo via Getty)
Chiang Mai, Thailand: In Thailand, locals believe releasing rice paper lanterns up into the night sky will help release worries and fears. And in addition to the city's yearly Yi Peng festival in November, it's become more of a tradition for locals and visitors to send up lanterns near the Tha Phae Gate on the west side of the old city on New Year's as well, writing their wishes and resolutions for the new year. For $35 a night, this treehouse is still available on December 30 for a little pre-NYE celebration. (Photo via Airbnb)
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