With New Year's Eve a few weeks away, it's time to finalize plans. It's a holiday that always seems to creep up, leaving people wondering exactly where they want to be when they bring in the New Year. It can be challenging to narrow down exactly where to go, but I think it's really all about the mood you're in.
Here are seven destination recommendations based on the type of New Year's Eve that you want to have.
Although the average December temperature in Amsterdam is 44 degrees F, it doesn't stop people from partying and celebrating the New Year. While bars, clubs and restaurants offer party options, many people opt to celebrate out in public squares — with perhaps the biggest celebration being in the Museumplein, which hosts the national New Year's Eve party. After the partying, another seasonal site is the Amsterdam Light Festival, which runs from Dec. 6 through Jan. 14. If you're interested in going to Amsterdam, book quickly — this is definitely a destination that requires some planning.
Click here for more information on New Year's Eve parties and events in Amsterdam.
Cabo is a more upscale destination in Mexico, and it offers anything from sexy beach parties to more low-key bar celebrations. It is known to attract celebs, and it's a quick flight from Los Angeles. New Year's Eve is definitely a big celebration in Cabo, and the key is to do a little party research before you go. Nikki Beach at the ME Cabo resort usually hosts one of the biggest parties. However, the restaurants close to town on the beach also offer all-inclusive dinner/open-bar packages that are equally enjoyable. My favorite is The Office on the Beach, but there is a strip of similar places on Medano Beach to choose from.
Click here for more information on New Year's Eve events in Cabo.
The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is famous for being a truly epic New Year's Eve party. It supposedly started as a party with a few friends during the 1980s, and it's now a huge celebration that attracts thousands. There is actually a full-moon party every month, but the biggest celebration is always on New Year's Eve, when the island transforms into an all-night/day rave with costumes, body paint etc. Only recommended for people who really want to party!
Click here for more information on the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.
There's nothing more classic than ringing in the New Year in Times Square and watching the ball drop. (OK, so maybe I am a little biased, being a native New Yorker.) This annual tradition was started in 1907 by New York Times owner Adolph Ochs. It has been hosted over the years by musical celebrities like Guy Lombardo and Dick Clark, and it's now hosted by Ryan Seacrest. Whether you're in Times Square watching everything live or at home watching on TV, it's something that most people are familiar with. And despite the crowds and cold temps, I recommend that everyone try to do this live at least once!
See here for more information on New Year's Eve in Times Square.
Dubai is all about luxury and top-notch accommodations. If you're looking for a sexy and upscale New Year's Eve, it is the place to be. Dubai has the world's only seven-star hotel, the world's tallest building and the world's biggest mall. Downtown Dubai has the biggest celebration, located at Burj Khalifa (the aforementioned world's tallest building). This would be my top pick. One thing that shouldn't be missed when visiting Dubai is the Big Bus Tour. There is no better way to get a feel for Dubai, and you can hop on/off as desired to visit various souks, museums and more. I've done it two times and would do it again! So if you're a first-time visitor, be sure to fit this in before or after your big New Year's Eve night out.
See here for more information on New Year's Eve in Dubai.
Vegas is the perfect party destination on any weekend (or weeknight), but you can multiply it by 10 for New Year's Eve. Clubs book top talent, restaurants have special dining menus and there are late-night shows to help ring in the New Year. With all of the activity on the strip, my main suggestion is to stay in the casino where you plan to celebrate so that you can avoid taxi lines and long walks while getting to your destination. I did this when I celebrated New Year's Eve in Vegas, and it was a super-smart decision. Some top clubs in Vegas at the moment are Hakkasan and Marquee, but wherever you go is sure to be a fun and crazy time!
See here for more information on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
Belize is a great option for people who want a warm and laid-back New Year's Eve. It has affordable prices and an authentic feel that will make anyone feel comfortable. The country is home to the Great Blue Hole (an underwater sinkhole) — one of the best-known sites in the country and a definite must-see. If you want a no-heels (for the ladies), beachy celebration — this is the place for you!
See here for more information on Caye Caulker.
Of course, there are many options beyond these seven, but these are all tried-and-true options that are sure to help you bring in the New Year in a festive and fun way. This year, I'll be staying close to home and doing the classic New York New Year's Eve. Where will you be to bring in the New Year?
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