Best budget-friendly spots to celebrate New Year’s Eve

Dec 25, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. ET

Want to party like a rock star on New Year’s Eve without spending an entire paycheck? Check out these budget-friendly destinations where you can ring in the New Year on the cheap.

New Year's Eve in San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco is the ultimate destination for adventurous party-goers this New Year’s. Off-season rates can save you money on lodgings. Spend money on a big-ticket party or hit the streets to enjoy the free fireworks display. Visit the San Francisco Visitors Bureau for a huge list of things to do around New Year’s, including family-friendly entertainment.

Austin, Texas

If you’re a live music fan, it doesn’t get better than Austin’s New Year, a totally free festival that takes place on Auditorium Shores. This booze-free, family-friendly festival rings in the New Year with dozens of local acts, as well as activities for children and a massive fireworks display. Splurge on one of the boutique hotels in Austin or save money by staying at one of the budget-friendly and reliable national chains.


Love to eat gourmet seafood? Seattle is the place to be. In January, rates for hotels are lower because the weather can be chilly and damp. Experience the local scene around New Year’s for much lower prices than you would at the height of cruise and tourism season in the summer. As long as you’re not expecting bright sunny days, you’ll have a blast. Check the weather before you leave so you can pack appropriately.

Orlando, Florida

The nation’s top theme park destination is also home to some of the hottest parties and best fireworks displays. Orlando gets busy around New Year’s, but the area is equipped to handle huge numbers of visitors, so hotels will still have rooms at decent rates. Use discount hotel booking websites to find the best rate so you can save your money for a wild night out. Be aware that season pass holders to some Orlando theme parks may experience blackout dates around New Year’s.

Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Looking for a romantic way to celebrate the New Year? Resorts in the romance-heavy Poconos offer inclusive deals on New Year’s celebrations that save you big bucks on food and drinks. This is a great place to celebrate a special year together. Look for last-minute specials on suites for two. The weather is chilly in January, but inside it’ll definitely be hot.

More winter travel

3 Best resorts for a winter getaway
Winter travel deals
10 Winter family destinations