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Where To Go For New Year In America
Let your imagination go into full gear and decide on a location you can go to during the New Year holiday. Here’s our top 25 list of cities you where to go for new year in America:
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Los Angeles, California
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
- Denver, Colorado
- Miami, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- Tampa, Florida
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Chicago, Illinois
- Louisville, Kentucky
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Atlantic City, New Jersey
- New York City, New York
- Portland, Oregon
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Houston, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Seattle, Washington
- Washington DC
Need some more New Year celebration ideas? We’ve got some great ideas to help you find what you’re looking for:
- Warm Places In The US To Visit During The New Year
- Wishes for Every Person In Your Life
- Simple But Romantic New Year’s Eve Ideas for Couples
Where To Go For New Year In America
The winter holidays are the perfect time to explore new places and make memories with friends and family.
With so many fun destinations to explore in the country, it can be hard to decide which place is best!
To help narrow down your options, here are great places you should consider visiting to ring in the New Year:
Forbes named Birmingham as one of its’ 9 budget-friendly winter destinations in the world.
Birmingham is considered off-season, with crowds decreasing after the December holidays and staying scarce until the beginning of spring.
Low hotel prices, fewer visitors, and moderate temperatures are all to be expected, with highs in the low to mid-fifties and hanging just around freezing.
If you want to do a lot of walking, dress in layers and bring a thick jacket, but keep in mind that snowfall is very uncommon.
Los Angeles, California
Despite the fact that Southern California does not have the typical “white Christmas,” there is still plenty of holiday cheer to be seen across the Greater Los Angeles area.
Here are some of the finest things to do in Los Angeles in December, ranging from some of the world’s best Christmas shopping locations to some of the most spectacular light displays in the area.
Holiday Light Displays
It is possible to find areas in Los Angeles that decorate every visible surface with amazing light shows to mark the occasion of the Christmas season.
Snow in LA!
Take a drive up to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument for a really genuine “white winter” experience.
During the winter months, there is enough snow here to have fun in. It’s just 90 minutes outside of Los Angeles, yet it seems like a plane ride away.
Shopping options thrive in Los Angeles, which is considered the world’s mecca of shopping.
Many of these malls are located outdoors, allowing you to take advantage of the pleasant December weather as you shop for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
San Diego, California
With lots of sunlight and a pleasant temperature, San Diego is a wonderful year-round place to visit, even for residents who want to take advantage of a staycation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll appreciate the fewer crowds, breathtaking sunsets, and unique activities that can only be found in California during the winter.
Here are our best picks:
Parade of Lights
Each December, a fleet of more than 80 boats decked up in colorful, sparkling holiday lights cruises across the bay before turning towards Coronado Island, where it may be seen from the Ferry Landing.
Seaside Ice Skating
Is it possible to go ice skating in California? One of San Diego’s most cherished winter traditions is coming!
During the winter months, from mid-November to early January, the famous Hotel Del on Coronado Island, off the coast of San Diego, offers outdoor ice skating by the beach.
The rink, which is located by the shore, provides unrivaled views of the Pacific.
Keep an eye out for the tens of thousands of gray whales that will be migrating from Alaska to the balmy seas of Baja, Mexico. They undertake one of the most extensive migrations of any animal on the planet!
Between the months of December and April, you may see them off the coast of San Diego, which has 20 miles of coastline.
San Francisco, California
Holiday activities most likely bring to mind images of sled rides through snow-covered roads or carollers singing out their best yuletide carols in spite of the bitter cold.
In San Francisco, on the other hand, the weather is almost always in the vicinity of fifty degrees.
Whether it’s day or night, Christmas or summer, the temperature doesn’t move much, making this city one of the finest locations to visit during the holiday season in the United States.
Pay a Visit to The Exploratorium
The Exploratorium, which has been hailed as one of the best science museums in the nation, is a ton of fun for people of all ages.
They have a large range of exhibits that will keep adults and youngsters busy for hours on end.
View Light Displays
The holiday season brings spectacular light displays to many neighborhoods and locations.
Take a stroll around some of the quaint alleys and take in the sparkling splendor of the season. A tour of these neighborhoods is definitely worth the time and effort.
The Bay Area is well-known for its seemingly limitless supply of delectable cuisine. Everything from local farmer’s markets and food kiosks to Michelin-starred restaurants can be found here, ensuring that there is something for every kind of foodie.
If you’re looking for genuine, traditional Chinese cuisine, go to San Francisco’s famed Chinatown, or if Italian cuisine is more your style, head to South Beach, where you’re sure to find something delectable.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Lake Tahoe is stunning in the winter. It’s an amazing sight with its snow-covered peaks, fresh turquoise and blue-hued water, and alpine woods with spiraling fir and pine trees. The fresh mountain smells fill the air, bringing back memories of childhood vacations.
Winter holidays in Lake Tahoe are peaceful. It’s classy. An air of calm and relaxation. It’s a leafy suburb with beautiful mountain cottages, houses, and resorts. Lake Tahoe is the place to go if you want luxury this coming new year.
Denver, known as the state capital of Colorado, is a fascinating city in the United States that attracts a large number of visitors each year. In the background, especially during the winter season, there is a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. Being a popular tourist destination, it is home to many other attractions such as:
- Ski resorts
- Denver Zoo
- Denver Art Museum
There are also numerous lovely parks, like:
- Civic Center Park
- City Park
- Cheesman Park
Denver is also known for its spectacular holiday festivities. From the Holiday Carousel to the beautiful lights, to the engaging performances, to the exciting ice skating, there is something for everyone. During your winter vacation in Denver, take part in all of the activities with your family and friends.
Miami, Florida, is the perfect holiday vacation destination! Forget the winter jacket and enjoy a winter getaway.
It’s wrong to think of Miami as a tropical beach getaway reserved only for spring break and summer. Miami also offers incredible food, picturesque views, and unique culture on top of its beach!
Year-round, Miami has something to offer everyone when it comes to fun attractions and activities.
A great time to visit Miami is in the winter, when there are fewer crowds and less traffic, and when the weather is breathtaking!
A temperature of 75 degrees is not strange for Miami in the winter, so flip-flops and shorts are not out of place.
When it comes to enjoying warm, sunny weather in December, what’s not to like? That’s especially true when you compare it to the temperatures that may occasionally fall below zero in northern regions.
Orlando offers something for everyone, from water parks and amusement parks to lush resorts and golf courses. There is something for everyone in Orlando.
With the occasional treat of the ocean that is often warm enough to swim in, you’ve got yourself a vacation location that will make you forget about how chilly it is back home.
The weather in Tampa is warm and sunny, unlike our northern friends who are huddled inside to avoid the cold.
Snow skiing may not be the typical winter activity here, but there are lots of other enjoyable and unique ways to celebrate the season.
This includes outdoor events and activities that you and your family may participate in and still be safe and maintain social distancing.
Take a stroll down the Riverwalk in the evening to enjoy the finest views. Inspiring displays of holiday lights and decorations can be seen everywhere, from Armature Works in the north to Sparkman Wharf in the south and Curtis Hixon Park in the center.
Busch Gardens Tampa’s top-rated annual Christmas Town event offers families a festive opportunity to reignite that holiday spirit in a joyous setting.
Whenever the sun sets, the lights come on, and you find yourself immersed in a winter paradise filled with all of your favorite Christmas sights, sounds, and scents.
Atlanta’s Christmas is not your traditional “White Christmas,” as you would expect. It seldom snows down there, and there was a year when it reached 75 degrees which is very warm for this time of year.
Although there is no snow, there are still plenty of opportunities to get into the holiday mood with various Atlanta Christmas events. Here is a selection of some of our favorites.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
More than 30 acres of outdoor gardens, dozens of permanent sculptures, and water elements are available in the garden.
Even their own full-time team of scientists! The garden’s annual outdoor light show, “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights,” is open throughout the holiday season.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens are transformed with thousands of twinkling lights and live holiday lights and music during the holiday season.
A visit to Zoo Atlanta is another exciting thing to do in Atlanta during the winter months. As one of the nation’s oldest institutions, the zoo’s history can be traced back to 1889.
A petting zoo and many interactive activities are available for visitors to enjoy, learn from, and explore on Zoo Atlanta’s 40-acre grounds, which include indoor and outdoor parks as well as a petting zoo.
Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park debuted in 1965. There are two golf courses and two hotels on 3,200 acres of natural splendor. Throughout the year, the park offers various events and family activities.
The Confederate Memorial Carving shows three Confederate figures from the Civil War. The cut surface covers three acres and rises 400 feet. Mrs. Helen Plane’s carving started in 1912.
After 60 years, three sculptors, and 60 delays, the monument was completed in 1972. A cable car takes visitors to the summit of Stone Mountain, where the Confederate Memorial Carving is best seen.
Ponce City Market
No visit to Atlanta would be complete without a stop at the Ponce City Market, whether in the winter or in the summer. The Ponce City Market is literally in the center of Atlanta.
Apartments are located on the upper floors of the east and west wings of the structure, while the Ponce City Market is located in the middle of the building, from the ground level to the roof, and offers a variety of shopping, eating, and entertainment options.
Hawaii has been a popular vacation destination for over a century. Exotic Estates Maui villas and beachfront condos suit all budgets and lifestyles.
If you’re visiting Hawaii to escape the cold and snow, you’ll be happy to learn that the weather is rather stable throughout the year. Hawaii has just two seasons: Hoolio(winter) and Kau(summer).
Even in the winter, temperatures seldom dip below 75 degrees, making Hawaii a year-round destination for most people. This makes it an excellent destination for any time of year.
Winter in Chicago is magical, and you can’t help but feel it. From the Magnificent Mile to Millennium Park and its lively neighborhoods, Chicago is a hive of seasonal festivities.
And no matter what holiday you celebrate, there’s much to do. Enjoy sparkling lights at a historic zoo, ice skating under “The Bean”, a Christmas performance at a beautiful downtown theatre, or hot chocolate while walking through the lovely snow-covered streets.
Here are some of our favorite winter holiday events and activities in Chicago.
ZooLights – Lincoln Park Zoo
No Christmas in Chicago is complete without spectacular light displays. Lincoln Park Zoo will host ZooLights.
With more than 2.5 million lights illuminate the historic zoo, featuring music-driven shows. Don’t forget to check out their themed pop-up bars, adult nights out, and more.
Holiday Magic – The Brookfield Zoo
The Brookfield Zoo will hold its annual Holiday Magic exhibit. Zoo-goers may walk through the 600-foot-long Tunnel of Lights, which has hundreds of colorful lights synced to music.
Lightscape – Chicago Botanic Garden
Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden enables visitors to explore the botanical garden after dark. Enjoy the beauty of sparkling lights as you stroll along this nighttime walkway.
Illumination: Tree Lights – The Morton Arboretum
Enjoy Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum in neighboring Lisle. The mile-long paved walkway provides stunning views of the arboretum’s lighting installations. Then cook s’mores beside the fire.
Skating – Millennium Park
Lace your skates up and go to one of the city’s free outdoor ice rinks to enjoy the winter weather.
The beautiful ice rink in Millennium Park provides panoramic views of Cloud Gate (also known as “The Bean”) and the surrounding city skyline, which has been powdered with snow in the winter months.
Christmas Tree Lighting – Millennium Park
Don’t overlook one of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions, the annual City of Chicago Christmas tree.
Large, sparkling lights decorate the enormous tree that will light up the center of Millennium Park. The tree will remain lit between Michigan Avenue and Washington Street until early Jan.
The winter months in Louisville may not be as sunny as escaping to a hot Southern climate, but the state’s largest city has much to offer tourists in December, January, and February.
In addition to holiday activities centered around Christmas and New Year’s Day, visitors to Louisville may tour a variety of museums.
If the weather becomes too chilly, you may explore Kentucky’s underground caves. Finally, for those seeking a little warmth inside, a shot or two of Kentucky’s famous bourbon ought to fix it.
New Orleans, Louisiana
December in the South is not the traditional winter paradise with ski resorts and snow angels, but rather a distinct experience in and of itself, particularly in New Orleans.
If you’re spending the holidays in New Orleans, you may notice that beads, rather than icicles, line the streets.
Whether it’s bonfires constructed to light the way for Santa or dazzling Christmas lights like you’ve never seen before, New Orleans makes up for the absence of snow in its own unique and fascinating manner.
Aside from the plethora of Christmas festivities to be enjoyed, winter temperatures in New Orleans are quite moderate, with an average high of 65 degrees and a low of 46 degrees on a daily basis.
Because of this, you can still go out and explore without having to lug your feet around in oversized snow boots.
Spending December in New Orleans is a fantastic opportunity to make memories with your favorite people that will last a lifetime, thanks to the ideal sweater weather and amazing activities to do!
Las Vegas, Nevada
It is certain that you will have a fantastic time if you intend to spend Christmas and perhaps New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
We have to admit that Las Vegas is renowned for doing things in style and on a grand scale. Wintertime is no exception to this rule.
The holiday season is really a fantastic time to visit Las Vegas, and this year, most casinos are encouraging socially distanced fun and enjoyment as part of their holiday promotions.
The Las Vegas strip will be alive with holiday cheer as the casinos compete to outdo one another in terms of decorations, lighting, and massive Christmas trees.
If you enjoy Christmas shows, be aware that due to capacity restrictions, tickets for certain performances tend to sell out quickly.
If you intend to attend one of these performances, get your tickets as soon as possible.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Looking for a fun winter escape on the East Coast? Look no further. While most people associate the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City with summer vacations, there is much to do in Atlantic City throughout the winter months!
In order to enjoy winter in Atlantic City, here are the best ways to do it, whether you want to travel in December to get your pre-holiday cheer on or if you want to stay in January and February to keep the Winter Blues away.
Take A Stroll By The Shore
Considering driving all the way along Jersey Coast without ever seeing the Jersey shore, consider this, while the views from your hotel may be breathtaking, you should take the time to go down the beach at some point.
While it is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, it is also the third tallest in the whole country!
For those interested in taking in the view from the summit, there are almost 250 stairs to climb, although the keeper’s cottage and the remainder of the grounds are considerably more convenient for all visitors.
The aquarium, in contrast to many of Atlantic City’s aquatic attractions, is open all year long. This means that you will be able to see aquatic species up close throughout the year.
This is one of the greatest things to do in Atlantic City during the winter for kids and families traveling together, and it is a fantastic opportunity to combine vacation with learning at the same time.
It’s a great alternative to going to a pub or club for folks looking to have a good time. It is difficult for people who travel to discover other evening activities, and this is an excellent opportunity to broaden their horizons beyond the usual nightlife options in Atlantic City.
While the Atlantic City boardwalk is bustling with activity in the summer, you shouldn’t miss a visit in the winter as well!
You may take pleasure in walking in solitude while taking in the beautiful scenery. There’s something particularly beautiful and serene about visiting locations when they’re quiet and uncrowded during the off-season.
New York City, New York
Winter in NYC is a busy time. It’s chilly, yet people love it, especially during the holidays. There’s so much to see and do! Here are our top places to visit in NYC during the New Year:
Rockefeller Christmas Tree
Every year, Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan displays the city’s most renowned Christmas tree.
It rises at least 23 meters high and is illuminated by tens of thousands of LED lights, making it a must-see for winter visitors to NYC.
Ice Skating Rink
Each ice skating rink in New York City has its unique advantages. Skating in Bryant Park is free, and going during the week avoids lengthy lineups.
Skate near the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center for a guaranteed ice skating space. If you want more space on the ice, go uptown to the Wollman Rink in Central Park, the city’s biggest and most renowned skating rink.
Chinese New Year in Chinatown
During Chinese New Year in late January or late February, you may watch dragons dance on the streets of Chinatown.
Starting on Mott Street, the annual Chinatown New Year Parade winds across the neighborhood. Chinatown also has spontaneous performances. End the night with a bowl of some delicious soup dumplings.
Holiday Window Displays on Fifth Avenue
Enjoy the elaborate Christmas decorations in the storefront windows of Fifth Avenue’s high-end stores. Begin at Bergdorf Goodman on 58th Street, then proceed to 49th Street for the Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas light display.
End at Macy’s Herald Square for a look at their dynamic window displays inspired by winter themes.
Central Park Sledding
Snow turns Central Park’s numerous slopes into a sledding paradise. Get a sled, find a hill, and slide down. The slopes become less busy as you travel further into the park. You may find yourself in the midst of a fun snowball battle before your park visit is through.
Creativity is a way of life in Portland. Aside from its nationally acclaimed culinary scene- considered to be more accessible and inexpensive than bigger cities, Portland and its surrounding towns inspire awe all year.
In the winter, Portland comes alive with cheerful and unique holiday traditions that everyone will surely enjoy! Forest Park, the biggest urban nature park in the US, proves you don’t have to leave the city to enjoy nature.
You can even get there without having to drive. Enjoy an amazing winter journey on the Portland Region’s convenient light-rail system.
The fact that you’re spending the holidays in Philadelphia doesn’t mean you have to skip out on seasonal festivities and winter activities. Whether you’re traveling in a group or by yourself, there are a variety of activities to keep you entertained throughout the day and into the night.
Macy’s Christmas Light Display
Are you looking for a little holiday glitz and glamour? Visit the Macy’s Christmas Light Show, which has become a tradition in this city and is a must-see for everyone.
Winter in Franklin Square
Wander along Franklin Square and enjoy Electrical Spectacle, which is a more contemporary take on traditional Christmas light displays.
It’s perfect for families and small parties since it doesn’t need a lot of preparation or money to see it in its entirety.
A more formal and artistically stimulating evening may be had by purchasing tickets to the Pennsylvania Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker, which is held each year at the Academy of Music. It is expected to provide an evening of Christmas entertainment and good cheer.
Night On The Town
It makes for an excellent evening out, whether combined with a dinner in the city or a drink at a local pub.
A favorite activity for families is ice skating, and there’s no better time to do it than at Waterfront Winterfest at the Blue Cross River Rink.
Essentially a winterized version of Blue Cross River Rink Summerfest, Winterfest features an Olympic-size ice skating rink with views of the Delaware River, an Alpine-style lodge and winter garden with a majestically lit holiday tree with tens of thousands of LED lights, an outdoor seating area with fire pits, cozy warming cabins, and a huge array of other activities.
Nashville, the bustling capital of the US state of Tennessee, is well-known for its amazing music scene. There are notable music halls, renowned country music venues, and a wide range of music events in this area. It’s also known as “Music City” in the United States.
While Nashville is known for its many cultural festivities, the city also puts on a spectacular Christmas extravaganza, which includes some of the following.
- Christmas Light Displays
- Holiday Markets
- Christmas Tree Lighting
- Reindeer Run Tube Park
These are just a handful of the amazing winter holiday activities and attractions in the area. If you’re looking for a unique place to spend your winter vacation, consider Nashville.
While a “White Christmas” is unlikely in Houston, the city still knows how to celebrate the holidays. Holiday fun isn’t limited to downtown. Seasonal festivals are held throughout Houston neighborhoods and suburbs.
Holiday Light Displays
The city’s zoo, museums, historic buildings, and baseball fields transform into a winter wonderland at night,
Houston’s Downtown Theater District
Houston’s Theater District is 17 blocks long and contains approximately 13,000 seats. Beyond the city towers, smaller organizations provide a distinct mix of cutting-edge performing arts and well-known classics in intimate settings. There will surely be something to lift your holiday spirits.
Discovery Green Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
Discover the Christmas enchantment on The Ice powered by Green Mountain Energy as you skate under the twinkling lights of downtown Houston! The unique experience is sure to make you and your loved ones create lasting memories.
“Holiday on 19th Street” at the Heights
The “Holiday on 19th Street” event in the trendy Heights area is a one-day event that features live music, drinks while you shop and a snow machine.
Tomball German Christmas Market
The Tomball German Christmas Market is a three-day festival of music, cuisine, shopping, and enjoyment. Hundreds of vendors, a Biergarten (beer garden), a carnival, and a large kids’ park occupy four blocks of downtown Tomball.
San Antonio, Texas
Consider visiting the San Antonio Riverwalk’s holiday festivities and other local attractions during the season. During the Texas Christmas holiday, tourists can enjoy the city at its finest, with its sparkling lights and festive decorations.
It includes cuisine, shopping, and cultural activities the whole family can enjoy. During the San Antonio Riverwalk Christmas event, the local attractions mean business when it comes to giving you a good time during this wonderful time of year.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The winter months are a great time to ditch your snow shovel and go to Virginia Beach, where you may spend your days savoring fresh oysters that have been harvested straight from the water, horseback riding on the beach, and taking a tour to see the city’s most popular annual visitor: the humpback whales.
Winter in Seattle is fantastic since there are fewer visitors and the weather is moderate, allowing for both indoor and outdoor activities. Here are our favorites, whether you’re a tourist or a local!
Seattle seldom gets snow, but just a 2-hour drive in Seattle, you can find cross-country skiing and snowshoeing places. You can also spend a day ice skating at Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline.
Museums in Seattle
The greater Seattle region is home to more than 40 museums that cover a wide variety of interests and subjects.
Woodland Park Zoo
Visiting Woodland Park Zoo in the winter is wonderful because fewer people come and more animals are outside. (Most animals don’t like going out when it is too hot.)
The Seattle Aquarium is also a must-see for animal lovers. Its pier offers unobstructed views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. They have cute otters and hypnotizing jellyfish.
Pike Place Market
When it comes to places to visit in Seattle during the winter, this is the one you shouldn’t miss. This is because it is much less busy in the winter, especially during the week, allowing you to wander freely among the merchants and eateries without the crowds of people.
This wintertime, take pleasure in the city of Washington DC with a holiday vacation to the nation’s capital. You may dine by the fireplace at a nice restaurant, check out the National Christmas Tree, roast some s’mores by the water, browse at local seasonal markets, and relax with hot beverages at a local bar.
Whether you’re traveling alone, with some company, or searching for family-friendly activities, this winter paradise is the place to be for your ultimate experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main places to visit for celebrating New Year’s Eve?
There are so many fun places to ring in the new year, you just need some suggestions for how to narrow your list of options! A few places that are sure to please would be Las Vegas, Miami, or NYC.
If you’re looking for more of a more relaxing place with less noise, try Denver or Atlanta. There are always parties in all major cities where you could probably go if you don’t mind crowds.
Are there any places that are free to celebrate the New Year?
Las Vegas is probably your best option if you are looking for a place to celebrate New Year’s Eve that is free. There are no entry fees to enjoy the dazzling light displays in Vegas. The fireworks are free too!
Are there any places where you can just sit back and sip on a drink while enjoying the view?
There are great places in all of the cities we listed in this article where you can enjoy the best views while sipping on a glass of wine or two.
Sip a cocktail in one of Chicago’s finest rooftop bars while the entire city lights up below you.
If you love the beach, you can catch some fireworks at a cozy beach bar.