Best Places to Spend New Years in the USA
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Ring in the New Year with a bang!
Celebrate in style at one of the many places hosting exciting events happening throughout the United States at this time of the year- from celebrations at Times Square in New York City to the fireworks in Las Vegas.
To help plan your trip, this guide explores some of the best places to spend New Years in USA featuring activities that will keep you entertained.
The destinations mentioned below are sectioned into cities and states where they are found for easier navigation.
For an ultimate list of things to do in the US, read our USA bucket list.
Eastern United State Cities to Visit for New Year’s
Check out the New Year’s Eve celebration happening around the East Coast.
From lively New York City to historic Philadelphia, there’s plenty to do and see.
You may also like our guide to the best places to visit in December in the USA.
Times Square in New York on New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve in the US has a lot of hype and excitement built up around it, so if you’re looking for one place to go this year, make it New York City.
Times Square hosts one of the most extravagant and exciting New Years celebrations in the world, and everyone should make the trip at least once.
The Annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square is a free event open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Arrive in the early afternoon at the latest to gain entry to the viewing areas before the evening, when festivities officially begin.
Enter Times Square from 6th Ave and 8th Ave, and celebrate all night with live performances, music entertainment, and ring in the New Year with the famous ball drop at midnight from the top of One Times Square.
If you’re hoping to escape the Times Square crowds, get on board an all-inclusive party cruise to ring in the new year!
For even more NYC ideas this New Year’s, check out our NYE getaway guide!
Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve USA
If Niagara Falls has been on your bucket list for places to visit in the US, take the trip this New Years Eve.
For the best New Year’s Eve fireworks display, head to Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park.
This is the prime viewing location for the fireworks display unless you would like to cross the border to Queen Victoria Park in Canada.
After watching the spectacular show, plan to stay overnight in the Comfort Inn, The Pointe (1 Prospect Pointe).
If you’re looking for a more quiet New Year’s eve destination in the USA, opt for Niagara Falls.
Niagara falls also features in our guide to the best places to visit in the US in May.
Philadelphia, PA New Year’s Eve
This city is one of the most accessible places to find lots of enjoyment on New Year’s Eve.
Philly is known for its open bars throughout the city, making it one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s in the USA.
Be sure to ring in the new year at the Rivers Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, with shows at 6 pm and midnight.
For a luxurious (and pet-friendly) overnight stay, book a room at the Kimpton Hotel (117 S 17th St).
Baltimore New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve in Baltimore is filled with entertaining events.
Charm City Countdown‘s annual New Year’s Eve Charity Gala is one of the most anticipated parties with different themes every year.
There’s live music, food, drinks, and more.
For something kid-friendly, you can check out the Maryland Science Center’s annual Midnight Noon celebration featuring a noontime ball drop with fun activities for the kids to enjoy.
If you want to experience something unique, drive 45 minutes from Baltimore and witness an annual Duck Drop celebration in Havre de Grace.
Every New Year’s Eve, a large wooden duck is dropped into the water followed by a firework display.
Annapolis New Year’s Eve
There is so much to do in Annapolis for the new year, but the fireworks display at the City Dock (Dock St) are particularly exciting.
For a fun family-centered event, visit the Anne Arundel County Public Library (269 Hillsmere Dr) for a Countdown to Noon New Year’s celebration.
Your special evening celebrating the new year deserves a luxury hotel- stay for a night or two at 134 Prince (134 Prince George St).
Washington, DC New Year’s Eve
You can do a ton around the city for relatively cheap on New Year’s Eve.
Millions of people come to Washington, D.C. every year for this special night’s celebrations, including the dazzling fireworks show seen from the National Mall.
There are so many upscale events to choose from on this night, including speakeasy-style gala at Hotel Washington (515 15th St NW).
Washington DC is one of the best cities to spend New Year’s in the US.
Knoxville, TN New Year’s Eve
If you’re looking for fun and music-filled places to visit for New Years in the USA, take a trip to Knoxville.
Tennessee is known for its bustling live music scene, and Knoxville is no exception.
Join in on the fun at the Sunsphere at World’s Fair Park (525 Henley St), where you can enjoy free activities and a firework show when the ball drops at midnight.
Atlanta, Georgia New Year’s Eve
Atlanta, Georgia is one of the best NYE destinations in the USA.
It is most well-known for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3284 Northside Pkwy), the yearly football playoff event that takes place on New Year’s Eve.
For even more fun, grab your tickets for an All-Inclusive NYE Party at the Park Tavern (500 10th St), where drinks, music, and dancing are in abundance all night long.
After a wild night on the town, book a cozy night at the Omni Hotel (2625 Circle 75 Parkway) in downtown Atlanta.
Atlanta also features in our guide to places to visit in USA in January.
Miami, FL New Year’s Eve
Miami has some of the best restaurants and forms of entertainment in the country, which makes it one of the best places to go for New Years in the USA.
Check out the Play Pool Party at Clevelander South Beach (1020 Ocean Dr) for a fun and wild celebration.
The fireworks in Miami take place in Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd), though the celebrations at the park start before 8 pm.
For extra water fun, book a ferry cruise in Biscayne Bay for an open bar and amazing views of the Miami fireworks and skyline.
Check out our guide to warm December destinations if you prefer the beach over bundling!
Best Central US Cities for NYE
From festive parties to spectacular fireworks displays, here are places to visit for some of the best central US cities for New Year’s Eve.
Chicago New Year’s Eve
There is so much fun to explore and you can find quite a few things to do for a pretty small cost.
Navy Pier hosts the most incredible fireworks display over Lake Michigan every year, but you can also catch them in the heart of downtown along a mile of the Chicago River.
Fulfill your glamorous Chicago New Year’s Eve dreams by staying a night or two at the Palmer House Hilton (17 E Monroe St), a historic hotel with modern charm.
Omaha New Year’s Eve
You might not think that Omaha, Nebraska is one of the best places to visit for New Year’s Eve in the US, but it stands out for its comedy events, four-course meal parties, and more.
The fireworks are amazing, on view at the CHI Health Center (455 N 10th St) in Omaha.
For the best, most welcoming accommodations you can count on after a night of festivities, reserve your room at The Farnam (1299 Faram St).
New Orleans New Year’s Eve
NOLA is very easy to explore and get around, and you’d be surprised by how you can stretch your dollar in this city.
The wildest party always takes place in Jackson Square, where the brightly-lit Fleur De Lis drops at the stroke of midnight.
Live music is playing throughout the city but stop by Frenchmen Street for a non-stop dance party.
Stay in a luxury, historic hotel like the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to complete your New Orleans New Year’s Eve experience.
Western Cities in the US to Spend New Year’s Eve
From Seattle to Los Angeles, there are endless opportunities on the West Coast to celebrate the end of the year.
Below are some of the western cities in the US to spend New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve in Seattle, Washington
You won’t believe how fun STL New Year’s Eve can be, year after year.
The Space Needle (400 Broad St) is the main attraction in this city: at midnight, fireworks burst all around the iconic landmark.
For an upscale event, pick up your tickets to the New Year’s Eve Countdown Party at the Hyatt Regency (808 Howell St).
Be sure to check out all the exciting events and activities at Seattle Center, including live music, dance parties, and more.
For more things to do in the city, read our Seattle itinerary.
Portland, Oregon New Year’s Eve
Portland is known for its upscale parties and unique New Year’s Eve celebration events.
The two most extravagant events on this holiday are the Champagne Ball and the Governor’s Ball, both black-tie events taking place across the city.
You might also be interested in checking out the glamorous Gatsby-themed NYE party at the Iconic Hilton (921 SW 6th Ave) in downtown Portland.
For something a little less glam, head to the Eastside Bar and Grille (2530 NE 82nd Ave) for a night of punk music.
No matter how you decide to spend your New Year’s Eve, Portland is one of the best places for New Year’s in the USA.
You may also like to read our Portland itinerary to find more things to do during your stay in the city.
San Francisco, California New Year’s Eve
San Francisco is an amazing city to spend New Year’s Eve exploring because it is home to tons of restaurants, music venues, and more.
Watch the fireworks from the eastern waterfront and enjoy the gorgeous Bay Bridge in the background.
Pick a spot on the wide sidewalks to the south of the Ferry Building (1 Ferry Building) to watch the amazing show.
For a beautiful and historic accommodation for your New Year’s Eve celebrations, stay at the Handlery Union Square Hotel (351 Geary St).
For more things to do in the evening, you may also like our guide to San Francisco at night.
Los Angeles, California New Year’s Eve
Mark LA on your list as one of the many cool places to go for New Years in the US.
The whole family will love EVE by Universal Studios Hollywood (100 Universal City Plaza), a festive celebration featuring late-night entry, cocktails, and party locations throughout the park.
Marina del Rey (Bali Way and Admiralty Way) features two fireworks shows; one at 9 pm and the other at midnight.
For more things to do in LA, check out this guide.
Las Vegas New Year’s Eve
The US New Year is so spectacular in Las Vegas because of the amazing fireworks display.
Fireworks are a classic New Year’s Eve tradition in the USA, and the city of Las Vegas is truly over the top.
All 4 miles of the Vegas strip are closed off to car traffic in the evening to allow for free movement of foot traffic.
While rooftops are the best places to watch the fireworks, you will likely need a room key or a rooftop restaurant reservation.
A little-known secret: head to the top level of a parking garage to watch the show for free!
Salt Lake City New Year’s Eve
One of the most anticipated events in Salt Lake City every New Year’s Eve is the Last Hurrah, Utah’s largest countdown celebration.
The free event is held in downtown Salt Lake and features a fireworks display, live music, performances, pop-up bars, and more.
You can also find formal gala events in the city like the annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball.
Enjoy the night of dancing, great food, and meeting new people.
Snap great photos at their fun photo booth or get a chance to win prizes and giveaways.
We hope you find our list of places to spend the New Year in the USA helpful.
Tell us in the comments which destination you’ll be spending New Year’s Eve at- we can hardly wait to hear about all the amazing plans!