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America's Best New Year's Eve Celebrations

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans does love a party, and New Year’s Eve is as fine a time as any. “Baby New Year” drops from Jax Brewery in Jackson Square, and then a big fireworks display lights up the sky over the Mississippi River. Afterwards, the big party is on Bourbon Street, but it’s not all drinking and dancing. The next day several family-centric locations have a “Countdown to Noon” for the kids who are too young to stay up until midnight.

(image via morgana_c)

9. Honolulu, Hawai'i

9. Honolulu, Hawai'i

Really, any place in Hawai'i is a solid spot for a New Year's Eve celebration, but it doesn't seem fair to put the whole state. A big draw in Honolulu is the "Party of the Year," a huge celebration at Kaka'ako Gateway Park with carnival rides, food trucks, and live entertainment on several stages. Wherever you are, make sure you're looking up for the fireworks display. Hawai'i is one of the last places that gets to celebrate New Year's, and they make sure they do it in style.

(image via sdroit760)

8. Savannah, Georgia

8. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah may be a surprise, but this isn't the only list it's shown up on lately. The city is developing a reputation as a New Year's destination. There are the usual parties, including the official celebration at Savannah City Market, but that's not all. From celebratory cruises to the Polar Bear Plunge into the Atlantic on New Year's Day, Savannah has a lot to offer, and it seems like the whole city is in on the fun.

(image via jnewland, CC)

7. Boston, Massachussetts

7. Boston, Massachussetts

Boston's First Night event has been a tradition for 40 years. This year, a new group has stepped in to take the reins, and they're focusing on a smaller region—Copley Square and Boston Common—instead of letting the party sprawl around the whole city. Still, the ice sculptures, light displays, musical performances, and other traditions are promised, and it's not like Boston's going to stop partying just because the official event made its borders a little smaller.

(image via kchan781)

6. Miami, Florida

6. Miami, Florida

Miami has so many New Year’s Eve parties that people have written “10 Best NYE Parties” articles about just Miami. There are lots of nightclubs and hotels offering plenty of ridiculous gatherings, from soirees to club bashes, and a ton of concerts in between. Musicians really want an excuse to go celebrate New Year’s on the beach. Not all of this year's plans have been finalized, but you're eager to get things organized, last year’s party guide should serve you well.

(image via palazzodelsol)

5. Atlanta, Georgia

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Of course, there are all kinds of parties going on in Atlanta, from upscale hotel balls to rowdy club nights, but the big event is the Peach Drop. The Peach Drop is a day-long celebration with carnival rides and festival food, culminating with live music and the descent of an 800-pound peach at midnight. Last year, Atlanta speed-rap king and Fast and Furious star Ludacris gave a concert before the drop. You can also see the Peach Bowl if you’re in town around New Year’s.

(image via ventureforward)

4. Phoenix, Arizona

4. Phoenix, Arizona

When Travel + Leisure surveyed their readers for favorite New Year's destinations, Phoenix and Scottsdale placed 6th. Maybe it's the Circle K New Year’s Eve Block Party or all of the nightclub gatherings. Maybe it's all the posh resorts offering swanky places to celebrate. Maybe it's just that it's not as brutally cold as the East Coast is.

(image via Jonathan Pino)

3. Chicago, Illinois

3. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is going nuts this year for New Year’s with a first-of-its-kind celebration called Chi-Town Rising. Three stages of music on the north and south side of the river, all kinds of parties in venues all over the place, and a countdown that sees a giant Chicago star ascend the 36 stories of the Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower will finally culminate with “the most epic fireworks display the city has ever seen.”

(image via wagstaffchicago)

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is not known for subtlety, and for New Year’s Eve, the already-ludicrous town pulls out all the stops. The Strip is closed off to traffic and becomes a giant block party, and all of the casinos launch a massive, choreographed fireworks display. This may be Las Vegas at its Las Vegas-est, so it’s probably not the night for introverts to dip their toes into the water. For everyone who likes their celebrations a little raucous, this is the place to be.

(image via skinnylawyer, CC)

1. New York City

1. New York City

Of course, this had to be number one. For many locals, the ever-swelling Times Square celebration is something to be avoided, but if you don’t mind being elbow-to-elbow with a couple thousand strangers, this is a must-see. From all the nightclubs throwing their own parties to the big concerts and ball drop in Times Square, this celebration has become an American icon.

(image via quintanomedia, CC)