I have absolutely no idea where to go for New Year's.
September 20, 2012 9:50 PM   Subscribe

You had an unforgettable experience watching the ball drop in NYC this past NYE. The thought of staying at home this New Year's makes you feel sad and depressed. Where in America do you ring in 2013?

I posted previously over the summer about where to ring in 2013. Last year was the first time I traveled for the New Year, and I would like to keep that up. I stood in Times Square from 5am-midnight, met awesome people, and got great airtime on TV. I think I would be miserable if I didn't do something this year.

I've been thinking hard about this the whole month, and through a process of elimination, realized I will have to save my big Europe trip for next year. So that's out.

About me: I'm young (but of drinking age) and don't drive, so going somewhere remote is out of the question. Wherever I go, I want to be surrounded by people and just have a great time. I like staying in hostels, so a city that has a great hostel is a plus.

To me it's not really about the celebration. Seeing the ball drop was cool, but just exploring somewhere new works too. As long as there is a New Year's party of some sort within the city, that's fine by me. Weather isn't a factor.

I have been thinking about San Francisco, but I'm moving to elsewhere in California next year, although that wouldn't necessarily sway me from SF. Miami could be fun, but I think I'd like to leave the state.

For cheap destinations outside the U.S., I've been thinking about possibly Canada (mainly Quebec), Panama City in Panama, or San Juan.

Boston sounds fun, too. There are some other U.S. cities I have been looking at, but those are the ones worth mentioning. I've been wanting to book something by October-ish, but I've narrowed it down quite a bit.

Just trying to get some ideas here. I would love some outside perspective. Anything I'm not thinking of? Thanks!
posted by signondiego to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by sweetkid at 9:56 PM on September 20, 2012

New Orleans!
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:59 PM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]

To elaborate: yeah, it can get a little crazy, drinking wise. I went with a large group of friends which helped shield me from the boozer element enough. it's an awesome city and that trip over NYE and a few days prior was my first time there, so I just fell in love with the place (people, architecture, food, etc. ) ... So that also added to a memorable and fun new years!
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:04 PM on September 20, 2012

I once spent New Year's in Key West. Not sure if there is a hostel, but the Travel Lodge was pretty cheap. It's a fun town, you don't need a car to get around, people are super friendly, lots of cool bars. and it's warm. Oh and they drop a conch shell in Mallory Square so there's a fun celebration too.

I personally would counsel against SF. It's expensive as all hell. And when you move to Cali you can come here in any time.
posted by bananafish at 10:04 PM on September 20, 2012

Response by poster: Vegas does sound fun, but I just went there in February. Good point on SF, as much as it could be a blast, I will have all the time to go there when I'm living in Los Angeles.

Nikita, yes New Orleans! I have thought about there, for whatever reason I didn't mention it. I've been there for a few days before, but I couldn't drink or do much of anything. Could be a strong option, glad to hear you had such a great time over a New Year. Sounds like it could get pretty awesome with the drinking on such a night there. Would also be pretty cheap coming from Florida!
posted by signondiego at 10:13 PM on September 20, 2012

One of my best-ever New Years was at the Iguana Perdida on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. It's a fun, communal-style hostel in one of the most beautiful places on earth (seriously, Atitlan is magical).

I showed up in the morning of the 31st, and the entire hostel was in full swing getting ready. That night there was a group dinner that sort of morphed into the party, with lots of music, dancing, singing, and then setting off fireworks at midnight. Oh, and one tradition is that everyone is supposed to wear something from the Lost and Found box, and more specifically, men are supposed to wear women's clothes from the Lost and Found box. So there were lots of guys in dresses setting off fireworks over the lake.

I arrived knowing no one, but the crowd was amazingly friendly and international. I had so much fun I wound up staying the better part of a week there!
posted by lunasol at 10:22 PM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

There are various raves that will happen on/around NYE, if you're interested in that sort of thing. You mentioned SF, so there's POP NYE happening in Oakland, which has an AWESOME lineup. Jeez, the thought of ringing in New Year's with Above & Beyond gives me shivers. There's Lights All Night in Dallas, which is a festival for a couple days before NYE and then NYE itself. Axwell headlining NYE, which would also be worth catching, judging by his performance at Electric Zoo in New York this summer. There's also Insomniac's White Wonderland, which is usually in the LA area and has not had the venue or lineup announced yet. Traditionally there's also been TAO (Together As One) in the LA area, but that may or may not happen.
posted by eak at 10:40 PM on September 20, 2012

Ball drop? Boring.

Try a conch shell and a drag queen in an enormous red shoe.

Key West! MeMail me for details.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:12 AM on September 21, 2012

How about Providence, Rhode Island? Providence has a great arts/performance/music festival on New Years Eve called Bright Night, which is a great experience and the tickets are *cheap* for the amount and quality of entertainment you get. Additionally, the bonfires in the Proivdence River, WaterFire, are often lit for New Years' Eve - seeing multiple bonfires burning mid-river, downtown, is a beautiful and otherworldly sight. Compact and walkable downtown; and of course, plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to top off your evening.
posted by Ardea alba at 4:58 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I wasn't there for New Year's but I'd second lunasol's Iguana Perdida recommendation. That place is a blast and the people are really friendly! If you go, be sure go cliff jumping (after you've recovered from the NYE party).
posted by jshort at 5:28 AM on September 21, 2012

Boat party? There ought to be about a hundred of them in NY Harbor, alone. New Year's Eve in sight of Lady Liberty, fireworks, and all that - pretty special evening!
posted by IAmBroom at 11:08 AM on September 21, 2012

I spent a New Years Eve in New Orleans' French Quarter a few years ago. One of my favorite NYE's ever.

The city does their equivalent of a ball drop, which is meh, but there are fireworks along the Mississippi. Also, it's just a damn good place to be drunk and happy and eat ridiculous things. The weather is also usually not that cold compared to most of the US.
posted by Sara C. at 12:08 PM on September 21, 2012

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