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The Top Destinations to Ring in New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year's Eve is the perfect way to close out the season, and of course the year, which is why people go all out. Here are the best places to celebrate.

MontrealPinkcandy /Shutterstock

Montreal, Canada

Before you start those New Year’s resolutions, party it up in Canada’s most European-feeling city. If you want to get right in the middle of the action, Montreal’s Old Port has you covered. The family-fun events include fireworks, ice-skating, and outdoor performances. If you’re looking to dress up and dance, check out the Wiggle Room’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Burlesque party—live music, a burlesque show, and a festive cocktail menu offer a night you won’t forget. No passport? Here are the small towns in the U.S. that will have you feeling like you were magically transported across the pond.

Cook-IslandsMartin Valigursky /Shutterstock

Cook Islands

Situated close to New Zealand, the Cook Islands are one of the last places on the planet to ring in New Year’s Day since they’re located in the South Pacific on the opposite side of the International Date Line. If you’re in the mood to relax, check out Little Polynesian Resort in Rarotonga. Here, you’ll find beachfront bungalows, hammocks on the private beach, and shaded loungers by the infinity pool. Still, there are plenty of bars and some nightclubs for you to put on your party outfit and head out for a night of Champagne and dancing. Check out these photos of beaches with the clearest water in the world to help get you in the mood.

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Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is best known for its relaxing, laid-back vibe, but if you want to spend time frolicking in the Pacific waters by day and partying by night, that’s absolutely a possibility. Come New Year’s Eve, there are various activities to take advantage of among a gorgeous setting. Go to Waikiki Beach for fireworks with the family, or head to downtown Honolulu for the Aloha Tower New Year’s Eve party, which features live music, dancing, and fireworks. Here are all the insider secrets you need to know before booking your Hawaiian vacation.

Austin-TexasSean Pavone /Shutterstock

Austin, Texas

This city (one of the healthiest in the country) is undoubtedly thriving all year long, but on New Year’s Eve, it goes all out. The Auditorium Shores and Vic Mathias Shores (both city parks) offer live music, art displays, food vendors, and incredible fireworks shows. You can also dress up for the masquerade ball hosted at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. For the most upscale event in the city, count down to 2018 in style at the Omni Austin Hotel with a Gatsby-themed party.

New-York-CityT photography /Shutterstock

New York City

Can you really talk about New Year’s Eve and not mention the Big Apple? Year after year, it’s a hot spot for New Year’s Eve thanks to the gathering of a million people in Times Square to see famous musicians perform and the even more famous ball drop. And if you really want to do this, but don’t want to get sucked into the crowds, enjoy watching the 12-foot-wide crystal ball descend among the square by way of a bar or restaurant that overlooks the area. Staying in? Watch one of these classic movies that takes place on New Year’s Eve.

Rio-De-Janeiromarchello74 /Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This Brazilian city may best be known for its Carnival events, but its New Year’s Eve festivities are just as alluring. If you want a wild night out, check out the iconic Copacabana Beach, which puts on one of the most outrageous parties to ring in the New Year. Over two million people party it up on the two-and-a-half mile stretch of sand where various religious, traditional, and superstitious beliefs use the event to dress in white to bring in good luck, toss flowers into the ocean as a gift to Yemanjá, goddess of the seas, and more. You will also find large oceanfront stages for live musical and dance performances, as well as fireworks. Make sure to eat all seven of these good luck foods on New Year’s Eve.

LouisianaSean Pavone/Shutterstock

New Orleans, Louisiana

Yes, Mardi Gras is the main event in this southern City, but New Year’s Eve doesn’t hold back. Enjoy the 15-minute fireworks show on the Mississippi River, and count down with the appropriately named Fleur de Lis, a “Baby New Year” dropped from the roof of the Jax Brewery in Jackson Square. We’re sure you can find plenty of trouble to get into on Bourbon Street, too.

ParisMapics /Shutterstock

Paris, France

If you want to see the Eiffel Tower in all its glory, watch it transform into an eye-catching lightshow and fireworks display in celebration of the New Year. The neighboring Nouvelle Année on the Champs-Élysées hosts a giant street party, where the festivities include bottles of Champagne. Another fun option is at the famous Paris nightclub Duplex, situated near the Arc de Triomphe. This club and restaurant begins with a gastronomic dinner, animation with a violinist and Asian dancers, and finishes with an all-night-long party on the dance floor. You’ll want to read our tips for getting over jet lag before you go.

AmsterdamYasonya /shutterstock

Amsterdam, Netherlands

If your idea of ringing in the New Year is impromptu street parties, Amsterdam has you covered with nearly every public square featuring festivities and fireworks. There are also various places to dance, including the annual Awakenings bash at Gashouder and Loveland NYE at Mediahaven. Want to feel like you’re at a house party with a bunch of strangers? Go to Amsterdam Roest for a warehouse vibe where you can drink beer from a bathtub, adjust the music, soak in one of the hot tubs, dance, or relax on couches.

MiamiMiami2you /Shutterstock

Miami, Florida

If bundling up in layers doesn’t sound like a good way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, then let Miami be your go-to. The weather is perfect for dressing up in 1920s attire for a themed event aboard the Catalina Yacht, where the Pier Pressure New Year’s Eve Cruise has four hours of open bar, passed appetizers, and DJs galore. You’ll also get the best views of Biscayne Bay, South Beach, Bayfront Park, The Orange Drop, a fireworks shows, and the sparkling downtown Miami Skyline.

PeninsulaEQRoy /Shutterstock

Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica is the place to be when the ball drops. Ring in the New Year with a celebration bringing to life the “Lost History of Costa Rica.” Feast on a sumptuous Costa Rican inspired-buffet before enjoying a Champagne toast and fireworks at midnight. Dance the night away to the sounds of the north Pacific coast’s favorite local band, Marta y Los del Barrio. Expect surprises by acrobats, fire dancers, and a rainforest dance show. Feliz año nuevo!

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website:

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