Celebrate New Year’s Eve around the US
From East Coast to West Coast, up north and down south, our festive round-up will help you ring in the New Year with style. Here’s to 2023! | By Jessica Poitevien | November 17, 2022
Whether you’re looking to ring in the new year with your closest friends, share a champagne toast with your significant other or bring the kids along for a more family-friendly celebration, there are plenty of destinations around the U.S. where you can welcome 2023 in style.
Music galore: From jazz to electronic dance music, there’s a festival or concert for everyone on New Year’s Eve
Reflective beginnings: End the year on a relaxing note by reconnecting with nature
Light up the night: Spark a new start with a traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display
If there’s one thing Las Vegas knows how to do well, it’s party, and the city pulls out all the stops to make its already-iconic nightlife even more epic on New Year’s Eve. Around 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, traffic shuts down on all 4.2 miles (6.8 kilometers) of the Las Vegas Strip, turning this famed stretch of Sin City into one giant block party for over 300,000 people.
If you plan on celebrating outside, be sure to wear layers as this desert destination gets surprisingly cool during the winter months. That way, you’ll more comfortably make it to midnight when casinos along the Strip launch a coordinated fireworks display from their rooftops. If you’d rather stay inside for the countdown, keep in mind that the casinos stop allowing entry once they reach capacity, usually around 11 p.m. You’ll also want to plan ahead for dinner reservations or ticketed events as these options sell out far in advance.
Ring in 2023 at Resorts World Las Vegas, where you’ll find three of the city’s most sought-after New Year’s Eve events and dining experiences. Celebrations will include live music from international recording artists, a comedy show with one of the highest-grossing comedians of all time and a nightclub performance featuring a world-renowned DJ. Need to factor in festivities with kids? Enchant – an illuminated winter wonderland and one of the biggest holiday events in Las Vegas – also runs through New Year’s Day. Oh, and if you’re looking to have a ball, head to Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, where New Year’s Eve festivities take the shape of a refined Venetian Masquerade-themed party.
From Little Havana’s Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) to the Wynwood Arts District, nearly every neighborhood in Miami has a party worth attending to celebrate New Year's Eve. Though South Beach is a popular option thanks to the celebrity performances and late-night partying, downtown Miami is the place to go for a night that’s both family friendly and easy on the wallet.
Head to Bayfront Park on Biscayne Bay for a free New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with food trucks, multiple concerts and activities for the kids. Traffic on a regular day in Miami can be rough, so we suggest using public transportation, like the free Metromover train. If you want to limit your travel to walking only, consider staying at The Gabriel Miami Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton — conveniently located less than a mile away from Bayfront Park.
From the park, you’ll get the perfect view of Miami’s midnight countdown – the largest in South Florida – as the Big Orange ascends towards the sky and the night lights up with fireworks. For an experience that screams, “I’m in Miami!,” have your champagne toast aboard one of the many fireworks cruises or yacht parties departing from the Bayside Marketplace next door to the park.
For a taste of casual glamour on New Year’s Eve, consider Phoenix. The desert destination’s laid-back atmosphere and lavish celebrations are just the ticket.
Join The Phoenix Symphony for its 75th annual New Year’s Eve concert. Considered a local tradition, this concert features famous Strauss waltzes and seasonal classics, along with Broadway and contemporary favorites. Toast the evening with a complimentary glass of champagne, adding to the celebratory mood.
Offering a vastly different musical experience is Decadence Arizona, a lively two-day festival at the Phoenix Raceway featuring more than a dozen artists performing mostly electronic dance music.
Meanwhile, find tranquility at the Desert Botanical Garden, which welcomes guests throughout the month of December, including on New Year’s Eve, for Las Noches de las Luminarias, a unique after-hours experience. Holiday lights twinkle above the gardens, large-scale art installations are sprinkled throughout the trails and live performances fill the air with joyful music.
Washington, D.C. is full of opportunities to party the night (and year) away on Dec. 31, but few gatherings are as glamorous as the New Year's Gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. This prestigious annual black-tie event, which supports local philanthropies, includes a top-shelf open bar, seemingly endless champagne and multiple party spaces, each with its own DJ.
Parties aren’t for everyone, of course, so tranquility-seekers should consider a visit to the U.S. National Arboretum, which hosts a restorative forest bathing experience on New Year’s Eve. Forest therapy is known to boost immunity, lower blood pressure and improve your mood — not a bad way to end the year (or start a new one!).
If midnight fireworks are an indispensable part of your New Year’s Eve festivities, make your way to nearby cities like Alexandria in neighboring Virginia. Family fun awaits at First Night Alexandria, a music festival in Old Town, with over 100 live performances from noon to midnight. Before the clock strikes 12, grab your spot along the waterfront and watch as fireworks blast above the Potomac River.
If you want to be among the tens of thousands of people who fill New York City’s Times Square for one of the largest countdowns in the world, you’ll have to strategize.
When you see the smiling faces of the lucky revelers who got a front-row view of the Ball Drop, what you don’t see is that they’ve spent hours out in the cold with no access to food or bathrooms. The police also close off the streets surrounding Times Square in the afternoon and shut viewing areas as they reach capacity, meaning if you leave your spot — even for necessities — you lose it.
Our top Times Square trick? Staying at DoubleTree by Hilton New York Times Square West. The property is located within the barricaded zone, meaning all you have to do is flash your hotel key card, and you’ll be allowed through designated entry points, no matter what time it is. You and your travel companions can take turns between food runs, relaxing at the hotel and guarding your prime Ball Drop real estate.
Like most major events around the country, planning ahead for New Year’s Eve is essential and arriving prepared for large crowds and potential winter weather is key. No matter where – or how – you choose to celebrate this New Year’s Eve, we wish you all the happiness in 2023.
Jessica Poitevien is an international storyteller with more than a decade of experience in writing and editing. When she’s not traveling, you can find Jessica enjoying her other obsessions: baking cookies, befriending strangers and exploring nature.