by Dayna Engberg


It’s a magical night, the one night of the year we usher in the new and renounce the old. From competitive reservations and one-night-only prix fixe menus to exclusive parties and flashy evening wear, New Year’s Eve might be the most anticipated holiday of the year. Whether you’re looking for a booming party or the perfect spot to pop open a nice bottle of Champagne, read on for our picks on the best settings to kiss under the confetti.
Nothing beats New Year's in NOLA

New Year’s in Nola

Baby New Year descends from atop Jax Brewery at Jackson Square, partygoers watch from the balconies of Bourbon Street, and dancing couples sway beneath the glittering fireworks over the Mississippi. Welcome to the big night in the Big Easy.

For all the glitz and glam in a classic New Orleans setting, head to Arnaud’s in the heart of the French Quarter. Considered the most beautiful dining room in the city, this institution has been serving up refined Creole-inspired cuisine for over a century. The real draw, however, is its James Beard award-winning bar. Get festive with their signature French 75—an elegant mix of Courvoisier VS, sugar, lemon juice, and Moët & Chandon Champagne —for the perfect New Year’s toast.

If you’re looking for something of a faster pace, no place in the city embodies the spirit of New Orleans like the iconic Preservation Hall. This world-famous jazz launchpad hosts the annual Hall Lang Syne celebration. Tickets to the guaranteed-to-sell-out party include access to the historical hall, a Champagne toast in the charming open courtyard, and a night of soul-stirring melodies performed live by the greatest original jazz ensemble in the world. Even better, proceeds from the event support the nonprofit Preservation Hall Foundation. Start the year with a celebration of traditional jazz and contribute to preserving its heritage for generations to come.

NYC is still one of the best places to ring in the New Year

Nothing Compares to the Big Apple

While watching the ball drop in Times Square is certainly an iconic moment, you do have options when the big night arrives in New York City. One unforgettable way to usher in the New Year is on a stylish dinner cruise departing from New York Harbor or Chelsea Piers. The dark waters dance with shimmering lights during your panoramic, front-row seat to Lady Liberty’s fireworks display, made all the sweeter while feasting on a sumptuous six-course dinner.

A New Year’s Eve helicopter tour may not have the six-course meal (though imagine if it did!), but soaring above the skyscrapers with the celebratory “bombs bursting in air” will give your heart an exhilarating jolt. Your tour also takes you over Times Square, as the crowds below shout joyously to countdown the year’s remaining seconds.

If you’d rather keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, seek out a posh restaurant close to the action. At The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, not only can you dine on the Carlyle Restaurant’s renowned Dover Sole in an intimate country house ambience, you’ll also be near Central Park, which just happens to be the starting line of the New York Road Runner’s annual four-mile Midnight Run, a festive event with costumes, dancing, and parades.

Fireworks explode over the Space Needle in Seattle

Surprises in Seattle

Some of the best New Year’s celebrations are the ones by the water, and Seattle is no exception. Although the city can be a tad on the colder side in December, an epic fireworks display makes it worth the chill. Every year at midnight, the iconic space needle erupts in a dazzling multi-level fireworks display few cities can top.

The best place for prime viewing is the nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass. Take time to see the incredible glass-blown installation exhibits within the park and then enjoy dinner, dancing, and a Champagne toast with a front-and-center viewing of the fireworks above. Or get out on the water aboard the Lady Mary Jazz Trio Cruise on Lake Union, where you’ll be able to enjoy the sparkling reflections over the water while dancing to the rhythm of live jazz.

To plan your New Year’s Eve escape, contact your travel professional today.

Plan your next trip with
Ryan Munseok
Herndon, VA
Let's Plan Your Next Trip

We are here to help you turn your travel dreams into reality. contact us today!

Ryan Munseok Choi
Ryan Munseok Choi
Herndon, VA
Professional Travel Specialist
Ann Nordeen
Ann Nordeen
Leesburg, VA
Cruise & Vacation Specialist
Janice Fitzpatrick
Janice Fitzpatrick
Great Falls, VA
How does this work?
Why use a travel agent?
Why use Travel Leaders?

Travel Leaders Network is the largest network of professional travel agents in North America. Wherever you want to go, however you want to get there — we have a travel agent for you.

Magnifying Loupe
Our database of travel experts & specialists
With an agent via text, email or phone
A stress-free vacation with a professional by your side